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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Judge Giordano Needs Your Vote

I never have seen a larger crowd for a campaign kickoff than when Judge Emil Giordano announced in February that he was running for for the Pennsylvania Superior Court. He did so at the cavernous Northampton Memorial Community Center amid dozens of empty pizza boxes. Those boxes were empty because it seemed as though the entire Lehigh Valley had cascaded into Northampton, despite the single digit temperatures and mounds of snow everywhere. Some say there were about 600 people there, although it could easily have been 700. It was a bipartisan crowd, too. Democrats and Republicans. Lawyers and friends. Urbanistas and country folk. It was the Lehigh Valley. Northampton Mayor Thomas Reenock put it best when he called the gathering "our favorite son's debut."

Since that time, Judge Giordano's message has only grown stronger as he has criss crossed the state, in search of votes. But to win, he is going to need the same bi-partisan support he has had all along here in the Lehigh Valley. Democrats and Republicans are both going to have to come out and let their voices be heard. Send a message to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the land of midnight payraises.

The Lehigh Valley's favorite son also happens to be the son of two Italian immigrants who met while learning how to speak English in night school. They came here to raise a family and made pizzas. Lots of them. When Emil was old enough, he made pizzas, too. Lots of them. They got him through Bethlehem Catholic High School, Moravian College and Villanova Law School. Giordano learned about hard work. He learned to respect and admire his parents and grandparents, and to admire the many people who appear before him to become naturalized citizens. Most importantly, he learned how to listen.

"The time spent behind counters, waiting on people, served me very well," Giordano has said. In time, there was a law office adjacent to Pizza Village. And after 18 years of practicing law, he became a judge. And for the past 12 years, he has handled that role with humility and a genuine concern for everyone who comes before him,lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

At the same time, he has taught at Becahi and Moravian College. But where he has excelled is as a coach to young athletes, bringing out the best in them. I've seen him take groups of kids and win basketball championships despite claiming to know nothing about the sport. He knows how to motivate.

After 12 years as a judge, Emil Giordano is the same person he was before he put on a robe. Few other judges can make that claim.

Why is he running for the Pennsylvania Superior Court? That's the state's busiest court. It's an appellate court that reviews the decisions of common pleas judges in all 67 counties. Just to keep up, the 15 judges on that bench must each hand down one or two opinions daily.

Giordano already knows about hard work, He added that he would be a "common sense judge who follows the law." He also believes that the best person to evaluate the work of other judges is a person who once sat where they are sitting.

Why do people like him? Giordano, when he was still practicing law, once challenged Morganelli in a DA's race. That night, as the numbers came in, it was clear that Morganelli would be the victor. Instead of calling Morganelli to concede, Giordano actually walked into the Democratic stronghold and congratulated him in person.

That's class.

That's Giordano.

We could use some of that on our appellate courts.

If you want another Philadelphia judge, stay home. If you want someone who actually listens and does not consider himself better than you simply because he dons a black robe, you need to come out and vote. He needs Democrats and Republicans alike.


maverick said...

I agree with you 100%- Emil deserves to win.

Anonymous said...

this is a good man.

Anonymous said...

Are "Philadelphia" judges inherently bad or something?

Judge Giordano apparently didn't bother to reply to the League of Women Voters questionnaire. His opponent did however and directly addressed something you brought up in the Sam Murray posting:

"ensuring that litigants receive equal access to justice through Civil Gideon, a movement to ensure that every citizen has access to an attorney for critical legal matters"

His opponent has far more endorsements

The Pittsburgh Post Gazettee (in their endorsement which given their anti-Philadelphia bias should not be a surprise): "[Giordano] said he doesn’t like to see an appellate court overturn a jury verdict. That raised a question of whether he would be predisposed to fairly evaluate such claims."

So I don't know. I'm totally up in the air. I'm not one to vote simply for the hometown guy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As you very well know, the LWV is notorious for not posting replies and not sending out its questionnaires to everyone. I long ago stopped holding that against a candidate. Also, when Giordano states he is loathe to overturn a jury verdict, he is merely expressing well settled law that gives great deference to findings of fact made by a jury. Finally, the Philadelphia judge problem does not exist on the Supreme Court, but too many of the Superior Court judges are from Philly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. .