News

  • December 6, 2017 - Harrisburg: The Commission held its Quarterly Meeting.
  • November 17, 2017 - Philadelphia: Executive Director Lisette McCormick presented and moderated a program on the death penalty at the 2017 Justice Forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of PA.
  • November 17, 2017 - Washington, D.C.: Commission member Judge Kim Berkeley Clark received that National Center for State Courts William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence for her work in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Family Division. The award recognized Judge Clark’s national reputation for transforming the way children and families who enter the court system are treated, by creating a “trauma-informed” courthouse.
  • October 31, 2017 - State College, PA: Jury Service Committee members Rick Pierce and Patrick Martin presented a program on jury issues for the PA Association of Court Management, including talking points from the Commission’s report, Best Practices for Jury Selection and Service in PA.

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The Interbranch Commission implements recommendations from the Report of The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial, and Gender Bias in The Justice System. View the Report

Equal Opportunity and
Diversity Committee

The main priority of the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee is increasing diversity in court employment and appointments. The Committee recently produced an extensive diversity manual, Creating a Diverse Workforce in the Pennsylvania Courts: A Manual for Success and distributed it to all of the Commonwealth's judicial districts. The Committee is planning a series of educational sessions for Pennsylvania’s judges and court administrators on employment.  One such educational session took place on July 28, 2011 before the State Conference of Trial Judges.

In connection with its successful effort to have the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopt a system-wide policy on non-discrimination and equal employment opportunity, the Committee is working to amend Pennsylvania's Judicial Conduct Code and Rules of Professional Conduct to prohibit judges and attorneys from engaging in discrimination or harassment in the course of legal proceedings. The Policy and the Committee’s proposed amendments to the Judicial Conduct Code and the Rules of Professional Conduct are set forth at right, under Reports.

In addition, the Committee has completed its study on best practices for court appointment procedures. The Committee's goal is to provide all Pennsylvania judicial districts with uniform model procedures and best practices that provide the broadest opportunities for all interested parties. The Committee’s letter to all judicial districts outlining the essential elements of model procedures is set forth at right, under Reports.

The Committee's priorities are based on the Final Report of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial, and Gender Bias in the Justice System. For detailed information on the study's findings and priorities as they relate to equal opportunity and diversity, please see Chapter Eight of the Report.