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Lisa Richette

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Lisa Richette

Lisa Aversa Richette (September 11, 1928 – October 26, 2007) was an American lawyer and judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County. A lifelong Philadelphian, she was appointed to the bench in 1971. Noted for her outspokenness, she was a social activist particularly in the areas of homelessness, child welfare, and juvenile justice.

Richette was a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She was one of the first female graduates of Yale Law School.[1] She became an assistant district attorney, one of a handful of groundbreaking women in the local legal profession along with the future long serving District Attorney of Philadelphia Lynne Abraham. Once thrown out of court for wearing a pantsuit, Richette often wore pants and long dangling earrings in court at a time when it was considered almost risqué for a female attorney to do so. In 1971, she was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County, being one of the first females to hold that office.[1]

Richette was the author of the 1969 book on the Pearl S. Buck International Award.

Late in her life, Richette made local headlines on three occasions as a result of being physically assaulted. She was mugged in 1987, while "scores of people watched without helping her".[2] In 2006, she was punched while waiting for her son to rent a video. In 2007, her son, Lawrence was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and reckless endangerment in connection with a domestic dispute that occurred on August 21, 2007.[3]

She died of lung cancer at the Vitas Hospice in St Agnes' Continuing Care Center in South Philadelphia, aged 79.[4]

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