The Pennsylvania Superior Court has a new leader.
Judge John T. Bender was elected this week as president of the 15-member intermediate appellate court, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Bender replaces Correale Stevens as president judge of Superior Court.
Stevens was recently sworn in as the newest state Supreme Court justice, replacing disgraced former Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who resigned her post after being found guilty of public corruption charges.
Orie Melvin, also of western Pennsylvania, had been charged with using her judicial staff at the Superior Court to work on her campaign for the high court.
Superior Court had been without a president judge since Stevens was sworn in to replace Orie Melvin during a ceremony in July.
Bender, a Pittsburgh native, was elected to the Superior Court in 2001. He won a retention vote to that bench in 2011.
He previously served as a magisterial district judge in Allegheny County.
He also worked as an Allegheny County assistant district attorney and as a judicial law clerk in both the Superior and Supreme Courts, a professional biography shows.
Bender also worked as a private practice attorney for 25 years.
He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and Duquesne University School of Law.
Bender is a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations.
Under Pennsylvania’s Rules of Judicial Administration, Bender will serve as acting president judge until Jan. 6, 2014, at which time the Superior Court will officially elect a president judge to serve out a full five-year term, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.