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October 08, 2009

Philadelphia Bar Association Releases Poll Results for Judges Seeking Retention

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is releasing the results (see of a poll made available earlier this year to all practicing Philadelphia lawyers.

More than 900 attorneys completed the poll. Under the bylaws of the Association, this poll is not binding upon the Commission's deliberations, though it must be published along with the Commission's findings. In addition to poll results, the Commission evaluates each candidate based on criteria including integrity, legal ability, judicial temperament and efficiency.

Sayde Ladov, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and a member of the Judicial Commission, says she hopes that "voters will understand why judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates."

Referring to the Bar Association's web site,, she adds, "Judges have enormous power. This is one place where voters can find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of judicial candidates."

The following candidates have been rated recommended for retention to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas: Sandy L. V. Byrd, Ida K. Chen, Pamela Pryor Dembe, Richard J. Gordon, Glynnis Hill, Benjamin Lerner, Annette Rizzo, Karen Shreeves Johns and Sheila Woods Skipper.

The following candidates have been rated recommended for retention to Municipal Court:

Frank T. Brady, Barbara Gilbert, Lydia Kirkland, Gerard Kosinski, Marsha H. Neifield and Craig M. Washington.

In addition to the judicial retention candidates, the following candidates (nominated in May's primary) have been recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas in the general election:

Daniel Anders, Adam Beloff, Robert P. Coleman, Angeles Roca, Diane Thompson and Donna M. Woelpper.

The following candidate (nominated in May's primary) is not recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas in the general election:

Roxanne Covington.

The following candidates (nominated in May's primary) are recommended for election to Municipal Court in the general election:

Patrick F. Dugan, Charles Hayden, Dawn A. Segal, Joseph C. Waters, Jr.

The Commission consists of lawyers and non-lawyers including the President Judges of Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, the Chief Public Defender, the City Solicitor, the Chancellor, Chancellor‐Elect and Vice Chancellor of the Bar Association and representatives of diverse interests within the community.

Earlier this spring, the Commission released its recommendations for judicial candidates seeking
open seats on Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court. Of the 17 candidates nominated in May’s primary election, 16 were recommended by the Commission.

The Philadelphia Bar Association has issued its recommendations on judicial candidates for 33 years. Composed of 13,000 members, the Bar Association serves the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law.

For more information about the Judicial Commission, its process and recommendations, go to
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