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Pennsylvania Superior Court

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Pennsylvania Superior Court

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Philadelphia
Harrisburg
Pittsburgh
Court locations

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania is one of two Pennsylvania intermediate appellate courts, the other being the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. (The subject matter jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court is limited to decisions of state agencies, and certain cases where the Commonwealth is a party; the Superior Court is the appellate court of general jurisdiction.) Appeal to the Superior Court is generally of right from final decisions of the Court of Common Pleas. Although different panels of three judges may sit to hear appeals, there is only one Superior Court (that is, Pennsylvania is not divided into appellate territories). The court is based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and sits to hear cases in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

Superior Court judges are elected in statewide elections. The term of a Superior Court Judge is 10 years. After serving 10 years, judges may hold their seats if they win a retention vote. Voters have the right to retain or reject (vote out of office) Superior Court judges in Pennsylvania. Superior Court judges must retire from active service at the age of 70. They may serve as Senior Judges though, as approved by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Superior Court Judges

Commissioned Judges

Name Born Elected Party When First Elected Year of Next Retention Election Reaches Age 70 Location Prior Positions and Education

Kate Ford Elliott (President Judge Emeritus)

(1949-06-08) June 8, 1949 (age 65) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1989 (retained in 1999 and 2009) Democratic None - final term June 8, 2019 Pittsburgh Private Practice, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (1988); Chief Staff Attorney, Superior Court of Pennsylvania (1982–1988); Administrative Assistant, Superior Court of Pennsylvania (1980–1982); Law Clerk, Superior Court of Pennsylvania (1978–1980); J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1978); Reading Specialist, Pittsburgh Public Schools (1971–1978); M.S. Educ., Duquesne University (1973); B.A., University of Pittsburgh (1971).

John T. Bender (President Judge)

(1948-11-06) November 6, 1948 (age 65) in Jeannette, Pennsylvania 2001 (retained in 2011) Republican None - final term November 6, 2018 Pittsburgh Magisterial District Judge, Allegheny County (1997-2001); Private Practice; Assistant District Attorney, Allegheny County District Attorney's Office; Law Clerk, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1976); B.A., Pennsylvania State University (1970).

Mary Jane Bowes

(1954-07-18) July 18, 1954 (age 59) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2001 (retained in 2011) Republican 2021 July 18, 2024 Pittsburgh In-House Counsel, IT Corporation (1998–2001); Private Practice (1986–1998); J.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1979); B.A., Georgetown University (1976).

Susan P. Gantman

(1952-08-08) August 8, 1952 (age 61) in Norristown, Pennsylvania 2003 Republican 2013 August 8, 2022 West Conshohocken Private Practice (1981-2004); Law Clerk, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (1977-1978); J.D., Villanova University School of Law (1977); B.A./M.A., University of Pennsylvania (1974).

Jack A. Panella

(1955-05-04) May 4, 1955 (age 59) in Brooklyn, New York 2003 Democratic 2013 May 4, 2025 Bethlehem Judge, Northampton County Court of Common Pleas (1991-2003); Private Practice (1982-1991); County Solicitor, Northampton County (1987-1991); Assistant County Solicitor, Northampton County (1982-1987); Law Clerk, Northampton County Court of Common Pleas (1980-1982); J.D., Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America (1980); B.S., St. John's University (1977).

Christine L. Donohue

(1952-12-24) December 24, 1952 (age 61) in Coaldale, Pennsylvania 2007 Democratic 2017 December 24, 2022 Pittsburgh Private Practice, (1980–2007); J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1980); B.A., East Stroudsburg University (1974).

Jacqueline O. Shogan

(1953-06-05) June 5, 1953 (age 61) in Flushing, New York 2007 Republican 2017 June 5, 2023 Monroeville Private Practice (2002–2007, 1990–1997); Law Clerk, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (1997–2001); J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1990; M.S.N., University of Virginia (1981); B.S.N., Temple University (1975).

Cheryl Lynn Allen

(1947-12-16) December 16, 1947 (age 66) in Homestead, Pennsylvania 2007 Republican None - final term December 16, 2017 Pittsburgh Associate Professor, Point Park University (2001-2006); Judge, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas (1990-2004); Attorney, Allegheny County Law Department; Attorney, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services; J.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1975); B.S., Pennsylvania State University (1969).

Anne E. Lazarus

(1952-11-12) November 12, 1952 (age 61) in Brooklyn, New York 2009 Democratic 2019 November 12, 2022 Philadelphia Judge, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (1991–2009); Private Practice, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP, (1990–1991); Solo Practitioner, (1980–1990); Law Clerk, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (1976–1990); LL.M., Temple University School of Law, 1986; J.D., Temple University School of Law (1976); B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook (1972).

Sallie Updyke Mundy

(1962-06-29) June 29, 1962 (age 51) in Elmira, New York 2009 Republican 2019 June 29, 2032 Wellsboro Private Practice (1988-2009); Volunteer Public Defender, Public Defender's Office of Tioga County; Law Clerk, Tioga County Court of Common Pleas (1987-1988); J.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1987); B.A., Washington and Jefferson College (1984).

Judith Ference Olson

(1957-10-19) October 19, 1957 (age 56) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009 Republican 2019 October 19, 2027 Pittsburgh Private Practice (1984–2000); Law Clerk, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (1982–1984); J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1982); B.A., St. Francis College (1979).

Paula Francisco Ott

(1950-09-17) September 17, 1950 (age 63) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009 Republican 2019 September 17, 2020 West Chester Judge, Chester County Court of Common Pleas (1992–2009); Private Practice, (1981–1992); Assistant County Solicitor, Chester County Solicitor's Office (1978–1981); Assistant District Attorney, Chester County District Attorney's Office (1975–1978); LL.M., Temple University School of Law, 1981; J.D., Temple University School of Law (1975); B.A., University of Delaware (1972).

David N. Wecht

(1962-05-20) May 20, 1962 (age 52) in Baltimore, Maryland[1] 2011 Democratic 2021 May 20, 2032 Pittsburgh Judge, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas (2003–2012); Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court, Allegheny County; Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge George MacKinnon; J.D., Yale Law School, 1987; B.A., Yale University (1984).

Vacant

Vacant


One seat on the Superior Court became vacant when Judge John L. Musmanno took senior status in late December 2012/early January 2013. A second seat became vacant when President Judge Correale F. Stevens was elevated to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on July 30, 2013.[2]

References

Senior Judges

  • John L. Musmanno
  • Robert E. Colville
  • James J. Fitzgerald, III
  • William H. Platt
  • Eugene B. Strassburger, III

See also

External links

  • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
  • Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania
  • Recent Superior Court of Pennsylvania Cases by Judge and Topic
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