Candidate: Andy Szefi

Court: Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Party: Democrat and Republican

Allegheny County Bar Association Rating: Highly Recommended

The following has been edited lightly for length and style.

The Legal Intelligencer: Tell us about your background, where you went to law school, what firms you have practiced at, and areas of law you focus on.

Andy Szefi: I grew up in Mt. Lebanon and attended Mt. Lebanon High School. I attended University of Richmond on an academic scholarship and received my B.A. in 1994. I received my J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and then went into private practice at the law firm of Goehring, Rutter & Boehm for about 13 years, concentrating my practice in litigation, municipal law and real estate matters. In early 2012, I was appointed as Allegheny County solicitor and held that position for 10 years until I was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in the summer of 2022.

The Legal: What is one major thing about your career experience that most qualifies you for this position, and why?

Szefi: As the only sitting judge in this race, I bring the unique perspective of having done the job. In addition, we have an acute and immediate need on the court for a judge to assume the docket previously handled by Judge Joseph James, the elections judge for the past 20-plus years. As county solicitor for a decade, I was intimately involved in managing and defending our elections, an issue which is currently the greatest threat our democracy faces. I am uniquely qualified to fill the role that our court needs most. We have no shortage of criminal defense lawyers in the criminal and family divisions, both important functions, but with only one seat to fill, it is vital that the critical needs facing the court be addressed.

The Legal: What is the main reason Pennsylvania voters should pick you?

Szefi: The diversity of my legal background and experience on the bench combine to make me the most-qualified candidate and, as discussed above, the one candidate who can fill the critical need our court faces. While I share the perspectives and support the efforts of our 10 recently elected judges who currently sit in the Criminal and Family Divisions, my current seat in the Civil Division must be filled with someone with the experience to handle the election docket, in addition to the breadth of matters filed in that division that affect all Allegheny County citizens.

The Legal: What will be your approach to moving matters efficiently through the case management system?

Szefi: The Court of Common Pleas has been trending in the direction of a truly assigned docket. I believe this trend should not only continue but be expedited. It will be a challenging task to be sure given the more than 15,000 matters filed in the Civil Division every year. The recently implemented mandatory mediation program is a great start and will aid in streamlining dockets, as will the continued growth of specialty courts within divisions. I support the continued expansion of those efforts. In addition, we must elect judges who are diligent and prepared. In short, judges who work. In my relatively short time on the bench I am confident that I have earned a reputation for being such a judge.

The Legal: What would you say to voters regarding your plans to ensure the equal administration of justice for all people?

Szefi: As a judge, it is my obligation to ensure that everyone receives equal treatment. Everyone. This starts with access. In the Civil Division, I sit on the Housing Court, where we maximize the use of remote proceedings to facilitate the participation of unrepresented parties. The use of such proceedings, particularly when dealing with unrepresented parties, must be utilized whenever possible. When appearing in court, people should see a court and staff that reflects the people it serves. I have made and continue to make every effort to maximize the applicant pools for the position I can fill to include groups historically underrepresented in our legal system. In addition, my staff and I engage in mandatory implicit bias education to ensure that we are always mindful of the biases that can and do affect everyone in our country.

The Legal: Where can voters go for more information about you?

Szefi: Go to, any of our social media sites, or contact the campaign directly!


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