Senate confirms Fletman to bench

Philadelphia now has a fourth openly LGBT Court of Common Pleas judge. The state Senate unanimously approved Abbe Fletman to the bench June 30. Fletman was approved among a host of other judicial nominees put forth by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously recommended Fletman for confirmation. She was originally notified of her nomination on June 19. Fletman will join Judges Dan Anders, Ann Butchart and Barbara McDermott as openly LGBT Common Pleas judges. Anders told PGN that Fletman, who declined to comment, is highly qualified for the position. “I’ve known Abbe since I started working in Philly as a lawyer. She is well-regarded as a talented commercial litigator, practicing in intellectual property, and she has also fought for equality,” Anders said. “She is someone that litigators have recognized as a super lawyer in Pennsylvania. She has won several awards for her professional talent and her legal skills.” Fletman is one of the first female co-chairs of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia. Anders said although it is important to have diversity among all facets of government, having qualified members of the judiciary is also integral, which Fletman is, he said. “Abbe is extremely qualified, and it adds to the legitimacy of government when the individuals who represent the citizens of Philadelphia reflect the full and rich diversity of its population,” he said. Fletman recently won The Legal Intelligencer’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also served as co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Legal Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men Committee and helped launch the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section’s LGBT Litigator Committee. Fletman worked as a newspaper reporter before pursuing a career in law. She will serve on the bench until 2015, when she will be up for reelection.

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