Civil and Orphans’ Court Litigation

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The litigation process can be complicated, as each state and county have specialized Rules which must be adhered to. At Caracappa, Cook, Scott & Ramagli, we have handled innumerable litigation matters and, therefore, are well-versed in the Rules of Civil Procedure. While we always try to achieve an outcome that does not involve litigation, it is sometimes inevitable. When mediation and negotiation fail to achieve an agreement, we are prepared to utilize our experience and expertise in the law and procedure to take the legal action necessary – whether in the Civil Division or Orphans’ Court.

Orphans’ Court Proceedings – Guardianship and Adoption

When a person, whether a minor or incapacitated, requires another to make financial and health decisions on their behalf, it is often necessary to petition the Orphans’ Court for guardianship. With the right attorneys representing you in your endeavor to gain guardianship of a loved one, you can rest assured that the proper process will be followed. Guardianship proceedings involve complex procedural issues that, if not properly followed, can result in delays and/or denial of your guardianship petition. Due to the urgent nature of many guardianship proceedings, excellent legal representation is a must. We at Caracappa, Cook, Scott & Ramagli have successfully and competently handled numerous guardianship proceedings, for both minors and incapacitated persons. We understand the sensitive and urgent nature of these proceedings and guarantee to use our expertise for the advantage your family deserves.

Adoptions are often joyful and wonderful milestones in the lives of parents and the child(ren) they desire to adopt. To get to that day in court where a judge can officially grant your adoption requires strict adherence to court rules and fine attention to detail. Having handled many adoptions, the attorneys at CCS&R are ready and able to help you and your growing family through the adoption process. For those adoptions that involve complex and emotional family dynamics, our attorneys are there to provide a guiding hand. We understand that each family is unique and are prepared to handle each and every adoption no matter the complexity and emotions involved.

Joseph Caracappa

Joseph Caracappa is the Managing Partner at Caracappa, Cook, Scott & Ramagli PC since 1978. He holds a J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and a B.A. from Penn State University. With a background in clerking for judges, he specializes in business transactions, litigation, and estate administration. Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and federal courts, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at Bucks County Community College. Beyond his legal career, Caracappa is actively involved in community service, including roles as a Big Brother and in various director and president positions for organizations like the Lower Bucks Family YMCA, Bethanna, ChoiceOne Pregnancy + Sexual Health Resource Centers, and World Team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Probate refers primarily to the legality of a decedent’s Last Will and Testament.

Not necessarily.  Probate costs are relatively minor compared to the inheritance tax liability when a person dies in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvania’s Intestacy Laws control who receives a person’s property when that person dies without a Will.

A contestant has one (1) year from Probate of the Will to challenge it.

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