PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION JUDICIAL EVALUATION COMMISSION 2015 COMMONWEALTH COURT CANDIDATE RATINGS

R. Todd Eagen
Rating: Recommended

Throughout his career as an attorney, the Candidate has been held in high regard by his peers, who commend his integrity, strong work ethic and civility. Following graduation from law school, the Candidate served as a law clerk to a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Since that time, the Candidate has been in private practice with various law firms, focusing on labor and employment law and representing public sector unions with an emphasis on law enforcement unions. The Candidate's writing skills are strong. His analytical ability is exemplary, and he has a wealth of experience before the Commonwealth Court. The Candidate has a strong record of pro bono service and has served the community both in church activities as well as in his local bar association. Based on his strong intellect, integrity and work ethic, the Commission recommends the Candidate for the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Judge Emil A. Giordano
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has been a common pleas court judge since 2003 and is generally well regarded as a jurist of integrity and good temperament by attorneys and litigants that come before him. The Candidate's background and experience, both as a trial lawyer and as a sitting judge, indicate he has a clear understanding of the Rules of Procedure and the Rules of Evidence. His experience as an administrative judge demonstrates his ability to address the office, personnel and fiscal needs of running a court. Prior to his tenure on the bench, he practiced in the areas of municipal law and workers' compensation law, representing both claimants and defendants. The Candidate volunteers in his community and teaches at local educational institutions on legal topics. The Candidate is engaging, sincere, intelligent and affable. Because of the Candidate's experience with municipal law and workers' compensation, together with his experience on the bench, the Commission recommends his candidacy for service on the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Paul N. Lalley
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has practiced law since 1996, serving as a clerk to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and thereafter in private practice. Recently, he has primarily represented public sector clients such as municipalities, school districts and public school entities in labor and employment matters. He practices before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Commonwealth Court, U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Candidate demonstrates integrity and is known as a worthy and knowledgeable opponent. His writing skills are held in high regard, particularly his ability to clearly explain complex legal issues. The Commission believes the Candidate has the requisite legal ability and skills to serve on the Commonwealth Court and recommends his candidacy.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Judge Paul P. Panepinto
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate is an experienced jurist with more than two decades of service on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. During his tenure on the bench, the Candidate worked to develop specialty courts and managed complex litigation matters. The Candidate is knowledgeable about the law and procedure. The Candidate's reputation among litigants and counsel is generally positive. The Candidate engages in community service by teaching at local institutions of higher education. Because of the Candidate's interest and experience in administrative matters, the Commission recommends his candidacy for the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Scot R. Withers
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate is a partner at a Chester County law firm, working in the post-trial and appellate advocacy group and the litigation and municipal government departments. He holds the position of deputy counsel of the Pennsylvania Appellate Rules Committee and is known for being well-versed in the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure. His knowledge, interpretation and application of legal principles are excellent, and he is recognized as an avid and well-prepared advocate. He has a record of integrity and collegiality. He is described as patient, courteous, impartial, even tempered and of sound character. He is active in public service, pro bono representations and other volunteer work. The Candidate has the experience, knowledge and temperament to perform satisfactorily on the Commonwealth Court, and the Commission recommends his candidacy.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Michael H. Wojcik
Rating: Recommended

The Candidate has practiced law since 1989 in a variety of settings, including small, medium-sized and large law firms. This breadth of experience has allowed him to develop expertise in a wide range of areas, including tax, civil rights, personal injury and municipal law. During this time, he has served as solicitor for Allegheny County and more recently as solicitor for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. The Candidate is well respected by attorneys, judges and his clients for his thoughtful and calm demeanor and for the professionalism with which he conducts himself. His writing is thorough, logical and well researched, and his legal analysis is excellent. The Candidate is active is his community and has held leadership positions within the Boy Scouts of America. The Commission believes the Candidate would perform satisfactorily on the Commonwealth Court and recommends his candidacy.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.