Appeals, Nos. 245 and 246, Miscellaneous Docket No. 19, from writ of prohibition of Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Petition for Assumption of Plenary Jurisdiction and for Writ of Prohibition, in case of Cecil B. Moore v. D. Donald Jamieson, President Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Joseph Sloane, Chairman, Criminal Justice Committee, and Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.
Isaiah W. Crippins, for petitioner.
Martin H. Belsky, Assistant District Attorney, for respondents.
Lynwood F. Blount, for intervenor, Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
David Rudovsky, with him Peter Hearn, Kairys & Rudovsky, and Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, for amicus curiae, American Civil Liberties Union.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Nix. Mr. Chief Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Roberts concur in the result. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Manderino.
The petitioner, Cecil B. Moore, Esq., a member of the bar of Pennsylvania whose practice consists chiefly of representing criminal defendants in the City of Philadelphia, seeks a writ of prohibition against the enforcement of Rule 301 of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. That rule*fn1 prohibits an attorney who represents ten or more criminal defendants whose indictments are over twelve months old from entering an appearance in any additional criminal cases.*fn2 On December
, 1972, we granted an order of supersedeas pending the disposition of this petition.
By way of procedural history, Rule 301 was originally promulgated*fn3 in Administrative Memorandum No. 69-60, on August 13, 1969, by the Honorable Vincent A. Carroll, then President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, pursuant to the Act of June 21, 1937, P. L. 1982, § 2, as amended, 17 P.S. § 62*fn4 and Pa. R. Crim. P. 1(b).*fn5 In an affidavit
executed on May 8, 1970, Edward J. Blake, Esq., who was then serving in the capacity of Court Administrator of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, alleged that as of that date, the petitioner "had entered his appearance on behalf of fifty-six (56) criminal defendants who as of this date have been indicted but untried for more than one year's time. . . ." The affidavit further alleged that as of that date, Mr. Moore had entered an appearance on behalf of eighty-seven (87) other criminal defendants and that a special "Priority Program" had been instituted to expedite the disposition of petitioner's cases. On May 15th of the same year, an order was entered by the then President Judge for Philadelphia County prohibiting respondent, under the rule, from entering any further appearances in that county "until such time as the number of untried defendants represented by Mr. Moore, whose indictments have been outstanding for more than twelve (12) months, shall be reduced to a number less than fifteen (15)." On August 9, 1971, Petitioner was adjudged to be in compliance with Rule 301 and he was again permitted to enter appearances in criminal cases in Philadelphia County.
Thereafter, on November 9, 1971, the District Attorney of Philadelphia County filed a petition in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County requesting that Rule 301 be reinvoked against petitioner. After
responsive pleading was filed by petitioner and an extensive hearing held before the Court Administrator, a report was filed on February 7, 1972 by Judge Blake,*fn6 the pertinent portion of which is set forth below.
"After careful review of the appropriate computer printouts and the notes of testimony of the administrative hearing, we conclude:
"1. That Cecil B. Moore, as of February 2, 1972, has appearances entered in 99 criminal cases, and that as of that date 32 of such cases are more than one year old.
"2. That the inability of the District Attorney to proceed on scheduled trial dates in some of these cases, while a contributing factor to delay, is not a substantial cause.
"3. That Rule 301 is an absolute bar to an attorney entering additional appearances, when the number of cases more than one year old, in which he represents defendants, exceeds ten, and takes into consideration the fact that the Commonwealth's inability to proceed on scheduled trial dates may be a contributing factor.
"4. That Mr. Moore's inability to dispose of his cases now more than one year old will be aggravated by the fact that 47 additional cases will become more than one year old by June 30, 1972.
"Accordingly it is recommended that:
"(a) Rule 301 be reinvoked against respondent, Cecil B. Moore;
"(b) Administrative procedures be structured to insure trial of those cases now more than one year old, numbering 33, and those cases which will become more
than one year old, numbering 47, prior to June 30, 1972." (Footnote omitted.)*fn7
On February 9, 1972 an order was entered by President Judge Jamieson reinvoking the provisions of the rule against petitioner and providing that he shall not be allowed to enter any further appearances "until such time as the number of untried defendants . . . whose indictments have been outstanding for more than twelve (12) months, shall be reduced to a number less than 10".*fn8
Petitioner than filed suit in the Federal court seeking relief. The action was dismissed on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Moore v. Carroll, 315 F. Supp. 1129 (E.D. Pa. 1970), decided July 28, 1970. On April 30, 1971, Moore filed a second complaint in the Federal court, motions to dismiss were filed and subsequently granted on August 31, 1971.*fn9 On September 13, 1972, the petitioner filed the petitions ...