Judge Profile

William E. Baldwin

Judicial Experience:

  • President Judge, Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas, Elected, 1987 to 2018

Other Professional Experience:

  • Partner, Pfeiffer, Brown & Baldwin, 1978 to 1988
  • Partner, Curran, Brown & Baldwin, 1975 to 1978

Education:

  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1975
  • BS, Lehigh University, 1970

Professional Civic Activities/Honors/Awards:

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania President Judges Conference
  • Pennsylvania Trial Judges Conference

Staff:

  • Cheryl A. Bender, Judicial Secretary
  • Evangelo Theodosopoulos, Law Clerk
  • Michelle Lurwick, Judicial Secretary/Accountant

Rules/Procedures:

  • Do you have any special rules governing courtroom decorum (e.g., addressing the court, dealing with opposing counsel and witnesses, proper attire, etc.)? Be on time, be prepared, and have your witnesses ready.

  • Any suggestions, admonitions or recommendations you would make to lawyers appearing before you? On Preparation: "There are some lawyers that will come into court and they have not done enough preparation. I think that they forget that their client is depending on them to tell them what the issues are. And there are times when the client may very well have evidence available. I think we have all been in court when a witness says 'I have that at home.' Well that is not good enough for the courtroom. If the lawyer has not spent enough time preparing, then [his or her] client may not be aware of what evidence may be important. That really has a lot of bad ramifications; not only does the client not get [his or her] fair day in court, but it makes it very difficult to do justice. "The court can only decide the case based on the facts put before us. There have been times that I felt that there was evidence available, but it did not come before me. I cannot assume what the evidence might have been. And that is troublesome because sometimes you may be in a position where you have to make a decision in the case that might have gone completely the other way, if all the evidence available might have been there. But as a judge we are not allowed to help one side or the other prepare their case." On young lawyers: For younger lawyers, Baldwin suggested reading a good book on evidence, as well as thoroughly reading "Rules of Civil Procedure." "I think if you take the rules and read them from start to finish you will see that there is really a flow to them and you can anticipate what the rule is going to be. If you only read one rule here and one rule there which applies to an individual case, you do not get the overall picture." "I also think that it is a good idea that when you get any spare time to get in the courtroom and watch other lawyers to pick up the good things and the bad things that they lawyers do." Baldwin said lawyers should develop their own style and not try to imitate other people. "Not every thing works for everyone. Everyone has a different personality and if you don't come across as sincere, the jury will not buy what you are doing." (PLW)