Hon. Robert E. Simpson, Jr.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Nazareth
Judge Simpson was elected to the Commonwealth Court in 2001. He previously practiced as a trial lawyer, and served as a trial judge from 1989 through 2001. During this time he handled all manner of cases, including capital murder, complicated product liability and professional negligence, zoning and workers’ compensation. While a trial judge in Northampton County, he instituted a summary jury trial program for alternate dispute resolution of complex civil litigation. In addition to his duties in court, Judge Simpson is active in the profession. Between 1998 and 2005, he served as an adjunct professor of law at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, teaching Advanced Pretrial Advocacy. Also, since his appointment by the governor in 1999, he is a member of the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board. Judge Simpson was a founding member of the Judge Clinton Budd Palmer American Inn of Court in Northampton County, and served as its president from 1996 to 1997. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court, and the American, Pennsylvania, Dauphin and Northampton County Bar Associations. Further, he frequently writes and speaks to judges, professionals, community leaders and students. In particular, Judge Simpson helped develop and present programs on current trends in land use, alternate dispute resolution, advocacy and various substantive law topics. His article, “Current Trends in Pennsylvania Land Use,” was published in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly in January, 2006, and his article, “Limits on Students’ Speech in the Internet Age,” was published in the Dickinson Law Review in its Winter, 2001, edition. Judge Simpson is a magna cum laude graduate of Dickinson College and a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law. After law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Glenn E. Mencer of the Commonwealth Court.