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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, January 29, 2021

Susie Hutnik to Seek Judge Taschner's Vacant Seat

Susie Hutnik
I cannot begin to tell you how much I respect Magisterial District Judge Jackie Taschner. Before she ascended into the judicial heavens (lower ring), she was a front-line prosecutor in the Northampton County DA's office. I spoke to her once about a man who had been accused of beating his wife. There was a group picketing outside the courthouse, demanding that he be hung, drawn and quartered. I asked her what she intended to do. "I'm a prosecutor, not a persecutor," was her laconic reply. She followed the law, not a lynch mob. 

She brought that attitude with her when she became a Magisterial District Judge in Palmer Tp. Tough, but fair. I was really sorry to learn recently that she intends to retire. She will be sorely missed.  

Fortunately for us, there's an excellent candidate waiting in the wings to succeed her. Susie Hutnik. 

Hutnik is a lifelong resident of the Easton area. She's a graduate of Easton Area High School, after which she earned a B.A. at Syracuse and her law degree at Seton Hall. After serving a clerkship for Judge Jim Hogan, she began her career in private practice. This made her familiar with landlord and tenant disputes and the types of civil matters considered by a magisterial district judge. 

For the past 23 years, she's been a full-time public defender. She has represented hundreds of criminal defendants, including those facing the death penalty.  In addition, she is a recipient of the bar association's pro bono award for her work in representing people of limited financial means. 

I can personally attest to her work ethic over the years. She cares about the people she represents. She has even garnered the respect of law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office and the County Judges. In fact, Richard Pepper, First Assistant District Attorney for Northampton County remarks: “As a veteran litigator, appearing regularly before our magistrate judges and our trial judges, Susan Hutnik understands our Courts and the cases that come before our Judges. I am confident and the voters can trust that Susan will serve them with the highest standards of integrity and competency.”

Even though Pepper said it, it's true. He's occasionally right. 

She's married to Bob Patterson, and together they are raising two amazing boys. Perhaps I should call them young men.  She has faithfully chronicled their antics on Facebook over the years, and one of my guilty pleasures has been watching them grow up. 

She's a great lawyer, a great mom and will be a great judge.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Extremely qualified candidate. Has the knowledge, integrity, reputation, and brains for the job.