Demonstrated Sound Judgment in Professional Life

This is the final in a series of posts highlighting my experience in each of the ten factors in evaluating a judicial candidate, as suggested by C. Dale McClain, a former President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in a 2009 blog post:

1. Legal ability. 

2. Trial or other similar experience that ensures knowledge of the law and courtroom procedures.

3. A record and reputation for excellent character and integrity. 

4. Financial responsibility. 

5. Judicial temperament. 

6. Mental and physical capacity to fulfill the duties of judicial office. 

7. Record of community involvement. 

8. Administrative ability. 

9. Devotion to improvement of the quality of justice

10. Demonstrated sound judgment in professional life. 

McClain's tenth factor is devotion to improvement of the quality of justice, and here's how he describes it:


10. Demonstrated sound judgment in professional life. A candidate should possess good work habits and the ability to set priorities. A candidate should meet deadlines, keep appointments and commitments, and respect the time of the parties involved in a lawsuit, as well as the lawyers, judges and court personnel.

As a long-time small business owner, I know that I wouldn't still be in business if I didn't have a work ethic.  I get paid last---after all my employees, and after all other overhead is paid.  That means I'm very aware of the importance of timeliness and effective work for my clients, the courts, and my colleagues at the bar.  I'm not perfect; no one is.  But I have always striven to be respectful of all others involved in my cases.  

One of the things I'm proud of is a history of reaching out to those in other professions to help build bridges between our professions.  For example, I've participated in several educational sessions with local therapists, talking about what to do if they are subpoenaed to give evidence in court, and explaining court procedures.  

As a former Treasurer for the Monroe County Democratic Party, it fell to me to move the party into electronic bank records, ensure reconciliation of accounts, and create a budget.  As a member of numerous boards and commissions, I know the importance of showing up and getting the work done. 

As a candidate, I've been reaching out to others in the community for input on my goals for the office and have appreciated their  time as well as their prompt and well reasoned input.  I hope I've demonstrated sound judgment throughout my professional life--it's something I'm always conscious of and that I deeply appreciate in others.  

Catherine Stafford