Wendi Barish

Member since: Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Last Visit: Never
First Name
Last Name
Campaign Cycle
Common Pleas
Sitting Judge
Email Address
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Ballot Position
Button #
Bar Association Rating
5th Ward, 9th Ward
Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Philadelphia Building Trades, Steamfitters Local 420, Ironworkers Local 401, Painters and Allied Trades DC 21, Boilermakers Local 13
Progressive Groups
Afro-Caribbean PAC, National Organization for Women (NOW), Millennials in Action, Americans For Democratic Action (ADA), BLOC Party, Gateway to Re-Entry
Public Officials
News Papers
Philadelphia Tribune
What has been the general nature of your practice?
Since graduating from law school in 1996, I have specialized in the area of Employment Law. After three years representing employees, I began working for a defense firm, Margolis Edelstein. I stayed with my practice group through its transition to another defense firm, Weber Gallagher. During my time working at both firms I specialized in employment law as well as civil rights matters. I also handled some general liability cases. In December 2015 I accepted an in-house position with the Philadelphia Housing Authority as the Deputy General Counsel of Labor and Employment. In recent months I was appointed Acting Executive Vice President of Human Resources and have taken on the majority of the duties of the former Deputy General Counsel of Litigation.
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
I have twenty years of experience in both the state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and on both the trial and appellate levels. I believe my adversaries and colleagues among the bar would describe me as fair, objective, and reasonable. I have had the perspective of representing both plaintiff and defendants and the ability to navigate complex legal issues. I have an outstanding track record of being able to resolve cases before they proceed to trial. I possess the necessary communication skills, both oral and written, to be an effective judge. I would bring integrity to the bench. I am invested in my community and believe that we can only further the rights of all people by applying the law equitably and equally. I consider the position of judge to be one of public service and being a public servant to be an honor.

My experience working in the public and private sector and on behalf of both employees and management provides me with the ability to take a well-balanced and equitable approach in dealing with legal matters. I possess the necessary skills and experience to address cases and apply the law in an objective fashion while balancing the rights and interests of all parties.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
While my professional experience has been in civil law, the criminal justice system has personally played a role in life. I have had close family members who have been involved and affected by the harsh reality of the criminal justice system. I know the debilitating effect a criminal record have on a person’s life and how that can impact the person’s family and ability to survive. I have had to support family members affected who have not been able to secure employment due to a criminal record.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
I believe the punishment needs to fit the crime and people need to be judged as individuals not based on stereotypes. I would like to see the system more focused on rehabilitation programs so as to have a more positive impact on all parties affected by incarceration, which in many cases are the children of those convicted. I would also like to see more realistic sentences be imposed which take into account the limited resources of the parole and probation system, so as to allow people a better chance to succeed and change their lives for the positive.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
I believe a number of factors need to be taken into consideration when it comes to sentencing. I would first consider sentencing guidelines as the law requires. I would consider any extenuating circumstances regarding the individual and take them into account. For example: mental health issues, acceptance of responsibilities; family support, employment prospects; the level of remorse; the person’s family and emotional background and any other mitigating or aggravating factors brought to my attention.
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 certainly been woken in the night with thought of cases, particularly in the midst of trial, but not wishing I handled things differently. I have handled all my cases with conviction and compassion. Even when representing employers and municipalities accused of civil rights violations, my goal has been to uphold those rights intended to protect all people, which include the victim and the accused.
Who are your role models and why?
My sister, Raquel Silverman. She is my older sister by thirteen months was born with multiple disabilities. I watched how people treated her differently when we grew up and I became fiercely protective of her. Despite the multiple surgeries and struggles she has had she always sees the positive and spends her life helping others. Amelia Earhart is also one of my role models. She paved the way for women aviators and showed that women are capable of succeeding in a male dominated field.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Seinfeld is my favorite tv show. The show debuted when I graduated high school and stayed on air through when I graduated law school. It took my through a time when I was studying hard and always made me laugh. The show spoke to me because it revealed the humor about everyday life. It makes me laugh out loud laugh every time I watch the episode featuring Elaine’s unique dancing.
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
People are People by Depeche Mode.
What is you favorite number?
Whatever number I pull on March 15th.
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