Lehigh County Chief Deputy DA appointed to PA Supreme Court Committee

November 15, 2021

(ALLENTOWN) – Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin today announced that Heather F. Gallagher, the District Attorney’s Office Chief of Administration and Chief of Appeals, has been named to a prestigious Supreme Court of Pennsylvania committee. 

Gallagher was named a member of the court’s Criminal Procedural Rules Committee for a term of seven years beginning Jan. 1, 2022. The appointment was announced by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in an Order issued Nov. 9. 

The Criminal Procedural Rules Committee is an advisory arm that assists the court in achieving its constitutional mandate to prescribe general rules governing criminal practice and procedure throughout Pennsylvania. The committee also monitors all local criminal rules as required by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure and periodically publishes reports explaining the committee’s proposals for new rules and rule amendments. 

Committee members are appointed by the Supreme Court and are knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure and are experienced in criminal practice in the state. The committee currently has 17 members. 

Martin praised Gallagher for her appointment to this prestigious position. 

“Heather Gallagher has distinguished herself as a very able prosecutor for over 20 years. She has been an important and integral member of my staff for the last 13 years,” Martin said. “She is a tremendously gifted Appellate Attorney and her appointment is a credit to her skill. She will be a great asset to the Committee.” 

Gallagher joined the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office in 2008. She previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia from 2001 to 2008. 

In her current position, she collaborates with coworkers and counterparts in the Public Defender’s Office, Private Criminal Defense bar, members of the judiciary and other stakeholders in Lehigh County to establish and implement policies that comply with current law and support the office’s criminal justice endeavors. 

She is also frequently consulted regarding the practical application of various Rules of Criminal Procedure at all stages of a criminal case. 

Throughout her career, Gallagher has represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a wide array of criminal matters from preliminary hearings to post-conviction relief hearings. As an appellate attorney, she also routinely practices in all of the appellate Courts of the Commonwealth as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Gallagher is also a current member of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association Amicus Review Committee and has drafted numerous amicus briefs on behalf of the Association. 

She is a member of the Bar Association of Lehigh County and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. 

Ms. Gallagher is a native of Harrisburg, Pa., and is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and Widener University School of Law. She and her husband Joseph are the parents of two boys and reside in Bucks County.