PA Supreme Court (one vacancy; the state’s court of last resort, with seven justices for whom a full term is 10 years, with retention thereafter subject to voters; currently 5 D’s and 2 R’s, of whom one reaches mandatory retirement age of 75 during 2021)
A lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, first in her family to attend college, Maria McLaughlin personifies hard work. She grew up in the Overbrook section of West Philadelphia and graduated from Penn State and Delaware Law School-Widener University. During her final year of law school, she clerked for the President Judge of the Superior Court, where she is now a member. For 19 years after law school, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and Chief of the Child Support Enforcement Unit. Of utmost importance to her was safeguarding the rights of children. In 2017, she led the ticket statewide for a seat on the Superior Court. She has dedicated numerous hours to anti-violence, anti-drug, and re-entry programs, youth organizations, and helping women in prisons prepare for success outside the prison system. She has often been an instructor or guest speaker on a variety of topics for bar associations, schools, universities and law schools. Giving back to the community was instilled in her from an early age. She and her husband, Jonathan Saidel, treasure their blended family of six adult children and four grandchildren.
PA Superior Court (one vacancy and 2 judges running for retention): 15 ten-year judge positions; one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts, PA Superior Court reviews most of the civil and criminal cases appealed from Courts of Common Pleas; the 14 current non-senior judges are split evenly between D’s and R’s.
Judge Timika Lane was born and raised in West Philadelphia. After graduating from Howard University, she took on the challenge of teaching social studies to middle school students in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Following a successful teaching career, she decided to pursue a career in law and in 2002 received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers-Camden School of Law. She has represented clients in family law, from support to custody issues, and represented indigent families. She went on to work as a major trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia and then as Chief Legal Counsel for State Senator Anthony H. Williams and as the Democratic Executive Director for the Pennsylvania State Senate State Government Committee, where she challenged Pennsylvania’s restrictive Photo ID law, assessed the constitutionality of proposed and existing legislation, and provided legal advice and guidance regarding the legal implications of legislation, regulations, and administrative policies. In 2013, she decided to pursue a seat on the Court of Common Pleas and despite seemingly insurmountable odds was elected. She handles cases in human trafficking, domestic/family violence, sexual assault, attempted murder, aggravated assault, arson, robbery and burglary. She is a member of many professional and civic boards and committees, and is active in ministries and relief programs.
PA Commonwealth Court (two seats will be open, and 2 judges are running for retention): judges serve a full term of 10 years, with retention thereafter subject to voters; one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts; decides most cases in three-judge panels in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh; current non-senior judges are 7 R’s, 2 D’s, and 1 nonpartisan).
The Honorable Lori A. Dumas is an impactful voice in the City of Philadelphia. As a Common Pleas Court Judge in the Philadelphia Family Court’s Juvenile Division, she has fought for fair and equal justice for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable children and families and presided over thousands of trials. She guided the City of Philadelphia in its creation of the First Judicial District’s Juvenile Human Trafficking Court to provide services to young victims of commercial exploitation. She led many initiatives to lead system children to success. She serves as the local Chair of a national anti-violence program which uses literacy as a therapeutic tool to assist youth traumatized by violence. She has worked tirelessly with a number of boards and organizations, served on several committees of the First Judicial District and taught legal courses at local institutions. A native Philadelphian, she received her BA in Sociology from Duke University and her JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law; she graduated from UPenn’s Fels Institute of Government, holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and is licensed as a Personal Care Home Administrator. She is the mother of two adult children and a middle school student.
Judge David Spurgeon earned his B.A. from Duquesne University in 1993) and J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 1996, when he began his career in private practice. He joined the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant DA in 1998, and in 2009 was promoted to Deputy District Attorney, maintaining a full trial calendar and supervising a large group of attorneys. An advocate of diversionary courts, he helped create Veterans’ Court and supervised the attorneys assigned to Mental Health Court. He was integral in the development of the first specialized accountability docket in Pennsylvania to address repeat batterers and implemented the first Intimate Partner Violence Homicide Review Team to identify systematic breakdowns. Since 2016 he has served in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, handling all matters involving children and families. A nationally recognized expert on domestic violence, he regularly participates in various local, state, and national forums, including recently discussing the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on family violence. He has taught at Point Park University and currently at Duquesne University School of Law. He serves on many boards and committees: for the Allegheny County Bar Association, in support of domestic violence victims and children, and within his family church.
David Spurgeon’s Facebook
Chester County Court of Common Pleas
The Court of Common Pleas of Chester County is a general jurisdiction trial court located in West Chester. There are currently 13 full-time Judges (including 3 D’s and 10 R’s) and 1 Senior Judge, and 2 expected openings. The Judges hear a wide spectrum of cases, including adult and juvenile criminal prosecutions, lawsuits involving money or property, divorce, custody disputes, child support issues, adoptions, and estates.
Alita Rovito believes that a good judge must possess impeccable personal integrity, a love of service, and the experience and compassion to apply the law with fairness and respect. Alita has 33 years legal expertise serving the citizens of Chester County. She is the only candidate for Judge on the Court of Common Pleas with 15 years of judicial experience as a hearing officer in the Family Court Masters Unit. She has served as an educator for other attorneys through continuing legal education, as a Mock Trial coach for high school and college students, as a Moot Court judge for college students, as a leader for the Girl Scouts, as a board member for the Crime Victims Center, and as a volunteer for the Access to Justice Program. Alita is a graduate of Penn State University and Dickinson School of Law. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County and was the first managing attorney of the Chester County’s Child Abuse Unit. She is the founding member of Rovito Law LLC, where she represents men and women in all aspects of family law. She has served as an advocate, mediator, and private arbitrator. Alita’s experience, both personal and professional, makes her uniquely qualified to be a compassionate and fair Judge on the Court of Common Pleas.
Tony has over 30 years of diverse legal experience and a proven track record of public service. Since 2017 at Gawthrop Greenwood in West Chester, he has worked with elected officials at the county and municipal level, appointed boards and commissions, and private clients on a wide range of legal matters including government, ethics, taxation, prevailing wage, education law, real estate development, zoning and land use. In 2006-2017 he was at Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees, and in 2004-2006 was sole proprietor of a law practice representing clients in a variety of matters including legal ethics, professional discipline defense, litigation and wills and estates. In 1993-2004, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, District II, he directed investigations of alleged attorney misconduct. He received his J.D., 1989, from Widener University School of Law after graduating in 1986 from Penn State University. He has made many professional presentations and most recently earned recognition as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer – 2020 (Land Use/Zoning) and as a Main Line Today – 2020 Top Lawyer (Municipal Law).