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Max Baer, the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has died at age 74 only months before he was set to retire. The court confirmed Saturday that Baer died overnight at his home near Pittsburgh. It didn't give a cause of death but called his “sudden passing" a “tremendous loss for the court and all of Pennsylvania.” The court also said Justice Debra Todd is now the first female chief justice in commonwealth history. Baer was an Allegheny County family court judge and an administrative judge in family court before he was elected to the high court in 2003. He became its chief justice last year. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Baer was set to retire at the end of the year.

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