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S. Union native seeks spot on Fayette County bench

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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Steven Walton, candidate for Fayette Common Pleas Court

A Menallen man is seeking one of two openings for judge in Fayette County.

Steven Walton, 47, is seeking the Democratic and Republican nominations for judge in the May 21 primary.

A South Union native, Walton has represented clients in Fayette, Westmoreland and Allegheny counties as an attorney with the Pittsburgh law firm Rothman Gordon. Walton said that by not having any associations with Fayette law firms, he can be an impartial judge.

“There are many who I talk to daily who question whether they will get a fair shake in the system,” Walton said.

“Whether they are right or wrong in their opinion, it's the perception alone that erodes our system,” Walton said.

“The fact that I have roots in Fayette County, but am not necessarily tied to any particular firm in the area, enables me to be impartial.”

Walton has nearly 20 years' experience in the legal profession, where he has worked as a law clerk, paralegal and attorney in Pennsylvania and other states.

He has helped landowners negotiate oil and gas leases, counseled small business owners and assisted parents with child-support claims.

He said he has focused his professional career on “righting wrongs,” including recent cases in magisterial district courts in which he said he defended a homeowner against a “predatory home improvement company” and helped another client fight a “meritless” zoning violation.

“My practice mirrors Fayette County's case load,” Walton said in a release.

“It is a common misperception that judges at this level primarily deal with criminal matters.”

Outside the courtroom, Walton volunteers as chairman of Fayette County's Marcellus Shale Task Force Legislative Subcommittee and is a member of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce.

Walton attended Laurel Highlands High School and obtained his law degree from Duquesne University.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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