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Pennsylvania Motion Practice

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Steven E. Bizar


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Motion practice is a significant part of any litigation practice and can be dispositive of many or most issues. A winning motion can significantly reshape the trajectory of your case. Pennsylvania Motion Practice will give you a thorough understanding of the rules and procedures governing motion practice in Pennsylvania state courts. This book will guide you through the requirements for preliminary motions, preliminary objections, motions for judgment on the pleadings, motions for class certification, discovery motions, summary judgment motions, pre-trial motions, trial motions, motions for post-trial relief, and appellate motions.

Content includes:

  • What is a Motion?
  • Preliminary Motions
  • Preliminary Objections
  • Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
  • Motion for Class Certification
  • Discovery Motions
  • Summary Judgment Motions
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Trial Motions
  • Motions for Post-Trial Relief
  • Appellate Motions

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  • Availability: Available
  • Brand: The Legal Intelligencer
  • Product Type: Books
  • Edition: 4th
  • Page Count: 426
  • ISBN: 978-1-62881-551-1
  • Pub#/SKU#: PMP19
  • Pub Date: 11/28/2018

Author Image
  • Steven E. Bizar

Steven E. Bizar
Partner at Dechert LLP

Steven has nearly thirty years of experience representing clients in complex business disputes in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels throughout the country. He concentrates his practice on litigation related to antitrust and trade regulation, securities, contracts and business torts, and government investigations.

Ranging from multinational manufacturing companies to Internet start-ups and partnerships, Steven’s clients span a variety of industries, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, building materials, financial services and securities, communications and telecommunications, new media and technology, health care and wholesale distribution. He was one of a select group of attorneys in North America and Europe to be named by clients to the 2015 and 2009 Client Service All-Star Teams, lists compiled by BTI Consulting Group based on input from in-house counsel at large corporations.

Steven has experience in the trial and litigation defense of multidistrict class actions, including those filed under federal and state antitrust laws, the federal securities laws, state consumer fraud statutes and involving alleged mass torts. He has also represented clients through trial in a wide range of contract and tort disputes arising from their commercial activities, including “bet the company” lawsuits. He appears regularly in trial and appellate courts throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from major cities to rural counties. Steven represents clients in government antitrust and securities fraud investigations and enforcement proceedings and before administrative agencies and self-regulatory organizations. He has significant appellate experience and has obtained landmark federal and state appellate victories in the areas of class certification, antitrust, securities fraud pleading standards, full faith and credit/res judicata. Steven also has broad experience in counseling clients and managing electronic discovery and records retention issues.

Steven is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, one of the country’s most prestigious, peer-nominated trial lawyer associations, as well as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Litigation Counsel of America. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers in Philadelphia for both antitrust law and business litigation and has repeatedly been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and the Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers list. He has consistently been ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA in the field of antitrust law, and ranked Band 2 for his work in commercial litigation. He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School and undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brandeis University.



Chapter 1: What is a Motion ..................................................................1
1-1 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................1
1-2 MATTERS ADDRESSED BY PETITION, RATHER
THAN MOTION.......................................................................2
1-2:1 Form and Content of Petition ......................................2
1-2:2 Rule to Show Cause ......................................................3
1-3 GENERAL RULES FOR MOTIONS.......................................6
1-3:1 Form and Content........................................................6
1-3:2 Briefs ............................................................................7
1-3:3 Alternative Procedures..................................................7
1-3:4 Initial Consideration of Motion ...................................9
1-3:5 Procedure if Facts are in Dispute..................................9
1-3:6 Oral Argument .............................................................9
1-4 RULES OF SELECTED JURISDICTIONS...........................10
1-4:1 Philadelphia County ...................................................10
1-4:1.1 General Rules ............................................10
1-4:1.2 Motions.....................................................11
1-4:1.3 Non-Discovery Motions............................13
1-4:1.4 Discovery Motions ....................................14
1-4:1.5 Commerce Court Program.........................16
1-4:1.6 Mass Tort Program....................................18
1-4:1.7 Petitions.....................................................18
1-4:2 Allegheny County.......................................................20
1-4:2.1 Basic Requirements....................................20
1-4:2.2 Motion Procedure......................................20
1-4:2.3 Petitions.....................................................23
1-4:2.3a General Docket Cases—Opening
a Default Judgment .....................23
1-4:2.3b General Docket Cases-Opening
a Judgment of Non Pros..............24
1-4:2.3c Arbitration Cases.........................25
1-4:3 Dauphin County.........................................................26
1-4:3.1 Basic Requirements....................................26
1-4:3.2 Motion Procedure......................................26
1-4:3.3 Uncontested Motions................................26
1-4:3.4 Contested Motions ....................................27
1-4:3.5 Discovery Motions ....................................28
1-4:3.6 Emergency Motions...................................29
1-4:3.7 Briefs .........................................................29
1-4:3.8 Oral Argument ..........................................30
1-4:3.9 Petitions.....................................................30
1-4:4 Erie County ................................................................32
1-4:4.1 Motion Procedure......................................32
1-4:4.2 Oral Argument ..........................................33
1-4:4.3 Uncontested Motions................................33
1-4:4.4 Briefs .........................................................33
1-4:4.5 Discovery Motions ....................................34
1-4:4.6 Petitions.....................................................34
Chapter 2: Preliminary Motions ...........................................................35
2-1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................35
2-2 DISCOVERY IN AID OF COMPLAINT...............................35
2-3 MOTIONS FOR ALTERNATIVE SERVICE OF
PROCESS.................................................................................38
2-4 MOTION FOR RULE TO FILE A COMPLAINT
(PA. R. CIV. P. 1037(A)) ...........................................................40
2-5 PRELIMINARY RELIEF.......................................................42
2-5:1 Preliminary Injunction (Pa. R. Civ. P. 1531)................42
2-5:2 Ex Parte Preliminary Injunction Without
Notice (Pa. R. Civ. P. 1531).........................................46
2-5:3 Seizure of Property Before Judgment
(Pa. R. Civ. P. 1075.1, 1075.2) .....................................47
Chapter 3: Preliminary Objections ........................................................51
3-1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................51
3-2 RULE 1028: PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS.........................53
3-3 OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURE..............................................56
3-3:1 Timing ........................................................................56
3-3:2 Waiver ........................................................................57
3-3:3 Formal Requirements .................................................58
3-3:4 Responding to Preliminary Objections .......................58
3-3:4.1 Amendment...............................................58
3-3:4.2 Answer.......................................................59
3-3:4.3 Preliminary Objections to Preliminary
Objections..................................................61
3-3:5 Determination of Preliminary Objections...................61
3-3:5.1 Preliminary Objections Sustained ..............62
3-3:5.2 Preliminary Objections Overruled..............62
3-3:5.3 Determination of Fact Issues.....................63
3-4 PROPER APPLICATION OF AND GROUNDS
FOR PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS ....................................64
3-4:1 Only in Response to Pleadings....................................64
3-4:2 Improper Grounds for Preliminary Objection.............64
3-4:3 Proper Grounds for Preliminary Objection.................67
3-4:3.1 Jurisdiction, Service, and Venue .................67
3-4:3.1a Subject Matter Jurisdiction..........67
3-4:3.1b Personal Jurisdiction....................68
3-4:3.1c Improper Form of Service ...........69
3-4:3.1d Improper Venue ...........................70
3-4:3.2 Failure to Conform to Law or Rule of
Court or the Inclusion of Scandalous or
Impertinent Matter....................................71
3-4:3.3 Insufficient Specificity of Pleading.............74
3-4:3.4 Legal Insufficiency of a
Pleading (Demurrer)..................................75
3-4:3.5 Lack of Capacity to Sue ............................76
3-4:3.6 Nonjoinder of Necessary Party .................78
3-4:3.7 Misjoinder of Cause of Action..................80
3-4:3.8 Pendency of Prior Action or Agreement
for Alternative Dispute Resolution ............81
3-4:3.9 Existence of Adequate Non-Statutory
Remedy at Law and Failure to Exercise
or Exhaust Statutory Remedy....................82
3-5 FORMS....................................................................................83
Chapter 4: Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings .................................85
4-1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................85
4-2 RULE 1034: MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
PLEADINGS...........................................................................86
4-3 PROCEDURE .........................................................................87
4-3:1 Local Rules.................................................................87
4-3:2 Timing ........................................................................87
4-3:3 Substantive Requirements...........................................90
4-3:4 Standard For Determining Whether Judgment on
the Pleadings May Be Granted ...................................91
4-3:5 Material Considered ...................................................92
4-3:6 Extrinsic Material.......................................................93

4-3:7 Preliminary Objections v. Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings..........................................................95
4-4 GROUNDS FOR MOVING FOR JUDGMENT
ON THE PLEADINGS ...........................................................97
4-4:1 Immunity....................................................................98
4-4:2 Statute of Frauds........................................................98
4-4:3 Statute of Limitations.................................................99
4-4:4 Laches ......................................................................100
4-4:5 Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel ..........................100
4-4:6 Non-Responsive Denials...........................................101
4-5 OPPOSING THE MOTION FOR JUDGMENT
ON THE PLEADINGS .........................................................101
4-6 AVOIDING ADJUDICATION BY AMENDING
THE PLEADINGS................................................................102
4-7 ENTRY OF JUDGMENT.....................................................103
4-7:1 Partial Judgment on the Pleadings............................103
4-7:2 Judgment Against Moving Party ..............................104
4-7:3 Entry of Judgment on Court’s Own Motion
Prohibited.................................................................104
4-7:4 Appeal of Judgment .................................................105
4-8 FORMS..................................................................................105
Chapter 5: Motion for Class Certification ...........................................107
5-1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................107
5-2 TIMING ................................................................................107
5-3 FORM....................................................................................108
5-4 HEARING.............................................................................113
5-5 FORMS..................................................................................114
Chapter 6: Discovery Motions .............................................................115
6-1 MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER ..............................115
6-1:1 Rule 4012: Protective Orders.....................................116
6-1:2 Procedure..................................................................117
6-1:3 Good Cause..............................................................118
6-1:4 Depositions...............................................................119
6-1:5 Discovery Continues By Default...............................120
6-1:6 Local Rules...............................................................120
6-1:7 Format......................................................................121
6-2 MOTION TO QUASH...........................................................122
6-2:1 Rule 234.4. Subpoena. Notice to Attend. Notice
to Produce. Relief from Compliance. Motion to
Quash. ......................................................................122
6-3 MOTION TO COMPEL........................................................123
6-3:1 Rule 4019. Sanctions.................................................123
6-3:2 Requests for Admission ............................................123
6-3:3 Timing ......................................................................124
6-3:4 Requirements............................................................124
6-3:5 Discovery Motions - 55 Pa. Code § 41.134................124
6-4 MOTION FOR SANCTIONS...............................................125
6-4:1 Rule 4019. Sanctions.................................................125
6-4:2 Types of Sanctions....................................................129
6-4:3 Motions for Sanctions and Motions to Compel........130
6-4:4 The Sanction Must Be Appropriate ..........................130
6-5 FORMS..................................................................................132
Chapter 7: Summary Judgment Motions .............................................133
7-1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................133
7-2 RULES AND PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO
SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS.................................134
7-2:1 The Summary Judgment Motion..............................134
7-2:2 The Summary Judgment “Record”...........................137
7-2:3 The Nanty-Glo Rule..................................................140
7-2:4 Briefing and Argument of Summary Judgment
Motions....................................................................143
7-2:5 Responding to Summary Judgment Motions............146
7-2:6 Supplementing the Summary Judgment Record
in Responding to the Motion....................................148
7-2:7 The Role of the Court...............................................149
7-3 FORMS..................................................................................151
Chapter 8: Pre-Trial Motions .............................................................153
8-1 MOTIONS IN LIMINE ........................................................153
8-1:1 Uses for Motion in Limine........................................153
8-1:2 Procedure for Motion in Limine ...............................154
8-1:3 Ruling on a Motion in Limine ..................................155
8-2 MOTION FOR A DISCONTINUANCE..............................155
8-2:1 Discontinuance as to Less Than All Defendants.......156
8-2:2 Motion to Strike Off a Discontinuance.....................157
8-3 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO
PROSECUTE.........................................................................158
8-3:1 Requirements for Entry of Judgment of
Non Pros ..................................................................160
8-3:1.1 Lack of Due Diligence in Failing to
Timely Proceed With Case .......................160
8-3:1.2 Compelling Reason for Delay ..................161
8-3:1.3 Actual Prejudice ......................................161
8-3:2 Waiver of Plaintiff’s Failure to Prosecute..................161
8-3:3 Petition to Open or Strike Judgment of
Non Pros ..................................................................162
8-4 MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE........................................163
8-4:1 Grounds for a Continuance ......................................164
8-4:1.1 Agreement of Parties...............................164
8-4:1.2 Illness of Counsel, Witness, or Party .......165
8-4:1.3 Inability to Subpoena or Take
Testimony of Material Witness................165
8-4:1.4 Special Ground as Allowed in
Discretion of Court .................................166
8-4:1.5 Counsel’s Participation in Disciplinary
Proceedings..............................................167
8-4:2 Special Considerations for Continuance Based
on Absence of Subpoenaed Witness .........................168
8-4:3 Number of Continuances .........................................169
8-4:4 Procedure for Requesting Continuance.....................169
8-5 FORMS FOR PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS................................170
Chapter 9: Trial Motions ....................................................................171
9-1 MOTIONS RELATED TO JURY SELECTION ..................171
9-1:1 Challenge to the Array..............................................171
9-1:2 Motions to Grant Additional Peremptory Strikes.....172
9-2 MOTIONS FOR NONSUIT .................................................173
9-2:1 Voluntary Nonsuit/Non Pros....................................173
9-2:2 Compulsory Nonsuit ................................................175
9-2:3 Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict.....................177
9-3 APPLICATION FOR VIEW OF THE PREMISES..............178
9-4 MOTIONS FOR POST-TRIAL RELIEF..............................180
9-4:1 Motion for Post-Trial Relief (Pa. R. Civ P. 227.1).....180
9-4:2 Motion for a New Trial.............................................182
9-4:3 Motion Directing Entry of Judgment.......................184
9-4:4 Motion to Remove a Nonsuit ...................................185
9-4:5 Effect of Failure to File a Motion for Post-Trial
Relief ........................................................................186
9-5 MOTION FOR DELAY DAMAGES....................................186
9-5:1 Actions in Which Delay Damages are Recoverable ...187
9-5:2 Calculation of Delay Damages.................................187
9-5:3 Answer to Motion for Delay Damages .....................189
9-5:4 Delay Damages in Compulsory Arbitration .............189
9-5:5 Entry of Judgment and Appeal.................................190
Chapter 10: Motions for Post-Trial Relief ...........................................193
10-1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................193
10-2 POST-TRIAL RELIEF—PA. R. CIV. P. 227.1.......................194
10-3 PURPOSE OF RULE ............................................................197
10-4 AVAILABLE RELIEF...........................................................199
10-4:1 Pa. R. Civ. P. 227.1 is Broad......................................199
10-4:2 Specific Remedies......................................................200
10-4:2.1 Requests For New Trials—
Pa. R. Civ. P. 227.1 (a)(1) .........................200
10-4:2.2 Requests For Entry of Judgment in
Favor of Any Party—Pa. R. Civ.
P. 227.1(1)(2)............................................203
10-4:2.3 Requests to Remove a Nonsuit—
Pa. R. Civ. P. 227.1(a)(3)..........................206
10-4:3 Situations Where Pa. R. Civ. P. 227.1 is Not
Applicable.................................................................207
10-5 TIME OF FILING ................................................................209
10-5:1 Appropriate Time for Post-Trial Relief .....................209
10-5:2 Deadlines for Post-Trial Relief Motions ...................209
10-5:3 Trial Court’s Discretion in Considering Late
Post-Trial Relief Motions .........................................211
10-6 CONTENTS OF POST-TRIAL MOTIONS .........................212
10-7 POST-TRIAL RELIEF MOTIONS AND APPEALS...........213
10-8 COURT EN BANC—PA. R. CIV. P. 227:2.............................215
10-9 TRANSCRIPT OF TESTIMONY—PA. R. CIV. P. 227.3 .....215
10-10 ENTRY OF JUDGMENT UPON PRAECIPE OF
A PARTY—PA. R. CIV. P. 227.4 ............................................216
10-11 FORMS..................................................................................217
Chapter 11: Appellate Motions ...........................................................219
11-1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................219
11-2 GENERAL RULES...............................................................220
11-2:1 Filing and Service .....................................................220
11-2:2 Form and Copies......................................................221
11-2:3 Applications for Relief..............................................222
11-2:4 Briefs ........................................................................223
11-3 PETITION FOR ALLOWANCE OF APPEAL (OF
FINAL ORDER TO SUPREME COURT)...........................224
11-4 PETITION FOR PERMISSION TO APPEAL
(INTERLOCUTORY ORDER TO APPELLATE
COURT).................................................................................230
11-5 MOTION TO ENLARGE TIME TO APPEAL....................233
11-6 APPLICATION FOR STAY/INJUNCTION PENDING
APPEAL ................................................................................235
11-7 MOTION TO QUASH APPEAL...........................................241
11-8 MISCELLANEOUS ..............................................................243
11-8:1 Discontinuance—Rule 1973......................................243
Appendix of Forms.............................................................................245
Forms.................................................................................................249
Table of Cases....................................................................................359
Index..................................................................................................383