Judge Anne Lazarus Elected President Judge of Pennsylvania Superior Court

News Article

January 02, 2024

By unanimous vote, the judges of the Pennsylvania Superior Court have elected Judge Anne Lazarus to be the new president judge effective January 7, 2024. 

President Judge-Elect Lazarus succeeds President Judge Jack Panella who completes his five-year term on January 6, 2024. Once installed as president judge, each of Pennsylvania’s three appellate courts will be led by women.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust and confidence my colleagues have placed in me as president-judge elect, affording me the opportunity to serve the Court and the citizens of Pennsylvania in this important role,” Judge Lazarus said.

“I am grateful for the commitment and dedication to the Court by current President Judge Jack Panella, who has served in this role for the past five years with distinction. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build upon the firm foundation of access to justice and commitment to the people of Pennsylvania which was a foundation of Judge Panella’s tenure.”

Judge Lazarus was elected to the Superior Court in November 2009 and sworn-in as a member of the Court in January 2010. Notably, she is the first woman from Philadelphia to be elected to any statewide office. 

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Lazarus received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and both her Juris Doctor and LLM from the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Prior to being elected to the Superior Court, Judge Lazarus served as legal counsel to the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court under the Honorable Edmund Pawelec. She was later appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by then Governor Robert Casey. During her time as a trial court judge, Lazarus served in the criminal, civil and orphans’ court divisions.

Throughout her tenure on the bench, Judge Lazarus has been recognized for her community engagement and her commitment to the practice of law, receiving honors and awards including the PBA Legal Services for the Public Committee Judge’s Award in recognition of her pro bono efforts, the Brandeis Law Society’s Benjamin F. Levy Community Service Award, the PLAN of PA Bernard White Community Service Award, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Sandra Day O’Connor Award and the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Anne X. Alpern Award.

Judge Lazarus is a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. Focused on preparing the next generation of legal practitioners, she has served as an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the National Judicial College.

The Superior Court was created in 1895 to assist the state Supreme Court in disposing of a burgeoning number of appeals in the growing Commonwealth. As an intermediate appellate, error correcting court, the Superior Court exercises general jurisdiction, statewide, overall appeals from decisions of the state trial courts except for death penalty appeals (heard by the Supreme Court) and cases brought against the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions such as school districts and municipalities (heard by Commonwealth Court). 

The Court issues Opinions based on factual determinations by the trial court and errors of law. Arguments are typically heard on appeal in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. As one of the busiest appellate courts in the nation, the Court decides up to 8,000 individual appeals involving civil, criminal, domestic relations, and orphans’ court claims annually. 

For more information about the Superior Court, visit


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Media Contact:  Stacey Witalec


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