Allegheny County Common Pleas judicial candidate Murray touts humble beginnings
By David Conti
Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:52 p.m.
P.J. Murray has an affinity for the underdog.
He cites a childhood in Penn Hills in which he had to “claw and scratch for everything” as one reason for relating more to the smaller guy in any fight.
“I came from a broken home. I didn't know anybody when I went to law school. I didn't have powerful friends,” said Murray, 51, of Upper St. Clair, one of 13 candidates for Allegheny County judge. “I'm a self-made person.”
During nearly 23 years as a lawyer, Murray has spent much of his time representing small- to medium-sized businesses in commercial and employment litigation. He's most proud of a case he actually lost, when he represented former Steelers guard Steve Courson in his fight for more benefits from the NFL while seeking a heart transplant.
“I worked hard for a client that was desperate,” Murray told the Tribune-Review. “I knew it would be an uphill climb.”
Murray exudes a quiet demeanor he says he developed growing up in a house with a lot of commotion. He listed simple traits of a good judge: Be prepared, know the law and be respectful.
He cites service to his community and to his profession as his driving forces. He volunteers to coach youth sports in Upper St. Clair and serves on the board of The Fralic Foundation in support of Penn Hills youth sports.
“Those who can give back to the profession should,” he said of his run for judge. “I turned 50 and started to reflect on what I've done. I need to crank it up.”
On the issues:
What's the top issue facing the court? “Each time you appear in front of a judge (in civil court) ... you might have to reiterate the case because someone else heard the last motion.”
How do you keep political donations by lawyers from affecting decisions from the bench? “I insulate that list. And my integrity means more to me than anything else.”
Should judges hire family members? “I don't think it's a great practice. To me, it's all about qualifications.”
David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 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.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Davis embraces new opportunity with Pirates
- NHL notebook: Bruins’ Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Riverhounds squander 2-goal lead, settle for draw
- ‘Patriots’ back Nevada rancher; Reid labels them ‘domestic terrorists’
- NFL notebook: Pryor will be cut if he’s not traded
- Frye: Commission discusses ‘second opening day effect’
- State Police: People injured in Parkway crash resulting from police chase
- Architecture photos show difference between drama, fact
- Area anglers recorded many top-ranked catches from 2013