Politics & Government

Centre County common pleas judge

Job description: Common pleas judges preside over civil and criminal cases and must be members of the Pennsylvania bar. Pennsylvania has 60 common pleas court districts, ranging in size from one to 93 judges. Although seven of the districts comprise two counties, most districts follow the geographic boundaries of counties, as the Centre County district does.

Term: 10 years

Salary: $152,000

Vote for one

Question asked of candidates: What are your top priorities for this office?

Jonathan Grine

Party: crossfiled on Republican and Democratic ballots

Address: State College E-mail: jgrine@comcast.net

Web site: www.electjudgegrine.com

Birth date: December 1973

Education: Bellefonte Area High School; Penn State, administration of justice; Dickinson School of Law

Occupation: magisterial district judge

Qualifications: magisterial district judge; attorney with Lee, Green & Reiter Inc.; Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office; Governor’s Office of General Counsel

Answer to question: My top priority is to bring my judicial experience to the Court of Common Pleas. I believe handling over 22,000 cases in my job as one of our county’s district judges has prepared me to handle the challenges of the county court system. The fact that I am the only candidate endorsed by both the state and local law enforcement and corrections associations speaks volumes to my ability to handle tough cases.

Steven F. Lachman

Party: crossfiled on Republican and Democratic ballots

Address: State College

E-mail: stevelachman@gmail. com

Web site: www.stevelachmanforjudge.org

Birth date: March 15, 1958

Education: 1980, Vassar College, B.A.; 1985, Vermont Law School, J.D.; 2003, Penn State, Ph.D. (geography.

Occupation: lawyer (self-employed); adviser, State College Area High School mock trial and debate teamsQualifications: lawyer, Allegheny County public defender (1986-1988); lawyer, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (1988-1997); mediator, Centre for Alternatives in Community Justice (2000-present); arbitrator, Centre County Court of Common Pleas (1998-present).

Answer to question: To uphold our laws and the state and federal constitutions. I will treat all who come before me with respect. My judgeship will be free from partisan politics or personal bias. I advocate mediation as an alternative to litigation and the limited use of therapeutic courts for first time offenders. I will seek to make jury selection fairer so that all Centre County residents have an equal opportunity/obligation to perform this civic duty.

Pamela A. Ruest

Party: crossfiled on Republican and Democratic ballots

Address: State College

E-mail: paruest@mqblaw.com

Web site: http:// pamruestfor judge.com

Birth date: April 25, 1955

Education: University of Connecticut, 1977, B.S., 1982, M.S.; University of Connecticut Law School, 1986, J.D.

Occupation: lawyer and partner, McQuaide Blasko

Qualifications: lawyer, 20 years broad experience in civil and criminal law; solicitor, Centre County Domestic Relations Section; solicitor, Children and Youth Services; extensive family law experience; vice president, Centre County Bar Association Answer to question: To encourage the establishment of drug and alcohol courts to attempt to address the root cause of these problems. Sentenced offenders will receive treatment from counselors. The judge and offender’s probation officer will monitor the case to ensure compliance with the program. To establish a family court with a few judges presiding, providing consistency and predictability in family cases, which comprise more than 55-percent of the cases before the court.

Steve Sloane

Party: crossfiled on Republican and Democratic ballots

Address: State CollegeE-mail: spsloane1@yahoo.com

Web site: www.sloanefor judge.com Birth date: Aug. 1, 1959

Education: B.A. administration of justice, Penn State, 1985; J.D., Dickinson School of Law, 1989

Occupation: Centre County assistant district attorney

Qualifications: U.S. Air Force; Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing

Guidelines; Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; legal department, RiteAid Corp., two years; judicial law clerk, Lancaster and Blair County, two years; assistant district attorney, Centre County, 15 years

Answer to question: To foster good working relationships with business, law enforcement, the university and local residents, allowing the court to effectively serve the county. To maintain impartiality, integrity and dignity within our court system. To rule in cases based on strict and fair interpretation of our laws rather than legislating from the bench or catering to special interests. To promote the courtroom as a place for the community to be protected and assisted.

Robert Bruce Manchester

Party: crossfiled on the Republican and Democratic ballots Address: Bellefonte

E-mail: bman44@aol.com

Web site: www.manchesterfor judge.com

Birth date: June 7, 1948

Education: Bellefonte Area High School; Penn State, B.S.; Georgia State University, M.Ed.; Thomas Cooley Law School, J.D.

Occupation: lawyer

Qualifications: 29 years experience, criminal and appellate law, state and federal level, child custody, elder law, veteran law, juvenile law, corporate law, death penalty qualified law at state and federal level

Answer to question: Run a fair and efficient courtroom.I would better organize the jury selection process.

Implement motions court in order for attorneys to have motions heard and decided without the necessity of having to wait extended periods of time. Improve the handling of domestic and child custody matters. Improve the handling of first-time drug and alcohol offenders and make it mandatory for them to see a counselor if deemed appropriate.