Patrick Dugan

Chief Judge, Philadelphia Veterans Court

Patrick Dugan is the chief judge of the Philadelphia Veterans Court, which provides a holistic “Treatment Court” approach to criminal justice involving veterans. Judge Dugan is also a Captain in the US Army Reserves. He first enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1981 as a Nuclear Biological Warfare Specialist, and from 1983-1989 was active duty as an airborne infantryman. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a M60 Gunner in Recon 1/505 Airborne Infantry, in South Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, and in Panama with the 1/508th Airborne Infantry. Upon returning home he earned his B.A. and J.D., and for over a decade practiced law with a special emphasis on children and the poor.

At the start of the Iraq war in 2003, Judge Dugan re-enlisted and served in Mosul as part of the 416th Civil Affairs from Norristown PA. He served as a Political Officer and Public Administration Officer for the US Embassy. He was instrumental in forming one of the first Women’s Empowerment Groups in Iraq, and assisted in forming many local NGOs. He was a direct liaison to numerous Iraqi officials with the US State Department and US military. In 2005, Dugan received a Direct Commission to US Army JAG, and was deployed to Bagram Afghanistan in 2006. He served in a military legal capacity for the 82nd Airborne and the 10th Mountain Division as the Chief of Legal Assistance and Federal Claims Commission. While waiting for release from active duty, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell appointed him in 2007 to judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court where he presides over thousands of preliminary hearings and trials each year and soon after to the Philadelphia Veterans Court. He has received many medals and honors for his service. Judge Dugan is on the Board of the Directors of the Philadelphia Korean Memorial, Philadelphia’s City Veteran Advisory Commission and Philadelphia Comfort House.