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Hellos and Goodbyes: 3rd Cir. Judge Retiring and New Additions

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on April 04, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There's going to be some moving and shaking in the Third Circuit, with one judge retiring and two new district court judges recently confirmed. Let's take a look who will be leaving, and who will be joining, the Third Circuit.

Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert Retiring

A native of Pennsylvania, Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert's judicial career began in 1961 as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson nominated Judge Aldisert to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and from 1984 to 1986 he served as Chief Judge. He then assumed senior status and moved to California. In August, at the age of 94, Judge Aldisert will retire from the bench.

Judge Aldisert's legacy will continue through his writings, which are said to be required reading for lawyers and jurists, including Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs & Oral Argument and Opinion Writing. He was also the first judge to be awarded the "Distinguished Appellate Jurist Award" given by the American Bar Association's Council of Appellate Lawyers in 2005.

New District Court Judges Confirmed

Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed two judges for seats on the bench of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Gerald A. McHugh Jr. and Edward Smith. Pennsylvania Senator Casey (D) stated, "I'm pleased that the Senate voted to confirm these two highly qualified nominees to the federal bench," and Pennsylvania Senator Toomey (R) joined in congratulating the pair, according to a press release. The votes were closer than anticipated with a 59-41 vote for Judge McHugh and a 69-31 vote for Judge Smith, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

Judge McHugh has a distinguished career in private practice and has been listed as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in a SuperLawyers survey. He serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

Judge Smith has served on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas since 2002. And as a captain in the U.S. Navy, he has also served, since 1984, in the Judge Advocate General's Corps.

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