Candidate Q&A: Allison Bell Royer, candidate Court of Common Pleas

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EDITOR’S NOTE — The Times asked the 2015 candidates for Chester County county-wide office to answer a serious of questions relative to their campaign and office, as well as their personal background. Wanting to give each candidate a direct, unfiltered, option to communicate with the voters, these responses are not edited nor abridged in any way.

By Allision Bell Royer, Candidate, Chester County Court of Common Pleas

ABR2015official

Allison Bell Royer

1. Whether you are an incumbent, or a challenger, what prompted you to seek public office?

Since the very first day I obtained my attorney’s license, I have been a courtroom lawyer. I have appeared before more than 130 different Common Pleas Court judges in my career, a large number by any measure. The regional nature of my practice has given me the opportunity to see the difference a calm, experienced and perceptive trial judge can make in the lives of the people that come to court seeking justice. In this role, every single work day would surely bring challenges, but would also be filled with something to enjoy about the law and the satisfaction that accompanies public service.

2. Can you describe an achievement in your professional or elective life that you are especially proud of, and why?

As a lawyer I am most proud of the results I have achieved for my clients. I have represented all kinds of people from all walks of life with every type of legal problem imaginable. The versatility I have shown in my practice, including arguing cases at the appellate level, lends itself well to hitting the ground running as a judge in any division of the court. As a former elected official, I am very proud of the significant changes made in the Prothonotary’s Office during my two terms. We took a docketing backlog of anywhere from two to four weeks down to everything being entered on the system within 24 hours of filing. The whole staff was cross-trained to be able to perform additional duties so that the public was well served every day.

3. Talk about a difficult decision you’ve had to make, how you went about it and what the outcome was.

The most difficult decision I ever made was deciding to run for Chester County Prothonotary in a race with a hotly contested primary. We had a shoestring budget for the campaign and truly won it with a great grassroots effort. I was a young lawyer and the outcome was a victory that surprised a lot of people.

4. As not all Row Offices are as self explanatory as District Attorney or Sheriff, can you, briefly explain the duties of the office you seek?

The Court of Common Pleas is the main trial court and a judge serves for a ten year term. The court has four divisions: Civil, Criminal, Family and Orphans’ Court. Appeals from the local Magisterial District Courts also come to Common Pleas Court.

5. What qualities do you feel make you the best candidate for that job?

In both my professional and personal life, I have always been the person that others come to when they need advice or assistance with a tough problem. Remaining calm and focused during a crisis or emergency is an ability I have always had. I have significant experience in all four divisions of the court, having practiced in all four areas for my entire career as a lawyer. The LLM I obtained from Villanova Law School will help in any matters that involve financial complexities. My 23 years as a licensed real estate professional gave me considerable experience that will serve useful in any property dispute. I have tried cases before juries. I have represented about an equal number of men and women in every type of family law proceeding possible and in multiple counties. I also speak Spanish.

6. What do you feel are the most important issues in your race?

The best judges have significant courtroom experience and I have that in all disciplines that make up the divisions of the Common Pleas Court. The term being sought is 10 years. I am the only one running that can serve the full term. Part of what a judge does is administrative in nature and my eight years as Prothonotary provided significant experience in that realm.

7. Is there anything else that you would like the people of Chester County to know about you?

The candidate did not answer this question.

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