Meet the remaining two judicial candidates for a seat on the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

Written by on October 6, 2021

Meet the remaining two judicial candidates for a seat on the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

By Genesis Ortega

October 6, 2021

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

There are six attorneys running for one of three open spots in Lehigh County’s Court of Common Pleas

Listen to the story.

Zac Cohen is one of the Democratic candidates. From an early age, he knew he wanted a seat on the bench. His future father-in-law was a judge.

“He took me to his courtroom in Easton and I got to see first hand what it is that judges do and how they can really protect our communities, serve our communities and help resolve all of our problems to the best of their abilities,” he said. 

That was all it took. He worked his way up as a law clerk for the President Judge of Northampton County then into private practice as a trial lawyer for 18 years at Lesavoy Butz & Seitz. He also volunteers as a court appointed arbitrator to hear some of the county’s backlogged cases. 

The position he seeks on the Court of Common Pleas tries both major criminal and civil cases. 

“It’s all been practice for this. And I just always felt that you need a certain level of maturity and experience though before you can actually be a judge,” he said. 

One of Cohen’s opponents is Republican candidate Tom Caffrey. His reason for running stems from an experience early in his career where he worked full time as a juvenile master in Lehigh County in the 90’s.  

“I saw that it was something I thought I was good at. I resolved disputes among attorneys, I ruled in cases, and most importantly I had direct impact not only on children but on families,” he said. 

“But I had no experience on the criminal side so that’s when I opened my own practice and I gained that experience in criminal law,” he added. 

He was a prosecutor for the Lehigh County District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and also worked for two major law firms in the Lehigh Valley: Fitzpatrick Lentz and Bubba and Norris McLaughlin. He’s now the solicitor for Lehigh County. 

Others on the ballot are Democrats Maraleen Shields and Rashid Santiago and Republicans Tom Capehart and David Ritter

Election Day is Nov. 2.

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