THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JUDGE JUAN R. SÁNCHEZ BECOMES CHIEF JUDGE
OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT
August 1, 2018 Kate Barkman, Clerk of Court
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Honorable Juan R. Sánchez became Chief Judge of the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on August 1, 2018. Judge Sánchez has served as a federal judge for over fourteen years and follows the Honorable Lawrence F. Stengel as the 15th Chief Judge of this district. He is the first Hispanic to lead the Court in its 229-year history. One of thirteen original federal judicial districts created by the federal Judiciary Act of 1789, the Eastern District encompasses Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties.
Former Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel stated,
Judge Juan Sánchez is a thoroughly good man who has served with distinction as a judge on this Court for over 14 years. He is hard working, reliable, honest, and true. Judge Sánchez built a reputation for dedication to justice and excellence in his work while on the Chester County Court of Common Pleas and that has continued. He has earned the respect and admiration of lawyers and judges here in the federal court. Judge Sánchez is already viewed as a leader among our colleagues. The work he has done with various projects as Chair of our Jury Committee has improved the experiences of our jurors and enhanced our jury trial process. He is cheerful, positive, and good to work with. Judge Sánchez is open to new and innovative ideas. I feel confident about the future of this great Court as he takes over as the Chief Judge.
Judge Sánchez’s colleague, Judge Paul S. Diamond of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania concurred. “Juan Sánchez will be a magnificent Chief Judge. His great intelligence, warmth, and devotion to this Court will benefit everyone on the Court and everyone who appears before it.” Magistrate Judge Timothy Rice added, “Chief Judge Sánchez is a model jurist committed to equal justice, fairness, and legal excellence. His tireless work ethic and compassion were forged during his journey from the South Bronx to the Ivy League and the bench. His story is truly an American Dream.”
Judge Sánchez was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx, New York City at age 12. He graduated from the City College of the City University of New York and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Judge Sánchez began his legal career as a recipient of the distinguished Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, through which he worked as a staff attorney with Legal Aid of Chester County, then spent fourteen years with the Chester County Public Defender’s Office.
Judge Sánchez served six years as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he presided over criminal, civil, and juvenile matters before his appointment to the federal bench in 2004. In 2016, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. appointed Judge Sánchez to serve as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Defender Services. In addition to hearing cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Judge Sánchez has regularly handled civil and criminal cases in the District of the Virgin Islands.
In 2003, Judge Sánchez was appointed by the President of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the Honorable Paula Francisco Ott, to co-chair a special project committee to develop a curriculum on the importance of an independent judiciary. Judge Ott, now a Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court stated,
I can attest to his love of the law and commitment to promoting public confidence in and understanding of the judicial system. While we were colleagues on the Chester County bench, he started a successful business litigation mediation/arbitration program. He also volunteered to present the “Meet the Judges” program, a biannual event, and with his usual boundless energy, arranged for school students from all over the county to be brought to the courthouse. This was the largest turnout we had ever had, and he was recognized statewide for that program by the PA Trial Judges Association. I have no doubt that his work ethic, ability to spearhead innovative programs, enthusiasm, and collegiality will serve him well in his new position. To his colleagues on the Eastern District, I say “Hold on to your hats!”
Another former colleague from the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, President Judge Jacqueline Cody, stated,
I have known Judge Sanchez since the 1980s, when we were young attorneys in the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices. As his courtroom adversary, I witnessed his consummate knowledge of the law and his commitment to excellence. But I was most impressed with his genuine understanding of the human spirit and how he remained kind and respectful, no matter how tough the courtroom fight might be. When we served together as judges on the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, I came to know him, not only as a model of judicial excellence, but also as a team player. His enthusiasm for reviewing protocols and procedures in an effort to improve the court system was impressive. He lit a spark for the rest of us to join him in going above and beyond the standards in serving the people of Chester County. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Judge Sanchez on accepting the honor of serving as Chief Judge of the Eastern District and wish him continued success.
New Chief Judge Sánchez praised Judge Lawrence F. Stengel for his service as Chief Judge:
Chief Judge Stengel has left a great legacy for our Court to build upon in the next decade. His example as a jurist, leader, and most importantly, as a colleague and close personal friend will shine a light on the path I follow. He has contributed greatly, served honorably, and served with distinction. Chief Judge Stengel led our Court through a challenging transition period, which included the retirement of one Clerk of Court and the selection of our outstanding new Clerk of Court, Kate Barkman. Under Chief Judge Stengel’s leadership, our Court has enhanced the utilization of our Pro Se/Death Penalty program, taken initial steps toward modernizing the Clerk of Court’s Office workspace, and embarked on a new path toward a more inclusive vision of how we govern ourselves. These concrete achievements are giant steps toward improving our standing and leadership role in the Judiciary.
The Eastern District of Pennsylvania is headquartered at the James A. Byrne Courthouse in Philadelphia and has three divisional courthouses in Allentown, Reading, and Easton with a courthouse staff of over two-hundred employees. The Chief Judge oversees the administration of the district which includes the offices of the Clerk of Court, Probation, Pre-Trial Services, and Bankruptcy. The district has twenty-two active judgeships, eleven senior judges, as well as five bankruptcy judges, and eleven magistrate judges.
Supreme Court Board and Committee Vacancies
There are currently three vacancies on three Pennsylvania Supreme Court boards and committees and they have been posted on the UJS website.
The first vacant position is on the Disciplinary Board. Applicants must be a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and should be knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct and Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement.
The second vacancy is on the Minor Court Rules Committee. Applicants should be knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania Rules of Conduct, Office Standards and Civil Procedure for magisterial district judges and courts, and experienced in magisterial district court practice.
The third vacancy is on the Minor Judiciary Education Board. Applicants must be a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and should be knowledgeable about the practice and procedure in the magisterial district courts, as well as the curriculum and coursework that is required of the four-week certifying program for prospective minor court judges.
Applications are due by August 31, 2018.
8 High Swartz Attorneys Named ‘Top Lawyer’ for 2018 by Main Line Today
Norristown, PA, July 31, 2018– High Swartz LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in Norristown and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce that 8 of its attorneys have been named among the “Top Lawyers” for 2018 by Main Line Today magazine.
David J. Brooman – Environmental Law
Arnold Heller – Real Estate Law
William F. Kerr, Jr. – Real Estate Law
Mary R. LaSota – Trusts & Wills
Thomas D. Rees – Labor Law
Joel D. Rosen – Business Law
James B. Shrimp – Labor Law
Richard C. Sokorai – Civil Litigation
The annual list of Top Lawyers in Main Line Today highlights top attorneys in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. The attorneys are nominated via peer balloting and then vetted through Main Line Today’s editorial process.
About High Swartz LLP: High Swartz LLP is a full-service law firm serving clients in the Delaware Valley and throughout Pennsylvania from offices in Norristown and Doylestown. Established in 1914, High Swartz serves the needs of businesses, municipalities, government entities, nonprofits and individuals. With offices in Bucks County and Montgomery County, the full-service law firm provides comprehensive counsel and legal support to individuals and business entities of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industries throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, go to www.highswartz.com.
Curtin & Heefner LLP Announces
Co-Chairs of the Property Damage Insurance Litigation Section
Pictured: Bonnie Stein, Michael Maguire
Curtin & Heefner LLP is pleased to announce that Michael Maguire will be joining Bonnie Stein as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Property Damage Insurance Litigation Section.
Michael Maguire is a seasoned litigator in state and federal courts with an emphasis on representing insurance carriers in Breach of Contract, Bad Faith and insurance fraud cases. With his experience in these fields, Mr. Maguire frequently assists insurers with investigations of suspect claims, legal aspects of fraudulent claims and provides coverage opinions. Mr. Maguire will be joining Bonnie Stein, whose areas of concentration include civil litigation with an emphasis in various aspects of insurance, including coverage and bad faith claims, first party property breach of contract claims as well as civil insurance fraud litigation. The addition of Mr. Maguire to the leadership of the Firm’s Property Damage Insurance Litigation Section will further solidify the Firm’s presence and reputation within the insurance industry for years to come.
Curtin & Heefner has provided over 80 years of value-added service. The Firm’s storied history ranges from the U.S. Congress to local governments, from the area’s emerging businesses to some of the nation’s largest corporations, banks and insurers. The Firm is prominently ranked among the top 100 in size in Pennsylvania, and its attorneys are widely recognized as among the best in the nation, providing creative problem solving, thoughtful counseling, aggressive advocacy, and the highest ethical standards. That rich history and versatility form the foundation from which Curtin & Heefner adds value today … and to which
it is committed into the future.
Michael E. Peters, Esq. to Speak at NBI Seminar
Doylestown, PA – Michael E. Peters, Esq. will serve as a faculty member at a National Business Institute seminar on August 14, 2018 in King of Prussia, PA. The seminar is entitled Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law. Mr. Peters will discuss a variety of zoning and land use topics, including procedural requirements for zoning decisions, land use appeals and other judicial remedies.
Mr. Peters represents commercial and residential clients before zoning hearing boards and municipal governing bodies in land development and zoning matters. He has appeared in courts of common pleas throughout the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Court in land use and municipal law litigation and appeals. Mr. Peters is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and The George Washington University Law School.
Mr. Peters contributes to the firm’s popular municipal and land use and zoning blog, www.pazoninglawyers.com.
To learn more about this seminar, including registration information, please visit www.nbi-sems.com.
The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. began more than 140 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As a full service firm, Eastburn and Gray attorneys practice in diverse areas of the law, effectively meeting the needs of the firm’s clients.
To learn more about our firm, our practice areas and our attorneys, please visit our website: www.eastburngray.com.
The mission of the MCAP is to end and prevent child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County through legal services, advocacy and education.. To learn more about MCAP, visit their website at www.mcapkids.com
Melissa M. Boyd is a partner with High Swartz LLP. She concentrates her practice on family law including, but not limited to, divorce, pre-nuptial and post-divorce agreements, child custody and support, equitable distribution, alimony, adoptions, protection from abuse and juvenile law. She has dedicated much of her professional career to preserving the rights of children and their families.
Ms. Boyd is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Board member of the Pennsylvania Chapter of AAML and member of the family law sections of the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Montgomery Bar Association. She is former Chair of the Family Law Section of the Montgomery Bar Association. Ms. Boyd has been certified as a Family Law Arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
A graduate of Washington College and the University of Baltimore School of Law, Boyd has received the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell, has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 8 years, Best Lawyer in America since 2016 and named among the 10 Leaders of Matrimonial Law in Philadelphia.
High Swartz LLP is a full-service law firm serving clients in the Delaware Valley and throughout Pennsylvania from offices in Norristown and Doylestown. Established in 1914, High Swartz serves the needs of businesses, municipalities, government entities, nonprofits and individuals. With offices in Bucks County and Montgomery County, the full-service law firm provides comprehensive counsel and legal support to individuals and business entities of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industries throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, go to www.highswartz.com.