Judge's referral fees at issue in Montco Superior Court appeal

Pennsylvania Superior Court on Wednesday reheard an appeal in a 20-year-old lawsuit in which a housing developer argues that the entire Montgomery County Court bench should have recused itself.

The developer's attorney, Thomas A. Leonard, argued that there was at least "an appearance of impropriety" for one Montgomery County jurist to decide both the verdict and monetary damages in a case in which his colleague stood to receive a $600,000 referral fee.

Leonard mentioned other Pennsylvania jurists who have faced investigations in recent years over referral fees or campaign donations paid to themselves or their relatives.

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