Pennsylvania Superior Court
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Superior Court (3 seats)
The Superior Court is one of Pennsylvania's two statewide intermediate appellate courts. This court, which was established in 1895, reviews most of the civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the Courts of Common Pleas in the Commonwealth's 67 counties. The Superior Court consists of 15 judges who serve 10-year terms. The president judge of Superior Court is elected to a five-year term by his or her colleagues. A huge volume of appeals flows to the Superior Court from the trial courts. Generally, appeals are heard by panels of three judges sitting in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh. The court often is the final arbiter of legal disputes. Although the Supreme Court may grant a petition for review of a Superior Court decision, most such petitions are denied and the ruling of the Superior Court stands.
Republicans, unopposed for three nominations
Anne E. Lazarus
Education: State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.A.; Temple University law school, J.D.
Experience: Judge Lazarus has been a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge since 1991, presiding over cases in the criminal, civil and orphans court divisions. From 1997 to 2000, she was coordinating judge of the homicide and major trial division. She currently serves in orphans court. Prior to joining the court, she handled estate and probate law for Ballard, Spahr, Andrews and Ingersoll and was legal counsel to the administrative judge of the orphans' court.
Ratings: Highly recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association
Robert J. Colville
Education: Penn State University, B.A.; Duquesne University law school, J.D.
Experience: Judge Colville has been on Allegheny County Common Pleas Court since 2000, serving first in the family division and then in the civil division. Currently due to a need in juvenile court, he is handling dependency cases in juvenile court while handling ongoing civil cases. Before becoming a judge, he had a general litigation legal practice with Pietragallo, Bosick & Gordon. He had been a law clerk for former state Supreme Court Justice Ralph Cappy and a legislative aide for former Congressman Joseph Gaydos.
Ratings: Highly recommended by the Allegheny County Bar Association; recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association
Kevin Francis McCarthy
Education: University of Pittsburgh, B.A., and its law school, J.D.
Experience: An attorney in the appellate unit of the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office since 1990, Mr. McCarthy represents the prosecution on appeals filed by convicted criminal defendants and when prosecutors appeal rulings suppressing evidence, confessions or other decisions. He has handled hundreds of appeals and has argued before Superior Court 150 times and 15 times before the state Supreme Court.
Ratings: Highly recommended by the Allegheny County Bar Association; Recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Education: Bennett College, B.A.; Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, J.D.
Experience: Judge Patrick was elected to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and has been presiding in the juvenile court division since she joined the bench in 2004. Before that, she was in private practice for 10 years, representing plaintiffs in civil cases and defendants in criminal matters in both state and federal courts. A former member of the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey board, she volunteers at her church and is a mentor for inner-city youths.
Ratings: Recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Education: Boston University, B.S. in business administration; Howard University law school, J.D.
Experience: Judge Younge became a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge in 1995 after winning election to a 10-year term, and he won retention in 2005, serving in the trial division, which hears both criminal and civil matters. Before becoming a judge, he was a community lawyer, then a staff attorney and eventually deputy executive director and general counsel with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
Ratings: Recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association
Tom Munley did not meet with Post-Gazette editors.
First Published May 5, 2009 4:14 pm