Irish Legal 100


JUSTICE Kevin M. Dougherty is a justice on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, having been elected on November 3, 2015. He will serve until January of 2026.

With a passion for the state’s 117 problem solving courts and issues facing children and families, Dougherty and his fellow justices have taken a keen interest in making the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania a model for the country when it comes to issues such as access to justice, alternative sentencing, transparency within the court system, and most importantly keeping an open dialogue betweenthevariousstakeholderswithinthejudicial branch of government.

In 2001, Dougherty was appointed to the PhiladelphiaCourtofCommonPleas,andhewon election to a full 10-year term later that year. He requested to be assigned to Family Court because he felt that he could influence the lives of the most vulnerable citizens and help mold troubledyouthintohappy,healthyandproductive members of society.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed Dougherty to be administrative judge of the Philadelphia Family Court in 2005, and he eventually served as the longest administrative judge in Philadelphia history.

In 2014, Dougherty was reassigned as the administrative judge of the Trial Division, First Judicial District, and ran the largest court system in Pennsylvania while serving as chair of the Administrative Governing Board.

Dougherty earned a BA from Temple University, and a JD from Antioch School of Law.

Married with two children, Dougherty traces his Irish ancestry to counties Cork and Donegal three generations back. He is a member of the Brehon Law Society and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 88.





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