Philadelphia, PA – Ourania “Rainy” Papademetriou, was sworn into public office on Friday at City Hall, where she gave several shout outs during her acceptance speech to Hellenism, the Greek Orthodox Church, and to her Spartan background. Her new position of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County officially started this January and carries a ten year term.
Courtroom 653 filled will friends, family, and colleagues as Papademetriou sat with husband Jon Belisonzi, Esquire, at her side. Before she was sworn in, her daughters, Eleni and Lisa, several judges and former Governor Ed Rendell spoke on behalf of Papadimitriou’s career in public service.
Following the ceremony, Judge Papademetriou told Cosmos Philly, “This is really a great moment for all of us, especially for the Greek-American community – having one of our own in public office here in Philadelphia. We have so many other Greeks here that are accomplished and are leaders in our city. We need to recognize and support them as well.”
Judge Papademetriou resides with her husband of thirty-one years who she met in law school. They have lived and worked in Philadelphia for over thirty-five years and raised their daughters in the Philadelphia public schools. They all attend the historic Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral where Judge Papademetriou serves on the Board of Directors of the Saint George Senior Housing Corporation. Both of her daughters are directors of the Saint George Sunday School, the same Sunday School they attended at the same Cathedral where they were baptized.
Judge Papademetriou has devoted her professional life to helping others. Whether as a teacher, prosecutor, domestic violence advocate, or lawyer for the underserved, she understands the challenges of everyday people and will work to ensure everyone has a fair shot in court. A Temple Law graduate, Judge Papademetriou was the managing attorney at Philadelphia VIP, a nonprofit corporation that provides free legal services to those in need. She has also served as the Director of legal services for Women Against Abuse and was an assistant district attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award, for her extensive work in public service in Philadelphia.
In an interview in April of 2015 with The National Herald, she gave her reasons for running for this position. “I have dedicated my entire career as an attorney to promoting equal access of justice to the courts, helping to give a voice to those who need legal assistance and have nowhere else to turn. I believe that my experience in public service and my extensive work in public interest give me the experience and a strong foundation to listen to and be fair to the litigants that come before me. Those who know me and have worked with me, know I am understanding, patient, compassionate, even-tempered, and open-minded. I am able to deal with difficult and challenging situations with fairness, confidence and common sense.”
The City of Philadelphia, the Court, and the citizens of the City will certainly benefit from the experience and dedication to law that Judge Papademetriou brings and the Greek-American community can be proud that another of its own has ascended to this prestigious position.