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Former Judge Bill Ward Receives 2023 Judge Zottola Mental Health and Justice Award

March 29, 2023

State College, PA – William F. Ward, a former Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, PA, and a Senior Attorney with Rothman Gordon, PC, was awarded the Judge John A. Zottola Mental Health and Justice Award by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The Award was presented at the annual Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) Conference, held in State College on March 20-21, 2023.

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PCCD’s first Mental Health and Justice Award was bestowed posthumously to the Zottola family in 2022. It is now bestowed annually upon someone who exhibits leadership, dedication, and passion in service to the courts, their community, and special criminal justice populations. Mr. Ward served as a PCCD Commissioner for 15 years and as PCCD’s Representative for the Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health. He also served as Chairman of PCCD’s Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee (MHJAC) since 2019, a culmination of his many years of service on that Advisory Committee. Through his work on MHJAC, Mr. Ward has been a staunch advocate for improving the justice system’s responses to people with mental and behavioral health needs and has been a champion for ensuring strategies supported by PCCD meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Over the course of Mr. Ward’s tenure as Chair, the Advisory Committee’s portfolio of work has grown to include impactful programs like the “Stepping Up” Initiative, a first-in-the-nation effort to reduce the number of people with serious mental illness in local criminal justice systems, especially county jails.

Mr. Ward’s practice areas at Rothman Gordon include Mediation, White Collar Criminal Defense, and Business and Commercial Litigation. In addition to teaching Mental Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Mr. Ward is also the Chairman of the

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Accountability, Conduct and Ethics Commission of Allegheny County. His past government service includes appointments as an Assistant United States Attorney, First Deputy Attorney General, Chairman of the State Parole Board, and Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Corbett.

Mr. Ward earned his B.A., cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross and his J.D. from Temple University School of Law. Mr. Ward is an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association (former Chairman, Federal Court Section) and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Mr. Ward resides in Mt. Lebanon with his wife where they raised their two children.

About Rothman Gordon

Rothman Gordon is a Pittsburgh-based law firm that has been advocating its clients’ interests since 1954. Rothman Gordon has created a suite of services for individuals, organizations, and closely-held and family businesses. Our areas of practice include Alternative Dispute Resolution; business and corporate law; commercial real estate; commercial and business litigation; White Collar Criminal Law; estate planning and administration; taxation; financing and commercial loans; employment law; labor law; oil and gas for landowners; and Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability.

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