Joshua Roberts

Member since: Saturday, 29 December 2018
Last Visit: Never
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Common Pleas
Sitting Judge
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What has been the general nature of your practice?
Civil Litigation, Legal Strategy and Advice, Election Law, Criminal Law, Probate
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
When considering the answer to this question, the one word that comes to mind is “respect” – respect for the rule of law; the parties; the lawyers; Courthouse staff; and last, but certainly not least, for jurors. The foundation for this philosophy was formed in my first six years out of law school when I clerked first for two years for the Honorable Joseph D. O’Keefe in the Court of Common Pleas, and then for four years for the Honorable Timothy J. Savage in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. While the courts and clerking experiences were vastly different, the common theme from both judges – who I still consider mentors and friends – was the idea of respect, and I have carried over these lessons into my practice.

Through this broad range of experiences in six years of clerking and in private practice, I gained invaluable perspective into so many aspects of the court system. I quickly appreciated that for litigants, every matter was of the utmost importance. Some lawyers and judges may become insensitive or cynical, but for the litigants, the legal proceeding they are part of is the most important one in the world – it can shape their lives and can literally mean life or death. From the smallest PennDot appeal to the most complex mass tort cases, from bitter estate fights to PCRA issues, and from dense habeas corpus appeals to the most complex antitrust cases, a judge must be able to quickly pivot from subject matter to subject matter, while still applying the same deft touch and sensitivity to the parties and issues. At the same time, a judge must respect the time and sacrifices of jurors, because without citizens serving on juries, our legal system could not function. A judge must also expect the highest level of professionalism from lawyers and parties. A courtroom – or a judge’s chambers – should be respected and the highest level of decorum should be expected. These experiences have taught me the importance of respect and have prepared for me the challenges of being a fair, impartial and respectful judge.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
Answering this question could be perceived as undermining my independence or impartiality and/or might lead to frequent disqualification.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
Answering this question could be perceived as undermining my independence or impartiality and/or might lead to frequent disqualification.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
I will keep an open mind and will carry out my adjudicative duties faithfully and impartially if elected.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night thinking about a case and wishing you had handled something differently? If so, please describe one situation.
I have never woken up in the middle of the night thinking about a case, but for every matter I've handled, I have looked back and reflected on what I might have been able to do better and used those lessons in future cases.
Who are your role models and why?
Within the legal profession, Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe and Judge Timothy J. Savage, for the reasons stated above.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Book: Catch-22. TV: Seinfeld.
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
One - U2.
What is you favorite number?
Hits: 1276

Voters will head to the polls on May 21 and be asked to fill nine open judicial seats. There are races for judicial openings in Pennsylvania’s Superior Court (two seats), in Philadelphia’s Municipal Court (one seat) and in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (six seats). We have profiled five...

Created: 26 April 2019