In December 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted continuing judicial education requirements for judges serving the Supreme, Commonwealth and Superior courts, as well as the Courts of Common Pleas, the Philadelphia Municipal Court and certified senior judges of each. A well-educated judiciary is essential to the fair and impartial administration of justice.
Continuing judicial education had been on-going but there was no formalized process to track attendance or to ensure the jurists’ diverse educational needs were being met.
The formalized education program will help judges and justices stay abreast of changes in law, procedure, behavioral science, technological advancement and legal circumstances unique to Pennsylvania. Jurists are required to earn each year a minimum of three hours of continuing education in judicial ethics and nine hours in judicial practice and related areas.
The Supreme Court order outlining judicial education requirements established a Board of Judges comprised of judges from courts impacted by the new policy, among others, and reflects the diversity of Pennsylvania’s judiciary, including court size and divisional assignment. The Board, whose members are not compensated, will make accreditation decisions, grant waivers and deferrals and hear non-compliance appeals.
Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Kathryn M. Hens-Greco
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Anita LaFrance Allen, J.D., Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Faculty, University of Pennsylvania
Judge Ida K. Chen
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Senior Judge John M. Cleland
McKean County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Dean Maureen Lally-Green, J.D.
Dean, Duquesne University School of Law
President Judge Richard A. Lewis
Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County
President Judge Stephen P.B. Minor
Potter County Court of Common Pleas
President Judge Edward D. Reibman
Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Karen Yvette Simmons
Philadelphia Municipal Court
Judge Victor P. Stabile
Superior Court of Pennsylvania