Pennsylvania Justice of the Supreme Court
Description of office: The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the highest court in the Commonwealth and the oldest appellate court in the nation. The Supreme Court’s administrative powers and jurisdictional responsibilities are vested with the seven-member court by the Pennsylvania State Constitution and a collection of statutes known as the Judicial Code. The justice with the longest continuous service on the Supreme Court automatically becomes chief justice. Administratively, the courts within the Unified Judicial System are largely responsible for organizing their own staff and dockets; however, the Supreme Court has several committees and boards responsible for writing and enforcing rules for judges, attorneys, and litigants to ensure an efficient and fair judicial review. Annually, the seven justices receive over 3,000 requests for appellate review. Term: 10 yearsSalary: $215,037Vote for ONE.
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What can you do, both on and off the bench, to ensure that all individuals have equal access to justice?
What can you do, both on and off the bench, to ensure an equitable and fair court?
Penn State 1988. Delaware Law School at Widener University 1992
Current Judge on our PA Superior Court; Served 6 years as Judge, Court of Common Pleas; Chief and ADA, Phila District Attorneys Office; Rated Highly Recommended for the Supreme Court by the PBA
Along with being our highest appellate court, The Supreme Court oversees our statewide court system and legal community. As such we have the opportunity to set rules, educate the legal community and create special court programs dealing with human services issues like substance abuse & mental health challenges, veteran’s issues & initiatives focused on autism. All geared toward providing fair treatment and equal access for people with unique circumstances.
As a lawyer & a judge I have always worked to ensure everyone who comes into a courtroom has an opportunity to be heard and the law applied without bias. This is the cornerstone of our legal system. As a Justice I will not waver from that driving principle. My work on the bench and in my life will always reflect my dedication to fairness and equality.
Widener Commonwealth Law School, summa cum laude (2nd in class), Managing Editor Law Review;
Lycoming College (B.A., Accounting/Economics), magna cum laude
President Judge of the Pa. Commonwealth Court; over 11 years as statewide appellate court judge (elected 2009, retained 2019); Pa. Judicial Conduct Board, 2015-19 (Chair); 14 years’ private practice; former federal judicial clerk; "Highly Recommended" by Pa. Bar Association
I would work cooperatively with the governor and the legislature to increase funding for legal aid programs. While in private practice, I created a program in Dauphin County to expand pro bono opportunities for lawyers to provide services to nonprofit organizations. I would encourage county bar associations to think creatively about expanding pro bono service to small and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits. I want to ensure our courts have access to interpreters for parties with limited English proficiency. I would build upon the excellent work of Philadelphia Legal Assistance with respect to the representation of low-wage workers and the unemployed by engaging law schools and other legal aid associations throughout the state.
I believe I have earned a reputation as a fair and impartial arbiter of the law. I treat everyone who enters my courtroom, or has a matter before me, with equal respect and dignity. I strive to appreciate the perspectives and points of view of all parties. It is important to me that every litigant, represented and unrepresented, be given every opportunity, within the rules and the law, to present their case. Moreover, as a former Chair of the Pa. Judicial Conduct Board, I am keenly aware of how important it is to Pennsylvanians that our judges observe the highest ethical standards on and off the bench. I hold myself to this high standard. All Pennsylvanians deserve to have faith in a fair and impartial judiciary.
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