Superior Court of Pennsylvania

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Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Seal of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.svg
Jurisdiction Pennsylvania, United States except those cases which involve decisions of state agencies; public sector legal questions; actions to which the Commonwealth is a party; or actions to which a not-for-profit, private corporation is a party, all of which are appealed instead to the Commonwealth Court.
Location Harrisburg (headquarters)
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Composition method Statewide partisan election with possible retention at term expiration. Vacancies are filled via appointment by the Governor.
Authorized by Penn. Const. Art. V § 3
42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 541-44
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Decisions are heard for appeals from Court of Common Pleas
Judge term length 10 years
Number of positions 15
Website Pennsylvania Courts
President Judge
Currently Susan Peikes Gantman
Superior Court of Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Harrisburg
Harrisburg
Pittsburgh
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 75. They may serve as Senior Judges though, as approved by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Superior Court Judges[edit]

Commissioned Judges[edit]

Name Born Elected Party When First Elected Year of Next Retention Election Reaches Age 75 Location Prior Positions and Education

Susan P. Gantman (President Judge)

(1952-08-08) August 8, 1952 (age 66) in Norristown, Pennsylvania 2003 (retained in 2013) Republican 2023 August 8, 2027 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).

John T. Bender (President Judge Emeritus)

(1948-11-06) November 6, 1948 (age 69) in Jeannette, Pennsylvania 2001 (retained in 2011) Republican 2021 November 6, 2023 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 64) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2001 (retained in 2011) Republican 2021 July 18, 2029 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).

Jack A. Panella

(1955-05-04) May 4, 1955 (age 63) in Brooklyn, New York 2003 (retained in 2013) Democratic 2023 May 4, 2030 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).

Jacqueline O. Shogan

(1953-06-05) June 5, 1953 (age 65) in Flushing, New York 2007 (retained in 2017) Republican 2027 June 5, 2028 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).

Anne E. Lazarus

(1952-11-12) November 12, 1952 (age 65) in Brooklyn, New York 2009 Democratic 2019 November 12, 2027 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).

Judith Ference Olson

(1957-10-19) October 19, 1957 (age 60) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009 Republican 2019 October 19, 2032 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 68) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009 Republican 2019 September 17, 2025 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).

Victor P. Stabile

(1957-09-14) September 14, 1957 (age 61) in New York, New York 2013 Republican 2023 September 14, 2032 Harrisburg Private Practice (1987–2013); Deputy Attorney General (Torts Litigation Unit), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1984–1987); Law Clerk, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania (1982–1984); J.D., Dickinson School of Law (1982); B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook (1979).

Alice Dubow

(1959-03-25) March 25, 1959 (age 59) in [unknown] 2015 Democratic 2025 March 25, 2034 Philadelphia Judge, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (2007–2016); Deputy General Counsel, Drexel University (2000–2006); private practice (1997–2000); Assistant City Solicitor, Philadelphia County Office of the City Solicitor (1992–1997); private practice (1985–1992); Law Clerk, Bucks County Court of Common Pleas (1984); LL.M., Temple University School of Law (1991); J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School (1984); B.A., University of Pennsylvania (1981).

Deborah A. Kunselman

(1967-09-24) September 24, 1967 (age 50) in Wiesbaden, Germany 2017 Democratic 2027 September 24, 2042 Beaver Judge, Beaver County Court of Common Pleas (2006–2017); County Solicitor, Beaver County (1998–2005); private practice (1996–2005); J.D., Notre Dame Law School (1992); B.A., Pennsylvania State University (1988).

Maria McLaughlin

(1966-05-27) May 27, 1966 (age 52) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2017 Democratic 2027 May 27, 2041 Philadelphia Judge, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (2012–2017); Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia County District Attorney's Office (1992–2011); J.D., Widener University School of Law (1992); B.A., Pennsylvania State University (1988).

Mary P. Murray

2017 Republican 2027 Pittsburgh Magisterial District Judge, Allegheny County (2004-2017); private practice (2001-2017); Law Clerk, Beaver County Court of Common Pleas (1998-2001); private practice (1996-1998); J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1996); M.B.A., Duquesne University (1995); B.A./B.S., Duquesne University (1992).

Carolyn H. Nichols

unknown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2017 Democratic 2027 Philadelphia Judge, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (2012–2017); private practice (2008–2011); General Counsel, Philadelphia Parking Authority (1999–2005); Law Clerk, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (1997); private practice (1996–1999); Assistant Legal Counsel, Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (1995–1996); Legislative Assistant, Philadelphia City Council (1994–1995); Assistant City Solicitor, Philadelphia County Office of the City Solicitor (1990–1994); M.B.A., Eastern University (2002); LL.M., Temple University School of Law (1994); J.D., Temple University School of Law (1985); B.A., Temple University (1978).

Vacant

Senior judges: Kate Ford Elliott (President Judge Emeritus), Correale Stevens, John L. Musmanno, William H. Platt, Eugene B. Strassburger III[1]

A vacancy was created when President Judge Emeritus Kate Ford Elliott took senior status.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Senior Judges[edit]

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

External links[edit]