Cooper says years in court give perspective for Common Pleas judge seat
Marcia L. Cooper was surrounded by lawyers growing up in the South Hills, including her grandfather, father and brother.
“I grew up in a family in which it is considered an honor to practice the law,” said Cooper, 51, of O'Hara, one of 13 candidates for Common Pleas judge.
For Cooper, that practice mostly involved civil cases for 23 years as she handled commercial litigation, personal injury lawsuits, toxic torts and receivership. Last year, she started representing children in dependency cases through the nonprofit KidsVoice, work she told the Tribune-Review she “had always tucked away as something I wanted to do.”
Cooper said the years in civil court taught her about trial work, a key to being a trial judge. As a child advocate, she still spends two or three days a week in court.
“I've appeared in front of a lot of judges, and that gives me perspective,” she said. “You have to be patient, tolerant and smart.
“If a client believes you got a fair shake and the judge heard all sides, no matter what the decision is, they will think it's fair,” Cooper said.
If she wins election and serves in family court, where most new judges start, she has only one change planned.
“We start at 8:30 in the morning and sometimes go to 7:30 at night without a lunch break,” she said. “I'd build a lunch break in for sure.”
On the issues:
What's the top issue facing the court? “In civil cases you end up spending a lot of time bringing a judge up to speed” because different judges handle different aspects. Having one judge handle each case “would make Civil Division more efficient.”
How do you keep political donations by lawyers from affecting decisions from the bench? “I'm self-financed. I haven't accepted donations from anyone.”
Should judges hire family members? “I am against it. I don't think a judge should be a conduit for familial employment.”
David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Carnegie Mellon grad’s tweak to tweets turns 7
- Timing of summer’s end a matter of perspective for Western Pennsylvanians
- White House threat sparks call for wider immigration debate
- Outbound 376 reopened after man on exit sign caused closure
- Western Pennsylvania colleges cautious about Ebola risk from students
- Limited North Shore tailgating time yields success
- Newsmaker: Angelo Martini Sr.
- Allegheny County may send Pittsburgh HR complaints
- W.Va. tourism looks ahead after chemical spill
- Newsmaker: Kara Petro Montgomery
- Unidentified body found in Stowe