Mike Blazick is a candidate for Luzerne County judge.Clark Van Orden/The Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE – Attorney Mike Blazick ran for Luzerne County judge in 2009 because he was motivated by the ongoing corruption probe and indictments of several judicial figures.
Two years later, Blazick told The Times Leader endorsement board last Tuesday, that is why he’s running again for one of six open seats on the county bench.
“I want (us) to get away from what’s happened,” Blazick said. “… People call us the laughing stock.”
Blazick, of Mountain Top, has worked for the past two years in his private practice, handling a variety of cases including insurance coverage, medical malpractice and construction disputes.
In 2010, Blazick was appointed by then-President Judge Chester Muroski to assist in an investigation ordered by the state Supreme Court to determine whether corruption influenced former Judge Mark Ciavarella’s judicial decisions.
Blazick said the investigations consisted of preliminary objections granted involving a bank of which former Judge Michael Conahan had been a board member.
“There was an appearance of impropriety ... it was an easy decision,” Blazick said, after reviewing records and transcripts from court proceedings.
Blazick said he feels he is set apart from the other 15 candidates because he is the “most experienced” with handling large civil cases.
Shortly after graduating from Temple University School of Law, Blazick said, he went to work for a large Philadelphia law firm.
From there, Blazick went to work for Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn law firm in Kingston, where he represented injured people in complex product liability and major medical malpractice claims.
Two years later, he began his private firm in Wilkes-Barre, where he has practiced in 14 different counties over the last two years, including in federal court.
“The key to being a good judge is being able to jump in, apply the principles of law, ask good questions,” Blazick said. “The ability to learn and reason are important aspects.”
Blazick said he expects to spend between $40,000 and $50,000 for the primary election, and that as in 2009, he will not accept campaign contributions from attorneys.
“I’m not comfortable with that process. I feel it’s been a problem for a long time,” Blazick said.
If elected, Blazick said he would like to expedite the “tremendous” backlog of civil cases by creating a case management program.
That program would assign litigators several dates in which they would appear in court, so that the case doesn’t bounce around from judge to judge.
Blazick said he would also support a unified system for all state courts to follow so that attorneys don’t have to learn several local rules for each court in which they appear.
Education: Graduate of Bishop Hoban High School; Susquehanna University; Temple University School of Law
Law experience: Law clerk for Judge John T.J. Kelly, state Superior Court; previously worked at a Philadelphia law firm handling medical malpractice, product liability, pharmaceutical liability and commercial disputes
Community affiliations: Coach for White Haven baseball and Mountain Top Youth Soccer leagues; member of the Volunteers of America Northeast Regional Counsel
Family: Wife, Kate; two children, Hillary and Owen