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Federal Judge Anthony J. Scirica appointed to Penn Law faculty

February 27, 2013

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Anthony J. Scirica has been appointed to the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he will assume the rank of Senior Fellow, effective July 1.

Judge Scirica, a highly respected member of the federal judiciary, was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 
1987 and served as Chief Judge of the Third Circuit from 2003 to 2010. Upon assuming his Penn Law position, he will take senior status and will continue to serve on the Court. He has previously taught complex litigation at the Law School on an adjunct basis.

“Judge Scirica is an enormously accomplished jurist,beloved and held in high regard by all who know him,” said Michael A. Fitts, Dean of the Law School. “He has been a superb teacher at Penn Law and brings with him a remarkable breadth of learning and experience. His appointment strengthens an already very strong faculty presence in procedure, federal courts, and judicial administration. We are privileged to welcome him as a colleague.”

Judge Scirica is expected to offer a first-year course on civil procedure, in addition to other teaching assignments. His appointment reflects the Law School’s ongoing efforts to create closer ties between the worlds of academia and professional practice to better prepare students for the demands of a changing legal marketplace.

In addition to his service on the bench, Judge Scirica served as a member and then as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the principal policy-making body of the federal judiciary. He currently serves as Chair of its Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability and as member of the Committee on International Relations. He has previously served as Chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure,Chair of the Judicial Conference Working Group on Mass Torts, and as member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

In 2010, Judge Sciricia was awarded the 28th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, described by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito as “the Nobel Prize for judging.”

“Judge Scirica’s views are enormously influential,” said Prof. Stephen Burbank, who has co-taught courses with Scirica. “He is an excellent teacher. The wisdom and experience he brings to our students and the entire Penn Law community are tremendous benefits.”

“Judge Scirica has played a central role in key developments that involve the federal judiciary,” commented Prof. Catherine Struve, whose scholarship focuses on civil procedure and the federal courts. “He brings to the classroom enormous knowledge of the subject matter.”

Prof. Tobias Wolff, also a scholar in the field of Procedure, was equally enthusiastic. “Judge Scirica is among a handful of the most distinguished members  of the federal bench anywhere in the country  in the fields of Procedure and Complex Litigation,” he said.

Prior to becoming a Circuit Judge,Scirica served as a District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1984 to 1987 and on the Court of Common Pleas for Montgomery County from 1980 to 1984. From 1971 to 1979, he served as a Republican legislator in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he chaired the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime. He also served as Chair of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission. Judge Scirica practiced  law in Montgomery County,Pennsylvania, where he was born. He also served as Assistant District Attorney.

The position of Senior Fellow permits distinguished members  of the legal profession to teach at the Law School while simultaneously fulfilling their  other professional responsibilities. In addition to his past service as an adjunct  professor at Penn Law, Judge Scirica has taught  at Duke Law School and Dickinson­ Penn State Law School, and is a member of the Board of Visitors of Temple Law School and Duke Law School and is a trustee of Temple University.

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