PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION JUDICIAL EVALUATION COMMISSION 2009 SUPERIOR COURT CANDIDATE RATINGS

RATINGS OF CANDIDATES FOR THREE VACANCIES:

Judge Robert J. Colville, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has served as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County since 2000. Prior to becoming a judge, the candidate was in private practice and had served as a law clerk for Justice Ralph J. Cappy. Although he was elected to the bench at a relatively young age, he has clearly demonstrated sufficient legal ability and judicial temperament to have earned the respect of lawyers and other members of the bench. His work as the toxic substance case supervising judge highlights his administrative ability. The Candidate is extremely hard working and passionate about the improvement of the quality of justice. He enjoys and thoroughly understands his role as a judge. The Commission believes that the Candidate possesses the character, integrity, judicial temperament and skills to serve as a Superior Court judge.

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Judge Anne E. Lazarus, Philadelphia County
Rating: Highly Recommended

The Candidate has served as a common pleas judge in Philadelphia County for 18 years. She was elected to a 10-year term in November 1991 and retained for a second term in 2001. For the past five years, she has served as an Orphan's Court judge. She previously served as a law clerk and practiced law in a solo practice and later with a large firm. The Candidate serves as chair of the Ethics Committee of the State Conference of Trial Judges and is called upon for advice on ethical questions by members of both the bench and bar. She has an impressive record of facilitating settlement in a large number of cases assigned to her. The Candidate is intelligent, thoughtful, candid and scholarly, and she demonstrates superior writing ability, knowledge of the law and exceptional judicial temperament. Her advocacy of pro bono service has encouraged lawyers to participate in these programs. The candidate has mentored law students and young lawyers and has served in many capacities in community organizations. The Commission concludes that the Candidate would bring exceptional skills, experience and personal qualities to the Superior Court and would serve the court and the commonwealth with distinction.

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Kevin F. McCarthy, Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has worked in the appellate unit of the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office since 1990. He has proven to be a superior appellate advocate. He has excellent writing skills. The Candidate is highly regarded by his colleagues in the practice of law and members of the courts before whom he has appeared. He is described by his peers as honest and honorable. The Candidate has taught college, law school and continuing legal education courses. He devotes time to charitable work through his church. He is scholarly, courteous and compassionate. The Commission recommends the Candidate for a position on the Superior Court based on his intellect, character and integrity.

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Sallie Updyke Mundy, Tioga County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has had diverse legal experience in her twenty-one year legal career. She has handled a variety of civil litigation matters, including medical malpractice defense cases and plaintiff personal injury cases. Recently, the Candidate has served as a voluntary assistant public defender in Tioga County. She has served as a member and then chair of a hearing committee of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Candidate is bright and articulate and is regarded by her peers as personable, hardworking and compassion. She is dedicated to the improvement of the quality of justice and her writings are clear and concise. The Commission recommends her for a position on the Superior Court. (Commission member Riley recused himself from participation in the evaluation and rating of this Candidate.)

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Judge Thomas J. Munley, Lackawanna County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County since January 2006. For 31 years prior to his service on the bench, he was a sole practitioner and assistant public defender, primarily practicing in the area of criminal defense. During that period, he had extensive jury trial experience. As a trial judge, he has presided over family law and juvenile matters. He has the reputation of treating all who appear before him with respect and dignity. He served with distinction in the military and has served the community through his work for veterans’ organizations. For eight years, he appeared on a nightly television show to dispense legal advice as a service to the public. On the basis of his extensive trial experience and excellent judicial temperament, the Commission recommends the candidate for a position on the Superior Court.

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Judge Judith F. Olson, Allegheny County
Rating: Highly Recommended

The Candidate excelled academically in both college and law school. She was a skilled and successful litigator, with broad experience in both the trial and appellate courts. In October 2008, she was appointed to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She is regarded by her peers as intelligent, ethical, congenial and fair and has a well-rounded reputation for diligence and productivity. Her character and integrity are beyond reproach, and she brings energy and enthusiasm to a commitment for the improvement of justice. In addition, the Candidate is committed to extensive community service. The Commission highly recommends her for a seat on the Superior Court.

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Judge Paula A. Patrick, Philadelphia County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate was a solo practitioner for almost ten years prior to her election as a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in November 2003. Her judicial duties have been primarily in Juvenile Court handling delinquency and dependency cases. She is a hard worker and is well organized and efficient in managing her caseload. Lawyers who have appeared before her found the Candidate to be fair. According to her judicial peers, the Candidate adapted quickly to being a judge and is extremely knowledgeable about the law. She is active in her church and community. She appears to be committed to assuring equal justice to all. The Commission recommends the Candidate to serve as a judge of the Superior Court based on her judicial temperament, integrity and legal skills.

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Templeton Smith Jr., Allegheny County
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has extensive experience as an appellate advocate and has appeared before the Superior Court on numerous occasions. His substantive legal experience covers a wide variety of areas, including zoning, land use, commercial, medical malpractice and tort litigation. The Candidate is recognized for his strong writing abilities, scholarly legal analysis and effective advocacy. He has taught continuing legal education courses and has participated in bar association committees. In addition, he has provided pro bono support for church and community organizations. The Candidate has the requisite legal experience, intellectual ability, character and integrity to render him competent to fulfill the demanding responsibilities of a Superior Court judge and, therefore, the Commission recommends him for a position on the court.

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Judge John Milton Younge, Philadelphia County
Rating: Recommended

With a long history of public service, the Candidate currently serves as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. During his twelve-year tenure, he has presided over a diverse and heavy caseload in both the civil and criminal divisions. His fairness and judicial demeanor are uniformly praised. Prior to becoming a judge, the Candidate served as staff counsel, deputy executive director and general counsel to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. He previously maintained a solo law practice. He is active in his church and the community. His past service as president of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges indicates the high regard in which he is held by his peers. The Commission believes the Candidate possesses the requisite legal ability and experience, character, integrity and work ethic to recommend him for a position on the Superior Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.




 


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