Judicial Election

When Pennsylvanians head to the polls on Tuesday, May 21, they will vote to fill open spots on the bench by electing new judges in several courts. As a way to inform the public about the qualifications of these candidates, the Judiciary Committee at the Allegheny County Bar Association has researched, interviewed and rated the candidates. Following is a list of judicial candidates, the court to which they are seeking election, their ACBA ratings and a copy of the questionnaire sent to the Judiciary Committee.

Name Court Rating Questionnaire
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth M. Tarasi Superior Court of Pa. Not Recommended at this Time Completed Questionnaire
     
To view the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Judicial Ratings of all Superior Court of Pa. candidates, click here.    
     
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
George A. Heym Court of Common Pleas Highly Recommended Completed Questionnaire
     
Richard J. Joyce Court of Common Pleas Recommended Completed Questionnaire
     
Brian S. Malkin Court of Common Pleas Recommended Completed Questionnaire
     
Mary C. McGinley Court of Common Pleas Recommended Mary McGinley's candidate questionnaire was submitted prior to August 31, 2017.*
     

*In August 2017, the ACBA amended its candidate questionnaire to eliminate confidential personal information. All candidate questionnaires filed with the bar association as of Sept. 1, 2017 and beyond do not contain confidential information and are made available to the public and are posted along with the candidate's rating.

NOTE:  Candidates running for judgeships for statewide courts are 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

Explanation of Ratings:

For individuals seeking a seat on the bench in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court or the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the ratings are for those candidates who have requested a rating, have been interviewed by the Judiciary Committee and who reside in Allegheny County or have an office in Allegheny County.

According to the bylaws of the bar association, the Judiciary Committee must rate all candidates running for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, whether they have requested an interview and rating or not. This year, all candidates for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas were interviewed by the Judiciary Committee.

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 Allegheny County Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee is a non-partisan committee of 24 attorneys who have been elected at large by the 5,800-member bar association.

An explanation of the ratings follows.

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/she is a candidate.
  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.

Recommended
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 or she is a candidate.

Not recommended at this time
The candidates 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.