Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Superior Court Judicial Candidate Lightning Round

I recently had a change to listen to the seven Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania Superior Court judge. Some brief information on each of the candidates is listed below, primarily from their web sites and their brief talks at the forum. Personal comments have been added in italics for some of them.

A few words about the Superior Court, and my thanks to Christine Donohue who took part of her time to explain this. The Superior Court is an appellate court, and the court of last resort for many people. The Superior Court heard around 5,000 cases last year; the state Supreme Court heard around 150. Three judges hear the cases instead of a jury. Around half of the Superior Court judges come to the court as trail lawyers; the other half have served as judges of lower courts.

For more information, see:

“A Look at Candidates for Supreme, Superior Courts” Centre Daily 4/16/2007

Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluations

Christine Donohue

Highest recommendation for the Superior Court by the Judicial Evaluation Commission of the Pennsylvania Bar Association

26 years of trial and appellate practice
American College of Trial Lawyers
International Academy of Trial Lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Former President

Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline, Former Judge, by gubernatorial appointment
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, former member, by appointment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners, former chairperson, by appointment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Duquesne University School of law, former teacher of professional responsibility

Former Pittsburgh 14th ward Democratic committee woman
Served on the boards of the Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health / Mental Retardation, Inc., The Hill House Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, and the National Aviary of Pittsburgh.

Her father was a coal miner and member of the United Mine Workers. Her mother was a seamstress and member of the International Ladies Garment Works Union.

personal comments: She has a quiet demeanor but is worth listening to when she talks.

James M. Deleon

Twenty Year Veteran of the Philadelphia Courts

Municipal Court Supervising Judge-Criminal Division
Presided Over 100,000 Court Cases Including Jury Trials
Criminal Justice Center Chairman of the Security Committee
Member of the United States Courts of International Trade, Military Appeals, Military Review, and Appeals
Instructor of Paralegal Studies

Graduate of the West Philadelphia Catholic Boys High School, Howard University, and the Delaware Law School. Post graduate work at Temple, Temple Law School and the University of Pennsylvania. As a student leader at Howard he was part of the committee that brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Washington, D. C. for his last speech there. Deleon has been active in a number of political campaigns.

A Vietnam War Era Veteran, James served as a Reserve Officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1970 and 1985. In 1975, he became the first black Officer to serve in the 717th Transportation Battalion.

When he is not working in his official capacity, Judge DeLeon divides his time between the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center as a Red Cross and Water and Safety Lifeguard Instructor, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association as a Track and Field and Cross Country Official and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He also currently serves as an Instructor of Paralegal Studies at the Berean Institute in Philadelphia.

personal comments: Just as an aside, red text on blue or blue text on read can be difficult to read. His palm card has both. In his talk he mentioned that he had been a recruiter for the astronaut program as part of his military service.

Ron Folino

Highly Recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association
14 years of experience as a trial judge, currently on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas since 1994
Of the 70 state and federal judges in Allegheny County, a bar association survey found Folino #1 in impartiality, #1 in temperament, #2 in diligence, and #3 in legal ability.

Graduate of Penn State University and Dickinson School of Law
He has taught judges in all Pennsylvania counties how to judge medical malpractice cases, and also teaches new judges.

From his website: His father worked for the county parks department; his mother was nurse. Folino once worked as a stand-up comic.

personal comments: Folino speaks well, both to groups and one on one. I was surprised to read on his site that he had worked in comedy. He struck me as straight-and-narrow kind of guy, focused and maybe a bit of a nebbish, but, to me, those are good qualities in a judge.

Anne E. Lazarus

Rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in 1991 by Governor Robert P. Casey, elected by the voters of Philadelphia in 1991 and retained in 2001.
Experienced overseeing both civil and criminal cases.
Chairs the Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
Holds a post doctoral law degree, an L.L.M. from Temple University School of Law.
Author of scholarly articles published in respected legal journals.
Appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
An adjunct professor of Widener University School of Law, The National Judicial College and The National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
A board member of the organization, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent (VIP)
First recipient of the Judicial Pro Bono Award by the Pennsylvania Bar Association

Endorsed by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (see more endorsements on her web site)
Graduate of Temple Law School
Reversal rate of less than 1%

personal comments: I liked her. She’s crisp and professional, but not cold. I was impressed.

Jimmy Lynn

Appointed to the Court of Common Please by Gov. Bob Casey in 1991, reappointed, First Judicial District
Supervising Judge – investigating Grand Jury
Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia
Practiced law for 18 years in federal, state and local trial and appellate courts including the U.S. Supreme Court

Graduate of LaSalle University and Loyola University School of Law

Volunteered in New York City after 9/11, also volunteered in New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina

Son of a railroad conductor and a nurse, 9th of 12 children. Worked on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

personal comments: Judge Lynn is very affable and easy to talk to.

Timothy McCormick

I cannot do Mr. McCormick justice. He doesn’t have a website that I can find nor did I get a palm card or flyer from him. When speaking he mentioned that he was been an attorney for 28 years and his workload mirrors superior court cases, mostly criminal with some family and personal injury cases.

John Milton Younge (web site best viewed through Internet Explorer)

Judge on the Court of Common Pleas since 1995
Graduate of Philadelphia public schools, Boston University, Howard University School of Law
Rated as “recommended” by Pennsylvania Bar Association

Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel
Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (1985 to 1995)
Attorney and Counselor at Law (1982 to 1985)

Chairman, West Philadelphia Community Mental Health Consortium
President, Cobbs Creek Environmental Education Center
Chairman, New Life Credit Union
Board Member, Central High School Alumni Association
Member, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mu Omega Chapter
Member, Deacon Board of Sharon Baptist Church
Past President, Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia

Past President, PA Conference of State Trial Judges
National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada
Past President, Clifford Scott Green Judicial Council

Father a school teacher, mother a social worker

personal comments: I’ve spoken to Judge Younge twice now. He is very personable and people who know more about local legal issues than I do seem impressed with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know,Tim McCormicks website is