Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania gains new member
Judge Risa Vetri Ferman holds over two decades of legal experience and now uses it to investigate and prosecute judicial misconduct.
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The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania has announced the recent appointment of Judge Risa Vetri Ferman to the Board by Governor Josh Shapiro.
Her term began on Mar. 20, 2023, where she will serve the remaining time of an unexpired four-year term of former Board member Judge Mia R. Perez — who left the Board to serve as a Federal District Court Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — and is eligible to be re-appointed.
Judge Ferman is a trial court judge in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. Elected in 2015 and on the bench in 2016, she currently serves in the Criminal Division.
Previously, she served as an Administrative Judge of the Juvenile Division where she oversaw dependency and delinquency cases, and has served in the Family and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Common Pleas.
Prior to her election to the bench, Judge Ferman was elected twice as the District Attorney of Montgomery County. She was the first woman to serve as President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
Before her position as District Attorney, she spent 15 years as a courtroom prosecutor in the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, where she specialized in homicide, child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence cases.
As an attorney, Judge Ferman co-founded two nonprofit charities in order to protect and support abused children: Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center, and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP).
She is also the author of two children’s books, "The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone" and "The Mouse Who Beat the Jungle Bullies.” Both were written as ways to educate children and their parents about dangers online and how to deal with bullies.
Over her career, Judge Ferman has received numerous awards. These include, but are not limited to, the Children's Champion 2015, the 2015 Martin Luther King Community Service Award for "Back on Track” Youth Mentoring Program, and the 2010 National Children's Advocacy Center Award.
The Judicial Conduct Board is an independent body composed of Pennsylvania citizens; three judges, three attorneys, and six non-lawyer electors.
Created by constitutional amendment in 1993, the Board is responsible for reviewing, investigating and if need be, prosecuting complaints of judicial misconduct. To do so, the Board must have a majority vote to decide that there is probable cause that a judge engaged in misconduct.
The Board may then file a complaint in the Court of Judicial Discipline, where they must prove the charges put forward with clear and convincing evidence. The Court then decides if the Board has sustained its burden of proof and then decides the sanctions imposed on the judge for any proven misconduct.
To prevent political inequalities, no more than half may be members of the same political party. One half of the Board is appointed by the Governor, and the other half by the Supreme Court. Its members serve four-year terms without pay.
More information about the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania can be found on their website: www.jcbpa.org.