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04/15/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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Philadelphia Bar Association Updates Judicial Candidate Recommendations

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. While a full, updated list of judicial candidates rated by the Commission can be found at the end of this release and also at www.electqualifiedjudges.com, the Philadelphia Bar Association notes that some updates have occurred since releasing its first list of evaluated candidates on April 6.

Following the Commission’s last meeting on April 14, some candidates have been added to the list for Court of Common Pleas:

Recommended
Vincent Giusini

Not Recommended
Roxanne Covington
Elinore O'Neill Kolodner
Sharon Williams Losier

In addition, the following candidates (who were all listed as recommended) have removed themselves from the ballot:

Court of Common Pleas
James C. Crumlish, III
Sean F. Kennedy
James R. Lloyd, III
J. Scott O'Keefe
Dawn A. Segal

Municipal Court
Sean F. Kennedy
Daniel A. Rendine
Donna M. Woelpper

The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention will continue to release ratings on candidates as evaluations are completed in the coming weeks.

"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. Our recommendations help Philadelphia's citizens choose qualified judges."

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 Commission's current list (as of April 14) of evaluated candidates includes:

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Recommended:
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
Thomas Martin
Daniel Rendine
Angeles Roca
Diane Thompson
Donna M. Woelpper

Not Recommended:
John J. Capaldi
Roxanne Covington
Judge Hall
W. Fred Harrison
Elinore O'Neill Kolodner
Sharon Williams Losier
Beverly Muldrow

Philadelphia Municipal Court
Recommended:
Christine Adair
Adam Beloff
Patrick F. Dugan
Jonathan Q. Irvine
Joseph T. Murphy, Jr.
Dawn A. Segal
Joseph C. Waters, Jr.

Not Recommended:
Lopez Thompson

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