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Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania Re-elects Officers
By Robert A. Graci, Chief Counsel, Judicial Conduct Board
April 11, 2013
At its regularly scheduled meeting on April 1, 2013, the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania re-elected its officers.
The Board unanimously re-elected James E. McErlane, Esquire, as Chair, the Honorable Anne E. Lazarus as Vice-Chair and the Honorable Jayne F. Duncan as Secretary.
Mr. James E. McErlane is a Senior Partner at the firm Lamb McErlane, PC, and specializes in the following areas of practice: Banking and finance, real estate, municipal law and governmental regulations.
Admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania in 1967, as well as in the District of Columbia Bar in 1968, Mr. McErlane continues to be an upstanding member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He is a 1967 graduate of the Villanova University Juris Doctorate, and received his A.B. from Villanova University in 1964.
Attorney McErlane is an active member of the Chester County community. His business organizations have included the Chester County Development Council and the Business and Industry Chamber for Chester County, Chair 1989-1991. Past Boards include: the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Paoli Hospital, Great Valley Health, Community Volunteers in Medicine, Malvern Preparatory School, and Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America. In 1997, he established the James E. McErlane Scholarship for International Studies at West Chester University.
Mr. McErlane has served on the boards of community banks, 1987-2010; including interim President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Chester Valley Bancorp.
The various community service and affiliations that Mr. McErlane remains active include the following: Board of Consultors of the Villanova Law School; Chair of the Chester County Library Trust; Board member on the Chester County Food Bank; and Board Member of the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce named Mr. McErlane its 2011 Citizen of the Year.
Mr. McErlane was born in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and proudly served in the United States Navy, JAGC, from 1967 to 1970.
Judge Anne E. Lazarus was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 12, 1952. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1972. She received both her Juris Doctor (1976) and LLM in Taxation (1986) from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Judge Lazarus served as Legal Counsel to the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court from 1980 to 1991 under the Honorable Edmund S. Pawelec. She also practiced law in the estates department of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP in Philadelphia before being appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by Governor Robert P. Casey. Judge Lazarus was elected to a full term as judge in 1991 and served on the Philadelphia bench until 2010. During her tenure as a trial court judge, Judge Lazarus served in the Criminal, Civil and Orphans’ Court Divisions. She worked diligently to increase pro bono service by the bar and, in 2005, was the first recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Legal Services for the Public Committee’s Judge’s Award in recognition of her pro bono efforts. She was also a long-standing member of the Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, serving as its Chairperson from 2005 through 2009.
Judge Lazarus is a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. She enjoys teaching and has served as an Adjunct Professor at Widener University School of Law, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the National Judicial College. She is also a frequent lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, speaking on such topics as judicial ethics, Orphans’ Court practice and procedure and issues surrounding incapacity. She is active in the Temple American Inn of Court of which she is a past president, and the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society, which she served as Inaugural Chancellor. Judge Lazarus serves on the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program and was instrumental in establishing its “tangled title” assistance program. In addition, Judge Lazarus is the author of several law review articles dealing with the issues of incapacity as well as pro bono public service.
Judge Lazarus has received numerous honors and awards, including the PBA Legal Services for the Public Committee Judge’s Award, the Brandeis Law Society’s Benjamin F. Levy Community Service Award and the PLAN of PA Bernard White Community Service Award.
Judge Lazarus was elected to the Superior Court in November 2009 and was sworn in as a member of the Court in January 2010. Her chambers are in Philadelphia. She is the first woman from Philadelphia to be elected to any statewide office.
Judge Jayne F. Duncan is the Magisterial District Judge for the District Court 02-3-09 in Lancaster County. She served as Chairperson of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the Special Court Judges Association and had been a Committee member for many years. She is also a former member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Criminal Procedural Rules Committee.
Judge Duncan is the former President of Lancaster County District Justice Association. She also served as Vice President of the Lancaster County Bar Association.
Judge Duncan received her J.D. in 1982 from Dickinson School of Law and was a Deputy District Attorney in Dauphin County prior to serving as a Magisterial District Judge. A former instructor for the municipal Police Training Certification class, she has also lectured on the topic of Magisterial District Judge practice for the Lancaster Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Judge Duncan is an adjunct professor at Elizabethtown College, and also teaches Ethics for the Minor Judiciary Education Board "Supplemental Practicum."
Created by constitutional amendment in 1993, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board is an independent state agency responsible for reviewing, investigating, and where warranted, prosecuting complaints of judicial misconduct before the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline. The Board is comprised of twelve Pennsylvania citizens, half appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the other half appointed by the Governor. The Board has three judicial members, three lawyer members, and six non-lawyer lay members. No more than half of the appointed board members may be from the same political party. Appointed board members serve four-year terms without pay and meet regularly to review complaints filed against Pennsylvania judges.
For further information about the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, see the Board’s Website at www.jcbpa.org.