Jill M. Scheidt is an attorney who has spent her entire 30- year legal career practicing in Berks County. She is a constitutional conservative who is committed to following the law and protecting local families and our rights. Jill currently is a partner at the law firm of Masano Bradley, LLP.
She studied Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1989, and earned her Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law in 1992. Raised in Chester County, she is a graduate of Owen J. Roberts High School. Jill resides in Wyomissing with her husband and two adult sons. She is a member of Atonement Lutheran Church.
Bar Association Involvement and Respect from Colleagues
Following her graduation from Villanova, Jill was admitted to practice as a member of all Pennsylvania state courts in 1992. She is also admitted to practice before the federal courts in both the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania as well as the United States Supreme Court. Since 1992, she has been active as a member of the Berks County Bar Association, often in leadership roles. She is most proud of having served as its President in 2011. Her other roles within the Berks County Bar include serving as Chair of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, co-chair of the Family Law Section, Outreach, Criminal Law and Governmental Affairs Committees, respectively. Jill currently co-chairs the Bench-Bar Committee, an annual conference for lawyers and judges which attracts almost 300 participants for continuing education.
The respect she receives from colleagues beyond the borders of Berks County has been reflected in the leadership roles she has held at the state level. She was Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and former Chair of the Political Action Committee. In addition, she is an active member of the Family Law Section, the former President of the Conference of County Bar Leaders, and a past member of the Board of Governors. She was also on investigative panels for the Judicial Evaluation Committee charged with interviewing candidates for judge positions.
Over the 30 years that Jill has practiced law, she has litigated matters of family law, various civil matters, and criminal defense. She has also been involved with estate planning and administration. Her clients include not only individuals, but also numerous business concerns. With a practice of that nature, Jill has spent a large amount of time in courtrooms in both the state and federal levels in Berks County and beyond. She has taken many cases to verdict, both before juries, judges and arbitration panels, including cases arising out of car accidents, slip and fall situations, medical malpractice, child custody, divorce, business disputes, plus a number of criminal cases ranging from simple assault to DUI cases to homicides. She has been certified to try capital cases and has argued numerous cases before in appellate courts. All of which has allowed her to develop a depth of experience and a desire to serve our community as a judge.
Simply put, she is well-qualified to handle any type of litigation both as a lawyer and a judge.
Why Jill is Running for Judge
Over her 30 years in and out of the courtroom, Jill has developed an admiration of the litigation process which admiration she describes as follows: “Judges must know how to preside over trials. Judges must apply the facts to the law and follow the PA and US Constitutions”. She adds, “I would like to bring my own trial experience and problem-solving skills to the bench. I’ve thought about being a judge for a number of years but felt I wanted to gain more experience in different areas of practice before running. It’s very important to me to be well-rounded. After my experiences trying cases over the last 30 years in civil, criminal and family court, I am confident that I have the experience needed and would feel comfortable presiding over trials as a judge in any area.”
“Being an attorney is very important and meaningful. As attorneys we help our clients one at a time. Judges can make a larger impact.
“As a judge, I hope to impact the lives of Berks County for the better. Moving all cases along quickly, including business disputes, personal injury cases, family law cases–you name it, is crucial”.
Noting the reality that only a small percentage of cases go to trial, with the vast majority being resolved with the help and guidance of judges and masters, Jill adds that, “In the course of my practice I’ve seen our judiciary, locally and statewide, embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution in civil cases and create specialty courts in criminal cases. I want to continue to build on this. One area for growth is to develop stronger ties with the mental health community locally for family court litigants. I would also like to encourage the use of more technology in courtrooms.”
Having recognized that the Hispanic Community is especially vulnerable to fraud perpetrated by notaries public, Jill represented the Berks County Bar Association and the Daniel Torres Hispanic Center of Reading in a 2005 civil suit against a non-lawyer notary who represented litigants in the Hispanic community. Her efforts were recognized when in 2006 she received the Pennsylvania Bar Association President’s Everyday Leader Award.
Jill teaches continuing legal education for lawyers on a number of topics including custody, divorce, support, mental health issues, unauthorized practice of law, living wills, effective use of paralegals, and criminal law topics including expungement. She also has taught courses in the paralegal program at the Pennsylvania State University in various legal matters and procedures
Jill served on the Board of Directors of the Reading Musical Foundation, from 1998-2011, and is a former Chair of the Board. Jill served on the Board of the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation from 2011-2014. Awarded the “Take the Lead Award” by the Girl Scouts in 2015, Jill is also solicitor for the Ringgold Band and a former member of the band (having played clarinet in the Blue Band while a student at Penn State).
Jill’s broad experience in the practice of law as well as in the Berks County community make her a superb candidate for judge who whose service to the community from her judicial position will be nothing short of excellent.