Judge John J. Thomas


The Honorable John J. Thomas (January 4, 1948 – February 7, 2019)

            Judge Thomas was a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania since 1992 and presided in the Wilkes-Barre Division.  He served as Chief Judge from 2002 to July, 2009.  Prior to his appointment, he practiced law from 1972 until the date of his appointment.  His law practice was limited to bankruptcy law since 1986.  Judge Thomas also served as a Trustee under the Bankruptcy Act of 1898, as well as under the Code.  He received his undergraduate degree from King’s College in 1969, and his law degree from The Dickinson School of Law in 1972.  He was a member of the Education Committee for the Third Circuit Judicial Council, and a member of the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association, Inc., the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, where he formerly served on the Board of Governors as a Third Circuit Representative, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association (Luzerne County Bar).  Judge Thomas formerly served as a County Public Defender and as an Adjunct Professor at local colleges.

            On June 6, 2018, Judge Thomas was honored as a recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) Excellence Award for helping to create the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association Pro Bono Program in 1994 and his continued involvement in the success of that program. He was also instrumental in helping to establish the Middle District’s first set of official Local Bankruptcy Rules and Forms.

          Judge Thomas is survived by his wife, Marilyn, 5 children, and 3 grandchildren.