CURRENT JUDGES


Standing (L to R): Senior Judge Colins, Judge Covey, Judge Brobson, Judge Leavitt, Judge McCullough, Senior Judge Friedman

Seated (L to R):Judge Cohn Jubelirer, Judge McGinley, President Judge Pellegrini, Judge Leadbetter, Judge Simpson

(2012-2013)

 

PRESIDENT JUDGE DAN PELLEGRINI

Dan R. Pellegrini was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 15, 1945. He received his B.A. from Duquesne University in 1967 and his J.D. from the Duquesne University School of Law in 1970. After service as an artillery officer in the United States Army, he became an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh in 1973.

In 1976, he became First Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh. In that position, he was responsible for major litigation, real estate matters and tax appeals. He became Deputy Solicitor in 1978 and became responsible for all of the legal matters arising out of Renaissance II, the second major revitalization and redevelopment of the downtown area of the City of Pittsburgh.

Judge Pellegrini was appointed City Solicitor in 1982. As Solicitor, he moved to prevent mergers and takeovers that would have damaged the Pittsburgh economy. He also took an active role in ensuring stable public utility rate structures, and he was instrumental in the continuing success of Renaissance II. Judge Pellegrini was particularly active in working on a solution to municipal finance problems caused by overburdening Pittsburgh with tax-exempt properties.

Judge Pellegrini has been a trustee and member of the executive committee of the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers. He has lectured extensively in the United States on municipal law problems. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Allegheny Bar Association. He has also been active in various civic, charitable and humanitarian causes. He was elected President Judge in 2012.

Judge Pellegrini and his wife Toni are the parents of two daughters.

 

JUDGE BERNARD L. McGINLEY

Bernard L. McGinley, son of John R. McGinley, Sr. and Marie Rooney McGinley, was born January 7, 1946, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He attended Central Catholic High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Carroll University in Ohio in 1967, having attended Loyola University of Rome for the school year 1965-66. In 1970 he received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

He completed Basic Officer Training at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, in 1971, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain from the U.S. Army Reserve, Medical Service Corps in 1976.

Judge McGinley served as a law clerk for the Hon. Robert A. Doyle of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. From 1971 to 1974 he served as a trial Assistant District Attorney for Allegheny County. In 1974 and 1975 he was an instructor of Criminal Law at Allegheny County Community College. He served as Chairman of the Allegheny County Board of Viewers from 1975 until 1980 and maintained a private practice.

He was commissioned as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in January 1982, and served in the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the trial court until commissioned as a Judge of the Commonwealth Court on January 4, 1988. He was retained in 2007 for an additional ten-year term.

Judge McGinley was a member of the 1988 Bicentennial Committee of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. He served on the Sub-committee on Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the Court of Common Pleas; on the District Justice Liaison and Case Management Committees; on the Board of Directors of the Tamburitzans, and is a past Honorary Chairman of Easter Seals.

As a member of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges he served on the following committees: Economics and Finance, Retention Election, Judicial Code and Judicial Ethics.

Judge McGinley and his wife, Denise Perrone McGinley, reside in Pittsburgh with their four children.

 

JUDGE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER

Judge Leadbetter was appointed to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by Governor Ridge in May of 1996, was elected to the Court in 1997, and was retained for an additional ten-year term in 2007. She was elected President Judge effective January 7, 2007 and served in that capacity until 2012. In 1999, she was also appointed to the Court of Judicial Discipline for a four-year term. From 1990 until she joined the Commonwealth Court, Judge Leadbetter was a shareholder in the law firm of Fineman & Bach, P.C., where she specialized in civil litigation, and also served as a Judge Pro Tempore of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (1991-96). Judge Leadbetter is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the Widener Law and Government Institute Board of Visitors, a Master of the J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

She has taught trial and appellate advocacy in various venues, including Temple Law School’s LL.M. Program in Trial Advocacy and continuing legal education courses sponsored by the American Bar Association Appellate Judges' Conference, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Eastern District Continuing Legal Education Committee, the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Academy of Trial Advocacy. Judge Leadbetter previously served on the Third Circuit Lawyers' Advisory Committee (1988-91, chair 1991), the Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association (1990), as a director of the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1990s), and as a member of that Court’s Local Rules Advisory Committee.

Before entering private practice, Judge Leadbetter was an Assistant District Attorney for Philadelphia County (1971-76) and an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1976-81). She graduated in 1968 from Rice University and in 1971 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review.

She is married to Gary R. Leadbetter, a Montgomery County attorney, and they have two daughters and three grandchildren.

 

JUDGE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER

Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer was elected in November 2001 to a ten-year term on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, beginning in January, 2002 and was retained for another ten year term in 2011. She is a 1978 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, with distinction. She attended the Northwestern University School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Law Review. She was awarded her juris doctor with cum laude honors in 1983. That same year, she was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Following graduation, Judge Cohn Jubelirer served as a teaching fellow in legal research and writing at Stanford Law School. She then served as an Assistant Professor at De Paul University College of Law, where she taught Torts and Remedies. Her career includes additional public service as a deputy and assistant solicitor for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and an arbitrator for the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County. In private practice, she worked as an associate at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois, and later as Vice President and Shareholder in Frank, Frank, Penn & Bergstein in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Before assuming her seat on the bench, she was Senior in-house Counsel for a telecommunications company. She was also elected to the Board of Commissioners of South Whitehall Township.

Judge Cohn Jubelirer has been admitted to the Bar of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of PA, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and the American Bar Associations, as well as the Donald E. Wieand, Sr. American Inn of Court, the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court, and the National Association of Women Judges.

Judge Cohn Jubelirer chairs the Pennsylvania Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee and the Judicial Education Sub Committee of the Judicial Council of Pennsylvania.

Judge Cohn Jubelirer is a member of several committees of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, including the Workers’ Compensation Liaison Committee, the Appellate Advocacy Committee, the Judicial Administration Committee and the Women in the Profession Committee. She is also a member of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the PBA. She has participated as a panel member in several CLE courses of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

Her home chambers are located in State College. She is married to Robert Jubelirer, and is the mother of three sons.

JUDGE ROBERT SIMPSON

Judge Robert (“Robin”) Simpson was elected to the Commonwealth Court for a ten year term effective January 7, 2002, with Judges Leavitt and Cohn Jubelirer. Judge Simpson was retained for another ten year term in 2011. He previously practiced as a trial lawyer, and he served as a trial judge from 1989 through 2001. During this time he handled all manner of cases, including capital murder, complicated product liability and professional negligence, zoning and workers’ compensation. While a trial judge in Northampton County, he instituted a summary jury trial program for alternate dispute resolution of complex civil litigation. Also, he served as the County’s Administrative Judge for the Domestic Relations Section.

In addition to his duties in court, Judge Simpson is active in the profession. Between 1998 and 2005, he served as an adjunct professor of law at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, teaching Advanced Pretrial Advocacy. Also, since his appointment by the Governor in 1999, he is a member of the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board. He was a founding member of the Judge Clinton Budd Palmer American Inn of Court in Northampton County, and served as its president from 1996 to 1997.

Further, he frequently writes and speaks to judges, professionals, community leaders and students. In particular, he helped develop and present programs on current trends in land use, alternate dispute resolution and advocacy. His article, “Current Trends in Pennsylvania Land Use,” was published in The Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly in January 2006, and “Limits on Students’ Speech in the Internet Age,” was published in the Dickinson Law Review in its Winter 2001 edition. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court, and the American, Pennsylvania, Dauphin and Northampton County Bar Associations.

Judge Simpson is a magna cum laude graduate of Dickinson College and a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law. After law school, he served as law clerk to the Judge Glenn E. Mencer of the Commonwealth Court. He resides in Northampton County with his wife, Christine, and their two black Labrador retrievers. They have two children.

 

JUDGE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT

Judge Leavitt was commissioned to the Commonwealth Court on December 20, 2001 and took the oath of office on January 7, 2002. In 2011, she was retained for another ten year term.

Prior to taking office, Judge Leavitt was a shareholder in the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll where she was a member of the firm’s Litigation Section and Chair of the Insurance Regulatory Law Group. There her practice focused upon administrative law, appellate practice and insurance regulatory law. This legal specialty began with her appointment as Assistant Attorney General in 1978 and assignment to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. She worked at the Insurance Department until 1987, ending her service there as Chief Counsel, appointed by Governor Dick Thornburgh. During her work in both the public and private sectors, she served as counsel of record in numerous appeals in both state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

In the course of her legal career, Judge Leavitt has made numerous presentations on insurance, regulatory, and administrative law issues. She has published several articles in the Dickinson Law Review, taught statewide legal seminars sponsored by organizations as diverse as the American Statistical Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and has addressed the Anti-Trust Section of the American Bar Association on the state action defense. She has taught the insurance business course at Pennsylvania State University, School of Business Administration, Capitol Campus.

Judge Leavitt received her B.A. from Connecticut College (1969), her M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1972), and her J.D. from Dickinson School of Law (1978), where she was an editor of the Dickinson Law Review.

Judge Leavitt lives in Dauphin County with her husband, John P. Krill, Jr. They have three children.

 

JUDGE P. KEVIN BROBSON

Judge P. Kevin Brobson was elected to the Commonwealth Court in November 2009 and was commissioned and took the oath of office on January 4, 2010.

Prior to taking office, Judge Brobson was a Shareholder in the Harrisburg office of the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC and served as Chair of the firm’s Insurance & Reinsurance Practice Group.  While in private practice, Judge Brobson focused on representing clients on matters frequently considered by the court, such as insurance and health care regulation, professional licensure, and government contracting.  He represented numerous clients in cases before the Commonwealth Court and various state agencies, including the Gaming Control Board, the Insurance Department, and the Department of Revenue.  While in private practice, Judge Brobson received several professional recognitions.  He was rated among the Best Lawyers in America in 2009 and 2001.  He was a recipient of the Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly “Lawyers on the Fast Track” award and the Central Penn Business Journal “Forty Under 40” award.

Judge Brobson has also been a strong proponent of community and pro bono service.  He received awards and recognition from both the Dauphin County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association for his role in designing and implementing an innovative legal services program that teams commercial lawyers and law firms with nonprofit entities to provide pro bono business legal services in areas such as governance, taxation, employment, contracts, and real estate.  He also served on the Middle Paxton Township Planning Commission before his election to the bench and is a past chairman and member of the board of directors of Jump Street, a nonprofit community arts and outreach organization.

Judge Brobson received his undergraduate degree from Lycoming College, magna cum laude.  He graduated from the Widener University School of Law (Harrisburg Campus) summa cum laude and second in his graduating class, where he also served as the Internal Managing Editor of the school’s Law Review.  Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable James McGirr Kelly, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Born in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Judge Brobson now resides just outside of Harrisburg with his wife Lauren (Cotter) and his three children.

 

JUDGE PATRICIA A. MCCULLOUGH

Judge McCullough was elected to the Commonwealth Court in 2009. 

She is a native of Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (magna cum laude) in 1978 and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1981 having spent the summer of 1980 in a legal program at the University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France.  After graduation from law school, she was a law clerk for Judge Samuel Rodgers of the Common Pleas Court of Washington County

From 1983 to 1991, Judge McCullough was Assistant General Counsel for the University of Pittsburgh and served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.  From 1991 to 2004, she was in private practice and served for five years as a member (and later chair) of the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review.  In 2005 she was appointed a judge of the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County.
 
Judge McCullough has been active in her church and in 2006 and 2007 she was Executive Director of the Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  She returned to private practice in 2008 and 2009 before successfully running for the Commonwealth Court. 

 

JUDGE ANNE E. COVEY

Judge Anne E. Covey was elected in November 2011 to a ten-year term on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, beginning January, 2012.  Prior to her election, Judge Covey served as the first woman Member appointed to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in 2002 by Governor Mark Schweiker and then reappointed in 2005 by Governor Ed Rendell.  In addition, she practiced Labor and Employment Law with Covey & Associates, P.C. which she founded in 1996 and owned.  While in private practice she was considered a national expert on Labor and Employment Law.  She also worked for several law firms, including, Blank Rome, McCarter & English, and Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla.  Judge Covey served a Commonwealth Court clerkship under President Judge David W. Craig and was a staff attorney to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Judge Covey is a 1981 graduate of the University of Delaware, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors.  She attended Widener University School of Law where she was the Law Review Associate Editor of The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, Case Note Author of The Delaware Law Forum, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Fraternity.  She was awarded her Juris Doctorate, with cum laude honors, in 1984 and received the American Jurisprudence Award  

Judge Covey has written extensively, including authoring the book, The Workplace Law Advisor and a chapter in the best-selling book Business: The Ultimate Resource and The Compensation Guide.  She has developed and taught courses for professional associations and Monmouth University.  She has been interviewed as an expert by UPI, WNYC, and WFAN and many other news outlets.  In celebration of the Commonwealth Court’s fortieth anniversary in 2010, Judge Covey co-authored Contribution of the Commonwealth Court to Public Employee Labor Law: The First Forty Years for publication in the Widener University School of Law Journal.

Judge Covey is a member of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations.  She is admitted to practice before the Bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  She served as a Barrister in the Employment Law American Inn of Court.

Judge Covey’s home chambers are located in Bucks County.  She is married to attorney Michael S. Morris, and they have a son and daughter.

 

 

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
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(1970)