A ‘grate­ful’ DelRicci in­stalled as Mont­gomery County pres­i­dent judge

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

A stand­ing-room-only crowd and his 96-year-old mother proudly ap­plauded as Mont­gomery County Judge Thomas M. DelRicci was in­stalled as the county’s new­est pres­i­dent judge.

“I am grate­ful to ac­cept this role as pres­i­dent judge with the full knowl­edge of the re­spon­si­bil­ity that ac­com­pa­nies it,” DelRicci told the packed court­room of rel­a­tives, friends and ju­di­cial col­leagues who turned out for the spe­cial event at the county court­house on Fri­day.

Ap­pear­ing hum­bled and hon­ored, the 62-yearold ju­rist from the Am­bler sec­tion of Whit­pain Town­ship took the oath of of­fice as his wife, Carol, held the Bi­ble, and as a sea of black robes, donned by the county’s 22-mem­ber ju­di­ciary and sev­eral se­nior and re­tired judges, pro­vided the back­drop for the cer­e­mony.

The oath was ad­min­is­tered by Penn­syl­va­nia Supreme Court Jus­tice Kevin M. Dougherty.

A grad­u­ate of St. Joseph’s Uni­ver­sity, DelRicci, who has been on the bench since 1998, smiled as he was greeted by thun­der­ous, spir­ited ap­plause at the con­clu­sion of the mov­ing cer­e­mony. DelRicci, who ob­tained his law de­gree from Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity, is the 19th pres­i­dent judge of the county and suc­ceeds Judge Wil­liam J. Furber Jr., who re­tired in De­cem­ber.

“I’m hum­bled, that’s all I can tell you,” DelRicci’s mother, Jen­nie, an im­mi­grant from Italy who ar­rived in Amer­ica through El­lis Is­land in 1929, beamed with pride as she wit­nessed her son’s ac­com­plish­ment. “He was al­ways a good kid, never in any trou­ble, that I can tell you. It cer­tainly proud day.”

Dur­ing heart­warm­ing re­marks, DelRicci joked that there was a rea­son the cer­e­mony was held on Fri­day in­stead of Tues­day or Thurs­day.

“It’s that Tues­day and Thurs­day are my mother’s bowl­ing days. I’m not kid­ding,” said DelRicci, elic­it­ing laugh­ter from the crowd.

DelRicci, a father of two daugh­ters, Sarah and Anna, thanked his wife for be­ing by his side, adding, “There is no big­ger saint that I am aware of and she is my rock.”

DelRicci’s sis­ters, Jeanne Marie and Francine also at­tended the event. DelRicci de­scribed his fam­ily as “the source of my strength.” is a

“It’s well-de­served,” Jeanne Marie Pat­ter­son, DelRicci’s sis­ter, re­acted to her brother’s in­stal­la­tion. “We share a won­der­ful mother and a won­der­ful fam­ily and I’m re­ally, re­ally proud of him.”

With a mea­sured and re­spect­ful tone, DelRicci said he is grate­ful for the tal­ent and ca­ma­raderie of his fel­low judges and he paid trib­ute to judges who served be­fore him.

“I am truly stand­ing on the shoul­ders of gi­ants. The pres­i­dent judges who pre­ceded me and un­der whom I served, or worked along­side of, many of whom are here, were great and schol­arly thinkers, pro­fes­sional ad­min­is­tra­tors and coura­geous lead­ers,” DelRicci said as he men­tioned many of the judges by name.

“These are the gi­ants on whose shoul­ders I stand. I can only hope that I have learned enough from them to leave this court as they have left it for me,” DelRicci con­tin­ued, adding he was hum­bled by the con­fi­dence his fel­low judges showed in him by unan­i­mously elect­ing him pres­i­dent of the bench for the next five years.

The cer­e­mony was punc­tu­ated by re­marks, some hu­mor­ous and some poignant, by DelRicci’s col­leagues, in­clud­ing Judge Wil­liam R. Car­pen­ter who said DelRicci “has a keen sense of jus­tice.”

“His rep­u­ta­tion as a ju­rist is im­pec­ca­ble. Tom has proven lead­er­ship abil­i­ties and he is a nat­u­ral as an ad­min­is­tra­tor. He cer­tainly has a deep love for the law and a love for this court. Tom will bring new ideas and en­ergy to this court. He will be an ac­tivist. Tom will be pro­duc­tive and he most cer­tainly will see that we are too,” Car­pen­ter said.

Judge Steven T. O’Neill read the com­mis­sion of Gov. Tom Wolf in honor of DelRicci’s in­stal­la­tion.

Judge Thomas P. Rogers cred­ited DelRicci for im­ple­ment­ing a “court­driven civil sys­tem” to ad­dress a back­log of cases in the civil court divi­sion.

“Judge DelRicci has the in­tel­lect, the ex­pe­ri­ence, the en­ergy, the tal­ent and the in­tegrity to lead this bench over the next five years. He will set the ex­am­ple for us, and in so do­ing, re­mind us that this bench is sec­ond to none,” Rogers said.

DelRicci said jus­tice must be ad­min­is­tered “fairly, ra­tio­nally, com­pe­tently, fear­lessly and timely” and that by do­ing so the bench will “earn the pub­lic’s trust and con­fi­dence.”

“I be­lieve that is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the pres­i­dent judge to make cer­tain that hap­pens. To im­ple­ment ef­fec­tive case pro­cess­ing tech­niques, to seek in­put from other judges and from lawyers to make cer­tain that we are us­ing the best prac­tices pos­si­ble and to ad­vo­cate for the re­sources nec­es­sary to do our job well. These will be the prin­ci­ples that guide me over the next five years,” DelRicci said.

While a county judge, DelRicci has presided over crim­i­nal, civil and fam­ily courts and has han­dled land-use mat­ters. DelRicci pre­vi­ously served as pres­i­dent of the Penn­syl­va­nia Con­fer­ence of State Trial Judges, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment among judges, and was in­stru­men­tal in the found­ing of Judges Con­cerned for Judges, a peer as­sis­tance pro­gram for judges who are at risk as a re­sult of sub­stance abuse and men­tal ill­ness.

“I’m hum­bled, that’s all I can tell you. He was al­ways a good kid, never in any trou­ble, that I can tell you. It cer­tainly is a proud day.”

CARL HESSLER JR. — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Mont­gomery County Judge Thomas M. DelRicci is con­grat­u­lated by his wife, Carol, and his mother, Jen­nie, af­ter his in­stall­ment as pres­i­dent judge dur­ing a court­house cer­e­mony on Fri­day.

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