Adam Beloff, a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge who died last week, was such a nice guy that you would think it was an act at first, said a longtime Beloff family friend, Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters Jr.
But once you got to know him, you would realize he really was that nice, Waters said. "He was an incredibly humanistic person whose personal relationships transcended race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation," Waters said. "He was just that kind of guy who appealed to everybody."
Beloff committed suicide.
Beloff was known for an outstanding reputation on the bench, his judicial colleagues said.
"Lawyers would really go out of their way to say that he was doing a fine job," Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe said. Beloff's most recent assignment was hearing major cases arising out of the city's South Detective Division.
"Judge Beloff had an impeccable reputation, and he was constantly striving to improve his ability to manage his caseload," Waters said.
One example of how Beloff strove to improve justice was Beloff contacting a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that Waters is involved with to find out what he could do to assist defendants with substance abuse problems, Waters said.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper, supervising judge of the trial division's criminal section, said that Beloff had a reputation for fairness, efficiency, hard work, being a team player and being always interested in making sure "he got the job done in the best way he could."
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who got to know Beloff when Beloff was running for judge and he was running to become the city's top prosecutor in 2009, said that line prosecutors found him to be fair.
Williams said he came to really like Beloff and appreciate him as a person.