When Max Baer, now a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, began serving on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas family division bench in 1993, he had no background or education in child development or family dynamics and he was “faced with decisions that were purely in [his] own discretion” regarding children’s welfare, he said.

“The question for me was, ‘What would be best for the kids?’ And the answer was that I didn’t have the slightest idea,” Baer said.

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