Allegheny County Bar Association Announces Judiciary Ratings

Pittsburgh PennsylvaniaNovember 24, 2008.  The Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that its Judiciary Committee has released its most recent ratings of members who have come before the committee to be rated should they some day seek a seat on the bench of the Pennsylvania Superior Court or the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

According to Jay Blechman, President of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “The bar association has the obligation to the citizens of Allegheny County to provide as much information as possible to help voters make informed choices when they select candidates for judicial office.”

The Committee has given the following ratings:

Name Court Rating
Hon. Robert J. Colville PA Superior Court Highly Recommended
Thomas J. Dempsey, Jr. Court of Common Pleas Recommended
Hugh F. McGough Court of Common Pleas Highly Recommended

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.

The 24-member Judiciary Committee is elected at large by the 6,500-member Bar Association.

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/her profession.

  2. Possesses the highest reputation for integrity and temperament.

  3. Exhibits outstanding citizenship by way of community and professional contributions.

  4. Is an exceptional individual who will enhance or has enhanced the competence, dignity, and public perception of the bench.


The candidate possesses the highest reputation for integrity and the legal ability, experience, and temperament to excel as a judge of the court for which he/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/her legal career, he/she may have the potential to excel as a judge, but the candidate is not yet at that stage.


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 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators and paralegals.