C. Darnell Jones, II was sworn in as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after nomination by President George W. Bush in 2008. He previously served as President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania from December 2005 until his appointment in October, 2008. During his tenure as President Judge of Pennsylvania’s largest judicial district, he was appointed Chair of the Administrative Governing Board (AGB) of the First Judicial District by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The AGB is the coordinating body for all of the courts of the First Judicial District. Judge Jones began serving as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1987. He held various positions on the Court of Common Pleas, including: managing judge of the Adult Probation and Parole Department, member of the Judicial Education Committee, presiding judge and Co-Coordinating Judge of the Homicide Division, and presiding judge in the Major Civil Trial Division. He served as a presiding judge in the Commerce Case Management Program (Business Court), and also served as a Supervising Judge of the Philadelphia County Grand Jury. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where among other responsibilities, he served as chief of the Family Court Division. Judge Jones obtained his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College in French, and his J.D. degree from American University, Washington College of Law.
He has previously served as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s University’s Graduate School, Temple University School of Law, and The National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Judge Jones has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School since 1993. He has taught Handling Capital Cases and Criminal Evidence for the National Judicial College. At the request of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, he oversaw the development of a curriculum for trial judges presiding over capital cases within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania–the Supreme Court’s Capital Case Initiative program. He was a contributing author of Presiding Over a Capital Case, A Benchbook for Judges (William J. Brunson, Esq., et al. eds., 2009).
Judge Jones was named one of the 500 leading judges in America by Lawdragon magazine in 2005. He has been appointed a Business Court Representative to the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, and served as a liaison to the Judicial Division of the ABA.
Judge Jones is a member of the University of Pennsylvania American Inn of Court. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of New Directions for Women; the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Drexel University Law School Board, the Advisory Board of the George Mason School of Law – Law & Economics Center Judicial Education Program, and previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. He is a member of the Model Civil Jury Instructions Committee for the Third Circuit. In 2012, Judge Jones was appointed to the Committee on Criminal Law of the Judicial Conference of the United States by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.