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Allegheny County Bar Association Announces Judiciary Ratings For Candidates Running in May 21st Primary

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – April 12, 2013.  The Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that its Judiciary Committee has released its ratings for all candidates running for a judicial position in the primary election on May 21st who have requested a rating, have been interviewed by the Judiciary Committee, and who reside in or have an office in Allegheny County.  These individuals are seeking a seat on the bench of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas or the Pennsylvania Superior Court.  According to the bylaws of the ACBA Judiciary Committee, the Committee must rate all candidates running for the Court of Common Pleas, whether they have requested an interview and rating or not. 

In the 2013 Pennsylvania Primary Elections, voters will be selecting candidates for the following judicial positions:  One (1) judge on the PA Superior Court; and four (4) judges on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

According to Mark Vuono, President of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “The voters face a difficult choice when voting for judges since their knowledge of the candidates and personal experience with the courts generally is limited. As attorneys, we have a unique understanding of the courts and the qualifications for judicial positions and we want to share that knowledge to assist voters in making an informed decision.”

The Allegheny County Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee is a non-partisan committee of 24 attorneys who have been elected at large by the 6,300-member bar association.

The Judiciary Committee has given the following ratings:

Name                                                  Court                                      Rating                        

Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Hon. John T. McVay, JrSuperior Court of PA              Highly Recommended

NOTE:  Candidates running for statewide courts are also required to go before the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association to be interviewed and rated.  For the PBA ratings, go to pavotesmart.com.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Eleanor L. Bush Court of Common Pleas  Highly Recommended
Marcia L. Cooper          Court of Common Pleas Highly Recommended
Rosemary C. Crawford        Court of Common Pleas  Highly Recommended
Mark V. Tranquilli        Court of Common Pleas  Highly Recommended
Hon. William F. Ward Court of Common Pleas  Highly Recommended
     
Patrick M. Connelly Court of Common Pleas Recommended
Hon. Paul E. Cozza Court of Common Pleas Recommended
Barbara J. Ernsberger Court of Common Pleas Recommended
Philip J. Murray III Court of Common Pleas Recommended
     
Marc Daffner Court of Common Pleas Not Recommended at this time
Marvin Leibowitz Court of Common Pleas Not Recommended at this time
Jennifer Satler Court of Common Pleas Not Recommended at this time
     
Joe Luvara Court of Common Pleas  Unqualified

Each candidate is evaluated in the areas of temperament, experience in the field of law, academic achievement, honesty and integrity, reputation, general community interest and contributions to the profession.


Explanation of Ratings:

Highly Recommended

The candidate:

  1. Exhibits pre-eminence in the law by way of outstanding legal ability and a wide range of experience, either in a specialized field of law or a more varied practice, and has a reputation in the legal community as standing at the top of his or her profession.
  2. Possesses a reputation for the utmost integrity and temperament to excel as a judge of the court for which he or she is a candidate.
  3. Exhibits outstanding citizenship by way of community and professional contributions, and
  4. Is an exceptional individual who will enhance or has enhanced the competence, dignity and public perception of the bench.

Recommended

The candidate possesses a reputation for the utmost integrity and the legal ability, experience and temperament to excel as a judge of the court for which he or she is a candidate.

Not recommended at this time

The candidate’s legal ability, experience and reputation indicate that, at some future time in his or her legal career, he or she may have the potential to excel as a judge, but the candidate is not yet at that stage.

Unqualified

The candidate does not now possess and is not likely to acquire the ability, reputation, or temperament necessary for a judicial position.


Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,300 member attorneys, judges, district justices, legal administrators and paralegals.


Contacts

Mark T. Vuono, Esquire
President
Allegheny County Bar Association
412-471-1800

Tom Loftus
Director of Marketing and Media Relations
Allegheny County Bar Association
412-402-6620