David WechtAdjunct Professor
School of Law
The Supreme Court Of Pennsylvania
One Oxford Centre - Suite 4200
301 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Education:J.D., Yale Law School, 1987
Yale University, 1984, History and Political Science
Justice David N. Wecht was "Highly Recommended" by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for a seat on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and was elected statewide to a ten-year term in November 2015. He began his service to the Supreme Court in January 2016.
Justice Wecht served as a judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from January 2012 to January 2016, authoring opinions in all areas of law and advocating for reform and transparency in the judicial system. He served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas for Pennsylvania's Fifth Judicial District from February 2003 to January 2012. Over nearly nine years on the trial bench, he presided extensively in both the Civil and Family Divisions.
From January 2009 to January 2011, he served by appointment of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as an administrative judge of the Family Division, which encompasses both domestic relations cases and cases of juvenile dependency and delinquency. As administrative judge, he designed and implemented several reforms and innovations, including the Unified Family Court, the local rule on parenting coordination, and improved conflict counsel appointments in juvenile cases.
Prior to taking the bench, Justice Wecht was twice elected as Allegheny County's Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphan's Court. In that capacity, he pioneered innovations that included creation of a free will consultation program for seniors and authorship of a state law that prevents accused murderers from controlling their victims' estates.
Justice Wecht is a 1984 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale, where he was a National Merit Scholar and earned Yale College Distinction in both history and political science. At The Yale Law School, Justice Wecht was selected as notes editor of The Yale Law Journal, and as an editor of both the Yale Law & Policy Review and the Yale Journal of International Law. After graduating from The Yale Law School in 1987, he served as law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge George MacKinnon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C., and received the Award for Distinguished Service in that position. He then practiced law continuously with firms in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh until he took the bench in February 2003.
A frequent lecturer and author, Justice Wecht has taught for many years as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University School of Law and as an adjunct instructor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves as a member of The American Law Institute and a fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, and he is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. Justice Wecht has served on a number of civic and community boards, including the Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee of the Community College of Allegheny County, the Juvenile Court Judges Commission, the Amen Corner, and others.
Adjudication: The Judicial Process
The American Law Institute, member
Allegheny County Bar Foundation, fellow
Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, former executive committee member
Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center, board member
Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, member
Law Enforcement Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, member
Criminal Justice Advisory Committee of the Community College of Allegheny County, member
Juvenile Court Judges Commission, member
Amen Corner, member