Election 2023: Attorney Leonard Rivera Runs For Chesco Judge
Rivera, an attorney with a master’s in trial advocacy, is among the candidates running to fill five vacancies on the Chester County bench.
CHESTER COUNTY, PA —Leonard Rivera, a trial lawyer from Kennett Square, announced Thursday he is running for a judgeship on the Chester County bench.
Rivera has practiced law for three decades, focusing on criminal defense, landlord-tenant disputes, divorce, custody, immigration, and general litigation.
There are five judgeships open on the bench, which consists of 12 full-time judges and three senior judges.
Rivera, a Democrat, graduated from Penn State University in 1990. He earned a law degree at Dickinson School of Law and a master’s in trial advocacy at the James Beasley School of Law at Temple University.
“I am ready for the bench,” Rivera said. “I bring to the court an even temperament, compassionate listening, and experiential wisdom. I’ve developed these traits over years of service in the courtroom and my community.”
Rivera said he has learned to navigate emotionally-charged and complex family, criminal, and civil law matters.
“ As a defense attorney, I courageously stand up for the fair application of the law and sentencing standards,” Rivera said, “I’m committed to serving those for whom English is their second language, helping them navigate the complex and often confusing judicial system.”
Rivera said he believes the court should mirror the makeup of the community by electing qualified, diverse judges.
Background In Social Services And Law
Rivera’s father was a truck driver and his mother was a certified interpreter for Chester County Children, Youth and Family Services, where Rivera serves on the advisory board.
Rivera said that his parents believed strongly in public service and encouraged him to always be committed to his roots.
Rivera is the chairman of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender,
Racial, and Ethnic Fairness, an agency established in 2005 to deliver justice for all.
Through his work on the commission, a memorandum for equality in the application of courtroom standards regarding immigration status became a rule of evidence.
“Lenny Rivera embodies our shared Democratic values of inclusion, compassion, and
empathy,” said Nora Winkelman, former chief counsel of the state House Democratic caucus.
Rivera is the founder of the Chester County Latino Luncheon, a networking group for Latino professionals that provides scholarships to college students. He has been part of the mentoring program at Kennett’s Garage Community and Youth Center.
He is also a former board member and works in the Legal Clinic for La Comunidad Hispana and is a member and past president of the Longwood Rotary.
He coached Mock Trial at Kennett Area High School. In 2018, he received the Mock Trial Coach Award in recognition of his years of service as a team coach.
In addition, Rivera is the secretary of the Chester Water Authority. Along with fellow board members, he fought against a hostile Aqua takeover.
“I’ve found that the best judges are patient, compassionate, and fair,” Rivera said. “The best judges not only thoroughly know the law but also can apply the law without bias. These judges draw from their backgrounds and experiences as lawyers and as active members of the communities in which they serve. This is the type of judge I will be if elected to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.”
Holly Herman, Patch Staff