Russell J. Kruse, a longtime attorney from Concordia, Missouri, is running for Associate Circuit Judge, Division 2, in Lafayette County. He is pictured here with his wife Beth. The Kruses live in Concordia, where Beth works as a high school cook, and where they raised six children, the youngest two of which are still in college. They have six grandchildren, and a couple of basset hounds. To learn more about Russell Kruse, visit his website, Kruse for Judge.
Note: Division 2 in Lafayette County's Circuit Court handles probate matters as well as additional cases including minor criminal ones, family law, and other matters. Beginning in January of 2015, all juvenile cases will be assigned to Division 2.
What are the three most important skills needed to be a good Probate Judge?
Probate Judges, as they sign orders and decide contested issues, need to be:
Definition: What is a Probate Judge? A probate judge is a state judicial official who is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the probate of the estates of deceased persons in his or her applicable jurisdiction. A probate judge's role in the administration of an estate will vary based on whether or not the deceased person died testate or intestate, whether or not the Personal Representative, heirs at law of the deceased person, and the beneficiaries named in the Last Will and Testament get along, and whether or not a will contest is filed. From ABOUT MONEY by Julie Garber, Wills & Estate Planning Expert: http://wills.about.com/od/howtoavoidprobate/a/probatejudge.htm
Read excerpts from an article on skills needed to become a judge by Scott Thompson of Demand Media. Read more here: http://work.chron.com/three-skills-needed-become-judge-10972.html
Knowledge of the law, and particularly of trial law, is the most basic skill needed to become a judge.
Judges need strong interpersonal skills to effectively oversee complex cases involving adversarial lawyers and powerful emotions among all concerned parties. They need to be able to control a courtroom when a situation becomes intense, and they need to be able to make tough decisions in such a way that their authority and fairness are respected even by those who may be adversely affected by their rulings.
Impartiality is not simply a character trait or a matter of temperament, but the skill of being able to recognize your own prejudices so you are not unduly swayed by them. As a judge, you may be responsible for a case with life-changing implications for an individual you find personally distasteful. Unless you have the self-awareness needed to recognize your own prejudice against that person, your decision could reflect your personal biases instead of serving justice in the case.