WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today praised the Senate's confirmation of Gerald McHugh and Judge Edward Smith as federal judges for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The judges were nominated by President Obama in August.
"I'm pleased that the Senate voted to confirm these two highly qualified nominees to the federal bench," Senator Casey said. "Jerry McHugh is an excellent lawyer who has worked tirelessly for justice for all Pennsylvanians throughout his legal career. Jerry McHugh is one of the preeminent lawyers in Pennsylvania. He also has a long and admirable record of civic and charitable work. Judge Edward Smith has an unparalleled record of service as a U.S. Navy JAG officer and a military trial judge. His service on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas is universally respected."
"Congratulations to Gerald McHugh and Judge Edward Smith," said Senator Toomey. "Gerald McHugh is a lifelong Philadelphia resident who has more than three decades of private practice experience. He is also a community leader -- heading up terrific projects like the Hospitality House and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. I am confident he will excel as a federal judge and look forward to him joining our other talented federal jurists in Philadelphia.
"Judge Edward Smith is a dedicated, intelligent jurist who has served as a judge on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas for the past 12 years. Judge Smith has also served his country with distinction. He has been a member of the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years, earning a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. Judge Smith's wealth of legal experience -- drawn from decades in public service and 11 years in private practice -- will serve the people of Pennsylvania well. I am pleased he will be sitting in Easton, which has gone without a federal judge since 2004.
"Senator Casey and I have worked hard to select qualified jurists to fill vacancies on the bench in Pennsylvania. The approval of these two excellent candidates demonstrates the strength and effectiveness of our bipartisan system, which has led to the confirmation of 10 highly qualified men and women to the federal bench in Pennsylvania since I joined the Senate in 2011."
Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. is currently a partner at Raynes McCarty in Philadelphia, where he has worked since 2004 in civil litigation including medical malpractice, unsafe products, aviation disasters, civil rights, and workplace accidents. Before joining the firm, he was a shareholder at Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow & Young from 1981 until 2004. He served as a law clerk to United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Alfred L. Luongo from 1979 to 1981.
He serves on the boards of a number of charitable and civic organizations, including the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network as President since 2004, Lawyers Concerned for Kids Foundation, Hospitality House of Pennsylvania, Lawyers Trust Account Board of which he was Chairman from 1996-2003, West Philadelphia Fire House Project, Inc., and Hospitality House of Philadelphia which he co-founded.
McHugh graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was Associate Editor of the Law Review, in 1979. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Honors Program at St. Joseph's University in 1976.
Since 2002, Edward G. Smith has served as a judge on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas. Smith is currently a Captain in the United States Navy, serving in the Judge Advocate General's Corps since 1984. He also worked as a partner at DeRaymond & Smith from 1990 to 2001 and served as a solicitor to the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority and Upper Nazareth Township.
He has received numerous military awards, including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two National Defense Service Medals. He has also served as the former President of the Boys and Girls Club of Easton, former Chairman of the Northampton County Drug and Alcohol Commission, former Chairman of Easton Fire Civil Service Commission, and former Director of the YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg and Vicinity.
Smith graduated cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law in 1986. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1983.