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Announcement Remarks of Timothy L. Virkler, Candidate for Jefferson County Family Court Judge! January 22, 2014!

! Good afternoon and thank you all for coming here today as I formally announce my candidacy for Jefferson County Family Court Judge. !

! This November will be the rst contested election for Jefferson County Family Court Judge in thirty years. Over those thirty years, just as our community has changed so has our Family Court. What was at one time a part time Court has now become the busiest Court in the County. !

! In addition to the Family Court Judge, the Jefferson County Family Court is now comprised of a full time Support Magistrate, Court Attorney Referee and an Acting Family Court Judge. Because of the Courts ever increasing volume, the staff necessary to keep up with the workload has grown as well.!

! Because of the size, complexity and volume of the Court, it is vital that our next Family Court Judge be ready to serve from day one. Over the past nine years I have spent all of my working time in the County Courthouse, working behind the scenes with judges, court staff and self represented litigants. Because of this I know the responsibilities, role and pressures of being a county level judge and I respectfully submit I am qualied and ready to take on that role as your next Family Court Judge. !

! Over those years Ive had the privilege of serving as the Principal Court Attorney to Hon. Peter A. Schwerzmann, the Jefferson County Surrogate's Court Judge and also an Acting

Judge of the Family Court as well as a full time Acting Justice of the Supreme Court. !

! In this capacity, as Judge Schwerzmanns primary legal advisor Ive worked side by side with him as on a daily basis he presided over a busy docket of arraignments, motion practice, conferences and trials in all areas of law. !

! Let me be clear, being a Family Court Judge is not easy. In addition to the tremendous volume of cases heard each year, the nature of the Court means the Family Court Judge has to preside over one of the most emotionally charged subjects; family relationships and children. At best, families who enter the Family Court system are in conict and more often than not are in crisis. !

! Apart from the joy that comes with witnessing a child being adopted into a new, loving family, the majority of the cases are sobering and serious in nature and they range from neglect/ abuse proceedings, to juvenile delinquency proceedings, to family offense proceedings to issues involving custody and visitation of children. !

! Over the next few minutes I would like to introduce myself and outline what people can expect from me if I am given the privilege as serving as the next Jefferson County Family Court Judge. !

! With the name Virkler, you probably guessed Im originally from Lewis County. Youre right. I was born and raised in Lowville. Growing up in a small town taught me both the importance of community in our lives and the importance of treating everybody with respect. After graduating from high

school I attended college in Washington, DC at the American University. !

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! To be sure, living and learning in our Nations capital was a big change from living in Lowville, but it gave me the chance to experience many different things than I had known before.! ! However, I always knew the North Country was home. Thus, following my graduation from college I returned to New York to attend Albany Law School. After law school, Dan King, now Lewis County Judge King, was gracious enough to take me on as an associate attorney at the rm of Durr, Riley, Nortz and King in Lowville. Although my time with that rm proved to be eeting, by working as an attorney in private practice I learned a great deal about the demands and pressures that private attorneys face, as well as about the personal satisfaction that comes from helping clients work though their legal issues. !

! When one of the partners at the rm, Scott Nortz, was appointed as Lewis County Judge I had the privilege of serving as his Law Clerk. This was my rst experience working for our court system, and I am forever grateful to Scott for giving me that opportunity. !

! My rst job in Jefferson County was working for Cindy Intschert as an Assistant District Attorney. In that capacity, I prosecuted criminal cases at all levels of courts within the County. Representing the People as an Assistant District Attorney was a great honor for me personally, and handling cases in the Town and Village courts gave me the opportunity to learn about the various communities within the County and the people who live in them.!

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! Different people will have different opinions as to what qualities make a good judge, so now Id like to outline what voters can expect from me if I am given the chance to be their next Family Court Judge.!

! As to judicial philosophy, my central and guiding principal is that as long as they do so with respect, all litigants and attorneys who appear in court deserve to be treated fairly and be allowed to articulate their positions to the Court. !

! As I indicated earlier, by its nature Family Court is an emotionally charged Court. In such a Court there is usually no winner and loser. Most individuals probably leave the courtroom at least partially unhappy with the result. ! ! ! ! While no judge can promise to resolve cases in way that makes everybody happy, I strongly believe that by giving all individuals the time and opportunity to present their position to the judge, at least they will leave the courtroom with the satisfaction of knowing that the judge heard them and considered what they had to say. If elected, all those who appear before me can expect that courtesy. !

! I have also learned in my career that the attorneys who appear in court have a difcult job to do. For a judge, once the parties leave the courtroom the case is concluded. That is not so for attorneys, who must work with clients both before court to prepare them for what could happen, and then again after court to explain what did happen. !

! I strongly believe that as long as they do so with civility and within ethical bounds, a judge should allow counsel to present their case as they choose. If elected, all attorneys who appear before me can expect that courtesy. !

! When individuals appear in Family Court, they are dealing by denition with issues involving their families and personal relationships. By working in the Courts I have learned that many times equally as emotional as the circumstances that brought them to court in the rst place is the stress that comes from not knowing when the matter will be resolved and the uncertainty that comes from waiting for the judge to decide their case. !

! Thus, if elected I will strive to resolve all matters as quickly as practical so that families can, to the extent possible, obtain resolution and move on. Especially in custody/visitation matters, wherever possible I will rule bench rather than reserve written decision. !

! Because my career has been primarily with the Courts and the District Attorney's Ofce, I have not been able to actively participate in local politics and as such I am a new face to many of you. While I have not been able to be politically active, I have been able to be active in other ways. !

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! Community is important to me, and at present I serve as Vice-President of the Transitional Living Services Board and am the Board Secretary for the Volunteer Transportation Center. ! I am a member of the Samaritan Medical Center's Ethics Committee and the Treasurer of the Lowville Academy Alumni

and Friends Association. In addition I am a Past-President and Past-Secretary of the Jefferson County Bar Association as well as a Past-President of the Watertown Sunrise Rotary Club. I am currently a Committee Member for Cub Scout Pack 496 in Watertown as well as an Assistant Den Leader for that Pack. !

! For many years I have been an instructor at JCC in the Paralegal program where I the Legal Research and Writing class. Over the years I have presented at various continuing legal education seminars and have taught at training programs for Town and Village justices. Ive served as an attorney Judge at the Regional level for the New York State Bar Associations High School Mock Trial contest and currently I represent Jefferson County in the New York State Bar Association's House of Delegates. !

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! Over the coming months I look forward to getting out and meeting voters across the County, introducing myself to them and asking for their support. !

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I know the road ahead wont be easy. ! There is hard work to be done. ! Im eager to get started. ! ! !