DelcoReviewSummer2017 - 8

M AY 2 0 1 7
"Looking Back and Looking Forward: Important Issues
Affecting the Court of Common Pleas and the Magisterial
District Courts." As part of the continuing series of one
hour lunch/CLE seminars presented monthly, on the
current state of the Delaware County Courts and the Bar
Association, Judge Kenney reviewed some of the important
changes which have affected the administration of justice
in Delaware County over the last 5 years. The seminar
also highlighted initiatives currently underway which will
impact the Court over the next five years.
Judge Chad F. Kenney was initially appointed to the
Court and was sworn in on August 22, 2003. He was elected
to a full ten-year term in November, 2003. In June 2012, he
was elected by his colleagues to the position of President

"Leaders are - by definition -
change makers. When you are called
to lead, you are called to advance, move
forward, and make improvements,
and he did!"
"Looking Back and Looking Forward:
Important Issues Affecting the Court of Common Pleas
and the Magisterial District Courts."
The Honorable Chad F. Kenny
Our Common Pleas and Magisterial District Judges reflect
the most important mission of the Delaware County Courts
to move cases fairly, effectively and efficiently, which is a
goal shared by local litigation attorneys. This is not a novel
idea, as Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure reads
in part, that the rules "should be construed, administered,
and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just,
speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding." The inexpensive part of this equation refers to an
ever increasing concern about access to the courts.
Accordingly, everything that we as a bench do and
accomplish, or attempt to accomplish, starts with this principle:
moving cases fairly, effectively and efficiently. It is that
principle that ties all of us together and our initiatives. It is our

8 | Summer 2017

mutual focus on this principle that keeps Delaware County in
a position for being recognized as one of the best run courts in
the Commonwealth.
Behind the scenes . . . Our Directors of Court
Departments operate behind the scenes in coordination with the
Board of Judges. They are the contact points for the President
Judge and the Board of Judges in operating the court's $55
million dollar budget, its 750 employees, its 24 Common Pleas
judges and 30 Magisterial District Judges. It is a big operation
that manifests itself in the innumerable issues that present
themselves on a daily basis. Accomplishments in the courts are
typically a combination of the leadership and initiative of one
of our judges and one of our directors. We are fortunate to have
outstanding directors, and we are fortunate to have outstanding
supervisors and staff.
The promotion of good bench-bar relations and collegiality
between the members of the bench and the bar leads to a
feeling of inclusiveness and being part of a special dynamic.
Cooperation and sharing information as we prepare to litigate
cases, leads to streamlined cases that resolve with more
efficiency. It also, most importantly, develops your credibility
amongst your peers and the bench. Credibility is the most
valued trademark of the true, seasoned, legal professional.
The President Judge and the Executive Director of the
Bar Association meet in an open forum each month to discuss
current topics important to the bench and bar. This promotes
our goals of dialogue, transparency, collegiality, and a spirit of
inclusiveness and it ultimately promotes civility in the courts.
Another key player is County Council. The President
Judge meets with County Council on a monthly basis to keep
the lines of communication open which then leads to a great
deal of cooperation. County Council has been very supportive
of our bench.
It is this enthusiasm and the full cooperation of the Bench
with the Bar, County Council, Court Directors and staff, and
the public, I believe, that has led to many of the initiatives that
have originated in the past five years and I hope we are able to
maintain and build on during the next five years.
A review of the initiatives that feed back into the primary
purpose of a trial bench ... The courts have conducted two
significantly successful multi-discipline summits, one on the
opioid crisis and the other on mental health. I am grateful
to Judges Dozor, Capuzzi and Nichols and Michael Raith,
Danielle DiMatteo, and Phil Pisani for their help and support in
making these summits great successes and for spearheading the
process of creating specialty courts to deal with these issues.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DelcoReviewSummer2017

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