Former Pa. Commonwealth Court President Judge Joseph Doyle dies at 81

By Jon Campisi | Dec 20, 2012

A former veteran of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, the lower-tier bench in the

state judiciary’s appellate system, has died.

Joseph T. Doyle, 81, who resided in Chester County, lost his battle with cancer when he died at his house Dec. 18, according to his obituary.

Doyle, who often went by “Ted,” was a 1958 graduate of Villanova Law School.

Prior to becoming a judge, Doyle served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for a near-10-year period beginning in 1970.

While a member of the legislature, Doyle served as vice chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee on courts, and was a member of the Joint State Government Commission’s Task Force on the office of the elected Attorney General.

(The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office became an elected position in 1980).

Doyle, during his time as a lawmaker, was also a member of the Legislative Data Processing Committee and the House Democratic Caucus Policy Committee.

During his earlier years, Doyle served as president of the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Delaware County Bar Association and served as editor of the Delaware County Legal Journal.

Doyle, who was a native of Delaware County, was elected to the Commonwealth Court in the winter of 1981 and took his seat on the bench the following January.

He was elected President Judge of the court in the fall of 1999.

While serving in that role, Doyle was able to serve on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Judicial Council.

Beginning in 2009, Doyle went on to become an honored member of the law office of Vincent B. Mancini & Associates.

Doyle served as of counsel to the Delaware County firm, which specializes in real estate, commercial, municipal and appellate law.

The firm’s website states that it was proud to welcome Doyle as an honored member, calling the judge “an outstanding attorney for over fifty years at the Bar,” and one who brought with him a “wealth of knowledge, experience and integrity that few can match.”

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mancini, the firm’s namesake partner, was quoted as saying that Doyle had a “great personality, he was very charming and funny. He had all the character traits of a well-rounded human being and a professional. That’s very rare.”

Mancini and Doyle were apparently friends since the late 1970s.

Doyle had won various awards and accolades throughout his legal career, and he was a member of a number of professional organizations and associations, including the American Judicature Society, the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Trial Judges Association and the Brehon Law Society.

In his personal life, Doyle was known as an avid tennis player who also spent a great deal of time vacationing at the Jersey Shore with family.

Doyle is survived by his four daughters, Louise Hyland, Meghan Braun, Kimberly Murphy and Rebecca Bennett and their respective spouses and children.

Doyle’s wife of five decades, Elizabeth Kavanaugh, died back in 2007.

A funeral Mass has been scheduled for Dec. 21 at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in West Chester, Pa.

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