Bucks County Common Pleas Judge Finley has the edge

Posted: November 01, 2005

Bucks County voters can't go wrong on Nov. 8 in selecting a successor to Common Pleas Court Judge Michael J. Kane, who leaves the bench after nearly two decades handling family legal disputes. Either of two contenders can be expected to serve ably.

A strict rsum comparison, however, gives Republican JEFFREY L. FINLEY the edge. A member of a large Doylestown firm, Finley was voted "highly recommended" by fellow attorneys in the county. He brings solid and varied litigation experience, including more than 200 assignments as a hearing officer in student disciplinary cases convened by local school districts. Finley chaired the county's prison oversight board and was county bar president in 2001.

Democratic nominee Meg Groff has focused more than 20 years on family law. She has been an effective advocate for women targeted by domestic violence. In large part due to her efforts, the county court arranges for free legal representation at protection-from-abuse hearings.

Groff argues Kane's replacement is likely to face family law issues, and that she's best-suited. Finley counters that judges on the 13-member court must be well-rounded, since they can be called to hear a variety of cases.

Voters saw these candidates on both the Republican and Democratic ballots in the spring. In Finley, voters will find a respected litigator with a record of civic leadership; in Groff, a specialist's eye for the many family law cases on the court's docket.

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