The new political season is starting quickly as six candidates have already fought for a seat on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
Four Democrats and two Republicans announced their candidacy for the Pennsylvania primary on May 18, which allows judicial candidates to run on both tickets as a show of impartiality. After February 12th, they can cross the tickets for both parties.
The official list of seats opened in the justice race will not be released by the State Department of Pennsylvania until mid-February.
Lawyers who are candidates include:
Stephen Corr, The former President of the Central Bucks School Board has announced his candidacy to serve as a judge on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
Corr is a partner at Begley, Carlin & Mandio in Langhorne and a lifelong Republican.
Corr, 53, has represented the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is co-counsel in the first lawsuit against the terrorists on behalf of the victims and their families, including seven from Bucks.
Corr graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 and the Villanova University School of Law in 1992.
His practice focuses on civil litigation in state and federal courts. He has served as lead counsel in more than 70 legal cases. He has represented clients in tenant disputes, motor vehicle accidents, cases of professional negligence, minor criminal cases, real estate transactions and contract negotiations.
Corr has often been chosen by his colleagues to act as an arbitrator or mediator in resolving cases. He is an active member of the Bucks County Bar Association. From 2005 to 2016, Corr was elected to the Central Bucks school board three times.
Corr lives in Warrington with his wife and three daughters.
Dawn DiDonato-Burke graduated from Villanova School of Law in 1992 and served 10 years as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia prosecutor’s office. She worked in the Municipal Court Unit, the Juvenile Court Unit, the Felony Waiver Division, and spent most of her time in the Major Trials Division. Dawn has tried thousands of bank attempts and well over 100 jury attempts.
DiDonato-Burke, 53, left the prosecutor’s office in 2002 to spend more time with her growing family. At that time she switched to civil procedure law, family law, real estate law and criminal defense. She is currently an in-house advisor to Coldwell Bankers Hearthside Realtors and Addison Wolfe Real Estate, and runs her private practice DiDonato & Burke, LLC
Good judges, she said, treat victims, litigants, defendants, witnesses and court staff with fairness to all, determination when necessary, kindness when necessary, and most importantly, the human dynamism and effect of interpreting and imposing the law on the chosen people. .
She has lived in Lower Makefield Township with her husband and three children for 18 years. She has been a mediator with the Bucks County Mortgage Diversion Program and a member of the board of directors of Bucks County Housing Corp. for more than 10 years. and the Bucks County Real Estate Institute and attorney at Comans, Inc., a nonprofit that serves the mentally challenged.
Dianne Magee, of Plumstead has more than 36 years of legal experience and has expertise in older issues and the growing challenges facing seniors.
A graduate of Stanford University and Duke Law School, 62, Magee has spent her career in Bucks County, both personally and professionally. Magee is currently a lawyer at Grim, Biehn & Thatcher in Perkasie specializing in estate and trust management, estate planning, prior law, and litigation and adoptions before the orphan court.
She is a Democrat and the current attorney for the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Office. She was an attorney for the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging for 20 years. She serves on the board of directors of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County and is the current president of the Bucks County’s SPCA, among many other charitable activities.
Amir Stark, of Northampton, is a family law attorney with Penglase & Benson Inc. law firm of Doylestown. He said he had worked for years protecting victims of domestic violence and serving the interests of children, parents and families.
Early in his career she handled complex class action and commercial cases, but his volunteering with Legal Aid in southeastern Pennsylvania as a volunteer attorney in a domestic violence court inspired him to dedicate his career entirely to family law, he said. Stark is also an attorney with A Woman’s Place, the domestic violence nonprofit in Bucks County.
Stark, 46, is married with two children, is a Republican and a graduate of the University of Utah and Widener University School of Law.
Robert Repko, A former board member and president of the Bucks County Bar Association is a Democratic contender.
He owns a law firm in Doylestown and was a prosecutor in Counties Monroe and Bucks before moving into private practice in 2001. He served as a conflict attorney for public defenders in Bucks County.
He is currently an attorney at Bucks County Health Services and has helped the health department deal with legal issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also worked on cases involving child and youth services, as well as inheritance or adoption issues from the orphan court.
For 20 years he has been primarily dedicated to helping people with divorce, custody, support and protection against abuse. He is proud of the fact that, as President of the Bar Association, he “set up the first diversity committee that deals with diversity, inclusion and equality”. Today he is a delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association and vice chairman of the membership development and quality of life committees.
Repko, 50, is a graduate of Penn State University’s College Misericordia, Dickinson School of Law. He is married with two children and lives in Doylestown Township.
Tiffany Thomas-Smith, of Lower Makefield, runs for the first time for judges. She has her own practice in Newtown Township.
A graduate of Duke University and Howard University School of Law, she worked for the Defender Association of Philadelphia and was a clerk at the New Jersey Supreme Court in New Jersey. After moving to Bucks County, she worked in numerous family law firms and has experience in family and criminal law prior to founding Thomas Smith. She is 54 years old, married and has two sons. She is a democrat.
She said she runs to support the community she serves and will treat people who come to court with “care, compassion and empathy” while applying a “fair and reasonable application of the law”.
Thomas-Smith serves on the boards of directors of the United Way of Bucks County and the Bucks County Bar Association and chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Bar.
She is an attorney on the Bucks County Democratic Committee and a member of the Voter Protection Team for the Pennsylvania State Democratic Party. She is actively involved with nonprofit organizations including the Healing Consciousness Foundation, which “thrives” on breast cancer, and the WISER School, which supports the education of young women in Africa.