Federal bench to run at capacity with Upper St. Clair man's approval
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed a Homestead native as the next federal judge for Western Pennsylvania.
Mark R. Hornak, 55, of Upper St. Clair comes to the federal bench from the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, where he's been a partner since 1989.
Jack Barbour, the firm's chairman and CEO, said he's losing one of his best advisers but the region is gaining a good judge.
"I honestly don't think there's a more qualified person who was so genuinely interested in getting the job as Mark Hornak," he said.
Hornak couldn't be reached for comment.
Barbour said he's known Hornak for about 25 years and said his temperament, intelligence and work ethic will serve him as well on the bench.
"He knows how to drive to the real issues and not get confused by all the flak and static out there," Barbour said.
Hornak has been the solicitor for the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority for more than 15 years and was involved in the development of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, PNC Park, Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center. He specializes in civil litigation with a focus on labor and employment law as well as media and defamation law.
"Mark Hornak brings with him excellent academic credentials and 30 years of litigation experience that should benefit both lawyers and litigants," said Fred Goldsmith, chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association's Federal Court Section.
When Hornak takes the oath of office, the Western District will have a full complement of judges for the first time since 2007, said Robert Barth, the clerk of the court.
Since April 1, 1985, the district has had a full complement of judges for 169 days, or about 5 1⁄2 months out of the 26 1⁄2-year period, Barth said.
On Monday, the Senate confirmed U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Bissoon, 43, of Mt. Lebanon to fill the vacancy created in 2007 when Thomas Hardiman left the Western District to sit on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
District judges in March picked former federal prosecutor Cynthia Reed Eddy, 53, of Mt. Lebanon as Bissoon's successor.
Hornak fills the vacancy created in November 2010 when U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose took senior status. The next judge eligible for senior status is U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry in September 2013, so the district has the prospect of having a full bench for at least a couple of years, Barth said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Roundup: PUC schedules hearings for FirstEnergy rate increase; New-home sales almost flat in September; more
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Central Valley gains measure of revenge on No. 1 West Allegheny
- High school roundup: Mars upsets No. 4 Hampton in GAC
- Fire at Flight 93 National Memorial hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Corbett, Wolf resort to sticks, stones to attract attention
- No. 4 Highlands wraps up perfect regular season
- Running back depth, defense carries Thomas Jefferson past West Mifflin
- Late TD lifts Penn Hills past Woodland Hills
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend