Article By: The Press
Quality of a judge
The candidates were asked to respond to the following question in 100 words or less: What is the most important quality of a judge?
Cross filed as Democrat and Republican
Upper Milford Township
Impartial adherence to the law. Judges must not make law from the bench, but instead ensure that they apply the law to the facts of each case and render a reasoned and fair decision. With
more than three decades of broad-based legal experience – more than any other Republican running for this position – I have treated all parties with respect, which is how I earned the
highest ethical rating from a national attorney review program. Focusing on the law and carrying these ethics and a commitment to ensuring a fair and impartial hearing to all will be my top
Upper Macungie Township
To administer “Equal Justice Under Law.” Everybody—no matter your socio-economic status, color, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.—deserves respect, fair treatment, and an impartial judge; a judge who upholds our laws and constitutional protections for the betterment of our community. The courthouse should be a place where people can have hope—a place where wrongs can be righted—a place where people’s lives can be transformed for the better.
William A. Ehrlich,
Lower Macungie Township
The most important quality of a judge is experience. The Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas hears almost every type of case: contract and business disputes; personal injury cases; divorce and child custody; criminal prosecutions and juvenile court cases. The court system works best, and citizens are best served, when judges have many years of legal experience across a broad range of cases. I have been an attorney for more than 30 years, and have extensive experience with civil, criminal and juvenile court cases. Also, an attorney develops a mature perspective and temperament after years of practicing law.
Jared J. Hanna,
Lower Macungie Township
The most important quality in a judge is to be fair and impartial. A judge’s role is to be the neutral arbitrator, they are not a participant nor are they a legislator. Judges protect the process. A judge is not supposed to assist one side, a judge ensures fairness by making sure both sides are on a level playing field. The final aspect to impartiality, especially in a community the size of Lehigh County, is for judges to have the ability to genuinely access when they should recuse themselves.
Anna-Kristie Morffi Marks,
South Whitehall Township
Integrity coupled with extensive trial court experience is the most important quality. A judge must be able to uphold the law, while treating all parties equally. Involved parties rely on judges to provide a clear understanding of all judicial rulings and the rationale behind each one. An attorney should have extensive trial court experience in order to navigate, as a judge, through motions and hearings, which occur in almost every case that goes to trial. When dealing in matters that can deeply affect a person’s life and liberty, extensive trial court experience is key to providing fairness and justice for all.
Judicial temperament is the most important quality in a judge. According to the American Bar Association, judicial temperament consists of a candidate’s ability to display “compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice”. As a judge for the last five plus years, I have had the opportunity to showcase my judicial temperament on a daily basis and in some of the most difficult circumstances. I truly work hard to ensure that I possess the requisite judicial temperament that reflects favorably on the judiciary and builds the public’s confidence in the integrity of the court.