Legal Ethics

Phila. Judge Accused of Misrepresenting His Qualifications Is Suspended with Pay


A Philadelphia family court judge was suspended from his $165,000-a-year job on Friday, with pay, by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court following accusations that he had misrepresented his qualifications for the bench in 2009 and 2011 by withholding information about lawsuits and potential litigation he faces.

Related legal ethics charges against Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Thomas Nocella by the state Judicial Conduct Board were made public last month, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. A hearing is expected to be held early next year before the Court of Judicial Discipline.

Nocella’s lawyer, Samuel Stretton, tells the newspaper that the judge wasn’t given a chance to tell his side of the story before he was suspended.

“They could have at least issued a rule to show cause,” said Stretton of the state supreme court. “I’m not happy with this.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Ethics Complaint Accuses Philly Judge of Misrepresentations on Candidate Questionnaires”

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