PBA President Issues Statement Following Announcement of Retirement Transition Plan by Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor

HARRISBURG (March 2, 2021) – Pennsylvania Bar Association President David E. Schwager issued the following statement in response to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor’s announcement that he will transfer leadership of the court to Justice Max Baer on April 1, months in advance of his constitutionally-mandated retirement on Dec. 31:

“On behalf of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, I salute Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor for his many years of service as a Pennsylvania lawyer and jurist culminating in his years of service as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. At the same time, we wish great success to Justice Max Baer as he transitions to this position of leadership of our state’s highest court after many years of dedicated and exceptional service.

For more than two decades on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Saylor has distinguished himself through his numerous thorough and comprehensive judicial opinions. He is credited with authoring more than 400 main opinions and more than 600 responsive opinions covering a broad spectrum of Pennsylvania law.

After assuming the chief justice role in 2015 following the retirement of former Chief Justice Ronald Castille, Chief Justice Saylor created a grand jury task force, guided the implementation of mandatory judicial education and, for the past year, ushered the court system through the extraordinary challenges to the courts’ operations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Also of important note, Chief Justice Saylor has worked collegially with the organized bar, reaching out for additional input when making appointments to the court’s boards and committees.

We thank Chief Justice Saylor for his years of leadership and for continuing to nurture a sound working relationship between the court and the organized bar. At the end of the year, we look forward to congratulating Chief Justice Saylor as he begins his retirement. 

Likewise, we will congratulate Justice Baer next month as he assumes the mantel of chief justice, continuing his more than three decades of service as a distinguished judge and jurist.