Bucks Writs - Spring 2021 - 16


Welcome to the Bench,
Judge Jordan Yeager
By Susan E. Dardes

counseling skills, such as active
listening. Over the years, Judge
Yeager grew to appreciate that
active listening techniques, such as
communicating back to someone
what you are hearing them say, is
an important tool beyond client
counseling; it's also very effective
in advocacy and negotiations.

It was my honor and pleasure,
as it always is in doing interviews
for the Writs, to speak with the
attorneys and judges who make
up our court system. It was no
different, then, when I spoke at
some length to the Honorable
Jordan Yeager as he reflected back
on almost a year on the Bucks
County Common Pleas Court.
I asked him straight away, how his
candidacy came to be - was he
actively recruited? Had this always
been a career goal? In fact, after
having been a busy litigator for
over 26 years, appearing in 23 of
Pennsylvania's 67 counties, and
several federal courts, colleagues
had encouraged him to think about
a judicial career. Those friends and
colleagues had a view of what
makes a good judge, which requires
having an open mind and an ability
to listen. Adversaries told him that
even when they were crossing
swords in highly contentious
litigation, they respected him as
smart, hardworking, fair, and
honest. As he thought about the
judges he respected most, he kept
coming back to those hardworking
judges who genuinely had an ability
to keep an open mind, to listen,
and to bring a practical approach to
problem solving.

As he thought about the
judges he respected most,
he kept coming back to
those hardworking judges
who genuinely had an
ability to keep an open
mind, to listen, and to bring
a practical approach to
problem solving.

Now on the bench, Judge Yeager's
belief in the importance of active
listening has only grown. He
describes it like this: " When we
communicate back what we are
hearing from each other it has
tremendous power. It helps make
sure we have heard the other
person correctly, and when we
have, it lets them know that we
have. People want to be heard.
People want to be understood.
We need to let them know that
they are. When people appreciate
that they have been heard and
understood, it makes it much
easier for them to listen. When
everyone is truly listening to and
understanding each other, it
makes it much easier to problemsolve and to find common
ground. And when that common
ground can't be found and the
parties need the Court to make a
decision, it makes it much easier
for people to accept the results. "

Judge Yeager has always felt that it was his responsibility to
play a positive role in his work and life. His parents instilled
this sense of responsibility when he was young. Judge
Yeager is an Upper Bucks native, having gone to Palisades
High School, prior to attending Cornell University. He felt,
though, as one of the few Jewish students at Palisades, that
he was different; an outsider. The grandson and great-

Judge Yeager credits the professors in his law school's
clinical program for teaching " active listening " skills.
While a third year at the American University's Washington
College of Law, Yeager participated in the school's highly
acclaimed Criminal Justice Clinic. In addition to the advocacy
experience he gained - he had his first jury trial while
still in law school - he learned equally important client


Bucks Writs - Spring 2021

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