This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
State of Pennsylvania May 19, 2009 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Barbara Behrend Ernsberger

Candidate for
Judge; Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

Barbara Behrend Ernsberger is running for Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Barbara is a seasoned trial lawyer with over 32 year of experience in various areas of law including workers' compensation law, insurance law, land use law, social security law, family law, estate law, consumer protection law, and civil litigation. She has been honored by a national organization that rates lawyers as having very high legal ability and ethical standards.

Barbara has shown an understanding of the law and the tenacity needed when representing injured workers and defrauded consumers against major corporations. She has been involved in protecting property owners in a hot zoning issue against a major merchandising giant.

In the case of Globe Security Systems Co. v. W.C.A.B., Barbara successfully presented and urged the Commonwealth Court, and ultimately the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, to adopt the "chain of causation" test, a legal tool that was being used for the award of compensation benefits in other states. Both Courts found in favor of Barbara's client and in so finding, the Supreme Court stated: "We join the majority view [in other jurisdictions] and adopt the chain-of-causation test, which is consistent with the humanitarian purpose of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, as the law of this Commonwealth."

The list of Barbara's accomplishments includes serving on the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committees, and is the first woman to be the Chairperson for all 32 wards of the City of Pittsburgh. She has served on a Community Advisory Board and is a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh Planning Board where she has participated in many land use decisions. Among these decisions where decisions concerning the new Pittsburgh casino, the new hockey arena, and the August Wilson African American Center.

Barbara worked as a waitress while in college. She also worked part-time in the Diamond Bakery on the South Side of Pittsburgh. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and obtained her law degree from the Duquesne University Law School.

Barbara has served as a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor, a trustee of a nursery school board, a community activist, and as a moderator of a Women's Association.

She is currently endorsed by Pennsylvania NOW, Gertrude Stein Club, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Beaver-Lawrence Labor Council, Steam Fitters Local #354, Beaver County Democratic Committee, Cumberland County Democratic Committee, Fayette County Constables Association, Allegheny County Constables Association, Shadyside Democrats, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club and Iron Workers Local Union No. 3.

Next Page: Additional Endorsements

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
May 2009 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.
Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 14, 2009 11:59
Smart Voter   <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund