Justice Max Baer 2019 Commencement Speaker
Justice Baer, L'75 was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November of 2003. Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Baer served on the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. During this tenure, Justice Baer implemented far-reaching reforms to both Juvenile Court and Domestic Relations, earning him statewide and national recognition. Justice Baer eventually was assigned to the Civil Division, where he continued to distinguish himself until assuming his new duties on the Supreme Court.
In acknowledgement of his innovations in family court, in 1997, Justice Baer was named Pennsylvania's Adoption Advocate of the Year. Since that time he has received numerous awards for his dedication to children and families including: the Federal Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for Judicial Innovation, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Child Advocate of the Year, the Champion of Children's Award from the Homeless Children's Education Fund, Pennsylvania's Council of Mediators most valuable peacemaker, the Three Rivers Youth Nellie Award for Civic Leadership, and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Champion of Hope and Healing Award. He was noted for his leadership in helping dependent children find permanent, loving families in the most recent edition of the Casey Family Program Report "How are the Children? Inspiring Hope. Renewing Vision. Influencing Action." In 2013, he received an Honorary J.D. from Widener School of Law. In 2018, Amen Corner presented Justice Baer with the Judge Robert E. Dauer award for Judicial Leadership & Excellence.
Justice Baer is the former Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, and an ex officio representative to the Juvenile Court Judges Commission. Justice Baer is now leading far-reaching reforms to Pennsylvania's courts and child welfare system's efforts to assist abused and neglected children.
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