PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION JUDICIAL EVALUATION COMMISSION 2009 COMMONWEALTH COURT CANDIDATE RATINGS

RATINGS OF CANDIDATES FOR TWO VACANCIES:

Daniel K. Bricmont, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate is a practicing lawyer with 18 years experience, primarily in the personal injury area representing injured workers in Social Security Disability, Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Compensation cases. The bulk of his time is spent before Workers' Compensation judges and the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, with the balance focused on appeal work in the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme courts. He is regarded by his colleagues as honest, hardworking and professional. He is active in statewide bar associations and in his community. The Commission recommends the Candidate's candidacy to serve on Commonwealth Court based on his legal skills and intellect. (Commission member Riley recused himself from participation in the evaluation and rating of this Candidate.)

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Kevin Brobson, Dauphin County
Rating: Recommended

Since completing his federal judicial clerkship, the Candidate has concentrated his practice in the areas of administrative law and insurance law, both of which fall within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court. His writings are analytical, logical, clear, cogent and easily read. Even though he is involved in a busy, complex practice, the Candidate has found time for civic duties and community service. He has demonstrated the legal ability sufficient to have earned the respect of lawyers and members of the bench. The Candidate possesses the requisite knowledge of the rules of evidence and courtroom procedures. He has the appropriate judicial temperament. Based on his credentials, experience, and writing ability, the Candidate is recommended to serve on the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Barbara Jo Ernsberger, Allegheny County
Rating: Not Recommended

Since 1976, the Candidate has worked as a general practitioner and has dealt with a broad spectrum of legal issues, including Workers' Compensation, fraud, consumer protection and estate administration. She has served on the Pittsburgh Planning Commission. Her colleagues state she is hard working and well prepared. However, her appellate experience before the Commonwealth Court is very limited. She lacks a record of scholarly writing, teaching and commitment to improving the quality of justice. The Commission also has concerns about whether the Candidate possesses the temperament required of an appellate court judge. Therefore, the Commission does not recommend her as a candidate at this time.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Judge Alfonso Frioni Jr., Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has served as one of 15 administrative appeals judges/commissioners on the State Workers' Compensation Appeals Board since 1996. The board has statewide jurisdiction and the Candidate travels extensively to handle the large caseload. Although his legal expertise is narrowly focused in the area of workers' compensation, he is committed to maintaining the legitimacy and competency of the Appeals Board and seeks to inspire confidence in all those appearing before it. The Candidate has demonstrated competence and integrity in his professional and personal life and has a dedicated record of community service. The Commission believes the Candidate would be able to perform satisfactorily as a judge on the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Linda S. Judson, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has an impressive diversity of work and life experience as well as a strong record as an outstanding practitioner in the area of Workers' Compensation law. The Candidate has worked as a director of risk management for a large construction company, a lawyer for an international insurance brokerage, a non-paid board member and treasurer of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority and a licensed practical nurse. During the past 12 years, the Candidate has specialized in Workers' Compensation law, and she is recognized as a leading practitioner in this area. She is articulate and poised. She presents her ideas in a logical and organized manner. She has good writing skills and a good judicial temperament. She has a strong record of community involvement. The Commission believes the Candidate possesses the character, judicial temperament and skills to serve as a Commonwealth Court judge and recommends her as a candidate.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Judge James Murray Lynn, Philadelphia County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has had a long, successful and diverse legal and judicial career. He has served as a judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas since 1991 and was retained by the voters in 2001. He previously served as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and practiced law in several firms. During his tenure on the bench, he has served on the Family Court and more recently has presided over a wide range of civil cases in which he is credited with achieving a high rate of settlements. His strong record of community service and his commitment to improving the quality of justice are both commendable. His written opinions are well written and reasoned. The Candidate is regarded by his colleagues on the bench and the lawyers who appear before him as pleasant, engaging and collegial. He has demonstrated adequate legal ability and judicial temperament, and his reputation for integrity is unblemished. The Commission concludes the Candidate would be able to perform satisfactorily as a judge of the Commonwealth Court and recommends his candidacy.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Judge Patricia A. McCullough, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate worked for eight years as assistant general counsel for the University of Pittsburgh. She also has practiced law as a solo practitioner in Pittsburgh. She has served on the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review. The Candidate was appointed as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County and served for nine months as a Family Law Court judge. She also served as executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for a year. The Candidate has an impressive record of community service and is regarded as bright and committed to her work. Although the Candidate's trial court and appellate experience is somewhat limited, the Commission concludes that she would be able to perform satisfactorily as a judge of the Commonwealth Court. (Commission member Shepard recused himself from participation in the evaluation and rating of this Candidate.)

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Stephen G. Pollock, Philadelphia County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has been a practicing attorney for more than 32 years and has a broad range of experience in general litigation, workersí compensation, transactional, real estate, municipal, land use and zoning law. In recent years, he has limited his practice to land use and zoning issues. He is widely recognized as an expert in these areas and has lectured widely. The Candidate has served on a township planning commission since 1991. In 2003, he was appointed by the governor to the State Planning Board. He has served as co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Associationís Committee on Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement. He is involved in community organizations. He was actively engaged as the president of his synagogue and a local library association. The Candidate is bright, scholarly, hard working and has excellent legal writing ability. His excellent temperament and expertise in the area of zoning and land use form the basis for the Commissionís recommendation of the Candidate for a position on the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidateís questionnaire.

Michael Sherman, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The candidate has extensive experience in the area of Workers' Compensation and has earned a reputation as an excellent practitioner with good analytical and writing skills. He has distinguished himself as a frequent lecturer and author in continuing legal education programs in his specialized area of practice. In the course of his 25 years of practice, he has argued before the Commonwealth Court on numerous occasions. The Candidate has freely contributed to community activities. The Commission recommends the Candidate to serve as a judge of the Commonwealth Court based on his expertise, integrity and temperament.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.