Lawyer wants to put study of judges to use by sitting on bench
Patrick Connelly has watched judges in courtrooms from Erie to Harrisburg, thinking about how he could do it better from the bench.
“I believe in order to be a trial judge, you have to be a trial lawyer,” said Connelly, 45, of Shadyside, one of 13 people running for Allegheny County Common Pleas judge. “That's what I've been doing for 19 years all over Western Pennsylvania.”
Connelly mostly defends people who are sued. He touts his experience handling cases from initial pleas to appeals as a reason to choose him for one of four spots on the bench.
“I work six days a week,” he told the Tribune-Review. “I plan on being there for a long time.”
Connelly grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in Duquesne and hasn't forgotten his roots. He is solicitor for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and handles legal issues for the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.
“I had someone tell me, ‘You have a good name for the job,' ” Connelly said about a recent campaign event. “But I'd rather talk about my qualifications.”
On the issues:
What's the top issue facing the court? “In the Civil Division, there could be six judges who have seen your case by the time it goes to trial. In the smaller counties, it's easier to manage.”
How do you keep political donations by lawyers from affecting decisions from the bench? “I think I can say it won't affect me. I'm not keeping score. I haven't even counted the money from my fundraiser.”
Should judges hire family members? “I really would hate to say you can't hire somebody just because they're related to someone. But we're supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.”
David Conti is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5802 or email@example.com.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.