Two months ago, I announced that I would not seek another term as Northampton County district attorney. I felt at that time that I had achieved all the goals that I set out to achieve, and more. After 27 years, it was time for me to consider some new challenges.
I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was 12 years old. My dad had a 6th grade education. My mom had a 11th grade education. As a kid growing up in South Bethlehem in a low income neighborhood, I dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer and representing average folks like my parents. Getting into law school, opening up my own law practice and serving my clients for 16 years was that dream come true. Being elected district attorney, the chief law enforcement officer of the county, and prosecuting cases in the courtroom on behalf of the citizens of Northampton County, was even more than I dreamed. What I realize is that I have had a love affair with the law for 50 years. The law is what makes all of us equal, or at least should. The law brings order to our society, and protects us. Rich or poor, young or old, highly educated or uneducated, regardless of our race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, we are all equal under the law.
As I thought about where I go from here, and talked with many of our citizens who approached me after my announcement that I would not seek another term as DA, my love for the law and what it stands for, and means to all of us, came front and center again. I asked myself how I can continue to serve my community , immerse myself in the law and our legal system, and do meaningful work utilizing my years of experience.
This year, Northampton County citizens will elect a new judge to fill the vacancy left open by the retirement of Judge Emil Giordano. After much thought, and despite the opportunity to join a distinguished law firm, I am announcing today that I will run for the currently open judgeship in Northampton County. As is customary in judicial elections, I will cross-file on both the Republican and Democratic ballots.
I believe that I am one of the most qualified and experienced lawyers in Northampton County to serve as a trial judge. During my tenure as district attorney, I personally and successfully prosecuted 25 first degree murder cases before juries in Northampton County. I have supervised the grand jury, and I have practiced in and appeared before, on numerous occasions, all of the appellate courts of Pennsylvania as well as all of the federal courts. Prior to my years as DA, I had a diverse law practice and legal career. While in private practice for 16 years, I handled just about every kind of case. I personally tried numerous civil cases before juries and judges, including but not limited, to medical malpractice, auto accidents and slips and falls. I represented small businesses, wrote wills and represented many clients in divorce and custody matters. I served as a municipal solicitor for a number of municipalities in Northampton County and served 4 years as a public defender. I also taught law courses for over 10 years at Moravian College. Quite frankly, there is probably no area of the law in which I do not have some experience.
I believe that a judge at the common pleas level can have a positive impact on our community. Fairly and equally applying the law in all cases, without bias is, of course, the first obligation. Beyond that, however, a judge can also positively impact our legal system. Working to assure equal access to our courts for all of citizens regardless of income, advocating for reforms that results in the efficient use of public resources in our justice system, implementing court programs to help rehabilitate non violent offenders, and keeping our communities safe from violent predators would be my priorities. I look forward to discussing these issues in the course of this campaign.