Know Your Judge: Harvey Bartle III

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Carmen Castro-Pagan

Want to get some good intel on the judge handling your employment, benefits, or labor case? Bloomberg Law is here to help with our “Know Your Judge” feature.

This week in Know Your Judge we spotlight Senior Judge Harvey Bartle III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Bartle has been a judge for 27 years and served five of those years as the chief judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Some of his recent decisions include an $814,000 award for a Verizon engineer who was laid off at age 56 after taking medical leave. In September, Bartle joined a panel of appeal court judges ruling that a Morgan Stanley worker didn’t have to reimburse First Unum Life Insurance Co. for $36,598 in disability benefits the insurer said were paid in error.

Numbers & Statistics

The odds of convincing Bartle to dismiss an employment or labor case are about 50-50. When he rules on motions to dismiss, his rulings are almost equally divided among full grants, partial grants, and full denials. Odds increase slightly when he rules on motions to dismiss in employee benefits cases.

Bartle’s decisions are overwhelmingly upheld on appeal, which is something parties may want to consider when deciding whether to appeal his decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His employment-related opinions have been affirmed 91 percent of the time. Only one of his employment-related cases was reversed by an appeals court. His employee benefit and labor law decisions have consistently been affirmed by the Third Circuit.

Bartle usually takes less than a year to resolve employment or employee benefit cases. He took an average of

  • 231 days to resolve 21 cases involving disability bias;
  • 264 days to resolve 20 lawsuits over wage-and-hour claims;
  • 272 days to resolve 33 cases under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act; and
  • 343 days to resolve 108 cases involving other employment issues, such as sex and age discrimination.

Labor cases, however, took considerably longer. The five cases handled by Bartle took, on average, over two and a half years to resolve.

Looking for more analytics on judges? Check back each Wednesday for our Know Your Judge feature, or try Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics. And contact us if there’s a judge you want us to feature.

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