Login / Register      


Biographies And Contact Information For Members Of The Bench


Honorable John J. Trucilla 

(President Judge)

140 West 6th Street, Room 218
Erie, PA 16501
814/451-6481 Phone
814/451-7460 Fax


Erie County Court of Common Pleas, 6th Judicial District; Elected November 6, 2001; Seated January 2, 2002;   President Judge (January 2016 to Present) Administrative Judge-Family Division (January 2006 to December 2015); Born October 3, 1960 in Erie, Pennsylvania; Educated at the University of Dayton (B.A. Political Science) 1982; University of Dayton School of Law (J.D.) 1985; Admitted to all Pennsylvania Courts and the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; judicial law clerk  to the Honorable Shad Connelly, January 1986-January 1988; Assistant District Attorney, Erie County, Pennsylvania, January 1988-April 1990; United States Department of Justice, Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, April 1990-January 2001 (Chief of the Erie Division,  1994-2001); Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennett, January 2001-June 2001; Assistant District Attorney, Erie County, Pennsylvania, Juvenile Prosecutor, June 2001-December 2001; Adjunct Professor of Law, Penn State University-The Behrend College, Erie, Pennsylvania (Criminal Law & Procedure, Constitutional Law) 1989-1996 and 2010-Present; Gannon University (Criminal Law & Procedure) January 2002- January 2004, 2014-Present; Instructor, PA State Police Academy, Northwest Training Center, 1997-2001 (Presenter of local, state and federal seminars regarding miscellaneous topics involving criminal law); Member-Citizen Office of Children and Youth Oversight Committee-2006; Member-By-Laws Revision Committee of the PA Conference of State Trial Judges-2006; Member- Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Member-American Judges Association; Member-Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission; Coordinator-Committee for PA’s Roundtable for Children Initiative(2007); Member-Erie County Criminal Justice Coalition; Member-Erie Truancy Task Force, 2007-Present; Chosen as Youth Leadership Institute 2011 Person of the Year; Co-Founder of Erie County’s Parent Coordinator Committee; Selected as 2012 Honorary Chairperson of  Global Youth Service Day for Erie County, April 21, 2012. Founder-“Juveniles on the Run for Success”; Member of “Flipside” initiative to deter youth gun violence, May 2015 – Present; Introduced and implemented “Courthouse Comfort Canines” to Erie County Court of Common Pleas, October 2015 – Present; Implemented Judicial Reinvestment Strategy ($50,000 seed money to Erie Community Foundation), May 2016 - Present; Married to Suzanne M. Uht; six (6) children: John, Luke, Marielle & triplets-Grace, Anne & James.


Honorable Stephanie Domitrovich

 140 West 6 Street, Room 223

Erie, Pa 16501

814/451-6230 phone

814/451-7434 fax

Born Mar. 20, 1954, in Rochester, Pa.,; Carlow University (B.A.), 1976, summa cum laude; Duquesne Univ. School of Law (J.D.), 1979; Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Judicial Studies) in 2006 from the University of Nevada at Reno (U.N.R) and the The Nat’l. Judicial College (N.J.C); M.J.S (Master of Judicial Studies in Trial Judge major) in 1993 from U.N.R and N.J.C; M.J.S.with Juvenile and Family Court Judges major in 1998 from U.N.R and Nat’l Council of Juv. And Fam. Court Judges (N.C.J.F.C.J.); Am., Pa. and Erie Co. Bar Assns.; National Conference, Past Chair; PA Conf. of State Trial Judges, Past President; Am. Judges Assn.; Nat’l. Assn. of Women Judges; Northwest PA, American Inn of Courts, President 1999-2001; Phi Alpha Delta Law Frat.; Chair, Jurisprudence Section of American Academy of Forensic Science.; Chair of Forensic Science Committee of Judicial Div. of American Bar Assn; instructor, Gannon University, pre-law and paralegals; Asst. Co. Solicitor, 1983-89; elected judge, Court of Common Pleas, Nov. 1989, and retained Nov. 1999 and Nov. 2009, now serving in Trial Court Div.; married; children.



Honorable William R. Cunningham

 140 West 6 Street, Room 203

Erie, PA  16501

814/451-6287 phone

814/451-6345 fax


Born in 1956 one of twin sons of Ronald and Marilyn Cunningham.  Graduate of Allegheny College (B.A.) and University of Pittsburgh Law School (J.D.).  Admitted to all PA and federal courts.  Private practice, 1981 to 1987.  Served as District Attorney of Erie County from 1988 - 1995; Member of the Court of Common Pleas since January 1996.  Served as President Judge 2000 to 2005. Implemented and presides over a state-certified Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Family Dependency Court.  Past President of Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals.  Member of Statewide Veteran’s Court Advisory Committee.  Member of statewide study group for the efficacy of mandatory sentences in Pennsylvania.  Executive Committee and Instructor, Pennsylvania District Attorney Association. Member of the Erie County Bar Association since 1981. Adjunct instructor, Constitutional Law, Mercyhurst College.  Instructor, Pennsylvania Constable Training Commission.   Past President of American Inn of Court. 

Honorable Elizabeth K. Kelly

140 West 6 Street, Room 229
Erie, Pa 16501
814/451-6363 phone
814/451-6464 fax

Born Sep. 2, 1958, in Erie, PA, daughter of the late Joan and William Kelly; graduate of Georgetown Univ. (B.A., Cum Laude), 1980 and Univ. of Akron School of Law (J.D.), 1983 - Editorial Board, Akron Law Review, Chmn. Student Honor Code, Vice President/Student Bar Association. Admitted to all Courts of the Cmwlth. of PA and State of OH, US District Courts for Western Dist. Of PA, US Dist. Court for Northern Dist. of OH, PA Bar Assn. (Family Law Comm.), Erie Co. Bar Assn. (Past Chmn Family Law Comm.), Northwestern PA American Inns of Court; Asst. City Prosecutor, Akron, OH 1983-84; Partner - Elderkin, Martin, Kelly & Messina, P.C., 1984-1999; PA State University, Instructor (Family Law), 1990-98; member of the Court of Common Pleas since January, 2000. Judicial Ethics Committee 2001-2003. Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission 2003 – 2013.

Honorable John Garhart

140 West 6 Street, Room 215 
Erie, Pa 16501
814/451-6297 phone
814/451-7480 fax

Born September 30, 1946, in Sharon, Pa; the son of Florence Garhart. Youngstown University, Youngstown, Ohio (B.A.); Rutgers School of Law (J.D.). Served in the United States Army Reserves 1969-1974. Admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in October 1974. Also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Tax Court. Assistant District Attorney, Mercer County, Pennsylvania 1975-1976. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania 1976-1982; Private Practice of Law 1982-2003; Assistant District Attorney, Erie County, Pennsylvania 2003-2005. Included in Best Lawyers in America 1995-2005; Elected Judge of Erie County Court of Common Pleas in November 2005.


Honorable Daniel J. Brabender, Jr.

140 West 6 Street, Room 221
Erie, Pa 16501
814/451-6294 phone
814/451-7474 fax

Born August 27, 1952, in Erie, PA, the son of Daniel J. Brabender, Sr. and Jane L. Austin Brabender, both deceased; Graduate of St. George Grade School (1966), Cathedral Preparatory  High School (1970), University of Dayton (B.A., 1974) and University of Dayton School of Law (J.D., 1978); Former partner, Carney, Good, Brabender & Walsh (1978-2009); Admitted to all courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of Ohio, United States District Courts for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Northern District of Ohio, and the Third Circuit for the United States Court of Appeals; Member of the Erie County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations; Member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and Chi Sigma Alpha Fraternity at the University of Dayton, past member of the University of Dayton School of Law Alumni Board of Trustees; past member of the Villa Maria Elementary Advisory Board; past member of the Erie Area Sports Commission; Past president of the Serra Club of Erie; Past president of the Cathedral Prep Alumni Association; Past member and chairman of the Cathedral Prep Advisory Board; Inductee to Cathedral Prep President’s Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame;  Roman Catholic,  St. George Parish; Elected Judge of the Erie County Court of Common Pleas (November 3, 2009); Two Children: Alexis Jane Brabender (born October 19, 2000) and Rachel Mary Brabender (born March 31, 2002).


Honorable John J. Mead

140 West 6th Street, Room 212
Erie, PA 16501
814/451-6315 Phone
814/451-7626 Fax

Born June 17, 1958 in Erie, PA, the son of the late Edward and Allene Mead. Graduate of Fairview High School (1976), Princeton University (B.A. 1980) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D. 1983). Served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania 1983 - 1989. Private practice of law from 1989 until 2015, including the law firms of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue; MacDonald Illig Jones and Britton; and Scarpitti and Mead. Assistant Erie City Solicitor 2006 - 2015. Elected Judge of Erie County Court of Common Pleas in November 2015. Married to Blair Mead; two children, James and Adala.


Honorable Joseph M. Walsh, III

140 West 6th Street, Room 226
Erie, PA 16501
814/451-6269 Phone
814/451-7421 Fax

Born April 2, 1958, in Pittsburgh, PA, son of the late Joseph M. Walsh, Jr. and Patricia F. Walsh. Graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), 1982, and the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School (J.D.), 1986. Served in the United States Navy, 1976-1980 (Submarine Duty). Served as Mental Health Review Officer (1991-2016). Former Partner Shapira, Hutzelman, Berlin, Ely, Smith & Walsh (1986-2016). Member Northwestern PA Inns of Court; Former Assistant City Solicitor. Member of the Erie County Bar Association. Founding member of Collaborative Professionals of Northwest PA. Elected Judge, Court of
Common Pleas, Nov. 2015. Married to Nancy A. Walsh; son, Shawn, Daughter, Carly, bonus daughters, Mary Grace and Allison Fitzmaurice and bonus son, Jonathan R. Fitzmaurice.

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
Contact Us - Department Listing