Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Judge Rothstein Has Deep Roots To Norristown, "Truly loves this county," Colleague Says

One thing I learned during the swearing-in ceremony of Montgomery County Judge Wendy G. Rothstein is that the new judge is deeply rooted to the Norristown area.

“She was born and bred in Norristown. Her entire career has been in Montgomery County. She truly loves this county and is part of its absolute fabric,” fellow Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio told the 200 people who packed Courtroom A for Rothstein’s swearing-in ceremony this week.
Montgomery County Judge Wendy G. Rothstein/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.

Carluccio, who was selected to offer remarks on behalf of Rothstein during the ceremony, said she was “honored” to tell the audience about her friend and to offer a glimpse of the woman who became judge. Everyone in attendance got a history lesson, of sorts, about Rothstein's life.

“Growing up she attended Norristown and Plymouth-Whitemarsh schools. Her father owned a furniture store right down the street from this courthouse, Goldenberg’s Furniture. It was a landmark in Norristown, it was a place where every family in this area went to get their furniture,” Carluccio said.

 “She actually grew up on the 1400 block of Astor Street, which is not five to six blocks, again, from this very courthouse.”

Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
According to Carluccio, Rothstein’s parents had purchased the Astor Street home from her grandparents.

Upon the death of Rothstein’s grandfather, when Rothstein was in 9th Grade, Rothstein’s parents purchased a home in Plymouth Township to make room for her grandmother to come live with them.

“So the whole family then moved from Astor Street to the home in Plymouth, where Wendy then attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School,” Carluccio said. “Now history repeating itself – that very house in Plymouth, Wendy then went on and purchased from her parents and she lives there to this day.”

While Rothstein was studying at Temple University, she spent her summers working at the county courthouse in the Prothonotary’s Office “doing everything from filing motions to assisting litigants who were walking in the door,” Carluccio told the crowd.

“This was the beginning of Wendy’s professional life in Montgomery County,” Carluccio said. “Once she graduated from college, Wendy got her first job, she was a social worker in foster care at the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth. And after working there about a year, that’s when Wendy realized she wanted to do much more. So she went to law school.”
Wendy G. Rothstein/Submitted Photo

Rothstein graduated from Temple University in 1978 with a Bachelors of Social
Work and obtained her law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1982.

“While in law school, although she was out of state…she interned, you guessed it, back here in Norristown at our very own legal aid office,” Carluccio said.

Upon graduating from law school, Rothstein broke the glass ceiling as the first female lawyer hired at Pearlstine Salkin, Associates, now known as Fox Rothschild, in 1982, where she worked for 34 years, including partner in the Blue Bell office. Rothstein was elected to be a judge in November.

Rothstein also was the first woman appointed as a municipal solicitor in Montgomery County in 1988; appointed by the county judges to serve as a discovery master in 2001; and appointed by county judges to serve as a Chair of a Board of View in 2013.

“Not easy feats back in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Carluccio pointed out.

Carluccio said Rothstein practiced law in five divisions of the courts – Civil, Criminal, Family, Orphans’ and Juvenile.

“I dare say there are very few people that can actually claim that. She has a stellar reputation in complex business litigation, commercial litigation, land development, zoning and condemnation matters,” Carluccio said. “She’s worked in many capacities in our Bar Association.

“So after all the work she’s done in our courts, it’s only a natural transition for her to finally serve this court in its ultimate capacity, as a judge on this Court of Common Pleas,” Carluccio added.
Judge Wendy Rothstein at Swearing-In/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.


Welcome “Home,” Judge Rothstein and congratulations on your ascension to the bench!

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