Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Anne Marie B. Coyle secured a second 10-year term, despite recent controversy surrounding her alleged courtroom conduct. While candidates for judge initially run as Republicans or Democrats, they later seek non-partisan retention for new terms.
Coyle was among 11 Common Pleas judges seeking retention on Tuesday’s ballot. She was the sole judge rated “not recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Controversy emerged when the Defender Association of Philadelphia filed a scathing judicial conduct complaint against Coyle, accusing her of biased and improper handling of a case. She allegedly threatened a prosecutor and defense attorney with contempt of court charges, attempted to coerce the defense attorney into recusal, and improperly offered leniency to the defendant if he dropped his request for her to recuse herself.
Coyle’s legal background includes 15 years as an assistant district attorney and a family-law attorney before winning her judgeship in 2013. Despite running without the city’s Democratic Party endorsement, she secured her position, likely aided by her fortuitous ballot position among 22 candidates.