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Phone: 215-238-6300 •

April 26, 2001

Bar Leaders Release Judicial Ratings for May 15 Primary

Carl S. Primavera, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Nicholas J. Lisi, Chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, today announced the results of the Commission's investigation into the qualifications of 25 candidates for the Court of Common Pleas and 6 candidates for the Municipal Court in the May 15 primary election. Seventeen individuals received "Recommended" ratings and 14 were "Not Recommended" by the Commission.

The Chancellor said voters should take the list to the polls with them. "This is the most important information voters can have as they prepare to vote," Primavera said. "With all the candidates on the ballot, this list will guide voters so they can select from among the 'Recommended' judicial candidates," he added. Voters will vote for 11 Common Pleas Court candidates and two Municipal Court candidates. To help publicize the Bar's ratings, the Chancellor announced a print and radio advertising campaign funded by the Campaign for Qualified Judges. Radio spots will remind voters to look for the printed list of "Recommended" candidates appearing in area newspapers between May 7 and May 14. The complete list is also available on the Association's Web site at . Voters can also obtain information by calling the Bar Association at 215-238-6394.

Lisi said the ratings are the result of a thorough evaluation of the candidates by the Commission, which includes individuals who represent diverse interests both inside and outside the legal community. "Our deliberations reflected the Commission's genuine concern for the quality of justice and the future of our courts. This Commission is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and non-lawyers." Among the members of the Commission are the U.S. Attorney, a representative of the District Attorney of Philadelphia, the Chief Public Defender, the President Judges of the Common Pleas and Municipal Courts, and representatives from the Asian, Hispanic and African American legal groups.

The ratings by the 29-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and investigation by the Commission's own 90-member investigative division which includes 30 non-lawyer members. Candidates found "Recommended" satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including qualifications such as legal ability and training, trial experience, character and integrity, judicial temperament, mental and physical capacity and community involvement. The complete criteria are available from the Bar Association.

Each of the currently rated candidates was voted upon by the Commission following a report by the investigative team coordinator and a personal appearance by the candidate. Before more any candidate was finally found to be "Not Recommended," he or she was advised of the initial finding of the Commission with stated reasons for the finding and was given the opportunity to appear before the entire Commission in support of his or her qualifications, after which time a final vote was taken. Lisi said that the Commission and its investigative division spent hundreds of hours rating the candidates.

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found "RECOMMENDED" for election to the Court of Common Pleas:

Judge Denis P. Cohen
Rosemarie DeFino
Ramy I. Djerassi
Kevin M. Dougherty
Joseph A. Dych
Harold M. Kane
Arline Jolles Lotman
Barbara McDermott
Judge Margaret T. McKeown
George W. Overton
Lisa M. Rau
Robert J. Rebstock
Walter A. Stewart
Earl W. Trent
Christopher Wogan

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

Lori Dumas
Leslie Fleisher
Steven Gratman
Richard W. Hoy
Elizabeth Jackson
Karen Mainor
John A. Manes
Silvio F. Modafferi
Adam J. Rodgers
Ronald J. Sharper

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found "RECOMMENDED" for election to the Municipal Court:

Thomas M. Nocella
Judge Wendy L. Pew

The following candidates were found "NOT RECOMMENDED" for election to the Municipal Court:

Patrick F. Dugan
Deborah S. Griffin
Nazario Jimenez
Robert W. Muench

Following is a complete list of Judicial Commission members:

Nicholas J. Lisi, Esq., Chair
Catherine C. Carr, Esq., Vice Chair
Carl S. Primavera, Esq., Chancellor
Daniel P. Alva, Esq. .
Frank Bobrow
James E. Elam, Esq.
Nancy Gellman, Esq.
Richard M. Golomb, Esq.
Allan H. Gordon, Esq.
Ellen T. Greenlee, Esq.
Raymond Harley, Esq.
Edmund L. Harvey, Jr., Esq.
Linda Ware Johnson, Esq.
Marla A. Joseph, Esq.
Wayne Kissinger
Michael Levy, Esq.
Stephen A. Madva, Esq.
Hon. Frederica Massiah-Jackson
Richard Negrin, Esq
Sunah Park, Esq.
Hon. Louis J. Presenza
L. Felipe Restrepo, Esq.
Daniel Segal, Esq.
Beverly Sherman
Leigh Skipper, Esq.
Audrey C. Talley, Esq.
Kenneth I. Trujillo, Esq.
John Urofsky
Michael L. Viola, Esq.

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