Description of office: The Commonwealth Court is one of Pennsylvania’s two statewide intermediate appellate courts. This court, established in 1968, is unlike any other state court in the nation. Its jurisdiction generally is limited to legal matters involving state and local government and regulatory agencies. Litigation typically focuses on subjects such as banking, insurance, utility regulation, and laws affecting taxation, land use, elections, labor practices, and workers compensation. The Commonwealth Court also acts as a court of original jurisdiction, or a trial court, when lawsuits are filed by or against the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Court is made up of nine judges. The president judge is elected to a five-year term by his/her colleagues. Generally, appeals are heard by panels of three judges sitting in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, or Pittsburgh.Term: 10 yearsSalary: $202,898Vote for not more than TWO.
North Carolina Central School of Law; Duke University; Executive Certificates from Cornell University, (D&I); University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government
Trial Court Judge since 2002; Jury and Non-jury experience; Presided in Family, Criminal and Civil Divisions; Former Corporate Executive, Non-Profit Leader; Adjunct Professor; National Leader in trauma informed courts;
Led the creation of victim centered juvenile human trafficking court in Phila.
As a judge, I must ensure that every person that comes before the Court has the opportunity to be heard. I must rule according to the law without losing sight of the ultimate goal of dispensing justice. I must remove any obstacle which prevents equal access to justice by any means necessary.
As a citizen, I can involve myself with organizations and in activities which seek to educate people about the Court, its processes and procedures and to equip them with the knowledge and power to to be able to use the legal system as an advocate for themselves and their interests.
Judges set the tone in their courtrooms. They must model fairness, civility, patience and impartiality and demand it from those in their presence. In my courtroom, every voice will be heard and my decisions will be rooted in the law and cloaked in compassion and the urgency to do what is right. I must conduct a daily heart check to ensure that I am not bringing any biases with me that may interfere with my ability to render impartial decisions. I must call out injustice when it occurs...every time.
In the community, I can educate others about their rights and the status of the law. I should regularly attend implicit bias trainings and require my staff to do the same, to ensure that fairness is not just a mantra but embedded in my core.
McKeesport Area Senior High
Duquesne University - B.A.
Duquesne University School of Law - Juris Doctor
"Highly Recommended" by the Pennsylvania Bar Association; Endorsed by the PA Dem; Serving as a Judge since 2016; Appointed by the Governor and unanimously confirmed by the PA Senate; Adjunct Law Professor; National Judicial Fellow; Domestic Violence National Expert; former prosecutor family violence
As a judge, I use my position to promote systems change that ensure that all people have more accessibility to the courts. As a Judicial Fellow, I am using those resources to study the statistics over the year of the pandemic to understand whether the use of advanced technology communications increased participation in the court process. Often times, people with limited resources face additional obstacles inherent with our established court processes. Further, we can ensure that everyone in our community has equal access to the court regardless of how you look, who you love, the language you speak and your socio-economic status. Off the bench, judges should participate in the community as a stakeholder to promote the above matters.
Judges must continue to be active members of the community. In order to understand how the court is perceived, one must be accessible and engage in intentional dialogue to understand all the people that we serve. Judges must continue to be trained in explicit and implicit bias as it relates to all aspect of the existing court system, and be open to discussing and participating in the changes identified to make the courts more equitable and fair. I recently participated in a national panel to address the racial disparities that exist in the child welfare system. On the bench, we must continue to serve as a servant leader and hold ourselves as well as our colleagues accountable for inequities.
B.A. Communications, University of Pittsburgh (‘01)
J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (‘04)
Nearly 17 years’ experience
Owner: Stacy Wallace Law LLC
Specially Appointed Family Law Master & SORNA Counsel
Adjunct Professor, University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
Clerkships: McKean Co. Court of Common Pleas, PA Superior Court
Certified Mediator-Conflict Resolution
McKean Co. Bar Assn., President
Throughout my career, my purpose has been to always seek justice. I was first inspired to enter the legal field by a pamphlet for Northwestern Legal Services, a legal aid organization of which I now serve on the board of directors. I’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that our state’s most vulnerable individuals, including at-risk children and those with disabilities, have equal access to justice, and have done much of this work pro bono. If elected, I will continue to advocate for and engage with underserved communities. On the bench, I will be a steadfast defender of equal justice under the law in all matters and safeguard the rights of all citizens regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or financial status.
The makeup of the Commonwealth Court should be a true reflection of Pennsylvania and the broad perspectives and values of our residents. I will use my grassroots upbringing from McKean County, diverse experience, and values to guide informed and thoughtful opinions that produce equitable outcomes. Off the bench, I will continue to engage our citizens, lead by example in promoting inclusiveness of all people, and raise awareness of our judiciary’s role. Equitable courts start with having equitable judges who value equality, fairness and a desire to serve others. As just one example of how I’ve done that in my personal life, I co-founded “Blessing Boxes of Bradford” which serves as small sidewalk food pantries throughout my community.
Phil-mont Christian Academy
Widener School of Law
Currently a sitting Judge on the Commonwealth Court. I have authored over 100 opinions. They are balanced, well-reasoned and thoughtful. I am recommended by the PA Bar. I also serve on the Supreme Court Appellate Rules Committee. I have extensive Constitutional, statutory and regulatory experience.
As a sitting Judge I have done all in my power to treat every person that comes before me with respect and fairness. Judges must ensure those with modest means have equal access to justice. We are all created equal but as judges we must insist that all are treated equally or justice is being unfairly denied. Filing fees and other court costs must be waived for those who cannot afford them. Also, quality lawyers must be available to low income individuals free of cost for civil and criminal matters. Further as judges we must ensure that no one perceives that race or wealth or political connections are weighed when a decision is rendered. High ethical standards are vital to instill confidence in the Judiciary.
Litigants must be convinced that the Judge’s personal philosophy does not impede justice. I have also defended the powers of each branch of government since citizens want to be assured that the legislative, executive and judicial branches are not overstepping their constitutional boundaries. Further I try to be a judge that has common sense and treats every person with common decency. Judges must also remain connected to their communities and not be overly isolated. People have more confidence in the Judiciary when they know Judges care about our the same things in our Commonwealth as they do. Judges must have a heightened sense of their words and actions in the courtroom. Both must be beyond reproach.