News Releases

October 4, 2019

Recommendations of the Autonomous Judiciary Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association for the 2019 General Election

The following candidates for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, were rated by the Committee as:

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Virgil B. Walker

These candidates possess superior qualifications to serve with distinction as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Each possesses an exceptional level of integrity, good moral character, industry, legal ability and experience, courtroom experience, and judicial temperament, to be rated as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Each candidate, through these traits and his or her legal experience, commitment to justice, to the community, and to the practice of law, has earned this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating from the Committee.  A candidate may only earn the rating of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if eighty percent (80%) or more of those members of the Committee casting a ballot vote that candidate as “Highly Recommended.”

 

RECOMMENDED

Henry S. Hilles, III
Melissa Schwartz Sterling

These candidates possess the qualifications to serve as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Each possesses the appropriate levels of integrity, good moral character, industry, legal ability and experience, courtroom experience, and judicial temperament, to be rated as RECOMMENDED.  Each candidate has the legal experience, commitment to justice, the community and the practice of law, to be rated as RECOMMENDED by the Committee.

 

NOT RECOMMENDED

Matthew T. Hovey
Gregg Richman
Robert Zigmund

These candidates do not possess the qualifications to serve as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Each of these candidates elected not to participate in the Committee’s judicial ratings process, thereby preventing the public from being informed about the candidates’ qualifications.  The candidates failed to submit a questionnaire for the Committee's review and investigation, or to appear to be interviewed by the Committee.  Notwithstanding this failure to abide by the rules and procedures of the Committee applicable to all judicial candidates, the Committee offered the candidates an additional opportunity to participate by supplying each of them with a copy of the Committee's questionnaire for completion and submission and by noticing dates on which the candidates would appear before the Committee for an interview.  The candidates again refused to participate in the process and neither submitted a questionnaire nor appeared for an interview before the Committee.   On this basis the Committee rated each of these candidates as NOT RECOMMENDED to serve as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  By avoiding examination through the Committee’s judicial ratings process, which informs and educates the public concerning a candidate’s qualifications, each candidate has demonstrated to the Committee a lack of integrity, judicial temperament and industry necessary to serve in the important public office of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and therefore are NOT RECOMMENDED.

 

About the Montgomery Bar Association’s Autonomous Judiciary Committee

In its present form since 1965, the Committee is an autonomous, self-governing, committee within the Montgomery Bar Association charged with the obligation to pass upon the qualifications of every candidate for the office of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and to advise the public accordingly.  The Committee is composed of the Association’s ten most recent Past-Presidents as well as elected rotating panels of 24 of the Association’s members-at-large.  The Committee’s members are lawyers of diverse background, ages, practices and geographic areas of Montgomery County and share nearly 1,000 years of collective legal experience.


About the Montgomery Bar Association

Established in 1885 to professionalize the county’s practice of law, the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) is one of our nation’s oldest and most respected bar associations, representing over 2,100 legal professionals in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Now, as then, the MBA exists to uphold legal and ethical standards in our legal community.  As the third largest Bar in Pennsylvania, the MBA has a longstanding tradition of service to its membership and the community.  For members, the MBA offers an important arena for networking, professional development and education.  For the community, the MBA serves as a trusted legal resource, offering education, legal assistance and funds and resources for individuals and agencies in need.  The Association is actively engaged in public service through community outreach, free educational events offered throughout the year, programs like the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, the Mock Trial Competitions for high-school students, and more.  For more information on the Montgomery Bar Association, visit www.montgomerybar.org.