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JOHN CHERRY v. THEODORE J. WILLER (07/15/83)

filed: July 15, 1983.

JOHN CHERRY, APPELLANT,
v.
THEODORE J. WILLER, JR.



No. 256 October Term, 1978, APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT ENTERED OF NOVEMBER 3, 1977 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 118 JUNE TERM, 1973.

COUNSEL

Allen L. Feingold, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Pamela Gagne, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Spaeth, Wickersham and Cirillo, JJ. Spaeth, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Cirillo

[ 317 Pa. Super. Page 60]

This is an appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, per the Honorable Charles A. Lord, dated September 30, 1977, denying appellant's motion for a new trial.

The action underlying this appeal arose out of the April 6, 1973 collision of appellant's and appellee's automobiles in the intersection of Hunting Park Avenue and Front Street in the City of Philadelphia. Appellant filed a complaint in trespass on June 4, 1973. Compulsory arbitration ended in a June 25, 1974 award of $4,700.00 in favor of appellant and against appellee. Appellee filed an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. A jury trial de novo was held before Judge Lord and ended in a verdict in appellee's favor. Appellant filed post-verdict motions for a new trial and judgment n.o.v. on February 9, 1977. Judge Lord denied appellant's motion for a new trial on September 30, 1977. Judgment was entered on the verdict on November 3, 1977. This appeal followed.

Appellant raises two issues on appeal. First, appellant claims that under "the circumstances of this case" the refusal of the trial court to grant a continuance when appellant was unable to secure the attendance of his witnesses at trial was an abuse of discretion. "The circumstances of this case" referred to by appellant is the 1977 program of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia to reduce the civil trial backlog. Under this program, the entire civil trial list was scheduled for conference before a

[ 317 Pa. Super. Page 61]

    large bench of judges of the Court of Common Pleas. Each judge was assigned eight cases a day for conferences. Each case was advertised in the Legal Intelligencer on several occasions prior to the conference, giving the judge's name and the date and time for conference. Appellant's second, related contention, is that the operation of this program in the present case, resulted in an arbitrary denial of the services of counsel to appellant.

Because appellant has failed to comply with both local and statewide procedural rules, he has failed to preserve either of these issues for appellate review; and we, therefore, affirm the order of the trial court.

This case presents our Court with another opportunity to review and clarify the procedural requirements for preserving an issue in a civil case for appellate review, particularly, the specificity with which claims must be raised in post-verdict motions.

Appellant raised neither of the claims he now asserts on appeal in his post-verdict motions. Appellant filed only boilerplate post-verdict motions in the trial court. In those motions, appellant made only the bare assertions that the verdict was against the evidence, against the weight of the evidence and contrary to the law. Appellant also requested permission to file additional reasons in support of the motion when the notes of testimony were transcribed. Appellant, however, never ordered the notes of testimony transcribed and never filed additional reasons in support of the motion. ...


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