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Justice Debra Todd will speak at 42nd campus commencement

5/15/2009 —

State Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd will be the keynote speaker at Penn State Beaver’s 42nd commencement at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, in the Student Union Building Auditorium.

Justice Todd is an honors graduate of Chatham College and a Law Review graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She earned the LL.M. degree in the judicial process from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

From 1982 through 1987, Justice Todd was an in-house litigation attorney for U.S. Steel Corporation.  She maintained a trial practice in the City of Pittsburgh from 1987 through 1999 with an emphasis in complex civil litigation. She was elected as a judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in November 1999, and served in that capacity from 2000 through 2007. Justice Todd was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November 2007, and commenced service on the Court in January 2008. Her judicial chambers are in Pittsburgh.

Justice Todd is an elected member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and an alumna and former board member of the Leadership Pittsburgh Program. She is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations and the Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania, and is a fellow of the Allegheny County and Pennsylvania Bar Association Foundations. She is a member of the American Judicature Society, the National Association of Women Judges, and the International Association of Women Judges. Justice Todd has been a frequent lecturer and panelist for continuing legal education programs on trial and appellate practice and procedure.

In 2007, Justice Todd was named the Outstanding Elected Democratic Woman of the Year by the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women. In 2008, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by Chatham University. 

Justice Todd presently serves as a board member of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the Finnegan Foundation, and Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. She is a life member of The Pennsylvania Society.

Justice Todd’s article entitled "Sentencing of Adult Offenders in Crimes Involving the Sexual Abuse of Children, Too Little, Too Late? A View from the Pennsylvania Bench," was published in the Penn State Law Review in 2004. Her sister, Nancy Woods, is director of Adult Literacy Action at Penn State Beaver.

For information about commencement, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at djm5@psu.edu or (724) 773-3571.

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