Posts made in December 2013

Allegheny County Family Division Fee Increases Effective January 2, 2014

On January 2, 2014 the filing fees for the Allegheny County Court of Common pleas -Civil and Family Divisions will increase as a result of an Administrative Order.

For the Family Division the most significant change involves custody. New custody filings will increase from $159.00 to $232.00.

This new fee which is payable to the Department of Court Records replaces the old requirement of separate payment to the Allegheny County Treasurer for “generations” education and mediation fees.

Prior to January 2, 2014, a petitioner in any new custody action had to pay $50 for the generations education and $100 for the generations mediation. The Respondent then also had to pay their education and mediation fees. However, now only the petitioner is required to pay fees at the time of filing; no fees are required from the respondent. The net result will actually be lower net filing fees for new custody actions.

Other fee increases include raising the fee for Modification of Custody from $150 to $200. The fee for filing a Complaint in Divorce has been increased from $161.50 to $174.00. Including a count for custody with a divorce complaint has increased from $7.50 to $68.50. Finally, a Defendant’s first filing fee has increased from $30 to $35. Fees for Protection from Abuse and Paternity Testing have also increased nominally.

Overall the increases for all civil filings are generally not more than about $10-15 per filing with the exception of certain fees including several custody filings.

The American Society of Legal Advocates Names Scott L. Levine as a Top 40 Under 40 for 2014

The Law Offices of Scott L. Levine, LLC is proud to announce that Attorney Levine has been selected to the 2014 American Society of Legal Advocates Top 40 Under 40 Family Lawyers in the State of Pennsylvania.

About the ASLA Selection Process

ASLA’s exclusive membership comprises less than 1.5% of all licensed lawyers nationwide. ASLA is both highly selective in extending invitations and in determining which specialties to include for a given state. Because many specialties typically include listings for Top 100 Lawyers and Top 40 Lawyers Under 40, in order to remain selective we ensure that each specialty in a state has a sufficient number of practicing lawyers to merit inclusion. Those states with relatively low populations of practicing lawyers often will support only one or two specialties. ASLA monitors practice trends from year to year prior to extending invitations in each state.

ASLA’s entire selection process is conducted manually by lawyers. Prospective members initially are evaluated based on publicly-available information, although member nominations also are accepted from current members, other lawyers, and past clients. Self-nominations and nominations from public relations firms or advertising agencies are not accepted.

The selection process consists of a rigorous, manual, multi-stage review:
ASLA’s lawyers comprehensively review available information for each candidate, including a review of firm websites, client assessments, and publicly-available filings, which may include: verdicts, settlement information, and information regarding transactions. Each candidate is assessed based on such criteria as educational accomplishments, involvement and leadership in bar associations and professional organizations, activities within their community, and demonstrated legal achievement. In the case of younger lawyers, ASLA also evaluates indications of developing success, both in a candidate’s day-to-day practice and in serving the profession.

Each area of assessment is considered, and each candidate is assessed on his or her own merits. Just as the student body of an elite university is comprised of individuals with many different backgrounds and strengths, ASLA likewise strives to invite a range of members who have stellar legal credentials as a baseline, but also a range of interests and activities.
After the initial list of nominees is prepared, at least one separate lawyer reviews all compiled data and confirms nominations. To ensure the integrity of the process, no lawyer who participated in the first phase of selection is permitted to conduct the second phase.

In the final stage, the list of finalists is again reviewed and candidates either are confirmed for invitation or placed on a holding list for reconsideration the following year.