Hon. Mark I. Bernstein
Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Philadelphia
Judge Bernstein has served as a judge of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania since April 1987, and was elected by his fellow judges to the post of secretary of the Court of Common Pleas Board of Judges. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has appointed Judge Bernstein to serve on important committees concerned with the quality of justice in Pennsylvania. In 1990, he served on the Judicial Study Committee of Philadelphia, which prepared a comprehensive analysis of the Philadelphia court system and made significant recommendations for reform. He currently serves on the Civil Jury Instruction Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which annually publishes standard jury instructions for use by judges and lawyers in civil trials. He also served on the Supreme Court Medical Malpractice Mediation Task Force, encouraging alternatives to litigation in malpractice claims. In December 1995, Judge Bernstein designed and implemented the case management system for all civil major jury cases in Philadelphia County. “Day Forward Case Management” is a system for judicial control from initiation to resolution of the 7,000 major jury cases annually filed in Philadelphia. As a result of “Day Forward Case Management,” the Philadelphia civil court, where six-year delays to trial were once commonplace, maintains a current civil caseload with resolution within two years of initiation. Judge Bernstein established precedent and procedures for the timely resolution of mass tort and all class action litigation in Philadelphia County and served on the Commerce Court of the First Judicial District. As a result of Judge Bernstein’s activities in judicial management and reform, he has been the receipient of the Foundation for Improvement of Justice annual award, for innovative programs that serve as a model practice. He was named one of the 500 leading judges in America by Lawdragon magazine. Judge Bernstein writes extensively on the law, particularly in the area of expert testimony. He is the author of Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence with Comments and Annotations by Honorable Mark I. Bernstein, published by Gann Law Books. He is on the editorial board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Public Health Law Benchbook Committee and was chairman of the board of editors for “The Bill of Rights: A Bicentennial View,” and contributed two essays, “Judicial Decision Making” and “A Meditation on Judicial _Morality,” to The Judge’s Book published by the American Bar Association and the National Judicial College. His comprehensive analysis of “Expert Testimony in Pennsylvania” was published by the Temple Law Review in 1995. Articles authored by Judge Bernstein have appeared in <1>Judicature, Court Review, The Responsive Community, The Philadelphia Lawyer, and Trial magazine. Judge Bernstein has addressed judges and lawyers nationwide on the law and courtroom procedure. He serves on the faculty of Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law and has served on the faculty of the National Judicial College. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and before taking the bench in 1987, Judge Bernstein was in the private practice of law specializing in litigation.