Edward E. Russell


Edward E. Russell became a judge in 1988.  He presided in both the Family Court and Trial Divisions of Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.  He also served as parliamentarian for the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges for 23 years and the Board of Judges of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania for 19 years. 

Prior to becoming a Judge, he was senior partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Gilfillan, Gilpin & Brehman.  He was a member of the Pennsylvania Bar since 1958. 

Judge Russell was named City Controller by the Governor in 1967 and the Republican Party candidate for that position the same year.  He was a former government specialist for the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse & Co.  Judge Russell later served as a special assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Minor Court Civil Procedure Rules Committee.

Judge Russell is a past president of the James Wilson Law Club and was also a member of the Lawyers Club of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.  He was the past president and a director of the Hospital Attorneys of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Long active in civic and community activities, Judge Russell was executive secretary and board member of the Committee of 70, chairman of the Philadelphia Committee on City Policy, treasurer of the Charter Defense Committee and executive board member of the Citizens Charter committee.  He also served as associate counsel for the Republican City Committee and as a member of the Republican Policy Committee. 

As an adjunct professor at Temple University for many years, Judge Russell has written articles for professional publications.  He appeared on news and feature programs for local broadcast stations and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  He also performed with the Theater Wing of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Temple University Center City Chorus, the Academy Chorale and the Wissahickon Woods Opera Theatre.

Judge Russell held a BA in political science and a MA in rhetoric from Temple University and has a JD from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He also holds an LHD from the Moore College of Art where he served as chairman of the board of trustees. 

Judge Russell’s hobbies included hunting, fishing and karate.  He earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (Korean Karate).  He was a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the Racquet Club, the Pennsylvania Society, the Science and Art Club of Germantown, the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and the Souderton-Harleysville Game, Fish and Forestry Association.  He was a member of the Brehon, Jagiellonian, St. Thomas More and John Peter Zenger Law Societies. 

Judge Russell and his wife Ruth (preceded in death) were residents of Chestnut Hill. Mourning his passing are four children, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 30, 2023, 11:00AM at the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, 8000 St. Martin’s Lane, Phila., PA 19118.