Jon Campisi Mar. 7, 2014, 7:31am


A jurist one court reform advocate terms a “guru” of judicial ethics has

been tapped to lead the statewide panel that disciplines Pennsylvania judges for ethics violations.

Judge Anne E. Lazarus, who serves on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court, was unanimously elected as the new chair of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, according to Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System.

Lazarus, who has served as board vice chair since 2012, is expected to assume her new role this summer.

“It’s an incredibly vibrant and strong board and I’m thrilled they thought I should be their leader,” Lazarus was quoted as saying in the Legal Intelligencer. “I’m looking forward to working with each and every very dedicated and hardworking member.”

Lynn Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a court reform advocacy organization, said in a statement that Lazarus is widely considered a guru of judicial ethics, “and is extremely knowledgeable about the Judicial Code of Conduct, both the existing one and the recommendations that were made for a new code to go into effect in July.

“This deep knowledge and understanding is a real benefit for being a truly effective board member and chair,” Marks said.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had previously appointed Lazarus to the board last spring for a term expiring in August 2015, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

Half of the members of the Judicial Conduct Board are chosen by the high court while the remainder are appointed by the governor.

The JCB, which consists of three judges, three attorneys and six non-lawyer members, is tasked with investigating complaints of judicial misconduct.

It has the power to file formal charges with the state’s Court of Judicial Discipline.

Lazarus is currently serving out a 10-year term on Superior Court, one of two intermediate state appellate courts.

The former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge was elected to the Superior Court in late 2009, with her term beginning the following January, according to her judicial biography.

Lazarus is a graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.

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