Patrick Allen Sweeney was born at Magee Hospital in Oakland to Mary Beth (Allen) and John Sweeney on July 2, 1970, and spent his youth living in the Brighton Heights section of Pittsburgh’s North Side, attending St. Cyril’s along with his sister Maureen. The Sweeney family made the move to Indiana, PA when John Sweeney took a job teaching at Indiana University of PA (IUP).
After graduating from Indiana Area Senior High School, Patrick enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a BA in Economics in 1992. He went on to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, earning his JD in 1996.
Patrick’s first job after law school was with US Rep. Mike Doyle. After receiving his bar exam results, he began his legal career, working for the colorful attorney, Joseph Buckley of Brookville, PA, getting a taste for the life of a country lawyer with varied practice, one that took him to several rural counties in Western Pa. But the lure of public service was strong, and a job as an Assistant Public Defender for Allegheny County was too good an opportunity to pass up – Patrick joined the Public Defender’s office under then Director (now Judge) Kevin Sasinoski in 1997, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of indigent clients in that office for the last 23 years
Working in nearly every capacity in the office, Patrick has appeared in every division of the Court of Common Pleas as a Public Defender; working in Family Division on behalf of clients in Juvenile Delinquency case, Preliminary Hearings, Civil Contempt cases, appeals of Mental Health commitments in Orphan’s Court, and for the last 20 years trying cases in the adult Criminal Division. Patrick’s experience includes dozens of Jury trials, hundreds of non-jury trials, and he has counseled thousands of clients as a Public Defender. He has handled every type of case from shoplifting to Homicide. Over the years, the office has called on Patrick to train and mentor the new attorneys, as well as those transitioning into the Trial Unit. On a daily basis, Patrick is in court, fighting for individual rights and equal justice under the law. This extensive and varied trial experience gives Patrick a unique degree of preparation for the bench. During his first run for the bench in 2015, he was Recommended by the Allegheny County Bar Association for the position of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and is still awaiting his rating for his 2021 candidacy.