1 Name: Robert J. Colville Running for: Pennsylvania Superior Court Political Party: Democratic Campaign and Website: Questions: 1. Why are you qualified and well-suited to serve as a judge on the court for which you are running? (a) Why am I qualified? My extensive legal and judicial experience qualify me for the position of Superior Court judge. My personal background and professional experience are summarized below. PERSONAL Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Raised on the North Side of the City of Pittsburgh. Currently resides in Ross Township, Allegheny County. Married to Kate in Son, Robbie, born in Daughter, Annie, born in EDUCATION St. Cyril of Alexandria Grade School, Pittsburgh, PA North Catholic High School, Pittsburgh, PA Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA B.A Duquesne University, School of Law, Pittsburgh PA J.D. 1992
2 BAR ADMISSIONS Pennsylvania State Bar 1992 United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania 1992 West Virginia State Bar 1998 United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia FACULTY POSITIONS LaRoche College, Pittsburgh, PA Adjunct Professor - The Rule of Law Fall & Spring Semesters through present. PRE-JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT Pietragallo, Bosick & Gordon Pittsburgh, PA - Attorney Practice included full scope of general litigation responsibilities. Prepared for and participated in numerous jury and bench trials, arbitrations, and mediations. Prepared all manner of pleadings, motions, briefs, and correspondence to opposing counsel, witnesses and clients. Trial and appellate practice included litigation of products liability (primarily automobile, aircraft, and industrial machinery) cases, insurance defense, warranty claims, declaratory judgment actions, real estate disputes, construction claims, fire loss, and contract disputes. Represented both defendants and plaintiffs. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Pittsburgh, PA - Law Clerk for Justice Ralph J. Cappy Prepared numerous draft majority, concurring and dissenting Opinions of the Court for consideration and/or adoption by the Court. Prepared thousands of internal case review memoranda to Justices of the Court summarizing and analyzing pending Petitions for Allowance of Appeal, with recommendations for disposition. Extensive and comprehensive research of legal issues embracing and encompassing full scope of Pennsylvania law, including civil, criminal, family and orphans court matters. United States House of Representatives Health and Safety Subcommittee - Washington, DC Legislative Aide for Congressman Joseph Gaydos 1991 Prepared national survey of workplace fatalities ( ) and literature review of current scientific indoor air pollution issues. Researched and prepared reports regarding upcoming witnesses and anticipated testimony before Subcommittee.
3 Allegheny County Public Defender s Office Pittsburgh, PA Legal Intern Prepared appellate briefs, PCRA/PCHA petitions; interviewed clients and witnesses; general legal research regarding all areas of criminal justice. Laborer s Local #1058 Highway Construction Laborer Pittsburgh Performed construction and demolition work on various roadway and bridge construction projects in the Pittsburgh area throughout undergraduate college and law school education. JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE Trial Judge Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Pittsburgh, PA through present. Family Division, Juvenile Section Jan October 2002 Judge Colville has heard and decided nearly twelve thousand juvenile court matters including: juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency adjudications, placement reviews, mental health commitment hearings, Act 53 substance abuse commitment hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, permanency review hearings, adoptions, protection from abuse hearings, and adult criminal certification/decertification hearings. Family Division, Adult Section November 2002 March 2003 (and unofficially April through August 2003) Judge Colville has heard and decided hundreds of motions and hearings and trials related to child custody, divorce, equitable distribution, enforcement of custody agreements, contempt for failure to pay child/spousal support, and protection from abuse matters. Civil Division General Docket Trial Judge March 2003 present Judge Colville has tried over 250 jury and bench trials involving issues ranging from sprained ankle slip and fall cases, small motor vehicle accident lumbar strain cases, and neighbor fence-line property disputes to medical malpractice wrongful death claims, product liability amputation claims, multi-million dollar commercial contract disputes, to
4 invasion of privacy and freedom of speech claims. He has conciliated hundreds of jury and non-jury matters to resolution. Judge Colville has resolved hundreds of dispositive motions and conducted thousands of evidentiary and procedural hearings issuing thousands of rulings. Toxic Substance Case Supervising Judge January 2004 present Judge Colville has conciliated thousands of asbestos exposure serious injury and death claims. He has exercised primary responsibility for maintenance and management of all aspects of expedited and general asbestos docket in Allegheny County. He has resolved motions of every type involving current asbestos matters approaching trial on general and expedited asbestos docket in Allegheny County. He has tried and coordinated with other trial judges on wrongful death asbestos exposure claims. He has personally conducted argument on thousands of Motions for Summary Judgment and issued dispositive rulings on tens of thousands of asbestos claims. He has coordinated with colleagues to manage and decrease an asbestos backlog of over 4000 cases. He has cooperated with, and coordinated the efforts of, attorney work groups to successfully revise applicable asbestos case management orders for all Allegheny County Asbestos dockets including general, expedited, and backlog dockets. Juvenile Court Support Judge September 2007 January 2008 Following the reassignment of judges in the Juvenile court to other divisions, and at the request of the Administrative Judge of the Family Division, who perceived a need for assistance from judges in other divisions to handle the pressing juvenile court caseload, Judge Colville volunteered to return to juvenile court to temporarily assist in the handling of a dependency court caseload until newly elected judges could begin their service. Judge Colville did not relinquish any of his ongoing civil division responsibilities during this time frame. JUDICIAL WORKLOAD STATISTICS* January 2000 November ,904 Total Juvenile court matters resolved November 2002 March Total Adult family court matters resolved March 2003 February 2009
5 259 1, General Civil Matters Civil trials conducted. Non-trial related motions resolved. Conciliations conducted ,160 1,121 Asbestos Matters Miscellaneous/general motions resolved. Motions for summary judgment argued and resolved. Discovery motions argued and resolved. 17,185 Total Civil matters resolved/decided. *Backup documentation and data can be made available for review upon request. JUDICIAL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee Judge Colville served as an original voting member on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee for the first seven years of that Committee s existence. During his tenure, the Juvenile Court Rules Committee developed, from whole cloth, new rules governing juvenile court dependency and delinquency matters to be applied throughout the Commonwealth s sixty-seven counties. This effort required Judge Colville and his fellow committee members to balance the very divergent interests of parties and other stakeholders in the juvenile court system, maintain the accountability, transparency, and systemic fairness of the juvenile court, and ensure that the best interests of the children involved would be advanced. Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges Judge Colville has served as an Officer of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges for the past five years, (including: Secretary from July 2003 through July 2004; Treasurer from July 2004 through July 2005; Second Vice-President from July 2005 through 2006; First Vice-President from July 2007 through July 2008; and PresidentElect from July 2008 through the present. Judge Colville will begin service as President of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in July 2009 and serve through July He will then serve a final term as Immediate Past-President through July 2011). The Conference is the professional association that, among many other functions, provides ongoing judicial education to state trial court judges and coordinates efforts of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and the Supreme Court in their efforts to maintain professionalism, collegiality, and ethical conduct among the over 400 judges of Pennsylvania s trial courts. Judge Colville is proud to have been elected to each of the above Officer positions by his fellow trial judges serving throughout the Commonwealth and is hopeful that their confidence in him is deserved
6 Allegheny County Toxic Tort Supervising Judge In addition to his responsibilities for maintaining a full general civil docket, Judge Colville has served as the Allegheny County Toxic Tort Supervising Judge. While a position that he did not seek, he accepted this responsibility shortly after his assignment to the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas upon the request of the thenadministrative Judge. In coordination with the former and current Administrative Judges, he has created and modified applicable Case Management Orders to modernize the asbestos dockets in Allegheny County. He has created a new expedited docket for asbestos cases that has nearly supplanted the existing general docket and serves to resolve important asbestos matters within a seven to nine month time-line from placement on the expedited docket to trial. He also created a backlog docket in order to resolve cases pending over three years, thereby resolving (through the day-to-day efforts of his colleagues) thousands of cases - some over nine years old. Judge Colville continues to administrate and maintain day-to-day control over all discovery, dispositive motions, and pretrial matters for all non-backlog asbestos matters in Allegheny County. He is proud that he has accomplished this while continuing to maintain a full general civil docket caseload. "I find my work as a judge to be both professionally and personally rewarding. Because the work permits me to meaningfully impact the quality and character of other people s lives in so many different ways, it is difficult to identify a specific element of my career that I consider a particularly significant achievement. In a very real way, simply fulfilling my oath as a judge by handling each and every matter that comes before me in a competent, professional manner, and treating each litigant who appears before me fairly and with common sense and genuine human decency is what I would like to be identified as my most significant achievement as a judge." - Judge Robert J. Colville PRESENTATIONS (representative sampling): Pennsylvania Bar Institute - The New Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence - Legal Relevance/Exclusionary Rules - Presenter - Pittsburgh, PA - August 1998 Matrimonial Inns of Court - Adoption for the Procedurally Challenged - Panelist Pittsburgh, PA - February 2001 University of Pittsburgh Inns of Court - From Behind the Bench - Panelist - Pittsburgh, PA - November 2000 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners - The Abused Child: When to Suspect and How to Manage - Legal Issues in Child Abuse - Presenter - Pittsburgh, PA April 2001
7 Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Chief Probation Officers Commission - Balanced and Restorative Justice Conference - The Judge s Role - Presenter/Panelist - Philadelphia, PA - March 2001 Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law Third Annual Symposium Improving Permanency Placement Solutions: Maximizing Communication and Cooperation - The Power of a CASA - Presenter/Panelist Columbus, OH May 2001 Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference Family Law Section: Sound-off with Judges Panelist Champion, PA - June Three Rivers Adoption Council/Child Watch Dependency/Adoption Seminar - Presenter - Pittsburgh, PA - April 2001 National Law Day - Back to School Speaker Pittsburgh, PA - May Juvenile Court Project- Parent Advocates CLE training seminar Forum with the Judges Panelist Pittsburgh, PA - November 2001 Allegheny County Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs Focus Group Participant Pittsburgh, PA - September 2002 Pennsylvania State Trial Judges Conference Asbestos Litigation - Top Ten Things to Know - Presenter Hershey, PA - July 2004 Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association Conciliations and Pre-Trial Procedures A Judicial Perspective Pittsburgh, PA - November 2004 Pennsylvania Bar Institute 14th Annual Auto Law Update Judicial Hints for Successful Trials Speaker - Pittsburgh, PA - December 2004 Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association Civil Division Judges Potpourri Pittsburgh, PA January 2005 Hugh O Brian Youth Leadership 2005 Western Pennsylvania Leadership Seminar Motivating Tomorrow s Leaders Today Speaker- Pittsburgh, PA -June 2005 YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Legal Resource for Women / Pittsburgh Fair Housing Partnership - Know Your Rights Family Law and Fair Housing Law Featured Speaker Pittsburgh PA - December 2005 PATLA Chicken Soup For the Trial Lawyers Soul Pittsburgh, PA March 2006 The Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County - 7th Annual Civil Trial Practice Symposium Speaker - Pittsburgh, PA April 2006 Pennsylvania Bar Institute 16th Annual Auto Law Update View From the Bench Speaker - Pittsburgh, PA - December 2006 American Association of Legal Nursing Consultants Voir Dire, Jury Selection and Jury Charge Speaker Pittsburgh, PA March 2007 Allegheny County Bar Association - The Dependency Rules: Everything You Need to Know Presenter Pittsburgh, PA October 2007 Pennsylvania Bar Institute Annual Auto Law Update View From the Bench Speaker - Pittsburgh, PA November 2007 Pennsylvania Bar Institute Preventing Nightmares: Preserving Issues and Avoiding Waiver at Trial and on Appeal Speaker Pittsburgh, PA April 2008 Materials Science and Technology 2008 Conference and Exhibition Expert Testimony Speaker- Pittsburgh, PA - October 2008 Pennsylvania Defense Institute Bad Faith Litigation Speaker Annapolis MD October 2008
8 Pennsylvania Bar Association - Mid-Year Meeting - Fair and Impartial Courts Presenter St Thomas, USVI February 2009 Pennsylvania Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting Civil Litigation 2009: Case Law Highlights and Other Topics (1st Pa. Koken Trial ) Presenter St Thomas, USVI February 2009 COMMITTEE SERVICE Pennsylvania Supreme Court Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee Voting Member (appointed by Supreme Court) - February 2001 January 2008 Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges Secretary - July 2004 July 2005; Treasurer July 2005 July 2006; Second Vice-President - July ; First Vice-President - July present; President Elect July 2008 present; President (to be served July July 2010) National Conference of State Trial Judges Co-Chair - Membership Committee, June 2008 present. PCSTJ Delegate to NCSTJ/ABA Convention, 2005 present. Pennsylvania Liaison May present Judicial Mentor Program - May 2008 present Pennsylvania Bar Association Member - Long Term Planning Committee July 2008 present. Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Technology Committee April 2004 present Children s Rooms in the Courts Advisory Committee a project of the National Council of Jewish Women June 2008 present Court and Community Collaboration Committee (Subcommittee of statewide Balanced and Restorative Justice Implementation Committee) December Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers - Balanced and Restorative Justice Implementation Committee July Children s Cabinet Allegheny County Mental Health/Department of Human Services December Allegheny County Bar Association Speakers Bureau October 2001 present
9 Allegheny County Probation Office Balanced and Restorative Justice Implementation Work Group July Duff s Business Institute Legal Studies Advisory Committee May Brighton Heights Citizens Federation Board November November 2002 PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS American Bar Association present Pennsylvania Bar Association present Allegheny County Bar Association 1992 present Pennsylvania Bar Institute Defense Research Institute Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association Western Pennsylvania Federal Bar Association POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS On January 30, 2009 the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee by a first-ballot, super-majority vote endorsed Judge Robert J. Colville for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In January of 2009, the Young Democrats of Allegheny County recommended Judge Colville for the Superior Court. In February of 2009, Judge Colville was endorsed by Bucks County Democratic Committee Lancaster County Democratic Committee Cumberland County Democratic Committee Chester County Democratic Committee In March of 2009, Judge Colville was recommended and/or endorsed by
10 Dauphin County Democratic Committee Montgomery County Democratic Committee Allegheny County Democratic Committee Beaver County Democratic Committee Allegheny County Labor Council - AFL-CIO Judge Colville s judicial opinions are available for review at (b) Why am I well suited? I greatly enjoy being a trial court judge. I find the work professionally and personally rewarding. Because my work can so meaningfully and directly affect real people s lives, in both wonderful and tragic ways, I find the work to be, at once, both humbling and a source of great pride. In the time that I have served as a trial court judge I have attempted to make maximum use of the opportunities presented to me, to improve myself, my court, and my community; and I believe that I have had success in that regard. Specifically, my work with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee has afforded me unique insights into the rule-making authority of the courts and, more significantly, the wide diversity of practice and local custom that exists throughout our Commonwealth and in its courts. I believe that this sensitivity is essential for a good Superior Court judge. I believe that my service as an Officer with the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial judges not only reflects my fellow trial judge s faith in my abilities and qualifications, but has permitted me a deeper understanding of the value of developing a more open dialogue with and understanding of the respective interests of the stakeholders in Pennsylvania s courts, and a deeper knowledge of the issues confronting our courts throughout the Commonwealth. My work as the Allegheny County Toxic Tort Supervising judge has directly educated me in the science and practice of mass litigation management. My good fortune in having been permitted to serve in many divisions of the trial courts addressing a very wide spectrum of cases will serve me, and the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, well if I am elected to the Superior Court. In short, I view service on the appellate bench as an appropriate and natural extension and hopeful progression of my efforts and career to date. There are several, more personal, reasons I seek to serve as a Superior Court judge. First, I firmly believe that I would be good at it, and that I would enjoy it. The aspects of my current responsibilities as a trial court judge that I enjoy the most, and that I view as my strongest skills, are the elements that are most important on the appellate bench preparation for argument, attentiveness to and engagement in oral argument, serious and detailed consideration of the issues and arguments presented, sound reasoning to support rulings, and preparation of academically honest and complete opinions. Second, my
11 disposition, personality, and personal beliefs suit me for the appellate bench. Integrity, commitment to the rule of law, recognition of the value of common sense, a strong work ethic, and respect for the process and the parties before the court these are the qualities of a good Superior Court judge, and these are characteristics that I possess. In a deeper sense, service on the Superior Court is the best way that I can continue to follow my most genuine professional ambition. I believe in the rule of law. I believe deeply, genuinely, and sincerely in the rule of law. It orders our society, provides structure, increases security, allows for predictability and plans for the future and in so doing it allows people to be everything that they might hope to be. I see it as a genuine good a nearly sacred goal. As a trial court judge, I take great pride and satisfaction in doing my part to help bring justice to individuals in specific cases, and while I understand that my service as a trial court judge also indirectly contributes to the larger cause of the rule of law generally, I know that I can contribute even more directly, and more meaningfully, to that larger cause serving the rule of law - as a Superior Court judge. 2. Did you receive a rating of recommended or higher from the state or local bar association? If not, why not? I am proud to have received the highest possible rating of highly recommended for service on the Superior Court by the Allegheny County Bar Association. In so recommending me the Evaluation Committee stated that I: (i) exhibit preeminence in the law by way of outstanding legal ability and a wide range of experience, and has a reputation in the legal community as standing at the top of his profession; (ii) possesses the highest reputation for integrity and temperament; (ii) exhibits outstanding citizenship by way of community and professional contributions; and (iv) is an excellent individual who will enhance or has enhanced the competency, dignity and public perception of the bench. I have been similarly recommended for service on our Superior Court by the Pennsylvania Bar Association s Judicial Evaluation Commission. The Commission noted that I: ha[ve] clearly demonstrated sufficient legal ability and judicial temperament to have earned the respect of lawyers and other members of the bench... is extremely hardworking and passionate about the improvement of the quality of justice,.. enjoys and thoroughly understands his role as a judge,.. [and] possesses the character, integrity, judicial
12 temperament, and skills that qualify him to serve as a Superior Court judge." 3. If you are an incumbent judge, what s a recent instance in which you acted to preserve your judicial independence? If you are an aspiring judge, how do you plan to remain independent if elected to the bench? As a sitting judge I consider it my responsibility to do my part to protect judicial independence every day. Unfortunately, in my experience, the concept is frequently not fully understood by the public and as a result its value to our system of government is vastly underestimated. It is a subject I frequently address in speaking opportunities before lawyers, schoolchildren and the public generally. Of course, I endeavor in all ways in my day-to-day work as a judge to uphold the rule of law and maintain my and my offices independence from improper influence. Following the legislative and judicial pay-raise three years ago, much attention and criticism was directed to the judiciary generally by both vocal factions of the public and the media. During this volatile time I felt it was appropriate to publicly address the issue of judicial independence. I authored and distributed to every major newspaper within Pennsylvania, the following op-ed article. To the Editor: These are peculiar times for public servants in Pennsylvania. The recent public debate over the value of public service is an important one; but, regrettably, mostly lost in the debate has been the equally important issue of judicial independence. The true power of a representative democracy resides with the people; but the active, practical, day-to-day power is entrusted to elected government officials with the expectation that they will act in the people s collective best interest. Unlike the Executive and the Legislative branches of government, the Judiciary, commanding no army and controlling no purse strings, ultimately relies for its authority solely upon the support of the citizenry. As such, the power of the Judiciary is reliant upon the support of that same citizenry whose conduct the Judiciary is charged to regulate. The Judiciary accomplishes this delicate balancing act by assuring the people that judges will invoke reason over passion, and maintain fidelity to the rule of law without capitulation to political influence. The people can be assured that these things are true only where the courts are both transparent and accountable. I believe that the courts generally enjoy the support and faith of the people because the courts are, in fact, systemically transparent and accountable.
13 Judges conduct our business in courts open to public inspection and scrutiny. We write opinions explaining our decisions and describing how past law, logic, and our reasoning leads to our conclusions. Our written opinions are available and maintained for public review for all time, and are intended generally to form the basis for public and legal expectations of future court rulings. We are, in every practical respect, entirely transparent that is to say our work is open, public, and accessible. Moreover, we, and we alone, are accountable for our decisions - it is we who declare our rulings in open court, and it is our names on the written opinions that set forth our legal analyses. These, and a multitude of other practices and procedures, ensure the transparency and accountability of the courts. But what is it that permits judges to act in such a transparent and accountable way? Why is it that judges, in fact, honorably perform their duties and do not become corrupted by baser, more political, considerations? Judicial Independence is the phrase that is often invoked in response to these questions, but I wonder if my fellow citizens interpret that phrase as it is intended - I worry that when some of us hear judicial independence they think judicial prerogative, or worse judicial arrogance. Judicial independence, to me, really means judicial fairness, or perhaps more specifically the promise of judicial fairness. It means that the judge will decide the case based on the law, not based on how the judge fears, or hopes, he or she might be affected by their ruling. It means that we, as citizens, get a judge who cares about doing what is right, not what is popular. It means guaranteeing open and fair access to every citizen, and more importantly it means that every citizen s inalienable rights as set forth in the Constitution are protected and enforced. Without judicial independence - this promise of judicial fairness, there is nothing to safeguard against the abominations of might makes right or justice to the highest bidder. Lawyers, judges, and law professors understand the intrinsic value of judicial independence. They are familiar and conversant with the academic arguments that establish judicial independence as a fundamental and essential element of our governmental structure. But far more important, at least to my mind, is that the citizenry - the people understand the importance of the promise of judicial fairness, and continue to maintain faith in, and support for, the justice system and the work of our courts.
14 I, and my colleagues in the judiciary, recognize the great honor that it is to serve the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as judges, and we are grateful for your faith in, and support for, our work. Judges recognize that there exists a meaningful debate regarding the monetary value of public service; but, more importantly, we hope and trust that the people will continue to support efforts to protect and preserve judicial independence the promise of judicial fairness. /s/ Robert J. Colville, Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division 4. A number of Pennsylvania judges have been sanctioned for campaign activities, ex parte dealings, and other alleged misconduct. How can the state s judiciary prevent discipline scandals of the type seen recently? The Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline are the institutions responsible for aggressively investigating and reviewing reports of judicial corruption. They do so in the hopes of eradicating such corruption. Unfortunately, as with all human endeavors they, sometimes, fall short of their aspirations. In the end, however, the responsibility for the misconduct of individual judges lies with the individual judges. The state judiciary can help by continuing its historical support and cooperation with aggressive and appropriate investigation, prosecution, and removal of judges who fail to fulfill their fundamental responsibilities under the law and the Canons of Judicial Conduct. It is my hope that, in spite of the recent reports of the unethical, morally reprehensible and, in some instances, criminal conduct of a few individual judges and the resultant tragic consequences to the specific individuals directly affected by such miscarriages of justice, the public will maintain its trust that the vast majority of our judges are honorable. 5. If you believe that gender, racial, ethnic, class or other forms of bias can infect the justice system, how will you work to keep your courtroom as bias-free as possible? The absolutely last place we should find the, otherwise pervasive, evil of discrimination is in a courtroom. I have not, and would not, for any reason tolerate discrimination or
15 bias, in any form, in my courtroom or offices, now as a trial court judge, or as a Superior Court judge. Courts serve the people, and can only hope to continue to maintain the faith and trust of the people, by the even-handed and dispassionate dipensation of justice wholly without regard to the gender, race, ethnicity, or other classification of the individual who stands before the bench. Moreover, a judge must always be sensitive to the subtle incarnations of discrimination and bias. This requires regular and routine review and examination of office and courtroom practices, policies, and procedures to ensure ongoing fair and equal treatment to all who engage the justice system. People expect, and deserve, to be treated according to the merits of their case and the logic of the arguments they present to the court. Other considerations are wholly and fundamentally inconsistent with the rule of law.