Allegheny County Bar claims lawyer Luvara 'unqualified' for Common Pleas judge
By Adam Brandolph
Published: 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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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 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.
- Pittsburgh police make 71 arrests during St. Patrick’s celebrations
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto defends his trips to capital, D.C.
- Pittsburgh mayor’s ‘change in culture’ puts meetings on hold
- Baldwin band will stroll in New York City parade
- Pittsburgh firefighter’s sacrifice in 2004 built bond in Hill District
- Hampton officials urged PennDOT for years to improve site of fatal bus/car crash
- Climbers step up in One Oxford Centre to benefit American Lung Association
- Arbitrator won’t sign residency ruling for Pittsburgh police officers
- Assessment appeals draw Mt. Lebanon residents’ ire
- Newsmaker: Arturo Valentin
- St. Patrick’s Day parade to close streets, alter 45 bus routes in Downtown, Strip District