TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Allegheny County Bar claims lawyer Luvara 'unqualified' for Common Pleas judge

Submitted
Joseph Luvara is a candidate for Allegheny County Common Pleas judge in 2013.

Joseph Luvara

Age: 57

Residence: Carnegie

Family: Wife and daughter

Education: Bachelor's degree, Marquette University, Milwaukee; law degrees, Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, Calif., and Duquesne University

Background: Managing partner of Flaherty Luvara Law Group, Downtown, where he focuses on criminal, real estate, banking and finance law; previously served as assistant to the dean and supervising attorney for clinical education at Duquesne Law School; worked for the ACLU in California

County Bar Association Rating: Unqualified

Common Pleas judges serve 10-year terms, after which they face a yes-or-no retention vote. The salary this year is $173,271.

Related Stories
Lawyer wants to put study of judges to use by sitting on bench
Making a difference motivates Crawford in bid for judgeship
Allegheny Common Pleas judge candidate Daffner tries to avoid politics
Leibowitz makes first bid for Allegheny County judgeship
Allegheny County Common Pleas Court judge candidate Behrend Ernsberger cites variety of cases handled in court
Allegheny County Common Pleas judicial candidate Murray touts humble beginnings
Ward wants chance to make difference  in family court
Lawyers’ trainer Bush ready for family court role
Judge Cozza aims to stay on family court
Cooper says years in court give perspective for Common Pleas judge seat
As judge, Tranquilli wants to intervene early
Satler says trial experience makes her case for judicial post
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
 

Joseph Luvara is not concerned that the Allegheny County Bar Association deemed him “unqualified” to be a Common Pleas judge.

Luvara declined to sit for an evaluation before the association's panel this year “at the risk of impairment to an independent judiciary,” so the rating is based on his unsuccessful 2009 campaign for judge.

“If you're a public defender or a district attorney, or if you're a partner in a large firm, you fit in with their cookie-cutter mold,” said Luvara, 57, of Carnegie, managing partner of the small Downtown law firm bearing his name. “I think there's something to be said about being an independent thinker, especially when you want to be a judge.”

In a field of 13 candidates vying for four seats on the bench, Luvara said his background as a small business owner — his family operates Groceria Italiana, a fixture of Bloomfield's Italian community — and his experience in adopting his daughter Olivia, 5, set him apart from the other candidates.

“It takes more than being a lawyer to be a judge,” Luvara said. “Lawyers know the law, but it takes courage, a strong constitution and wisdom to know what's going on and make a decision.”

On the issues:

What's the top issue facing the court? “The court needs to entertain solutions to recidivism.” He would establish a literacy program at the jail in which nonviolent offenders who can read teach those who cannot.

How do you keep political donations by lawyers from affecting decisions from the bench? “Up until now, I've accepted no contributions from lawyers. Most lawyers who would give me money are friends of mine — people who respect me — not people who want to buy me. I'm not for sale.”

Should judges hire family members? “I couldn't honestly say they shouldn't be able to, although I wouldn't. I kind of like to keep my family life separate from my business life. I don't want to compromise either one.”

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. McCandless residents voice opposition to Wal-Mart plan
  2. Castle Shannon mayor honored by statewide association
  3. Ukrainian festival will go on in McKees Rocks despite crisis in homeland
  4. Squirrel Hill street that had been paved getting another pave job
  5. 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
  6. Thousands relish thrill of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix
  7. TSA fee increase this week arrives with load of complaints
  8. Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
  9. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust leads applicants seeking increase in RAD money
  10. Board to examine use of sanitary authority vehicles
  11. Fox Chapel native to take part in documenting sunken D-Day invasion craft
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.