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Interview: Judge Bicket

We had recently provided you with a two-part rundown on new Allegheny Counrt of Common Pleas Judge Alexander Bicket. Your case has Judge Bicket if you have an Allegheny County Family Division case with a "Judicial Suffix" of 009.

Judge Bicket was recently interviewed by the Lawyers Journal. Here is the content of that interview:

Why did you want to be a judge?

After 23 years of private practice as a lawyer, I felt I needed a career change without leaving the field of law. I felt that looking at litigation from the other side where one is no longer an advocate would be a challenging and rewarding way to achieve this end.

What type of judge do you want to be known as by attorneys and the parties who come before you?

Prepared, courteous, punctual, polite and compassionate.

At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to be an attorney?

I became interested in the law while at high school in South Africa. The idea of being able to help people appealed to me as did the ability to provide a service to people in need of legal help.

What do you hope to achieve by serving on the bench?

I hope to continue to provide all litigants with access to a system that is designed to be equally available to everybody. I would like to foster the confidence of the public in the court system so that when litigants come before me, they know that I will treat them fairly and with dignity and respect.

What aspects of your background best prepared you to serve as a judge?

As a teacher of high school students, I learned the need to be patient, fair, courteous, and impartial, all qualities that are also necessary to be an effective judge. Both teachers and judges are role models in their respective positions and require one to be cognizant at all times of the expectations and needs of the people they serve.

I grew up in South Africa during the darkest days of apartheid. The majority of citizens were not afforded the full protection of the law and the courts because of the color of their skin. I learned firsthand that without equality under the law and equal access to the courts, a true democracy cannot exist. I will always remember the suffering this cause to so many in South Africa. I will always ensure that no matter what one's religion, creed, or color, eveyone will be treated equally in my courtroom.