Supreme Court Primary 2021

Voters will fill one seat in the November 2021 Election.

Judge P. Kevin Brobson

Rating: Highly Recommended

The candidate was elected to the Commonwealth Court in 2009 and was retained in 2019 for a second 10-year term. Prior to being elected to the bench, he worked at a law firm for 14 years with a practice including commercial litigation, as well as appellate and administrative law. Since joining the court, the candidate has authored opinions exhibiting his breadth of experience and knowledge of the law. The candidate has distinguished himself by serving as a member and chair of the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania. He has earned the respect and confidence of his peers on both the Commonwealth and Pennsylvania Supreme courts as evidenced by being elected as president judge of the Commonwealth Court despite not having the most seniority. He also obtained special appointments to the Supreme Court for pending cases and to preside over an expedited bench trial of a case involving a Pennsylvania constitutional matter. The candidate has engaged in a wide range of community service. His commitment to the citizens of Pennsylvania, combined with the high degree of respect and trust of his colleagues and his demonstrated excellence and integrity in his jurisprudence from the bench, leads the commission to highly recommend the candidate as a justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. 

Judge Patricia A. McCullough

Rating: Not Recommended

The candidate is serving her second, 10-year term as a judge on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania where she has served since 2010. The candidate has served on the Supreme Court’s Appellate Courts Rules Committee since 2016 and is currently the chair. Lawyers who appear before the candidate describe her as hard working, as having good judicial temperament and as intelligent. The candidate serves her community and is enthusiastic about her work with the Foundation of Hope Chaplain Ministry and her involvement with Women Without Walls. It is for these reasons that the then commission recommended her retention to the Commonwealth Court in 2019. Notwithstanding, during this election cycle, the current commission became aware of the candidate’s alleged conduct at a previous employment. In an interview specific to this issue, questions about the matter were not answered to the satisfaction of the commission. Therefore, the commission is unable to recommend her candidacy for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Judge Maria C. McLaughlin

Rating: Highly Recommended

The candidate was elected to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in 2011, serving in its Family Court until being elected to the Superior Court in 2017. During her time on the Superior Court, she coordinated and developed policies enabling the court to hold arguments during the pandemic. This task required her to liaise with numerous members of the bench and bar from each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Prior to her election to the bench, the candidate worked for 19 years in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she was appointed chief of the Child Support Enforcement Unit. She managed 18 attorneys and was also appointed director of the Family Justice Center Initiative. In addition, she developed an initiative setting appointments of counsel for child support enforcement cases and a jobs program matching unemployed parents with employers. She participates actively with local and statewide bar associations. She has received awards and recognitions from community, educational and governmental organizations. The candidate is described by other judges and lawyers as hard working, intelligent, patient, caring, approachable, an excellent listener and a superb mentor. Lawyers who appeared before the candidate recount her superior knowledge and practical application of the law. For these reasons, the commission highly recommends her candidacy for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Judge Paula A. Patrick

Rating: Highly Recommended

The candidate currently serves on the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County, having been elected in 2003 and retained in 2013. The candidate’s trial court experience is extensive and includes a variety of substantive areas of law, and she oversees appeals from the Philadelphia Municipal Court. Prior to her initial election, the candidate was a sole practitioner with a wide variety of casework provided to a diverse client base. She volunteers in her community, serving as a mentor to at-risk youth and to women in recovery. She has previous legal teaching experience and is a presenter/lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Association and the National Business Institute Judicial Forum. The candidate is an experienced jurist who is highly regarded by colleagues and attorneys who have appeared before her. She is engaging, energetic, intelligent and passionate about the profession. Her background and experience indicate she has a broad perspective and wide knowledge of the law. Her opinions and legal writings are fair, comprehensive and well-reasoned. The commission believes that the candidate has met the rigorous standards set forth and possesses the highest combination of legal ability, experience, integrity as well as excellent judicial temperament. The commission is confident that the candidate would serve with distinction as a Supreme Court justice and highly recommends her candidacy.