Bucks Writs - Summer 2019 - 31

ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY
AND ETHICS MATTERS

When Judge Satterthwaite glared at me to let me
know it was time to begin, I stumbled around by asking
inexperienced questions of the prosecution's witness but
was abruptly interrupted by Judge Satterthwaite who
impatiently shouted, "Will you stop this pussyfooting
around and get on with it!" In response, I totally froze
and became speechless. Judge Satterthwaite obviously
could see that I was undergoing my initiation in the DA's
Office. He then proceeded to ask the prosecuting witness
about two questions which he formed by converting the
first two answers of the DA's filed reply to the motion
for suppression. He then benevolently looked at me and
calmly said, "Mr. Stockham, can you take it from there?"
Talk about having to think on your feet and on the job
learning versus on the job training! Fortunately, I caught
on and thought to myself, "So this is how it's done." I
then proceeded to convert the remaining reply answers
into questions. Judge Satterthwaite denied the suppression
motion of defense counsel.

STATEWIDE PENNSYLVANIA MATTERS
NO CHARGE FOR INITIAL CONSULTATION

Representation,	consultation	and	expert	testimony	in
disciplinary	matters	and	matters	involving	ethical	issues,
bar	admissions	and	the	Rules	of	Professional	Conduct

James C. Schwartzman, Esq.

*	 Judge,	Court	of	Judicial	Discipline
*	 Former	Chairman,	Judicial	Conduct	Board	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Disciplinary	Board	of	the	Supreme	Court	of	
Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Continuing	Legal	Education	Board	of	the	
Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania	Interest	on	
Lawyers	Trust	Account	Board
*	 Former	Federal	Prosecutor
*	 Selected	by	his	peers	as	one	of	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	in	PA	
and	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	in	Philadelphia
*	 Named	by	his	peers	as	Best Lawyers in America	2015	
Philadelphia	Ethics	and	Professional	Responsibility	Law	
"Lawyer	of	the	Year,"	and	in	Plaintiffs	and	Defendants	Legal	
Malpractice	Law

From then on, I spent a good portion of my time in criminal
court handling trials and guilty pleas before Judge Satterthwaite. On one occasion, when then assistant public
defender, Clyde Waite, said, "Your Honor, the cases seem
to say..." Judge Satterthwaite interrupted Waite by saying,
"I'm not interested in law review types of arguments. Don't
tell me what the cases seem to say, tell me what they say
or do not say!"

1818 Market Street, 29th Floor * Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-2863

ISSUE: 1908
1905
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rest of the year." So, Courtroom No. 1 was where I stayed.
My departure as a part time ADA paved the way for Alan
Rubinstein to replace me, but as a full-time ADA. For budget
reasons, Alan had to patiently wait for me to leave before
joining the DA's Office. Satterthwaite, after a relatively short
time as a senior judge, retired to Pennswood Village where
he pursued his hobby of fixing antique clocks until his death.

After months of handling guilty pleas before Judge Satterthwaite, part-time ADA Brenden Brett and I had enough and
decided to see if we could wear out Judge Satterthwaite by
double-teaming him on guilty pleas by seeing how fast and
how many pleas we could get heard by him. Brett would
line up the witnesses, get all the paperwork ready, and hand
them over to me without delay so I could continuously rush
them to Judge Satterthwaite. This went on for hours. No
admonishments that day.
Later that evening, when I stopped by my parents' house,
my father, who had just come home from a Bucks County
Boy Scouts Council Executive Committee Meeting in
Doylestown, told me that Judge Satterthwaite told him,
"Your son, Ron, was in my courtroom today. I hope he got
to wherever he was going on time because he seemed to
be in an awful big hurry." That was the last time we tried to
wear out Judge Satterthwaite.

But, after more than 50 years of practice, "I'm
Still Standing."2 

I can fill many more pages with "war stories" about
Judge Satterthwaite as examples of law practice changes.
However, I cannot resist telling one more:

Endnotes:
1. Bob Dylan, 1964
2. Elton John, 1983
31

SUMMER 2019



Bucks Writs - Summer 2019

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Bucks Writs - Summer 2019 - 31
Bucks Writs - Summer 2019 - 32
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
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