Hon. Debbie O'Dell-Seneca
Washington County Court of Common Pleas, Washington
Judge O'Dell Seneca was elected to the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County in November of 1991, and was retained for a second 10-year term in November of 2001. She became President Judge on October 1, 2004 and currently presides over civil and criminal jury and non-jury trials, tax assessment appeals, Washington County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Section and license suspensions, as well as overseeing the minor judiciary. On December 17, 2001, she was appointed to the Court of Judicial Discipline by the Supreme Court. On June 7, 2004 she was elected President Judge of the Court, with her term beginning August 17, 2004. Prior to joining the Bench, she was a partner in the law firm of Seneca & O'Dell, P.C., where she tried cases in civil litigation, criminal litigation and family law from 1977 through 1991. She served Washington County as an Assistant District Attorney, Law Clerk for the Honorable John F. Bell, and as an Assistant Public Defender. Judge O'Dell Seneca also served as a hearing officer for the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. She also currently presides over an ecclesiastical church (Synod of the Trinity, Permanent Judicial Commission) for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., which covers the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the Ohio Valley. In 1989, she was elected to the Washington City Council and served in that capacity for two (2) years while heading the City's Department of Accounts and Finance. Judge O'Dell Seneca is a 1974 graduate of West Virginia University and obtained her J.D. in 1977 from Duquesne University School of Law, where she served as Law Student Representative to the American Bar Association.