Job: Attorney at Barkau & Unverfehrt, P.C.
Education: B.S. in electrical engineering, St. Louis University, graduated magna cum laude; J.D., St. Louis University School of Law
Previous offices: Oakdale Grade School Board, Oakdale Township trustee
Qualifications: To be a judge one must be an attorney, but to be a good judge one must be so much more than an attorney. This so much more includes well-known judicial attributes such as integrity, impartiality and honesty. It also includes common sense, which I believe to be the most understated quality of a judge. This common sense is not taught in law school or acquired through experience as an attorney. Common sense is an innate characteristic that is supplemented though life experiences encountered outside of the legal realm. Lets face it, many times attorneys think too much like attorneys and not enough like everyone else. Due to my background in operating a business and various boards that I have served on, I have had many more non-legal experiences than someone who has only been an attorney for his or her entire career. I believe that this outside experience is a necessary virtue in bringing some much needed common sense back to the judiciary.
Top issues: I believe the most important issue in this race is impartiality. The role of the judicial branch is to interpret the laws enacted by the legislature. This interpretation must be done in a consistent manner for all that come before a judge. In interpreting these laws, all the facts and arguments from both sides of the dispute must be acknowledged and carefully considered. A judge that has strong feelings involving the issues in a particular case or that succumbs to the influence of others is very likely to render a decision that is biased to some extent. In order to be impartial, a judge must set his or her personal opinions aside, and make decisions based solely on the merits of each particular case, regardless of the status of those that will be affected by the judge's decision. This is much easier said than done. It is rare to find a person who is capable of completely disconnecting his or her personal feelings, opinions and acquaintances from the decisions they make on a day-to-day basis. I believe that I am the candidate who can best accomplish this disconnection, and thus be an impartial judge.