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October 17, 2013

Philadelphia Bar Association Announces Judicial Ratings, Releases Poll Results

Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Esq.
Teresa F. Sachs, Esq.


Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, today announced the results of the Association's investigation into the qualifications of candidates for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court in the Nov. 5 general election. The investigation was conducted by the Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.

In addition, the Commission released the results of a poll of all Philadelphia lawyers conducted for the Bar Association earlier this year by Votenet. The poll invited respondents to rate specific aspects of the judicial performance of each of the existing judges seeking retention for additional terms. Under the bylaws of the Association, the poll is not binding upon the Commission's deliberations, although it must be published with the Commission's findings.

"We invite people to learn about these candidate ratings by visiting our website at," Wilkinson said. The Chancellor pointed out that the Association's Campaign for Qualified Judges has launched a banner that appears on the homepage of the Association's website. The banner contains a link to print the candidates' ratings so voters can bring the list to the polls.

Wilkinson said the Association wants voters to know "not just who to vote for but why the judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates. This is the one place for voters to find a thorough, non-partisan, objective rating of the candidates."

"In all, we conducted hundreds of hours of interviews, many hours of hearings, involved a great cross section of the Bar and lay people, all to the benefit of the Philadelphia voters. The Commission collects, evaluates and summarizes all of the information a voter could need," said Commission Chair Teresa Ficken Sachs.

The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and non-lawyers. Among the members of the Commission are community leaders, officials including the District Attorney, Chief Public Defender, City Solicitor, and the President Judges of Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, and representatives of minority legal groups and various sections of the Bar.

The ratings by the 30-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and investigation by the Commission's own 120-member investigative division, one-third of whom are non-lawyer members. 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

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found "RECOMMENDED" for retention to the Court of Common Pleas:

  • Jacqueline F. Allen - Recommended
  • Genece E. Brinkley - Recommended
  • Ramy I. Djerassi - Recommended
  • Lori A. Dumas - Recommended
  • Holly J. Ford - Recommended
  • Joel Steven Johnson - Recommended
  • Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson - Recommended
  • Rayford A. Means - Recommended
  • Jeffrey P. Minehart - Recommended
  • Joseph D. O'Keefe - Recommended
  • Paula A. Patrick - Recommended
  • Doris A. Pechkurow - Recommended
  • Allan L. Tereshko - Recommended
  • Nina Wright-Padilla - Recommended

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found "RECOMMENDED" for retention to Municipal Court:

  • Teresa Carr Deni - Recommended
  • Wendy L. Pew - Recommended

The following judges were found "NOT RECOMMENDED" for retention to Municipal Court:

  • Jacquelyn M. Frazier-Lyde - Not Recommended
  • Joseph J. O'Neill - Not Recommended

The Commission also announced its ratings of the following candidates who have been found "RECOMMENDED" for election to the Court of Common Pleas:

  • Giovanni Campbell - Recommended
  • Anne Marie B. Coyle - Recommended
  • Joe Fernandes - Recommended
  • Timika Lane - Recommended
  • Daniel McCaffery - Recommended
  • J. Scott O'Keefe - Recommended
  • Kenneth J. Powell, Jr. - Recommended

The Commission found the following candidates "NOT RECOMMENDED" for election to the Court of Common Pleas:

  • Stephen Miller-Miller - Not Recommended
  • Sierra Thomas Street - Not Recommended

The Commission announced its ratings of the following candidates who have been found "RECOMMENDED" for election to Municipal Court:

  • Martin Coleman - Recommended
  • Fran Shields - Recommended

The Commission found the following candidate "NOT RECOMMENDED" for election to Municipal Court:

  • Henry Lewandowski - Not Recommended
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