Judge Profile

Penny L. Blackwell

Judicial Experience:

  • Judge, York County Court of Common Pleas, Elected, 1991 to 2018

Other Professional Experience:

  • Partner, Wolfson & Blackwell, 1980 to 1991


  • JD, American University, 1974
  • BS, Portland State University, 1971

Professional Civic Activities/Honors/Awards:

  • PA and York County Bar Associations
  • National Association of Women Judges


  • Kristi Keuerleber, Judicial Assistant


  • Do you have any special rules governing courtroom decorum (e.g., addressing the court, dealing with opposing counsel and witnesses, proper attire, etc.)? Judge Blackwell follows the York County Bar code of civility.

  • Describe motions practice in your court. Are there any local practices that attorneys should be aware of? Counsel are encouraged to talk to opposing counsel prior to filing a motion. If motion is unresolved, counsel can file motion with Orphans' Court and request a hearing by submitting a propsed order.

  • Are there any special practices or procedures lawyers appearing before you should know about? On oral advocacy: "I like folks who get straight to the point." The Judge indicated that when she takes the bench she is familiar with the briefs of the parties and their citations. Should attorneys use case law that was not presented in their briefs, Blackwell would expect the attorney to have a correct citation for the other party. (PLW)

  • Any suggestions, admonitions or recommendations you would make to lawyers appearing before you? On civility among attorneys: "I find more and more attorneys are coming into court and are impolite to each other and often will not permit the other attorney to finish their argument before interrupting." When this occurs, Blackwell immediately warns counsel that interruptions of this type are not permitted in her courtroom. "Generally, attorneys will respect these instructions after being warned." On young lawyers: Make sure you are prepared and know your case if you are appearing in court. Moreover, make sure your pleadings are free of spelling and grammatical errors and that all of your citations are correct.

  • Does the court accept filings by e-mail? Filings not accepted by fax oe email. If cousel request, from the court, to submit a fax or email and approval is given, content in the form of fax and email will be accepted. However, cousel must email or fax the opposing cousel as well as self represented litigants at the same time and date.