WHEREAS, the number of workers' compensation petitions filed has increased dramatically in the past eleven years, requiring the appointment of sixteen to twenty new judges in Philadelphia County, and the appointment of additional judges in the surrounding counties;

WHEREAS, the space on the fifteenth floor of the State Office Building, which was originally intended to be occupied by six judges and their staff, is currently occupied by the vast majority of the judges assigned to Philadelphia County;

WHEREAS, the State Office Building in Philadelphia is inadequate because of the limited number of hearing rooms, the non-utilitarian nature of the space for judicial offices and hearing rooms, and the lack of adequate security;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of judges who preside in Philadelphia County and the attorneys who practice before the judges are dissatisfied with the accommodations available at the State Office Building, because the above-mentioned inadequacies lead to delays which adversely affect claimants, defendants and insurance carriers;

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation is self-funded, a single unified location accessible to all forms of public transportation and with adequate parking that can be obtained around the abundance of office space available in Center City Philadelphia;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of workers' compensation practitioners have offices in the Center City Philadelphia area;

WHEREAS, many claimants and other interested parties rely on public transportation to attend hearings and Center City Philadelphia is the location most accessible for persons using public transportation;

WHEREAS, the members of the Workers' Compensation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association believe that the most efficient and economical manner of operation for the Bureau, the Judges, the Bar and all interested parties is for the Bureau to consolidate all facilities in one central location in Philadelphia;

WHEREAS, the members of the Workers' Compensation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association believe that the seriousness of the matters adjudicated within the Workers' Compensation system require a formal, convenient, centralized and professional venue for the adjudication of its cases;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association requests that the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of Labor and Industry, the Director of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the members of the State Senate of Pennsylvania in the interest of efficiency, locate and secure suitable space within Center City Philadelphia in order to provide offices and hearing rooms for the Philadelphia County Judges, and sufficient space in order to accommodate the staff, employees, claimants, visitors and attorneys who practice before these Judges.

ADOPTED: October 24, 1996