Joseph F. Leeson Jr.
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania|
|Assumed office |
December 5, 2014
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Eduardo C. Robreno|
|Born||April 15, 1955|
|Education||DeSales University (B.A.)|
Columbus School of Law (J.D.)
Joseph F. Leeson Jr. (born April 15, 1955) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Leeson received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in 1977 from DeSales University. He received a Juris Doctor in 1980 from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, he became a founding partner of the law firm of Leeson, Leeson & Leeson in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The firm conducted a general civil practice with an emphasis on litigation. Leeson earned certification as a civil trial advocate from the National Board of Trial Advocacy and also served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. During his career, he served as a solicitor for several municipalities in Pennsylvania. In 2017 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by DeSales University.
Leeson previously held elected public office as a member of the city council of the City of Bethlehem, where he served as vice president and chair of the finance committee. He also was elected as a member of the Northampton County Government Study Commission where he served to co-author the Home Rule Charter for Northampton County.
He has served as chair of the boards of the Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation—PBS 39, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, the Lehigh–Northampton Airport Authority, and the Janet Johnston Housenick and William D. Housenick Memorial Foundation. He formerly served as a member of the board of commissioners of the Pennsylvania Public Television Network.
On June 16, 2014, President Obama nominated Leeson to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to the seat vacated by Judge Eduardo C. Robreno, who took senior status on August 31, 2013. On July 24, 2014 a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary was held on his nomination. On September 18, 2014 his nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote. On December 3, 2014 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on his nomination. On December 4, 2014, the Senate voted 66–26 for cloture on Leeson's nomination. Later that same day, the Senate voted 76–16 to confirm Leeson. He received his federal judicial commission on December 5, 2014.