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ACBA President issues statement in response to Judge that allegedly used racially derogatory words

The Allegheny County Bar Association is demanding that a state board investigate an alleged racially charged conversation.
 
 
Statement from ACBA President Lori McMaster 

Lori McMaster, president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, issued the following statement in response to recent reports that Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli allegedly used racially derogatory words to describe a Black juror. “In remaining steadfast to the Allegheny County Bar Association’s mission and values, we have a duty to our members, our clients, and the African - American and broader communities at large, to continue to take action to eliminate implicit and explicit racial bias in our legal system. As such, the ACBA is demanding a complete investigation by the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania of Judge Tranquilli’s alleged communications to ensure that this matter receives prompt attention and a just resolution.” 

 
 
 
 
Statement from ACBA Homer S. Brown Division

The Homer S. Brown Division (HSBD) of the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) recently celebrated the appointment of Allegheny County's first African American President Judge as a belated, but important, step forward for our region. Unfortunately, just one year later, we are confronted with an example of the systemic racism that both attorneys and litigants of color face all too often in our local courts. We are disheartened to learn of allegations that Judge Mark Tranquilli made racially derogatory remarks at the conclusion of a case over which he was presiding. In remaining steadfast to the mission of HSBD, we have a duty to our members, our clients and the African American community at large to continue to take action to eliminate implicit and explicit racial bias in our legal system. As such, HSBD demands that the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania initiate a thorough and timely investigation of Judge Tranquilli’s alleged communications, with appropriate referral to the Court of Judicial Discipline for the imposition of all appropriate sanctions. HSBD condemns any judicial conduct that is demeaning, racist, or discriminatory to any person and considers such behavior to undermine the fair administration of justice. Those elected or appointed to serve in our judiciary must be held to the highest standard. African Americans and all people of color must have every confidence that they will be treated impartially and with the utmost respect during encounters with our judicial system, without exception. Our system of justice deserves nothing less. 
 
 
Additionally, a court order issued by President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark suspended Judge Tranquilli from hearing any cases and temporarily assigned him to perform administrative duties effective immediatley. 
 
 
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