MEET JOEL BIGATEL
Thank you for the invitation to post a statement on your website. Formy complete background and qualifications, I direct you to mywebsitewww.BigatelforJudge.com. To answer some of the issues which have been raised in the variouscomments posted:First, I do have an active law practice. It is that 28 years of experience personally handling everythe type of case that come before the District Court, coupled with the other experiences in mybackground of that qualifies me for this position. No other candidate in this race has asextensive experience, including the current Judge. I clerked for a Philadelphia Common PleasJudge shortly after law school and gained invaluable experience watching trials and assisting theJudge in making decisions. I have sat as an Arbitrator since 1981 in the Common Pleas CourtArbitration Programs of Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties deciding civil cases with claimsof over 6 times the jurisdictional limit of the District Court.($50,000 vs. $8,000). I have beentrying and settling the vast majority of my cases in my private practice for 23 years.Second. My commitment to my clients is
my first priority. If elected, my duties to thepeople of the District will become my first priority. I have already discussed with anotherattorney plans to take over a portion of my cases, handle new referrals, etc. should I be elected.There is no question that I could not maintain my practice at the present level. I am prepared tomake that sacrifice and adjust my practice to suit the demands of the office of District Judge.The position of District judge is considered a part-time position. It is however a full-timecommitment.In terms of scheduling District Court matters, I understand that the Common Pleas Courtsdo give consideration to the Court schedules of the District Judges who practice before them inscheduling court appearances. I am used to working on my practice well into the night and amfully prepared to continue to do so such that the demands of the District Judge’s office alwayshave first priority.Third. There is no significant issue regarding conflicts with present or former clients. My work ispredominantly in the Common Pleas Courts of Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. While Iam regularly retained to represent people in District Court matters, those matters are newreferrals from existing clients or other lawyers. Rarely have I been asked by an existing client torepresent them in a District Court matter.In the event that a present or former client would have a matter before the District Court, Iwould certainly recuse myself and the matter would be heard by another Judge, an occurrencewhich the District Courts are familiar with regularly accommodate.