PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION JUDICIAL EVALUATION COMMISSION 2013 SUPREME COURT CANDIDATE RATINGS

RATINGS OF RETENTION CANDIDATES

Justice Max Bear
Recommended for Retention

The Candidate was elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2004. He previously served as an elected member of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County from 1990 until his election to the Supreme Court. In his service to the citizens of Pennsylvania, the Candidate has distinguished himself by his legal and administrative abilities, integrity and judicial temperament, all of which have been necessary to fulfill the challenging role as a member of the commonwealth's highest court. He is a collegial member of the court and a consensus builder. He writes clear, intelligent and well-reasoned opinions that reflect respect of established law, the precedents set forth by prior Supreme Court decisions and the decision-making responsibility imposed upon that court. For these reasons, the commission believes that Justice Baer should be permitted to continue his distinguished service to the court and the public and, therefore, recommends his retention.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.

Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille
Recommended for Retention

A highly decorated Vietnam veteran who previously had served as district attorney in Philadelphia, the Candidate was elected to the Supreme Court in 1993 and retained by the voters in 2003. Since becoming chief justice five years ago, he has presided over the Supreme Court and Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System during an especially challenging and tumultuous period that has included the Luzerne County "Cash for Kids" scandal, the Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket-fixing scandal and the conviction and resignation of former Justice Orie Melvin, among other things. He is credited for his efforts in reorganizing the court system in Philadelphia, for strengthening and improving the judicial discipline system, and for encouraging lawyers to render public interest and legal services work by initiating a law school loan repayment assistance program for their benefit. He is recognized for his friendly and forthcoming demeanor, excellent judicial temperament, strong work ethic and substantial output of articulate and well-reasoned opinions. Although he would face mandatory retirement and serve only through the end of 2014 if retained, the commission believes the citizens of the commonwealth would be well served by the steadying influence of his continuing leadership and recommends his retention.

Read the Candidate's questionnaire.