In November 2005, Judge Deborah Anne Kunselman became the first woman ever elected to the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County. Judge Kunselman is a 1992 honors’ graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, and a 1989 high-honors’ graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, where she was a student of the Schreyer Honors College and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Before taking the bench, Judge Kunselman practiced for thirteen years in many areas of civil litigation, including personal injury, municipal, family, and employment law. Her varied practice consisted of representing individuals, businesses, and government entities. In addition to her private practice, she served for eight years (1998-2005) as the Solicitor for Beaver County, under three separate Democratic Boards of Commissioners. She was the first woman in the county selected to serve in the capacity of Chief County Solicitor.
Elected twice to the bench, Judge Kunselman has presided over family, juvenile, and civil cases, including several multi-million-dollar jury trials. She has decided many employment cases, including cases where she upheld appeals from labor arbitration awards. One of her significant contributions as a trial judge was to implement Act 53 in Beaver County; this process allows parents of a minor, suffering from addiction, to petition the courts to force their child to attend inpatient drug and alcohol treatment.
Judge Kunselman is recognized as a frequent speaker on legal issues. She has taught numerous Continuing Legal Education classes to lawyers and, twice, has been asked to teach the Family Law course at Pennsylvania New Judge School. Since 2011, she has served on the statewide Judicial Education Committee. As an active member of the Beaver County Bar Association, Judge Kunselman participates annually in the Beaver County Mock Trial Competition and many other volunteer programs.
Judge Kunselman was elected to the Superior Court in November 2017 and was sworn in as a member of the Court in January 2018. Her chambers are in Beaver.