Julia Kathleen Munley Fact Sheet

June 5, 2023

On May 3, 2023, President Biden nominated Judge Julia Kathleen Munley to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to the seat vacated by Judge Robert David Mariani. Judge Munley has extensive experience in litigation both as a practitioner, from her time in private practice, and as a judge on the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, 45th Judicial District, in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  


A lifelong Pennsylvanian by birth, education, and then profession, Judge Julia Kathleen Munley was born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, in 1965. She attended the College of the Holy Cross, then Marywood College, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, where she earned awards for her writing, graduating magna cum laude in 1987. She went on to study at Lehigh University and the University of Scranton and served as a crisis counselor at the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before completing her J.D. at the Dickinson School of Law in 1992.  

Legal Experience 

Judge Munley began her legal career as a clerk for Hon. Stephen J. McEwen, Jr., of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, from 1992 to 1993. Afterward, she embarked on a career as a trial attorney, practicing at the state and federal level across areas including medical malpractice, civil rights, personal injury, and family law with an expertise in elder law.  

From 1993 until 1995, Judge Munley was an associate at Masterson, Braunfeld, Maguire, & Brown, where she represented physicians and hospitals. She then moved to Mazzoni & Karam, where she was an associate from 1995 through 2001. In 1998, Judge Munley served as an associate at Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, and began as part-time solicitor for the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging’s Elderly Law Project—a position she held until 2001.  

Judge Munley was an associate at Munley Law from 2001 until 2012, when she was named a partner, and remained at the firm, representing victims of injury, until her appointment to the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, 45th Judicial District, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in June 2016. As a litigator, 20 percent of Judge Munley’s practice was federal in nature and 70 percent took place in state court. Ninety-five percent of her work was civil.  

Judge Munley’s most notable pro bono work as a litigator was her representation of a victim emergency responder before the September 11th Compensation Fund. She was recognized for that work by the American Association for Justice in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2004. While in private practice, she also provided free legal services at the Hope Clinic in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, which offered free legal, dental and medical services to persons in need.  

Judicial Experience 

Judge Munley was appointed to the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, 45th Judicial District, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, by Governor Tom Wolf in June 2016 then elected to that court on November 7, 2017, to a 10-year term. Judge Munley handles both general civil and family court matters as well as periodically hearing criminal cases. She has presided over approximately 57 trials, the vast majority of which were civil proceedings (95 percent) and bench trials (91 percent).  

The following cases are representative of Judge Munley’s judicial career: 


In PPL Electric Utility Corp. v. Judge, 2021-CV-4966 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. Mar. 24, 2022), Judge Munley granted a utility company an injunction ensuring its right to access and reconstruct power lines from a township road or a landowner’s agricultural parcel. She denied only the portion of the utility’s request that would allow it to access lines from a residential parcel owned by the same landowner, who objected and claimed previous damage by the utility. Judge Munley balanced the competing interests by requiring the utility to post a $100,000 injunction bond. 

Local Government  

Presented with a conflict between a realty company and the City of Scranton over the demolition of two properties in PSN Realty, Inc. v. City of Scranton, et al., 2021-CV-1832 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty.); PSN Realty, Inc. v. City of Scranton, et al., 2021-CV-1840 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty.), Judge Munley found that the realty company had missed appropriate opportunities to take legal action and was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims. As such, the judge denied the company’s petitions for preliminary injunctions. 

In Lackawanna County v. Correctional Care, Inc., 2021-CV-147, 2021 WL 32 1115282 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. Feb. 5, 2021), aff’d, 274 A.3d 778, 2022 WL 468540 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Feb. 16, 2022), Judge Munley determined as a matter of contracts law that the County had established a clear right to mandatory injunctive relief as the Defendant, formerly the medical service provider for the Lackawanna County Prison, had agreed to secure tail insurance then refused to do so. She noted as factors the risk of the county’s insolvency and failure of services to the detriment of its residents. Her decision was affirmed on appeal to the Commonwealth Court. 


In Jackson v. Lead Intelligence dlb/a Jornaya, 2020-CV-3695 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. Nov. 16, 2021), appeal discontinued, 1325 MDA 2021 (Pa. Super. Ct. Nov. 22, 2022), a case surrounding a proposed class action suit against a company that tracked individuals’ interactions with a web site using lead generation software, Judge Munley determined that the Defendant waived its claim to arbitration by failing to assert its right to such in preliminary objections or affirmative defenses. The Defendant initially appealed Judge Munley’s decision, then settled with Plaintiff. 

Family Law and Victims’ Rights 

In B. V. olb/o/T V., a Minor v. J W., 2019-FC-41660 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. June 9, 2019), aff’d, 746 MDA 2020 (Pa. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2020), 240 A.3d 953,2020 WL 5641249, Judge Munley determined, following a full hearing and appointment of a guardian ad litem, that a father who petitioned for protection on behalf of his minor child against the mother’s fiancé did not sustain the required burden of proof. Her decision was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. 

Presented by Lackawanna County with claims against parents in regard to a minor and her sister in In RE: MM-A., 35-DP-154-2016 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. July 7, 2017), aff’d, 928 MDA 2017, 2017 WL 5953545 (Pa. Super. Ct. Dec. 1, 2017), Judge Munley determined the minor was dependent but denied the request for a finding of abuse after being unable to rule out a natural medical defect. Judge Munley’s decision was upheld on appeal. 

In Crispino v. Harding, 2018-FCA1401 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty. Apr. 29, 2019), Plaintiff petitioned for protection from a former romantic partner who was a detective. Judge Munley found Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to warrant a protection from abuse order and granted such. 

In Commonwealth v. Efthimou, 2018-CR-853 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty.), the Pennsylvania Attorney General charged a former county corrections officer with sexual assault. The Defendant pleaded to a misdemeanor. In response to the victim’s request, Judge Munley indicated that she would have the opportunity to address the court during the presentence investigation and sentencing. The victim did not do so. Judge Munley sentenced the Defendant to the maximum sentence. 

In a second case involving alleged sexual assault by a county corrections official, Commonwealth v. Johnson, 2018-CR-638 (C.P. Lacka. Cnty.), Judge Munley fielded multiple significant pretrial motions, including requests to admit evidence of other crimes including testimony from other victims and, from the Defendant, Mr. Johnson, to preclude expert witness testimony. She granted the motion to admit an additional living victim’s testimony and the prior testimony of a deceased victim. Judge Munley also permitted the expert witness, a psychologist, to testify.  

Professional Activities and Accolades 

In 2023, Judge Munley received the Lackawanna Bar Association’s Exemplary Service Award. She has also been the recipient of the Lackawanna County Commission for Women’s Community Award for Outstanding Service and Efforts in Improving the Lives of Women and Children and a Woman of the Year award, both in 2019. She was named a Super Lawyer by Pennsylvania Magazine in 2015. That same year, Judge Munley joined the Trial Lawyer Honor Society of the Litigation Council of America and was recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Pennsylvania. In 2013, she was named a top woman in business by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal and Association of Women Business Owners.  

Judge Munley’s memberships have included the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Association of Women Lawyers of Lackawanna County, the Lackawanna Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Victims’ Services Advisory Committee, and the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Victim Service Advisory Committee as well as the Luzerne Law and Library Association.