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October 31, 2022

Kohn Swift Mourns Death of Judge Dolores Sloviter

Kohn Swift announces with sadness the passing of Judge Dolores Sloviter, former colleague and retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Sloviter died at the age of 90 on October 12, 2022, after a groundbreaking career in the law.

At a time when other Philadelphia law firms refused to hire women associates, Harold Kohn hired Dolores Sloviter (then Dolores Korman) straight out of law school. Her ensuing career was full of firsts, including as part of the 3-lawyer trial team led by Kohn in the groundbreaking Electrical Antitrust Cases. She became a partner with the firm, the first female partner at a Philadelphia law firm. She taught at Temple Law, the first woman law professor in the city. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the first woman appointed to that court, and in 1991 she became the first woman to hold the title of Chief Judge.

As an attorney and a judge, Judge Sloviter was involved in hundreds of high-profile cases, authoring more than 800 precedential opinions on matters involving price fixing, antitrust claims, First Amendment rights, and the Abscam convictions. During her time as Chief Judge, Judge Sloviter also formed a task force to examine gender and racial bias in Third Circuit courts, leading to a resolution that continues to help ensure fairness for litigants, employees, and staff.

Her mark on the legal profession in Philadelphia is significant, and will continue to be felt for generations.