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Joseph Sabino Mistick is an associate professor at Duquesne University School of Law, where he currently teaches Criminal Law, Election Law, Land Use Law and Law, Public Policy and the Executive Branch. He is the founder of the award-winning Urban Development Law Clinic, which he has operated since 1995. He has also taught Administrative Law, Sentencing and Sanctions and Remedies and Damages.

As a weekly Sunday columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review since 2002, Mistick writes on current affairs, politics and public policy. For over 20 years, he was the Democratic half of the political talk show Roddey Mistick, first appearing on WQED television and then on PCNC, the public affairs channel of WPXI television. Mistick is a frequent guest lecturer and public speaker. He has appeared on Voice of America, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS NewsHour, Court TV and numerous local television and radio stations.

As executive secretary (deputy mayor) to Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff from 1989-1992, Mistick oversaw the development of Crawford Square, the Second Avenue Technology Park and Washington's Landing. During the Masloff Administration, the wage tax was reduced twice, major city cultural assets were saved by transferring them to non-profit organizations and the Regional Asset District Tax was successfully shepherded through the public process and approved by the state legislature.

A recognized expert in land use law, urban development, and crime and public policy, Mistick helped create the Pittsburgh Weed & Seed Program during the Masloff Administration, in partnership with the United States Attorney for the Western District. The Department of Justice promoted this program as a national model.

During the administration of Pittsburgh Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri, Mistick served seven years as chairman of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment and vice-chairman of the Planning Commission. He wrote numerous ordinances, including the Sidewalk Cafe ordinance and the Downtown building height ordinance and conducted over 5000 zoning hearings during the city development boom known as Renaissance II. He also served as chairman of the Mayor's Entertainment Center Development Task Force.

Mistick was appointed by Mayor Caliguiri to the original Pittsburgh Apportionment Commission. He also served on the original Allegheny County Apportionment Commission by appointment of the Democratic Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served as counsel to the Democratic Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 2012 reapportionment of the state legislature.

Mistick has spent nearly fifty years in public service and the law, starting as a page in the Pennsylvania House when he was 15. He has served as an aide to the Allegheny County Commissioners and the Urban Affairs Committee of the Pennsylvania State Senate. He was an elected member of East McKeesport borough council, municipal secretary of Braddock Borough, a delegate to the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, a member of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission and a board member of the City/County Public Auditorium Authority.

Mistick received a B.A. in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 and a J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 1979.

Mistick is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.


  • J.D., Duquesne University School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1971

Profile Information

  • Election Law
  • Urban Development Practicum

  • Criminal Law
  • Law, Public Service and the Executive Branch
  • Urban Development Practicum
  • The Pennsylvania Experience: Public Release of Judge-Specific Sentencing Data
    Finding, Interpreting and Using Sentencing Data: Using the Data Fairly and and Effectively
    Joseph Sabino Mistick, The Pennsylvania Experience: Public Release of Judge-Specific Sentencing Data Finding, Interpreting and Using Sentencing Data: Using the Data Fairly and and Effectively, 16 Fed. Sent. R. 57 (2003-2004).
  • Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Land Use Planning Recent Developments - Special Section
    Joseph Sabino Mistick, Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Land Use Planning Recent Developments - Special Section, 34 Duq. L. Rev. 533 (1996).