September 02, 2016
Statement from Chancellor Gaetan J. Alfano on the Passing of Judge Albert John Snite, Jr.
Gaetan J. Alfano, Chancellor of the 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, today issued the following statement on the passing of Judge Albert John Snite, Jr., retired judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County:
"Judge Albert John Snite, Jr. (known as "Jack" to friends and colleagues) was a bright, warm and compassionate jurist who was committed to ensuring that litigants in cases before him received a fair and just result. Judge Snite was a consummate Philadelphian whose ancestor, Francis Daniel Pastorius, founded Germantown in the late seventeenth century. He worked as a public defender and in private practice after graduating from Dickinson School of Law in 1973. Elected in 1991 to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Judge Snite served as a judge in the Criminal Division, Civil Division, and Commerce Program from 1992 until 2015 when he retired from the bench. Judge Snite never shied away from controversial cases. In a recent interview, he proudly spoke of his federal court appointment to assist John Africa at the 1981 trial in which Africa defended himself and was acquitted of weapons and conspiracy charges. Judge Snite considered a landmark of his judicial career counsel's agreement to waive the right to a jury trial so that he could preside over the 1998 bench trial of nine white defendants who were accused of attacking three African Americans in Grays Ferry. Judge Snite never forgot what it was like to practice law when he became a judge. He was a humble, hard-working jurist who treated lawyers with respect and courtesy. His retirement in 2015 was a great loss to our Court of Common Pleas and his passing is a great loss to his family and our legal community."