Phila. Common Pleas Court judge dies of apparent suicide

By Jon Campisi | Dec 4, 2012

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jurist has apparently taken his own life.

Local media has reported that Judge Adam Beloff, 48, hanged himself late last week.

Frank Keel, a spokesman for Philadelphia’s court system, confirmed the judge’s death, but would not get into specifics.

Keel provided the Pennsylvania Record with the following brief statement:

“The First Judicial District can confirm that Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Adam Beloff died sometime in the past several days. We have no other information at this time, pending official notification.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the Beloff family at this most difficult time.”

An anonymous source told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday that Beloff had apparently hanged himself this past Friday.

That information was echoed to the Inquirer by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party, who said he, too, had heard that Beloff committed suicide by hanging.

The newspaper quoted Philadelphia Common Pleas Court President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe as saying that she had no idea Beloff was troubled or disturbed in any way.

Beloff was an “absolutely lovely person,” Dembe told the Inquirer. “He was hardworking, enjoyed his work, and went out of his way to learn as much as he could as soon as he could.”

According to an online biography, Beloff won election to the Philadelphia bench in 2009.

He had been recommended for election by the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Philadelphia Police Clergy, and was endorsed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Black Clergy and the Muslim League of Voters.

Beloff, a South Philadelphia native, was one of six children born to Stanley and Ruth Beloff.

He had attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, the bio stated.

Before becoming a judge, Beloff spent time as a trial lawyer, certified mediator and arbitrator.

He had been married to Christine (Hope) Beloff, a well-known criminal defense lawyer and family law attorney, although sources close to Beloff told the Inquirer that the couple was separated at the time of Beloff’s death last week.

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