Philly judge named as replacement for the late Albert Sheppard in Commerce Court

By Jon Campisi | Nov 21, 2011

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has been assigned to take over any outstanding cases in the civil trial division’s Commerce Court Program that were being handled by the late Judge Albert W. Sheppard.

The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, the city’s court system, announced via its website that the Honorable Patricia A. McInerney has been named as Sheppard’s replacement in Commerce Court, which handles business litigation.

McInerney will handle the late Sheppard’s inventory dating back to Sept. 2.

Sheppard, who died Sept. 4 at age 74 after suffering a massive heart attack while at home tending to his garden, was one of the founder’s of the Commerce Case Management Program, which was designed to streamline a backlog of business cases pending at Common Pleas Court.

Sheppard went on to become a team leader of the program in 2000.

“Whether reassigned to other judges or not, all matters pending before Judge Sheppard at the time of his death shall become the sole responsibility of Judge McInerney including any and all motions and petitions as well as any and all decisions pertaining to these matters,” the court’s announcement states. “All new filings shall be assigned to each of the three judges in the program on an equal rotational basis.”

The announcement says that effective immediately, only class actions of a commercial nature will be assigned to the commerce program, and any non-class action commerce cases now pending will be referred to the administrative judge for reassignment.

“Any such class actions which are arguably not commerce class actions may be referred to the administrative judge by either counsel or the judge assigned for a final determination and a decision whether the class action shall remain in the commerce program or be reassigned to another program,” the announcement states.

The announcement is signed by Common Pleas Court Judge John W. Herron, who himself made headlines earlier this week when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that the Philadelphia jurist will be taking over as the civil trial division’s new administrative judge.

Herron was chosen to replace former administrative judge D. Webster Keogh.

In other news, it was announced that Herron selected Common Pleas Court Judge Allan Tereshko as the new supervising judge of the trial division’s civil section.

The news, reported in Friday’s Legal Intelligencer, means that Tereshko will take over for current supervising Judge William J. Manfredi.

“I appreciate the confidence of Judge Herron and I will do my best to make sure his confidence is well-placed,” Tereshko told the newspaper. “I have a good grasp of the overall civil program. I just want to continue the work that has been done and try to make sure that we have adequate judges available to try the cases when assigned.”

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