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HARRISBURG (July 29, 2004) – Pennsylvania Bar Association President Michael H. Reed today announced the creation of a special statewide bar association commission whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s justice system and increase public confidence in it.

Composed of key Pennsylvania government, judiciary, legal and community leaders, the 22-member “Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania” will identify, develop and encourage implementation of programs and practices in several Pennsylvania judicial districts to enhance the public’s trust and confidence in the justice system and make the administration of justice more effective and efficient.

“Appointed with the endorsement of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the commission will work with leaders throughout the state to find innovative ways in which our judicial system can better meet the needs and expectations of our citizens and communities,” said Reed. “If the judicial system can work more efficiently and can respond more effectively to the needs of the public, it will be a ‘win-win’ situation for all of us.”

Reed has named Edward W. Madeira Jr., chair emeritus and senior counsel to Philadelphia’s Pepper Hamilton LLP, to serve as the commission’s chair.

“The initial focus of the commission will be in areas such as family and juvenile law, where more of our citizens come into contact with the judicial system than through any other sectors,” explained Madeira.

Madeira said that the commission also would consider making recommendations regarding the expansion of court-supervised drug treatment courts, which have proven successful in several Pennsylvania counties where they have been established.

Members appointed to serve on the commission include:
Judge Cynthia A. Baldwin, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
H. William DeWeese, House Minority Leader, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Judge Kate Ford Elliott, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
JoAnne A. Epps, Professor, Temple University’s Beasley School of Law
Thomas M. Golden, Immediate Past President, Pennsylvania Bar Association
Stewart J. Greenleaf, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate of Pennsylvania
Reverend Brenda J. Gregg, Senior Pastor, Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh
Judge Thomas King Kistler, Centre County Court of Common Pleas
Garry Maddox, President, World Wide Concessions, Inc., Bellmawr, NJ; Chief Executive Officer, A. Pomerantz & Co., Philadelphia
James B. Martin, Lehigh County District Attorney
Pamela Jane Mayer, Attorney, Private Practice, Johnstown
Leslie Anne Miller, General Counsel, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Kenneth A. Murphy, Attorney, Saul Ewing LLP, Philadelphia
Judge Paula F. Ott, Chester County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Jack A. Panella, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Arthur H. Stroyd, Jr., Esq., Immediate Past President, Allegheny County Bar Association
Stephen Andrew Zappala, Jr., Allegheny County District Attorney

Ex-officio members are Michael H. Reed, President, Pennsylvania Bar Association; Gerald J. Pappert, Attorney General Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Mark K. Keller, President, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and Perry County Commissioner; and Judge John M. Younge, President, Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge.

The commission will meet at least quarterly, investigate and compile information about noteworthy programs, practices and proposals, hold public hearings, and present reports and recommendations to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the PBA.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.