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Overview of the Pennsylvania Court System

In their capacity as the trial courts of general jurisdiction, the Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas hear both civil and criminal cases and exercise original jurisdiction over cases not subject to the appellate jurisdiction. There are 60 districts in the Courts of Common Pleas.

Unlike many states that only have one, there are two intermediate appellate courts in Pennsylvania: the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania exercises jurisdiction over the actions of various state agencies while the Superior Court exercises general jurisdiction over the Courts of Common Pleas. Lastly, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the highest court in the state and exercises jurisdiction over lower court decisions.

Pennsylvania Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Pennsylvania attorney by location and by practice area. We have Pennsylvania attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Starting a Pennsylvania Business

While starting a new business is an exciting prospect, a little forethought may help potential entrepreneurs avoid the typical stressors that may accompany such endeavors. PA Biz Online offers valuable information on structuring and managing a new business that may prove useful to individuals thinking of bringing their organizations to Pennsylvania. In addition to guiding entrepreneurs on business plans, organization and various legal considerations, the site includes a step-by-step guide to starting a business by the Department of Revenue and a glossary to help you understand the jargon used by state businesspeople.

Pennsylvania Business Statistics

Business owners are a vital component of Pennsylvania's economy. In the private sector, 48.6 percent of the labor force is employed by small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Additionally, small businesses comprise 98.3 percent of the state's employers.

In 2011, Pennsylvania's gross state product saw a 3.6 percent increase according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percent. As of 2010, there were 2.4 million workers employed in small businesses. Pennsylvania is home to many Fortune 500 companies, including AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Comcast (CMCSA) and Rite Aid (RAD).