Barbara S. Nuchereno
Candidate for Amherst Town Justice
Lines on ballot: Republican
Number of years living in town: 52
Occupation/Employer: attorney, Amherst councilmember (term ends 2013)
Top campaign platform agendas:
The Town Justice Court is a community court addressing a wide variety of issues facing residents of the town. I have a diverse background in the law, having served representing clients in many areas of law, including Justice Court, for 13 years.
What gives me unique and effective skills for this position is my many years, from 2000-2012, as an attorney in the Court system, as Law Clerk to Justice Sharon S. Townsend in both Family and Supreme Courts, and as a Supreme Court Referee, presiding over cases in a quasi judicial capacity. In these capacities, I served to manage a busy court calendar, address complex legal issues, advise and assist the Judge, work with and guide attorneys and their clients, preside over cases ruling on evidence and making findings, writing decisions and opinions.
I have experience first hand with the domestic violence court, and the mediation program and assisted the Judge with the implementation of the Court Improvement Project to make the Court more user friendly and efficient. I have an extensive legal and administrative background and have developed many contacts with the community agencies that support and service the Court and in particular the specialized treatment Courts.
Additionally, I serve on the Town Board, where many of the local laws are created that are enforced in the Court, and thus have a full background of the laws that are applied in the Court. I also have developed an extensive network of contacts within the Town government which will serve to provide me greater insight and resources with many matters heard before the Court. Additionally, I have been the liaison to the Court, the Police, the Senior Center, and have worked closely with the Youth Department over the last few years. No one else has this experience.
My administrative and budgetary experience, as well as my legal background are unparalleled. I was rated “well qualified” after an extremely rigorous review process by the non partisan bar association in 2008 for a judicial position. My experience in some of the busiest courts in the area will serve me well. I love this work, and am devoted to maintaining the Amherst Town Court as a flagship model for the nation.
Biggest issues facing the town:
This question is not necessarily one that applies to this position. The Court does not necessarily address issues facing the town, which are generally policy questions best answered by legislative candidates. That being said, I think it is important to maintain the Treatment Courts, which provide an immeasurable benefit to both the participants and the community. I believe this is a big issue facing the court, and I have many ideas to not only maintain, but possibly improve the treatment courts. In fact, I have the support of Dick Gallagher, who is a past president of the Amherst Drug Court Foundation, and a current Board member. He is a co- founder of Kids Escaping Drugs, and the founder of High School Sports. Dick has known me professionally and personally, and his support is notable.
I have spoken with the principals in the Mediation Program in Supreme and County Courts regarding the possibility of expanding the program into Amherst. As far as the other issues facing the Court, again, I believe my diverse legal background, my experience with and on the bench, and my administrative experience are unparalleled.