NEWS  

1101 Market Street, 11th Floor • Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-238-6300 • Fax: 215-238-1267 • www.philadelphiabar.org

05/08/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Martha Phan

Phone: 215-238-6346


Philadelphia Bar Association Releases Judicial Ratings for May 19 Primary

To prepare voters for the May 19 primary election, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention has been evaluating the candidates for judge of Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court.

This year, voters will elect seven candidates to the Court of Common Pleas and four to Municipal Court. A final list of judicial candidates rated by the Commission can be found at www.electqualifiedjudges.com, along with information about the process. The site also includes samples of the print, radio and television ads developed for the Bar Association’s Campaign for Qualified Judges.

“The Bar Association’s mission is to ensure a fair and independent judiciary, and we take the work of this Commission very seriously,” says Chancellor Sayde Ladov. “Judges have enormous power. This is one place where voters can find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of the judicial candidates.”

For 33 years, the Philadelphia Bar Association has issued its recommendations on judicial candidates. The evaluation process is a rigorous one. Candidates must complete a lengthy questionnaire and provide three writing samples. Once the Bar receives these materials, the Investigative Division takes over.

Made up of 120 members, one‐third of whom are not lawyers, and covering a broad spectrum of the legal profession and the public sector, the Investigative Division interviews each candidate, performs a background check and interviews all professional associates of the candidate.

The Investigative Division then presents a report to the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, a group including the President Judges of Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, the Chief Public Defender, the City Solicitor, the Chancellor, Chancellor‐Elect and Vice Chancellor of the Bar Association and representatives of diverse interests within the community.

After the report is reviewed, each candidate comes before the Commission to make a statement regarding his/her qualifications and for a question‐and-answer session.

Once this process is complete, each Commission member casts a secret ballot on whether the candidate will be designated “recommended” or “not recommended.” Those found "recommended" satisfy a cumulative review of criteria including qualifications such as legal ability and training, trial experience, character, integrity, judicial temperament and mental and physical ability and community involvement.

A “not recommended” candidate has the opportunity to appeal the decision by appearing again before the Commission. Often, candidates who lose this appeal decide to withdraw their candidacy.

“The release of these recommendations helps voters realize how dramatically those serving in our city’s courtrooms affect their lives,” says William P. Fedullo, Chair of the Commission. “It is imperative that Philadelphians go to the polls on May 19.”

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for election to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas:

Christine Adair; Daniel Anders; Adam Beloff; Gregory A. Coleman; Robert P. Coleman; Anne Marie B. Coyle; Joyce Eubanks; Angelo J. Foglietta; Vincent Giusini; Jonathan Q. Irvine; Daniel Rendine; Angeles Roca; Thomas Francis Shields, Jr.; Diane Thompson; Donna M. Woelpper

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found NOT RECOMMENDED for election to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas:

John J. Capaldi; Roxanne Covington; Judge Hall; W. Fred Harrison; Elinore O’Neill Kolodner; Sharon Williams Losier; Beverly Muldrow; Marilyn Rigmaiden-DeLeon

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for election to Philadelphia Municipal Court:

Christine Adair; Patrick F. Dugan; Charles Hayden; Joseph T. Murphy, Jr.; Thomas M. Nocella; Kenneth J. Powell, Jr.; Dawn A. Segal; Joseph C. Waters, Jr.

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found NOT RECOMMENDED for election to the Philadelphia Municipal Court:

Lopez Thompson; Ted J. Vigilante

-30-