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The Supreme Court is the highest court in the Commonwealth and the oldest appellate court in the nation. The Supreme Court’s administrative powers and jurisdictional responsibilities are vested with the seven-member court by the Pennsylvania State Constitution and a collection of statutes known as the Judicial Code. Administratively, the courts within the Unified Judicial System are largely responsible for organizing their own staff and dockets; however, the Supreme Court has several committees and boards responsible for writing and enforcing rules for judges, attorneys, and litigants to ensure an efficient and fair judicial review. Annually, the seven justices receive over 3,000 requests for appellate review. Term: 10 years—Salary $206,054—Vote for not more than 1
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    Sallie Mundy (Rep) Supreme Court Justice

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    Dwayne Woodruff (Dem) Common Pleas Court Judge of Allegheny County

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Biographical Information

What is the most important quality in a judge?

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused from a case?

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

Education University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D.), 1987 Washington and Jefferson College (B.A.), 1984
Qualifications Highly Recommended by the PA Bar Association. Judge, The Superior Court of Pennsylvania, 2010-2016. Member Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board. Member Disciplinary Hearing Committee, past chair. Legal Intelligencer’s Top Women in Law, 2016. Former Lawyer in State College and Philadelphia region for 22 years. Former Public Defender, Tioga County in 2008-2009.
The single most important quality for any jurist is integrity. A Judge must be transparent, efficient and direct. When explaining a ruling in a written opinion, a judge needs to address not only the lawyers in the case, but the clients as well. It is important that everyone has a clear understanding of the decision and the reasoning behind it.
Whenever a circumstance, such as the identity of the parties or their lawyers or the issue presented raises a question in the mind of the Judge that could compromise integrity, it is incumbent upon that jurist to engage in a process of introspection. Judges are human beings, subject to the same life experiences from which opinions are generated. The question is not whether you do or do not have opinions; rather the real question is can you set aside those feelings or opinions and judge fairly.
Please see attached answer.
Campaign Phone (412) 538-8501
Campaign Email
Education University of Louisville Duquesne University School of Law
Qualifications -17 years private practice on defense & plaintiff side -12 years serving on Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County -National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges -Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board -Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission -PA Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee -National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges -Allegheny County Bar Assoc, -American Bar Assoc. -Pennsylvania Bar Assoc. -Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice -Allegheny County Interbranch
Twitter @Woodruff2017
Municipality Pittsburgh Allegheny County
A judge should possess the most important quality of Discernment which is obtained through the ever-expanding accumulation of knowledge, wisdom, experience and compassion. Knowledge - knowing/fully comprehending the law. Wisdom - knowing what the law requires and what affects rulings will have on the parties and society. Experience - knowing the people/cultures/community. Compassion - incorporating mercy in rulings when proper and just; humbly realizing 'there but for the grace of God go I'.
A judge should recuse himself/herself when he/she is unable to quell one’s own passion or when a bias exists. Yes, I have recused myself in cases where there is familiarity with the parties involved and/or I felt that there would be a perceived bias. Propriety always suggests that it is more important to create an open and fair perception of neutrality than to allow questions that impugn the judicial process.
As a judge, I have worked earnestly to secure equal justice for all; I lead the development of new court procedures that provide necessary legal assistance to pro se litigants; Appointed by PA Supreme Court to 3 statewide commissions all dealing with 'access to justice'; Chaired Allegheny County (AC) Commission on Juvenile Justice, implementing system reforms (published booklet, October 2012) & Under my leadership AC became first court in Commonwealth to practice continuing judicial education. logo


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