Integrity, experience, honesty, diversity and a caring demeanor are just five of the characteristics Patrick “Pat” T. Barrett will bring into the court system if elected to one of the two open positions for judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County.
Barrett, 53, has practiced law for 26 years, taken cases to trial in 14 Eastern Pennsylvania counties and is currently a shareholder in the Essig, Valeriano and Fudeman law firm in Reading.
He is a candidate on both the Democratic and Republican ticket in the May 21 Berks County primary.
Barrett will officially kick off his candidacy Sunday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading.
As an example of his legal diversity, Barrett has served as an assistant district attorney for Berks County, where he was responsible for all aspects of criminal prosecution, including arraignments, pre-trail matters, trials and disposition of post-trial motions.
He then spent 20 years with Bingaman Hess, where he was responsible for commercial work, including loan workouts and collections for financial institutions and corporations. He also handled litigation matters, insurance defense and represented plaintiffs. He continues to handle the same type of clients since joining his current firm in 2011.
“I have spent much of my career in a court room and have experienced the process from both sides of the aisle,” Barrett said. “I firmly believe the position of judge requires a person with in depth knowledge of the nuances of a trial.”
Barrett explains that first and foremost, the position requires a trial judge be uniquely prepared to direct the course of a criminal or civil trial. He said the presiding judge is the gate keeper from the moment the jury panel enters a courtroom until deliberations are concluded and a verdict is rendered. The job of a trial judge is to oversee the entire process and to guarantee that each of the parties receive a fair trial, Barrett said.
“People’s lives and property are at stake.
“The process can only be overseen effectively by an individual who has the knowledge and experience and that experience extends to both sides of the aisle. I believe that I am uniquely qualified to be that gate keeper.”
One of seven siblings, it is only natural that Pat would also become a certified federal mediator which allows him to mediate in the federal court system as appointed by federal judges.
Just like it is also fitting that he would lead the Red Cross Heroes Breakfast Committee because his father, Eugene P. Barrett, is a decorated World War Two Army veteran.
His mother, Mary, graduated from Marywood College and raised the seven Barrett children in Scranton while serving as a substitute school teacher.
Barrett graduated cum laude from the University of Scranton with a bachelor of science, public administration degree and earned his Juris Doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
He and his wife, Paula, live in Maidencreek Township and are the parents of Jennifer and Patrick, both college graduates.