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Pa. judge candidate profiles

May 12, 2013

Three candidates are running for the open seat on the bench created by the retirement of Richard Walsh.

Jeffrey S. Evans, Jerrold A. Sulcove and Jeremiah Zook are registered Republicans and residents of Franklin County, Pa.

The winning candidates in the Republican and Democratic primary races May 21 will appear on the ballot in November.

The winner in November will serve a 10-year term and earn an annual salary of $173,271, according to county officials.

Registered Democrats and Republicans will be able to vote in the race since the candidates all cross-filed.

The Herald-Mail asked the candidates to answer the following questions as part of our primary election coverage. Responses were limited to 75 words and were edited for length.

JEFFREY S. EVANS

Age: 49

Town of residence: Fayetteville, Pa.

Political Party: Republican

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Cross-filed: Yes

Question: What in your background has prepared you for this position?

Answer: I have been an attorney in Franklin County for 23 years handling a variety of cases, including criminal, civil, family law, real estate, and estate drafting and planning. I represent five municipalities. I developed my trial skills before judges in various county and federal courts. My diversity of experience is important because our judges hear cases in all areas. 
I have spent my life in Franklin County and understand the values of the people here.

Question: What role do you feel the courts should play in society?

Answer: Our courts must provide a fair and impartial forum where people can present their cases, whether civil or criminal, with assurance that proceedings will be conducted according to the applicable law and rules of court; and where, regardless of position, popularity or standing in the community of litigants, cases are decided in a fair, unbiased and efficient manner with integrity under the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Question: How could you contribute to improving efficiencies in the Franklin County court system?

Answer: My experience in handling a variety of cases would lessen the amount of time I would spend learning the applicable law in any given area. I understand and appreciate the differences in trying different types of cases. I understand the need for efficiency in the court, particularly as it impacts client costs. I will be fully prepared to hear and decide cases presented to me in an efficient and effective manner.

Question: What would you like voters to know about you?

Answer: I am a husband, father, businessman and attorney who is passionate about service over self. I am proud of my work as an attorney, but am mindful and thankful for the many blessings and opportunities I have received. If elected, I will be a judge who realizes he is not the most important person in the courtroom. I will work to exceed the expectations of those who are, the parties, attorneys, citizens and staff appearing and working there.

JERROLD A. SULCOVE

Age: 36

Town of residence:  Chambersburg, Pa.

Political Party: Republican

Cross-filed:  Yes

Question: What in your background has prepared you for this position?

Answer: I have a diverse practice that includes representation of a wide variety of clients in litigation arising out of disputes over contracts, personal injuries, property, employment, real estate, taxes and estates. I represent public bodies like zoning hearing boards, school districts and municipal authorities as well as serving as special counsel to Franklin County. I was the first county attorney to concentrate on assisting veterans with compensation and pension claims. I volunteer to help women obtain protection from abusive spouses.

Question: What role do you feel the courts should play in society?

Answer: Our courts have two indispensable and equally important functions. They settle private disputes between individuals and they provide a fundamentally fair criminal justice system. Judges should encourage parties to settle their differences through compromise whenever possible, but should not hesitate to render a decision no matter how unpopular it may be. Our courts should not make the law; rather, our courts should follow the law of the commonwealth and our nation, and adhere to precedent.

Question: How could you contribute to improving efficiencies in the Franklin County court system?

Answer: I have participated in a work group to determine whether it would be practical to implement an “e-filing” system, which would allow parties to file necessary paperwork over the Internet. Such a program will greatly increase the efficiency of the court by allowing real-time access to dockets and will substantially reduce the cost of litigation. As judge, I will continue my efforts to make our court more efficient through electronic scheduling, “e-filing” and other modernization measures.   

Question: What would you like voters to know about you?

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