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
March 2, 2017 - Pittsburgh: Criminal Justice Committee Chair Khadija Diggs, Esq., was honored at the 12th Annual Women of Achievement Awards, sponsored by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
February 21, 2017 - Pittsburgh: Executive Director Lisette “Mimi” McCormick presented on proposed amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct that would bar harassment and discrimination by attorneys at the Women’s Bar Association of Western PA’s CLE session, “Discrimination as an Ethics Violation.”
February 18, 2017 - Philadelphia: Executive Director Lisette “Mimi” McCormick served as the moderator of the training session on “The Special Challenges of Running for Judicial Office” during the annual day-long “Ready to Run” training conference sponsored by the Institute for Women and Politics at Chatham University. Learn more about this program.
February 4, 2017 - Pittsburgh: Executive Director Lisette “Mimi” McCormick served as the moderator of the training session on “The Special Challenges of Running for Judicial Office” during the annual day-long “Ready to Run” training conference sponsored by the Institute for Women and Politics at Chatham University.
January 1, 2017 - Philadelphia: The First Judicial District has formed a committee to develop initiatives to increase juror turnout and engagement. Jury Committee Chair Lynn Marks is heading this new committee, and Executive Director Lisette “Mimi” McCormick is serving on the committee.
November 18, 2016 - Pittsburgh: Criminal Justice Committee Chair Khadija Diggs, Esq., spoke on a Sister2Sister Panel hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association with Commission member Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark.
November 15, 2016 - Pittsburgh: The Commission’s Committee on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Victims held an Anti-Human Trafficking Stakeholders’ Meeting, which included victim advocates, federal law enforcement, attorneys, and direct service providers. The group is working to create a model response to assist victims of human trafficking, which can be used statewide.
October 20, 2016 - Harrisburg: The Commission and Executive Director Lisette McCormick presented its program “Pathway to a More Inclusive Bench” during the PBA Diversity Summit. This presentation was moderated by Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee member Judge Stephanie Domitrovich (Erie Court of Common Pleas), and featured Judge Cheryl Austin (Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas) and Commission member Judge Doris Smith-Ribner (ret., Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court). Members of the panel relied upon the substance of “Creating a Diverse Bench in Pennsylvania.” That report is available here.
October 14, 2016 - Philadelphia: Executive Director Lisette McCormick spoke on Judicial Diversity in Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The presentation was part of a program sponsored by the American Constitution Society and Penn Law, in association with the publication of the Society’s new report, The Gavel Gap: Who Sits in Judgement on State Courts? Read the full report here.
October 12, 2016: The GLBT Rights Committee was joined by Anthony Kreis, one of the authors of a new report from Lambda Legal entitled Justice Out of Balance: An Empirical Examination of Support for LGBT Rights Claims in State High Courts, to discuss some issues that GLBT Americans face in bringing cases in various state courts. Read the full Lambda Legal report here.
October 6, 2016 - Pittsburgh: Executive Director Lisette McCormick spoke at a special program in tribute to Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Judge Eunice Ross. Sponsored by the Women in the Law Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association, the event was entitled “Trailblazers in Allegheny County: Honoring Judge Eunice Ross, How Far Have We Come?” Ms. McCormick discussed the UJS Policy on Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity and the proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct that would specifically prohibit discrimination and harassment.
October 2016: The Commission continues to work with the Pennsylvania Bar Association to help educate and train lawyers and judges on juvenile record expungement. The PBA has produced an excellent CLE video on this topic, available here.
October 2016: The Commission is pleased to announce the publication of its latest report: Best Practices for Jury Selection and Service in Pennsylvania. This new report includes many updates to the Commission’s 2007 report, Suggested Standardized Procedures for Jury Selection in Pennsylvania, and adds four new, highly topical sections: (1) Jury Childcare; (2) Juror Stress; (3) Jury Service Scams; and (4) Social Media and Jury Instructions. Download the report here.
September 28, 2016 - Carlisle, PA: Executive Director Lisette McCormick spoke at Dickinson Law School on the topic of Combatting Implicit Bias in the Law.
September 28, 2016 - State College, PA: Executive Director Lisette McCormick and Staff Attorney Margaret Ogden attended a conference entitled “2016 Human Trafficking Symposium: Addressing Victims of Sex Trafficking in Pennsylvania.” Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the symposium focused on child and adult sex trafficking, and how federal, state, and local authorities and non-profit organizations in Pennsylvania are collaborating to address this issue in their communities.
September 2016: The Pennsylvania Legislature passed a new law allowing individuals to petition the court of an order of limited access to information about some nonviolent second- and third-degree misdemeanors, including ungraded offenses, provided the individuals have completed all punishment from previous convictions and have had no arrests or prosecutions for at least ten years.
September 2016: Governor Tom Wolf appointed Samuel Yun to the Interbranch Commission. He will serve on the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee.
September 8, 2016: A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg.
August 15, 2016: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved an update to the UJS Policy on Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity, adding “gender identity or expression” as a protected class. Read the updated policy here
April 21, 2016 - Executive Director Lisette McCormick attended the “Stakeholder Forum” at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and Measures for Justice (MFJ), the forum was a meeting for stakeholders to review MFJ’s new web-based data visualization tool and provide feedback to MFJ on it. MFJ focuses on collecting data at the individual county level all across the country, conducting sophisticated analysis of that data, and then sharing that analysis on a high tech, interactive website. Their goal is to spur necessary reforms in the criminal justice system through developing best practices supported by data in areas such as pre-trial detention, setting of bail, use of alternatives to incarceration, and other sentencing issues. To learn more, visit Measures for Justice.
April 7, 2016 - Governor Tom Wolf signed two Executive Orders to establish policy, procedures and responsibilities for the prohibition of discrimination against individuals, on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and affirming equal employment opportunity for these individuals in the Commonwealth. Learn more and read the Executive Orders here.
March 15, 2016 - Pittsburgh - The Interbranch Commission, along with the ACBA Diversity Collaborate and The University of Pittsburgh School of Law Diversity Committee hosted a program on “The Intersectionality of Race, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Gender in the Legal Profession.” The program was held at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and consisted of a facilitated dialogue among law students and lawyers on issues facing women of color and individuals from other marginalized groups in the legal profession. The introductory remarks were given by Alysia M. Keating, Esq., Director of Diversity and Gender Equality for the ACBA. Featured facilitators included: Interbranch Commission Executive Director Lisette M. McCormick, Professor Deborah L. Brake, Nicola Henry Taylor, Esq., and Professor Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose. The program was well attended and was a great success.
March 10, 2016 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
Spring 2016 - The Spring 2016 “Houston’s Legacy” Newsletter of the PBA Minority Bar Committee features an article by Jury Service Committee member Judge Stephanie Domitrovich, Ph.D. The article addresses the issue of “ensuring diversity on our jury panels” and is entitled “Foster v. Chapman: Will Foster Help Trial Courts More Effectively Implement Batson?” The article can be found here.
July 16, 2015 - Commission member John Wetzel (Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections) was appointed to the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Science Advisory Board. The Science Advisory Board plays the important role of providing valuable advice to the Department of Justice in the areas of science and statistics for the purpose of enhancing the overall impact and performance of programs and activities in criminal and juvenile justice. Read the full news release.
July 2015 - Interpreter Services Committee members Pearl Kim and Lisa Herbert have joined the Language Access Advisory Group of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC).
June 23, 2015 - Khadija Diggs of Pittsburgh was appointed to the Commission by Governor Tom Wolf for a two year term expiring January 1, 2017. Ms. Diggs is the Deputy Director of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Southwest Regional Office. She was previously a member of the Commission, having been appointed by Rep. Frank Dermody.
June 3, 2015 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
May 28, 2015 - Executive Director Lisette McCormick will participate in a panel discussion on how African American men and boys are portrayed by the media and how they are treated in the criminal justice system. Chris Moore will host the event, which will be a live, 30-minute discussion that will begin at 8 p.m. on WQED. More
May 15, 2015 - The Commission is honored to welcome Homer Floyd to the Commission. Mr. Floyd was appointed to a two-year term by Senator Jay Costa on May 15, 2015. In 2011, Mr. Floyd retired after 41 years as head of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and has had a long and distinguished career in civil rights.
May 6, 2015 - Pittsburgh - The ACBA Diversity Collaborative and the Interbranch Commission hosted a unique program on the special challenges facing women of color in the legal profession. Using research and materials produced by the ABA’s Women of Color Research Initiative, the program focused on the experiences of women attorneys of color in law firms and corporate law departments, addressing four critical aspects of their careers: recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion. The keynote speech was delivered by Attorney Charisse R. Lillie, former Chair of the Litigation Department of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP in Philadelphia, and current Vice President of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. Ms. Lillie also moderated a panel comprised of four prominent women attorneys who shared their experiences in practicing law in the southwestern Pennsylvania region and nationally. The program was attended by over 100 people and was a great success.
March 25, 2015 - We are now on Twitter! Follow us at @PaComFairness3
March 24, 2015 - Enola, PA - Executive Director Lisette McCormick attended the Pennsylvania Alliance Against Trafficking in Human – Route 15 Project (“PAATH 15”) meeting in Enola, PA. The YWCA Greater Harrisburg, along with three partnering rape crisis centers and 4 regional task forces, have formed PAATH 15 - a human trafficking response team that will provide victim services and community education through 12 counties along the Route 15 corridor in Pennsylvania. More information | PAATH on Facebook
March 12, 2015 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
March 10, 2015 - The Commission welcomes Senator Judith Schwank of Reading, PA to the Commission. Senator Schwank was appointed to a two-year term by Senator Jay Costa on March 10, 2015. Read more
January 31, 2015 - Ready to Run Pittsburgh - This day-long program was held at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus, Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Ready to Run provides bi-partisan political training to encourage women to run for government leadership positions. The day-long program, co-sponsored by the Interbranch Commission, targets women considering or recently deciding to run for political office, providing training and mentoring by campaign professionals, political women, and officeholders.
January 25, 2015 - The Interbranch Commission was deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Burrell A. Brown, Esq. on January 25, 2015. Burrell was appointed by Governor Rendell to serve as member and past Chair of the Interbranch Commission. He was a true champion of civil rights in Pennsylvania and we will miss him greatly.
January 12, 2015 - Harrisburg - Governor Tom Wolf announced that Interbranch Commission member Secretary John Wetzel will stay on as secretary of the Department of Corrections. Read more
January 10, 2015 - Harrisburg - Governor Tom Wolf announced that former Interbranch Commission Chair and former Secretary of State Pedro Cortes will return to the position of Secretary of State. Cortes served under Gov. Ed Rendell between 2003 and 2010. Read more
December 31, 2014 - Jeanette H. Ho Esq. of Pittsburgh was appointed to the Interbranch Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a two year term expiring December 31, 2016. Read more
December 4, 2014 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
October 24 and November 21, 2014 - Psychological Effects of Trauma and Counseling Considerations for Victims of Human Trafficking (October 24- Pittsburgh, PA DoubleTree Hotel and November 21- Camp Hill, PA Giant Community Center).
Presented by Dr. Erika Evans, this workshop discussed the psychological effects and human trafficking and what steps to consider when counseling victims of human trafficking. Audience: Law enforcement, prosecutors, judiciary, children & youth case workers, probation & parole, legal advocates, direct service advocates, outreach advocates. More information.
September 11, 2014 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
June 12, 2014 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
April 30, 2014 - Pittsburgh - "The Pathway to a More Inclusive Bench." The program was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness, ACBA Diversity Collaborative Committee, in conjunction with the Women in Law Division, the Homer S. Brown Division, and Young Lawyers Division, and the diverse affinity committees. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd gave keynote address at the program and Lisette "Mimi" McCormick, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness, gave a short presentation about the Commission's recently published guidebook entitled Creating a Diverse Bench in Pennsylvania, written for women and diverse attorneys contemplating a judicial career and for those in a position to support and encourage diversity on the bench. In addition, four judges, including the Honorable Cathy Bissoon, the Honorable Carlota Böhm, Magistrate Judge Hugh McGough and Judge Joseph Williams, were honored at the event as "Legal Champions" for their work in paving the way to a more inclusive bench through their advocacy on behalf of and mentoring of historically underrepresented attorneys. Former Allegheny County Judge Sara Soffel, the first woman trial judge in Pennsylvania, was recognized posthumously for her remarkable record and her pioneering role in seeking a position on the county judiciary at a time when few women even contemplated it.
April 24, 2014 - Philadelphia - “Harnessing the Competitive Advantage of Greater Diversity and Inclusion by Achieving Pay Equity.” The Fearless Women Network presented this program addressing the pay equity challenge that the legal profession must meet. Bias and unequal pay are long-standing and pervasive concerns. Speakers included Roberta D. Liebenberg, Esq., Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. More information.
March 19, 2014 - "Conquering the Campaign Trail: Women of Color in Pennsylvania Politics." The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics hosted this "Ready to Run" session at Chatham University which was aimed at increasing the participation of women of color in politics. Panelists included women who have turned their community engagement into a political campaign.
March 6, 2014 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA.
February 27, 2014 - Lucille Marsh, Esq. and Clark and Rhonda Hill Wilson, Esq. were reappointed as members to the Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for terms expiring December 31, 2015. Read the article
January 25, 2014 - Ready to Run Pittsburgh. The day-long program was held at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus, Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Ready to Run provides bi-partisan political training to encourage women to run for government leadership positions. The day-long program, co-sponsored by the Interbranch Commission, targets women considering or recently deciding to run for political office, providing training and mentoring by campaign professionals, political women, and officeholders.
January 16, 2014 - Former Commission Member Judge Doris Smith-Ribner (retired) was appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. This Commission is charged with strengthening the nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans to ensure that all African Americans receive an education that prepares them for college, productive careers, and satisfying lives. This mission is part of the Administration’s broader mandate to restore the country to its role as the global leader in education. These members will advise the President and the Secretary of Education on ways to advance federal programs that improve educational opportunities for African Americans, increase participation of the African American community in federal agency programs, and engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on the mission.
January 2014 - The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee has published its most recent guidebook entitled “Creating a Diverse Bench in Pennsylvania.” The purpose of the guidebook is to present in one location a comprehensive guide for those interested in becoming a judge in Pennsylvania and those in a position to promote a more diverse judiciary.
December 5, 2013 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
November 13, 2013 - The Interbranch Commission was honored at the YWCA’s 22nd Annual Racial Justice Awards in Pittsburgh, PA. The Interbranch Commission was selected as a recipient of the YWCA’s 2013 Racial Justice Award in the category of Government. Read more.
The Fall 2013 “Voices and Views” Newsletter from the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession features an article by Executive Director Lisette McCormick. The article, entitled “Supreme Court and Interbranch Commission Celebrate a Decade of Fairness,” provides details of the Interbranch Commission’s history and special ten year celebration in conjunction with Duquesne University School of Law. The program took place on Wednesday June 5, 2013 at the Power Center at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
September 20, 2013 - The Interbranch Commission was selected as a recipient of the YWCA’s 2013 Racial Justice Award in the category of Government.
September 12, 2013 - A meeting of the full Commission was held via teleconference on Thursday, September 12, 2013.
June 6, 2013 - A meeting of the full Commission was held in Pittsburgh on Thursday, June 6, 2013.
June 5, 2013 - Ten Year Anniversary Event - A Decade of Fairness. March 3, 2013 marked the ten-year anniversary of the publication of the Final Report of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System. The 550 page Final Report of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, covering 14 topics, was four years in the making, and forms the basis of the mission of the current Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. The Interbranch Commission has been working for the past eight years to implement many of the Report’s recommendations to address inequities in Pennsylvania’s justice system. In honor of this occasion, the Commission held a special celebration in conjunction with Duquesne University School of Law. The program took place on Wednesday June 5, 2013 at the Power Center at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, served as keynote speaker. The Honorable Ronald D. Castille, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, offered remarks in tribute to the late Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy for his commitment to equal justice and for establishing the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness. The members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System were honored as well. The Honorable Debra M. Todd, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, also offered remarks. Read the release.
June 5, 2013 - Keith B. Joseph, Esq. and Kay Marcus Davis, Esq. were appointed as members to the Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for terms expiring December 31, 2014.
May 17, 2013 - The Honorable Deborah E. Curcillo, a Common Pleas Court judge from Dauphin County, was appointed as a member of the Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a term expiring December 31, 2014. More information.
May 10, 2013 - Daniel E. Fitzsimmons, Esq., chief trial deputy for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, was appointed as a member of the Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a term expiring December 31, 2014. More information.
May 10, 2013 - The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark and Roberta D. Liebenberg, Esq. were reappointed as members to the Commission by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for terms expiring December 31, 2014.
February 28, 2013
A meeting of the full Commission was held in Harrisburg on Thursday, February 28, 2013.
January 12, 2013
Ready to Run Pittsburgh. Ready to Run provides bi-partisan political training to encourage women to run for government leadership positions. The day-long program targets women considering or recently deciding to run for political office, providing training and mentoring by campaign professionals, political women, and officeholders. This year, the Commission co-hosted a panel presentation -- “The Special Challenge of Running for Judicial Office” aimed at women seeking information on running for judicial office. The day-long program was held at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus, Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, January 12, 2013 from 8 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. Read more>
January 11, 2013
Executive Director Lisette M. McCormick spoke before the Maryland Judiciary Committee on Fairness Initiatives regarding Pennsylvania’s experience in establishing its Interbranch Commission.
December 4, 2012
Incoming Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor (and Commission member) Kathleen Wilkinson delivered her inaugural address at this year's Annual Meeting Luncheon of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Ms. Wilkinson is the Philadelphia Bar Association's 86th Chancellor. The program included a presentation of the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award to Chief Justice Castille. More information. Read more >
November 30, 2012
Halting Human Trafficking in Pittsburgh. This article, by Executive Director Lisette M. McCormick, was published in the ACBA Lawyers Journal.
November 15, 2012
Governor Tom Corbett appointed the following new members of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness: Ms. Elizabeth Preate, Esq. and Hon. John E. Wetzel. The Commission welcomes its two new members.
November 3, 2012
Gender and the Legal Profession: Is the Glass Ceiling Really Half-Cracked? Executive Director Lisette M. McCormick co-conducted a CLE course at Duquesne University School of Law. The course explored why gender equity and diversity is important to every practitioner, the value of diversity to the practice of law, both pecuniary and ideologically, and examined the barriers facing women today: Why aren't there more female decision makers? Why does the wage gap persist? The course also examined the best practices for overcoming these barriers and overcoming implicit bias. The special issues affecting women of color was explored as well. More information.
October 26, 2012
The Minority Bar Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association held its 7th Annual Diversity Summit -- “Diversity & Inclusion: Making it Work” -- in Pittsburgh. Commission members Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and Khadija T. Diggs, Deputy Public Defender, Allegheny County served as panelists.
October 20, 2012
Executive Director Lisette M. McCormick gave a presentation on human trafficking at the United Methodist Women’s Foundation in Pittsburgh.
September 28, 2012
The Southwestern PA Reentry Conference -- “Life without Bars: Removing Invisible Barriers to Reentry” -- was held at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Criminal Justice Committee member Judge Doris Smith-Ribner was an organizer of the event. Commission member Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, served as a panelist. Criminal Justice Committee member Professor Jeffrey Shook served as a moderator. More information.
September 24, 2012
Commission member Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, has been named the winner of the 2012 Athena Awards. More information.
September 17, 2012
Judy Hale Reed was one of nine Duquesne law students selected to participate in the school’s public service law fellowship program for the summer of 2012. She spent her fellowship summer as an intern at the Commission where she worked on increasing the racial diversity among judges in Pennsylvania as well as issues of child safety and immigration concerns in domestic violence cases. Read a Tribune-Review article about Judy and her fellowship with the Commission.
September 17, 2012
The Commission is saddened to learn of the death of our dear colleague, Lazar Kleit. Lazar was a wonderful friend, colleague and a true champion of human rights in Pennsylvania and all over the world. It was our great fortune that he was appointed to our Commission, on which he served with distinction and grace until he was too ill to continue. We will miss him greatly.
September 13, 2012
The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission’s third quarterly meeting of the year took place on September 13, 2012 in Harrisburg.
August 27, 2012
Women Remain Under-Represented in Judicial Ranks - Commission Co-Chair, Lynn Marks is featured in this article from the Post-Gazette.
June 14 , 2012
The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission’s second quarterly meeting of the year took place on June 14, 2012 in Harrisburg.
May 14, 2012
Commission Co-Chair Roberta D. Liebenberg was selected as a Leader-in-Residence for The Center for Women in Law. The Leaders-in-Residence Program seeks to integrate women of national and local prominence into the Center for Women in Law and to expand the Center’s reach and prominence in the legal community. In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Leaders-in-Residence will develop and implement one or more new programs for the Center, serve as representatives of the Center at national events and conferences, and strengthen relationships between national leaders and the Center. Read more.
March 15, 2012
The Commission welcomes Bernardo Carbajal, Esq. to the Commission. Mr. Carbajal was appointed to a two-year term by Senator Jay Costa on March 15, 2012.
March 15-16, 2012
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee’s Twenty-Fourth Annual Minority Attorney Conference was held in Pittsburgh at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The theme for this year’s conference was Optimizing Opportunities in Tough Times. Commission members Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and Khadija T. Diggs Esq., Deputy Public Defender in the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender, were panelists on the topic of “Adjudications, Convictions, Pleas & Their Consequences.
March 8, 2012
The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission’s first quarterly meeting of the year took place on March 8, 2012 in Pittsburgh.
The Commission welcomes Associate Professor Jeffrey Shook of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work as a new member of the Criminal Justice Committee.
As a means of implementing recommendations from Chapters 2 and 3 of the Final Report of the Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, the Jury Service Committee has initiated a pilot program to help judicial districts track the race, ethnicity, gender and age of jurors. The goal of the project is to increase diversity and public participation on juries throughout the Commonwealth. Download PDF
December 6, 2011
Commission member Robert L. Listenbee, Esq., Chief of the Juvenile Unit at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, was honored by the MacArthur Foundation with the presentation of its Champion for Change award. Now in its 6th year, the Foundation’s Models for Change is accelerating movement toward a more effective, fair and developmentally sound juvenile justice system by creating successful and replicable models that improve outcomes for youth, use resources wisely, and protect community safety. Read more>
October 1, 2011
Commission member Robert L. Listenbee, Esq., Chief of the Juvenile Unit at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, was selected by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to be a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ). He will serve a term of two years beginning October 1, 2011. Read more>
December 14, 2011
Following testimony from the Interbranch Commission, the Pennsylvania Senate adopted Senator Greenleaf’s Senate Resolution 6 establishing a bipartisan task force and an advisory committee to conduct a study of capital punishment in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The resolution directs the new task force to coordinate with the Interbranch Commission and the Justice Center for Research at Penn State on the new study. In collaboration with the Interbranch Commission, the Justice Center is currently conducting a study of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in Pennsylvania’s capital justice system.
The Joint State Government Commission (“JSGC”) completed its Report of the Task Force and Advisory Committee on Services to Indigent Criminal Defendants, entitled “A Constitutional Default: Services to Indigent Criminal Defendants in Pennsylvania.” Executive Director Lisette McCormick was a member of the Task Force and Advisory Committee and played an active role in drafting the report. The report is available here. Through its Criminal Justice Committee, the Interbranch Commission will be actively involved in the work of the newly formed Pennsylvania Coalition for Justice - a coalition of stakeholders and organizations working toward implementation of the reforms recommended by the report.
October 17, 2011
The Commission hosted a free training program in Pittsburgh for Southwest PA addressing "Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking of Children: A Victim Centered Approach" with presenters Sergeant Byron A. Fassett and Detective Catherine De La Paz of the Dallas Police Department Child Exploitation Squad.
September 15, 2011
The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission's third quarterly meeting took place on September 15, 2011 in Philadelphia. The morning session took the form of a public meeting at which the Commission presented its most recent annual report.
April 27-30, 2011
Executive Director McCormick and Commission Member Burrell Brown represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts in New Orleans. Director McCormick, a member of the Consortium's Board of Directors, presented the delegates with a status report for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
January 13, 2011
Outgoing Governor Ed Rendell reappointed the following members to new terms on the Commission: Burrell Brown, Pedro Cortes, Lazar Kleit, Lynn Marks, Bernadette Smith, Helen Casale, Kathleen Wilkinson and Samuel Yun. The Speaker of the PA House of Representatives also reappointed Nora Winkelman to an additional term on the Commission.