CollectionsRolf Larsen
IN THE NEWS

Rolf Larsen

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
November 4, 1987 | By JOHN M. BAER, Daily News Staff Writer
Rolf Larsen, Pennsylvania's most-talked-about judge, has won another 10- year term to the state Supreme Court. In so doing, the controversial Pittsburgh Democrat has continued a state tradition: no appellate judge has ever lost a retention election. With 95 percent of the statewide vote counted, Larsen had 1,012,883 "yes" votes, or 63 percent of the total, and 572,919 "no" votes. In the only other statewide retention election, Commonwealth Court President Judge James C. Crumlish of Philadelphia was winning retention by a 3-to-1 margin.
NEWS
September 10, 1994 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a wide-ranging defense of his 16 years as a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Rolf Larsen took the stand yesterday and denied all of the accusations leveled against him in seven articles of impeachment. He denied giving special treatment to lawyer-friends. He denied having improper private discussions with a lawyer and a judge. He denied testifying falsely under oath before the state grand jury. And he denied misusing the legal system by filing accusations about other justices.
NEWS
April 10, 2010 | By Mario F. Cattabiani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ronald Castille remembers getting sideways looks for years after state Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen was impeached. The looks came at national judicial conferences, when Castille, now the court's chief justice, was recognized as hailing from Pennsylvania. Judges from other states would ask, " 'Isn't that the state where one justice tried to run over another justice?' " Castille recalled Friday, referring to the controversy that so damaged the court's image in the 1990s.
NEWS
October 29, 1993 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Long before he was a justice of the state Supreme Court, an ambitious lawyer running for county office devised an unusual campaign strategy. He plastered downtown Pittsburgh with yellow happy-face stickers saying "Smile - Rolf Larsen is coming. " The smiles have faded now. Yesterday, Larsen was charged with illegally using his employees to obtain prescription tranquilizers for his own use. The criminal charges may lead to impeachment, and it is clear that the 59-year-old Pittsburgh Democrat faces the fight of his life.
NEWS
October 31, 1987
They won't be hammering out statues of Rolf Larsen to stand beside the giants of American jurisprudence. In fact, Rolf Larsen may be about the worst excuse for a state Supreme Court justice imaginable. There are serious questions about the most important thing any judge must have - his integrity. Some 63 percent of Philadelphia lawyers polled by the Bar Association had serious doubts about his integrity. Larsen has been accused of using his high office for personal reasons.
NEWS
February 9, 1986
The attorney for Justice James T. McDermott of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has written to me complaining about my letter published on Feb. 2. The letter as I wrote it may be considered ambiguous in that someone might conclude that I said I was being sued by Justice McDermott. To correct the ambiguity, I hereby note that I am being sued only by one Supreme Court justice, Rolf Larsen, and I am not being sued by either Justice McDermott or Superior Court Judge Stephen J. McEwen Jr., as The Inquirer is. Robert B. Surrick Media.
NEWS
April 21, 1986
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices Stephen A. Zappala and Rolf Larsen have a solution for ridding the state of what they call the "noxious cloud of misfeasance emanating" from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas: A "complete transition from the president judge on down. " So much for reasoned solutions to serious problems. The Supreme Court majority, equally concerned about abuses, devoted more than two minutes of vituperativeness to constructively address the situation and take action to reorganize the administration of the courts to hold judges more accountable for their conduct.
NEWS
October 12, 1987
In 1977, Rolf Larsen ran for justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. You would have thought he was running for sheriff of Dodge City. In 1877. In effect, he promised mostly to seek out the criminals who were allegedly stalking every person in the commonwealth at the time, then hang them - after a trial, of course. In case you hadn't noticed, the criminals are still around. So is Rolf Larsen, who's running for retention on the state's highest court. Better we should elect a talking duck.
NEWS
October 29, 1987 | By Katharine Seelye, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an attempt to counter what his strategists believe is negative publicity, Rolf Larsen, who is campaigning for a second 10-year term on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, is spending $90,000 on television and radio advertising. The ads are being aired in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh only and are scheduled to run through Monday, the day before Election Day. Newspapers in both cities have been critical of Larsen, especially in the last month. During this period, Larsen raised $157,000, according to campaign expense reports on file in Harrisburg.
NEWS
April 7, 1994 | by Joseph R. Daughen, Daily News Staff Writer
At 7 p.m., Rolf Larsen broke out the bagels, handing one to Jill Costopoulos, wife of his attorney, and chewing on another himself as he stood in the courtroom waiting for the action to resume. His trial on charges of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs would go on until 8 last night, but the embattled state Supreme Court justice was prepared for the long day, having arrived with a plastic bag full of bagels. In fact, the third day of his trial in the Allegheny County Courthouse had gone pretty well for Larsen, 59. Prosecutor Lawrence N. Claus rested his case in mid-afternoon, after presenting a series of medical experts who testified that it was improper for someone to obtain drugs from prescriptions written in the names of other people, as Larsen had done.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 23, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Visitors to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court website Thursday night were greeted by a group photo of the high court that included a smiling Justice Joan Orie Melvin. There was no indication that a Pittsburgh jury had found Melvin guilty of criminal corruption earlier in the day. Melvin is a still a Supreme Court justice, albeit one suspended without pay. Her conviction on six of seven counts of corruption related to her 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the Supreme Court sparked renewed calls for replacing judicial elections with merit selection of judges.
NEWS
February 22, 2013
FORMER STATE Sen. Jane Orie, who is serving up to 10 years in prison, could soon be sharing a cell with two of her sisters. A jury Thursday convicted Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and their sister, Janine, of multiple felony counts for theft of services and conspiracy to commit theft of services, as well as other charges. Both women were convicted of all but one charge against them. Even in a state that is used to court shenanigans - just last week, the state Senate voted to abolish Philadelphia's Traffic Court after a federal probe on ticket-fixing - Orie's conviction is a shocker.
NEWS
April 10, 2010 | By Mario F. Cattabiani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ronald Castille remembers getting sideways looks for years after state Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen was impeached. The looks came at national judicial conferences, when Castille, now the court's chief justice, was recognized as hailing from Pennsylvania. Judges from other states would ask, " 'Isn't that the state where one justice tried to run over another justice?' " Castille recalled Friday, referring to the controversy that so damaged the court's image in the 1990s.
NEWS
August 26, 2003
'TO BECOME part of a community, you owe that community the best you can give it. " These words exemplify the life of the man who spoke them in 1997: retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. Nix, who died Saturday at 75, helped shape the history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the nation. A part of one of Philadelphia's most prominent political families - his father was the congressman from Philadelphia's 2nd District for 20 years and a son is president of the Fairmount Park Commission - Nix was a pioneer African-American lawyer, fighting battles for civil rights and for the poor.
NEWS
April 8, 2001 | By Eugene Kiely INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
When he joined the New Jersey Supreme Court nearly two years ago, Peter G. Verniero was derided as a legal lightweight - a young, inexperienced lawyer who would dumb down a respected court. It didn't happen. Supporters, critics, and neutral court observers agree that Verniero has issued thoughtful opinions, asked probing questions, and defied ideological labels. "He has issued good, solid opinions ? well up to the standards of the Supreme Court," said Robert Williams, a law professor at Rutgers University-Camden who is an expert on the state Constitution.
NEWS
January 31, 1999 | By Rachel Scheier, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Tucked away in the corners of Robert Surrick's home are the relics of a battle: a row of old campaign signs, a stack of binders filled with newspaper articles, an enlarged, weathered map of Pennsylvania that still gets pulled out occasionally for speeches to Rotary Clubs. Seated in the kitchen of his rustic house in a quiet corner of Chester County, which also functions these days as his office, Surrick leafs wistfully through his memorabilia. Thumbing a copy of a recent editorial on judicial reform, the subject dearest to his heart, he repeats what after so many years has become his mantra.
NEWS
October 29, 1997 | By Frederick Cusick, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A state legal panel has dismissed professional-misconduct charges brought against judicial-reform advocate Robert B. Surrick for criticizing the ethics of judges. The Disciplinary Board of the state Supreme Court, the top legal ethics panel in the state, dismissed the charges this month, Surrick said yesterday. Surrick, a West Chester lawyer whose judicial-reform efforts helped lead to the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen, said that under state law, the matter was now closed.
NEWS
July 31, 1996 | by Joseph R. Daughen, Daily News Staff Writer
Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix, Jr., stepping down today after 24 years on the state Supreme Court, said he would not have resigned if his longtime nemesis, Rolf Larsen, was still a member of the court. "I'd have been here 'til the day they carried me out in a box," said Nix, 68, who resigned even though he could have served for two more years. Nix carefully avoided using Larsen's name, calling him, "that individual. " Among the reasons he resigned, said Nix, was that Larsen was removed from office two years ago after being convicted of obtaining prescription drugs by falsely using the names of his employees.
NEWS
March 10, 1996 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Inquirer staff writer Jeff Gelles contributed to this article
He's been a protector of individual rights, a champion of the state constitution, and a guardian against overreaching police powers. He was Pennsylvania's first African American justice. He removed eight judges for taking cash gifts, and he took steps to make every judge more accountable. But as Robert N.C. Nix Jr. now prepares for an early retirement after 23 years on the state Supreme Court, some fear that he will be remembered less for his legal writings and rulings than for the battles that flared around his fellow justice and nemesis at the court - Rolf Larsen.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
|
|
|
|
|