CURRENT JUDGES

PRESIDENT 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. She was elected President Judge in 2016, becoming the 8th President Judge.

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 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 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 2010.  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.

 

JUDGE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK

Judge Wojcik was elected to Commonwealth Court on November 3, 2015, and was commissioned and took the oath of office on January 4, 2016. Prior to his election, Judge Wojcik was engaged in the private practice of law for over 26 years with several law firms, including Kirkpatrick & Lockhart; Weinberg & Stein; LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae; and Thorp Reed & Armstrong. He also served as Solicitor to the Allegheny County Controller, as Allegheny County Solicitor, and as Solicitor to the Allegheny County Airport Authority. In the course of his private and public practice, Judge Wojcik gained experience in myriad areas of the law, including municipal law, tax and assessment law, election law, civil rights, and personal injury, to name a few, and managed the second largest municipal law department in the Commonwealth.

Judge Wojcik earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Juniata College, in Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, and a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was a member of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, serving as Symposium Editor for volume 50.

A native of the Borough of Central City, Somerset County, Judge Wojcik earned the rank of Eagle Scout and remains active in the Boy Scouts of America, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Committee Chair of Troop 646, located at St. Bede Church in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He also is Chair of the Lackawanna District of the Laurel Highlands Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Laurel Highlands Council. He has served as a youth basketball coach, as general manager of the East End Boys Lacrosse Club and as Vice President of the parents’ committee of the Oakland Catholic Rowing Club.

Judge Wojcik’s home chambers are in Pittsburgh. He resides in Fox Chapel, Allegheny County, with his wife, Traci L. (Yonko) Wojcik, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist, their daughter and son, and Allegheny County’s most lovable and disloyal golden retriever.

 

JUDGE JULIA K. HEARTHWAY

After graduation from Stephens College and Rutgers University School of Law, Ms. Hearthway served as a clerk to the Honorable Paul Tressler of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas  She served as an assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County and then in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General from 1993 to 2011 as a Deputy Attorney General and  as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Insurance Fraud Section.  From 2011 to 2015 she served as Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry, a department with over 5,000 employees and an annual budget in excess of $1.2 billion.  In 2015, she started her own consulting firm serving as president and CEO.  Ms. Hearthway was appointed to the Commonwealth Court in June 2016 by Governor Wolf to succeed Judge Leadbetter who assumed senior judge status in early 2016.

 

JUDGE JOSEPH M. COSGROVE

Mr.Cosgrove holds three degrees from Notre Dame University, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in theology and a law degree.  After graduation from law school, Mr. Cosgrove went into private practice and later served as a law clerk to Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Peter Paul Olszewski, Sr,, and as a member of a local school board, a solicitor for a county row office, a solicitor for a township zoning board, and president of the Luzerne County Bar Association. He also earned a master's degree from Marywood College. In 2010 he was appointed by Governor Rendell to a vacant position on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.  In 2013 Mr. Cosgrove was appointed Chief Counsel to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and in June 2016 he was appointed to the Commonwealth Court by Governor Wolf to succeed Judge McGinley who retired in early 2016.

 

(Last updated 7/19/17)

 

 

 

 

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