During his time on the bench, Judge Bernhardt's court has handled nearly 140,000 docketed cases and he has presided fairly and impartially in approximately 42,000 hearings. His vast experience as a jurist is something our community cannot afford to lose.
As Judge, he has also led the effort for innovative programs that are now part of the fabric of our courts in both Montgomery County and Pennsylvania, including the Targeted Opioid Prevention Program (TOPP), the Youth Aid Panel program, and the Montgomery County Special Courts Association.
Judge Bernhardt is also an accomplished and respected attorney whose private practice before taking the bench focused on Civil Litigation and Criminal Defense - the two largest areas of law that come before his court. A graduate of Gettysburg College and Capital School of Law, Judge Bernhardt is admitted to practice law in all Pennsylvania courts as well as the U.S. Federal Court Eastern District and the U.S. Supreme Court.
On the bench, he has treated serious criminals with the necessary toughness and, during his tenure, Judge Bernhardt has remanded to trial criminals who prey on our families including those accused of murder, sexual assault, child abuse, identity theft and more.
Even while standing strong against criminals who prey on our community, Judge Bernhardt has worked hard to give kids who make a mistake the chance to get back on the right path. He is one of the authors and driving forces behind Pennsylvania's T.O.P.P. program, a diversionary program for first-time, nonviolent youth offenders charged with minor crimes that relies on alternative sentencing, education, community service and “Judge’s Probation” to teach a lesson without ruining a future.
Judge Bernhardt is also a leader in the fight to address the opioid crisis in a comprehensive manner that focuses on treatment to help those trapped in addiction rather than simply through punishment.
In addition to running a busy, fair and efficient court, he has performed countless wedding ceremonies for local couples, his Court has been an educational learning lab for Plymouth Whitemarsh High School AP classes, "Mock Trial" competitions in our schools, and other programs that build trust and communication between himself and local residents of all ages.
Judge Bernhardt also continues to give his time and energy to other local civic and community organizations including the Plymouth Fire Company.
Most importantly, to continue serving our community well, Judge Bernhardt takes part in continuing education and training to ensure he is up-to-date and proficient in the law and court administration.