Monday, January 16, 2017
Alicia Zito "Perfect Fit" in Slate Belt
She's a perfect fit. For one thing, Judge Zito is a lifelong resident of the Slate Belt. She's a 1995 graduate of Pius X High School. She graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Scranton in 1999 with a B.S. in Health Administration and minors in Business and Spanish. Judge Zito received her juris doctorate (J.D.) from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University in 2002. While in law school, she was a member of the Appellate Moot Court Board and conducted legal externships at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and with the law firm of Nauman, Smith, Shissler and Hall LLP. Judge Zito was admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2002.
In her young life, she's already had an extensive legal career in public service as a judicial law clerk to our best judges. She started with Judge Jack Panella,and when he was elevated to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in 2004, he took her with him.
Unlike Common Pleas judges, who typically only keep a law clerk for one or two years, federal and appellate judges like to have at least one clerk who is always there. She became is Chief Clerk and and Deputy Clerk of the entire Superior Court of Pennsylvania until 2014. While there, she helped Judge Panella write the nation’s first Sexual Violence Benchbook. That book is designed specifically to guide magisterial district judges in the handling of crimes of sexual violence.
In 2015, Judge Zito accepted a short-term position as a law clerk to President Judge Stephen G. Baratta, Northampton County Court of Common Pleas to assist the Court with backlog. She went from there to a federal clerkship on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with the Honorable Edward G. Smith.
Zito was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf and confirmed by bipartisan support of the full Senate on July 13, 2016, to finish the term of the late District Judge Todd Strohe.
Northampton County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Stephen G. Baratta has described her as “intelligent, decisive, principled and calm, all attributes that…serve her well as a a district judge.” State Senator Lisa M. Boscola said that “her legal knowledge, experience and integrity make her an outsanding choice for this position.”
In addition to her judicial experience, Judge Zito has committed herself to the education of young men and women in the community, as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Northampton Community College from 2004 to 2006 teaching courses in Criminal Law, American Legal Systems and Constitutional Law. More notably, as Magisterial District Judge, she works with Administration, parents and students in the Bangor and Pen Argyl School Districts in an effort to reduce truancy rates, provide guidance and, foster the role of education in every child’s life. This truancy problem is bigger than you might think,andit is refreshing to see a judge work to reduce this problem.
Judge Zito lives in Upper Mount Bethel with her husband Matthew J. Goodrich, Esquire and nine-year-old son, Gianni. I met him at a field event at the Stockertown Rod and Gun Club with this old guy who claimed to be his grandfather. That old guy is Senior Judge Leonard Zito.
Though her Dad is a judge, she's entitled to this position on her own merits. She is highly regarded in the community for her public service to youth organizations. She is a board member of the Slate Belt Little League, member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at Five Points Elementary School and, serves as the Director of Rebels Elite Cheer and Gymnastics. In 2015, she was honored by Eastern Cheer and Dance Association as the “Coach of the Year” and featured in a national magazine for her work as a coach, mentor and role model to young athletes in the community. She is also a lifelong parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bangor, PA.
Judge Zito is honored to serve her communities as Magisterial District Judge and she looks forward to continuing to serve the Slate Belt with dignity, fairness and respect.