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Stella Tsai

Campaign Cycle: 2017
Office: Common Pleas Court
Details
First Name
Stella
Last Name
Tsai
Status
Winner
Campaign Cycle
2017
Office
Common Pleas Court
Sitting Judge
Yes
Party
Democrat
Phone
267 571-5164
Email Address
info@stellaforjudge.com
Website
http://www.electstellatsaijudge.com
Ballot Position (CP)
1
Ballot Position (MC)
0
Button #
13
Endorsements
Bar Association Rating
Recommended
Party/Wards
Democratic City Committee, 5th Ward, 8th Ward, 9th Ward
Unions
Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Philadelphia Building Trades, IBEW Local 98, Teamsters Joint Council 53, AFSCME DC 47
Progressive Groups
Liberty City LGBT Democrats, Asian-Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, African-Carribean PAC, Philly LEAD, Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Clergy
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Public Officials
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News Papers
Philadelphia Gay News, Philadelphia Tribune
Questionnaire
What has been the general nature of your practice?
I was assigned to the criminal trial division in September 2016 and handle the felony waiver cases arising from the Northwest region of the City. In private practice, I represented companies and individuals in a broad range of business litigation, land use, and corporate governance matters.
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
A diverse law practice and extensive community and civic engagement have equipped me for my duties as a criminal judge charged with the fair administration of justice, enforcement of the law, and, when required, the imposition of appropriate sentences. Having a background in social services has been useful in navigating the criminal justice system, addressing and balancing the needs of victims, the community, and defendants in achieving re-entry, and, it is hoped, reducing recidivism, and improving public safety.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
The multitudes of individuals who work together day after day to enforce our Constitutional rights and the rule of law, protect the community, and provide the services needed to assist incarcerated defendants re-enter society.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
We need to find ways to mitigate the collateral consequences of felony convictions and incarceration on individuals who have the capacity to be productive citizens.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
As a judge, I am required to evaluate each case on an individual basis, taking into account the defendant's personal history (mitigating and aggravating factors), acceptance of responsibility, the gravity of the offense and victim's needs, community safety, and the rehabilitative needs of the defendant, and the sentencing guidelines based on a defendant's prior record score and offense gravity score.
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.
A situation where I shirked responsibility for a tactical error in discovery because it did not happen "under my watch," thus shifting blame to a colleague. Although my colleague forgave me for this lapse of judgment a decade ago, it still bothers me.
Who are your role models and why?
Lin Manuel Miranda for his creative genius, leadership, and generosity. Hillary Clinton for her resilience, brilliance, and gumption.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (and its many modern interpretations). Keen and still relevant observations of humanity at its best and worst. Also, have greatly appreciated a "role model" such as Elizabeth Bennet, who was guided by her conscience and way ahead of her time in expressing her candor, independence, and playful nature.
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
What is you favorite number?
5