When citizens think about our country’s court system and the judges who decide the fate of so many critical cases that come before them it is only natural for people to think of the ideal situation. One expects the court system to provide a fair environment in which disputes are effectively resolved and justice is extended to victims. Since judges often render the final decision in those matters presented to them, it is the responsibility of citizens to seriously examine the qualities of the individual under consideration for this position. Most importantly, judges must understand how their decisions will affect the lives of all of the parties who appear before them.

For me, a judge must be a person who effectively manages the stress such work involves without bias and avoiding the tendency to emotionally “unload” on everyone involved in the process of administering justice. To be in such an important decision-making position is to understand and accept the scrutiny and criticism that often is directed at judges. The ideal judge honors the public trust extended by the voters and displays the open-mindedness, courage, and common sense expected of such an individual.

In this year’s election for Niagara County Court Judge I will be voting for Michael Benedict. I know Mike to be an experienced lawyer who has always displayed the highest level of personal and professional ethics. During the course of his legal career Mike has acquired the necessary education and experience to manage such an important position as county court judge. Most importantly, Mike is the only candidate rated “Well Qualified” by the Niagara County Bar Association.

I’m encouraging all voters to seriously consider how close we can come to establishing the “ideal” in Niagara County Court and then cast a vote for Mike Benedict on November 2nd.

FRANK A. SODA, Niagara Falls


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