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November 01, 2017

Philadelphia Bar Association Announces Judicial Ratings to Assist Voters

CONTACTS:
Deborah R. Gross
215-735-8700
chancellor@philabar.org
Eric H. Weitz
267-587-6240
eric.weitz@theweitzfirm.com

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention announces the results of its investigation into the qualifications of local judicial candidates for the Nov. 7 general election. Candidates who were investigated include those running for judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Municipal Court, statewide appellate court candidates whose principal office or chambers in Philadelphia and current judges seeking retention to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Philadelphia Municipal Court.

"The Commission's ratings of judicial candidates are the only non-partisan, thorough, comprehensive and objective source for voters," said Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Deborah R. Gross. "I strongly encourage Philadelphians to learn more about the entire process at PhiladelphiaBar.org."

"Judicial elections are vitally important to voters because those elected will be deciding a wide range of significant life issues ranging from imprisonment to custody," said Commission Chair Eric H. Weitz. "The Commission invests thousands of hours to thoroughly investigate, review and rate the candidates. This tremendous undertaking is another way that the Philadelphia Bar Association strives to foster understanding of, involvement in and access to the justice system."

The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and members of the community-at-large. The ratings by the 30-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and thorough investigation by its own 120-member investigative division. Among the members of the Commission are community leaders, officials including the District Attorney, Chief Public Defender, City Solicitor, the President Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court, as well as representatives of diverse legal groups and various Sections of the Association.

Candidates found "Recommended" satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including qualifications such as legal ability, experience, integrity, temperament, community involvement and judgment. Complete details can be found at PhiladelphiaBar.org.

Candidates and current judges seeking retention were asked to submit a completed Candidate Questionnaire and writing samples by an announced deadline. Candidates and current judges seeking retention who failed to submit a completed Candidate Questionnaire and writing samples by the deadline automatically received a "Not Recommended" rating.

2017 General Election Ratings – Candidates

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

(Appellate court ratings are issued only for those candidates who maintain a principal office or chambers in Philadelphia.)

Highly Recommended:

  • Maria McLaughlin

Recommended:

  • Carolyn H. Nichols

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

(Appellate court ratings are issued only for those candidates who maintain a principal office or chambers in Philadelphia.)

Recommended:

  • Ellen H. Ceisler

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Recommended:

  • Deborah Canty
  • Lucretia C. Clemons
  • Vincent Furlong
  • Vikki Kristiansson
  • Zac Shaffer
  • Stella Tsai

Not Recommended:

  • Deborah Denise Cianfrani
  • Mark B. Cohen
  • Shanese Johnson

Philadelphia Municipal Court

Recommended:

  • Marissa Joan Brumbach
  • Matt S. Wolf

2017 General Election Ratings – Retention Judges

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Recommended:

  • Linda A. Carpenter
  • Ellen H. Ceisler
  • Michael E. Erdos
  • Shelley Robins New
  • Rosalyn K. Robinson
  • Teresa M. Sarmina

Philadelphia Municipal Court

Recommended:

  • Thomas F. Gehret
  • Nazario Jimenez Jr.
  • William A. Meehan Jr.
  • Bradley K. Moss
  • David C. Shuter
  • Karen Y. Simmons
  • Joyce O. Webb Eubanks

Not Recommended:

  • James M. De Leon
  • Marvin L. Williams

#PAJudicialRace17

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