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Frequently Asked Questions
I have to arrange a Video Conference, what should I do?
To schedule a video call you must first check with the courtroom deputy for the Judge’s approval and to schedule the call. Our video conference system is the latest technology and is compatible with most other video conference systems. However, we can not guarantee compatibility with other systems. Because there are many different protocols and hardware versions of video conference equipment available, you MUST make a test call into the court before your proceeding date to ensure compatibility.
What are the restrictions regarding what can be brought into the courthouse?
The entrances to the United States District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania are guarded for your safety and protection. Cameras, recording equipment, weapons, pepper spray and sharp objects, and anything that can be construed as a weapon are prohibited. Please leave any of these types of items at home or in your vehicle.
How does this program help litigants?
The concept of this Court's ADR program is that it will expedite the resolution of cases and reduce the costs of litigation for clients.
How do I become a member of the bar of this court?
Local Rule 83.2 A governs admission to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Anyone wishing to be admitted to practice in this court should comply with the following:
1. You must obtain a movant who is an attorney admitted to practice in this court, and is a member in good standing. The admittee and movant must be present in court. The movant will orally move your admission before a United States District Judge.
2. Complete the form Attorney Admissions On-line. The Clerk's Office will contact you once the application is reviewed to provide the available dates and times of admission ceremonies. The fee is $191.00, and all checks must be made payable to "Clerk, U. S. District Court." The fee is paid at the time of your admission.
What should I wear for jury service?
All jurors must wear appropriate business attire for jury duty. Shorts, tank tops, flip flops, tee shirts, etc. are examples of what not to wear. The Court asks that the rules of etiquette be followed in the courtroom.
Where do I park?
Are there lawyers available to assist pro se litigants?
Yes. The Court has developed a program under the auspices of the law firm of Jones Day to make attorneys available to counsel pro se litigants using the ADR process.
Is smoking allowed in the courthouse?
No. All federal courthouses located in the Western District of Pennsylvania’s jurisdiction are smoke-free facilities. In addition, jurors are not permitted to leave the assembly area or the courtroom unless specifically dismissed as a group by court personnel. Jurors should plan accordingly.
Who will pay for the ADR program selected?
Costs will generally be shared among or between the parties, except for Arbitration. The Court will continue to pay arbitrators, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §658 and consistent with Judicial Conference policy. Indigent parties may ask the Court to apportion most, or all, of the costs on the other side, or request the appointment of a pro bono neutral.
Where do I report?
Unless directed otherwise, jurors summoned in the Pittsburgh Division will report to room 3300, jury assembly room (third floor) in the United States Courthouse, 700 Grant Street, downtown Pittsburgh (across the street from the federal building). Jurors summoned in the Erie Division will report to room A170, jury assembly room, United States Courthouse, 17 South Park Row, downtown Erie. Jurors summoned in the Johnstown Division will report to room 116, jury assembly room, United States Courthouse, Penn Traffic Building, 319 Washington Street in downtown Johnstown.