Philly Bar Gives Thumbs Down to Several Judicial Candidates

With mere days left before the May primary, the Philadelphia Bar Association has announced a slate of “not recommended” city judicial candidates.

Elvin P. Ross III, an associate at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, was given the thumbs down on his candidacy for a common pleas seat. The bar’s judicial elections commission doesn’t list its reasons for rating a candidate “not recommended,” but experience was likely a factor in Ross’ case — the 1994 Penn grad only received his JD (from Texas Southern University) four years ago.

Gerard Shotzbarger, a solo general practitioner with Center City offices, also received the bar’s lowest rating on his common pleas bid. Shotzbarger might not need the bar association’s blessing — he drew the No. 2 spot on this month’s Democratic ballot.

The third candidate listed as “not recommended” for a common pleas seat was Center City small-firm practitioner Christian Clemente, whose 2005 bid for the same court was also pooh-poohed by the bar.

The fourth “not recommended” candidate is Rosa Ryan. The only “Rosa Ryan” registered to practice in Pennsylvania is listed by the state court system as practicing out of a West Chester office. According to campaign finance reports, Ryan’s campaign has a -$170 balance.

On the Municipal Court side, the bar has deemed “not recommended” Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, daughter of former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier — and quite a contender herself, judging by her own track record in the ring. Frazier-Lyde used to do legal work for the Laborers’ District Council. She practices out of offices in North Philadelphia.
Robert M. Kline was the other Municipal Court candidate rated “not recommended” The only attorney by that name registered with the state is listed as practicing out of a King of Prussia office. Kline has the bottom spot on this month’s Democratic ballot.

— Asher Hawkins, staff reporter

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