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Luzerne County President Judge Burke Presented with Pennsylvania Bar Association Presidentís Award

HARRISBURG (Nov. 25, 2014) - Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. has received a Presidentís Award from Pennsylvania Bar Association President Francis X. OíConnor. The award was presented to Burke before an audience of approximately 300 lawyers attending the associationís House of Delegates meeting on Nov. 21 in Harrisburg.

"President Judge Burke has demonstrated outstanding leadership, guiding the court through the aftermath of the 'kids-for-cash' scandal,Ē said OíConnor. "During his tenure as president judge, he led by example and helped erase a backlog of cases during a time when a slate of new judges was elected to the bench to restore confidence in the courts. He bravely served his country, receiving the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in Viet Nam. He also has generously shared his time and talent as a civic leader and family man."

In January, Burke, who is 68, will complete his five-year term as president judge. But, he will remain on the bench until he faces mandatory retirement, which under current law is age 70.

Burke was first appointed to the court in 1998, was elected to the bench in 1999 and was returned for an additional 10-year term in 2009.

Burke served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971 and worked at the law firm of Burke and Burke from 1973 to 1998.

He holds an undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 27,000 lawyers who are members of the association.