Recently, I was honored to participate in a judicial forum, hosted by The Urban Voice and the NAACP. A question was posed that, due to time constraints, we were unable to fully answer. The question was directed to judges as to what thoughts they have to actively improve relationships in the community that we all live in.


My thought: We simply need to do more meaningful things with each other. Its’ been my life’s experience that a natural bond occurs when events bring us together. Let’s find ways to do more of this.


Here is what I mean. I grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a child, I loved playing baseball. My childhood hero and role model was Roberto Clemente. He didn’t talk much; his actions spoke for themselves. I’ll never forget learning that Clemente had died in an airplane crash while performing a humanitarian mission. Looking back, I’ve tried to emulate him my entire life.


As a young man, I joined the United States Army, as fate would have it, I was deployed in combat in 1989. I remember looking into the eyes of other soldiers of all races and ethnicities, and we knew we were in this together. Each day we all knew that we were brothers and sisters and we knew it was forever.


This is my tenth year as the District Judge in Department 32. My Marshal, Dominique, has been with me for approximately the past seven years. As my Marshal, she has always been in court with me. She will graduate with a law degree later this year. I am incredibly proud we can say she is the only person that we know of, to be the judicial marshal and the extern to the judge at the same time.


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