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Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania
Criminal Defense Attorney's Association and his beloved
alma maters, St. Joseph's University and Villanova University
School of Law.
" I have enjoyed being a judge; the opportunity, intellectual
stimulation, the people and for the good humor of lawyers and
officials. I worked hard and enjoyed well! "
" The system, the Constitution, the ethics of the law, these
things mean everything to Judge Hazel. He is a lawyer first, so
he respects lawyers. His unshakable principles drive him to do
what is right, no matter what, to give of himself without regard
to what he will receive, if anything in return, to serve others
and be a force in the world. "
Arthur T. Donato, Jr., Esquire
Judge Hazel assumed Senior status in January, 2012. Guest
column (printed in-part, with permission), Delaware County
Times: " Hazel's departure leaves void at Courthouse "
Arthur T. Donato, Jr., Esquire.
" The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as
the poor, to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to
steal bread. "
Anatole France
A judge in Pennsylvania must retire at age 70, without
regard to his or her capabilities or vitality. It applies to everyone
without exception in its " majestic equality. " Such are the rules
of law.
January 30, 2021, was Judge Frank T. Hazel's last day. He's
70 and is required to be a senior judge. Many lawyers in the
county have wondered what we will do without him. People say
he could've been anything, a senator, a Supreme Court justice,
even the president. But he chose to be a judge in Delaware
County. Such are the rules of law.
A void exists in the Delaware County Courthouse. Judge
Hazel has been moved to the second floor and it is the end of an
era. As with many things in life, it's the little things that matter
the most and leave a lasting impression. Character, integrity,
commitment, compassion and intelligence manifest themselves in
actions and conduct - the kind word, the ability to care about the
problems of others and have the desire to solve them, the drive
to make the world a better place, simple human decency. Judge
Hazel possesses all of these, he devotes himself to others and has
inspired many others to do the same.
Having achieved Senior status, Judge Hazel was assigned
to what was then called " Drug Court " and later known as
" Treatment Court. " As one of the founders, Judge Hazel helped
to develop this specialized Court which provides individuals
the structure to become alcohol and drug free through evidence14
| Spring 2021
based approaches in its delivery of services and working
in collaboration with community providers for substance
dependency treatment, mental health treatment and ancillary
At the beginning of his tenure in drug Court, Judge Hazel
shared with Craig B. Huffman, DCBA President, 2019, " some
trepidation about being in treatment Court, surprising coming
from a Judge of his experience and reputation. He wasn't
sure that presiding in treatment court was consistent with his
individual skill set - he wasn't sure if " this was what he was
trained to do. " Judge Hazel took on the task and made headlines
with this effective alternative to incarceration and helped make
it a huge success; the program was accredited by the Supreme
Court of PA. Of those who have graduated from this program,
approximately 86% have not been arrested for any criminal
In November 2019, attorney and DCBA President Craig
B. Huffman, Esquire, attended a Treatment Court graduation
ceremony in a packed Courtroom One. " About one dozen
people, all of whom had battled substance abuse for years and
not succeeded in overcoming the disease, shared their stories
about how treatment court helped them succeed. And, to a
person, they were all deeply thankful to Judge Hazel - he was
tough when needed, kind when needed and encouraging when
needed. Without a doubt, Judge Hazel's involvement in this
great program saved lives! "
The Honorable Frank T. Hazel retired on December 31,
2021, not as a lawyer, but as a Judge. It is not his last " at bat " ...
Judge Hazel continues to serve our membership with a seat on
the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Bar Association,
and, as a valuable, contributing member of the Historical
Committee, the Bench Bar Conference Committee, and the
newly formed 150th Anniversary Committee to commemorate
the sesquicentennial of the Delaware County Bar Association in
The Honorable Frank T. Hazel Hall of
Fame Award
Presented annually at the Delaware County Bench Bar
Conference to a member of the Delaware County Bar
Association who fosters camaraderie, good will, volunteerism,
team play, selflessness, enthusiasm and sportsmanship in the
legal field and who most closely exemplifies the Honorable
Frank T. Hazel, a great friend and tireless supporter of the Bar
Association. The recipient should reflect these qualities as well
as Judge Hazel's respect for the law and his unbridled caring for
colleagues and friends.
The award itself, a personalized " Hall of Fame Louisville
Slugger, " was first presented in 2012, at the 40th Annual Bench
Bar Conference, to the Honorable Frank T. Hazel.

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