Gerald McHugh, Jr. was a senior attorney at Raynes McCarty until President Obama appointed him in May, 2014 to serve as a judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mr. McHugh began his career at Litvin Blumberg, Matusow and Young, where he regularly had the opportunity to co-counsel with attorneys from Raynes McCarty which he joined for the culmination of his career in private practice. While at Raynes McCarty, Mr. McHugh had the opportunity to represent clients in complex personal injury cases, oftentimes involving complicated issues of international law.
Mr. McHugh is a life-long resident of West Philadelphia, where his family has lived through five generations. Click here to read more about Mr. McHugh’s roots. He commuted to St. Joseph’s College, majoring in theology, where he was named a College Scholar and graduated summa cum laude. The research he did, growing
out of teaching in the Philadelphia prisons, became the basis for his first book, Christian Faith & Criminal Justice, which continues to be cited today in works on restorative justice.
He attended Penn Law School, graduating cum laude, where he served on Law Review, followed by clerkships with the Honorable Edmund Spaeth of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the Honorable Alfred L. Luongo here in the Eastern District.
Mr. McHugh is an elected Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. While in practice, he was consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, and on three occasions while working at Raynes McCarty was named its Philadelphia Lawyer of the Year.
Mr. McHugh was known for legislative advocacy as well: on six occasions the Governor of Pennsylvania presented Judge McHugh with a ceremonial pen used to sign legislation he was instrumental in drafting. He co-authored Pennsylvania Torts: Law and Advocacy, a two-volume treatise considered a standard reference. He is a member of the American Law Institute, currently as an advisor to the Third Restatement of Torts. He has written and lectured widely, and taught evidence and appellate advocacy at Penn Law School.
Mr. McHugh served three terms as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts Program (IOLTA) by appointment of the Supreme Court, generating funds to support civil legal services for the poor. In 1998 he served as President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. He served also as President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, and President of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, the largest source of funds for indigent legal services in the state. Working with the Philadelphia Bar’s Civil Gideon Task Force, he was instrumental in starting the Landlord-Tenant Help Center in Municipal Court. The Fellowship he established at Penn Law School in honor of Jerry Litvin and Dennis Suplee has launched three young lawyers into public interest careers.
He co-founded Hospitality House of Philadelphia, a residential program for ex-offenders, and has been active in neighborhood improvement, leading anti-drug efforts, designing and building a community garden, and working to establish the Firehouse Farmers Market, an economic development project. Included among the awards he has received are the Philadelphia Bar’s Fidelity Award, the Justice Michael Musmanno Award, the Distinguished Child Advocate Award from the Support Center for Child Advocates, the Friends of Farmworkers Service Award, the Equal Justice Award from Community Legal Services, and Penn Law’s Lesnick Award for pro bono service.