Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 3rd, 2013

Schick and Meddaugh Take Their Oath

Last week was a big day for Sullivan County’s legal system as two members of our distinguished judiciary took their oath. Supreme Court Justice Stephan Schick and Family Court Judge Mark Meddaugh’s judicial impact be far-reaching for years to come.

The election of Stephan Schick sets two milestones, one being that it is the first time in over ten years we have our own resident sitting Supreme Court Justice, and the other being that a legal aid attorney was elected to such a prestigious position.

County Court Judge Frank LaBuda presided over Schick’s monumental swearing in ceremony joined by Judge Meddaugh, County Court Judge Michael McGuire, former Appellate Judge Anthony Kane, former County Court Judge Burt Ledina, former District Attorney Steve Lungen, amongst other elected officials and dignitaries.

Judge LaBuda said Schick’s election to the Supreme Court meant that he “achieved the pinnacle of lawyer’s success in becoming a Judge who rules over lawyers and the law in the courtroom.”

Former District Attorney Lungen spoke about the countless hours he spent with Justice Schick on the opposite side of the fence in the courtroom, and how they developed an admiration for one another. “You learn a lot about somebody,” Lungen told the crowd, as he labeled Schick “honest and honorable.”

I too have a close friendship with Justice Schick and his wife Donna, and I could not agree more with our former DA. Stephen and Donna Schick are two of the most sincere, honest and caring people anyone could meet. Without a doubt Justice Schick will excel on the bench and make us all proud.

Dedicating his judicial victory to all Legal Aid and Public Defenders, Justice Schick told me, “This group of trial lawyers receives very little public or private recognition for the tremendously difficult work that they do and are usually overlooked for any judicial position, or for any high honor.”

Justice Schick will preside over such civil matters as divorce, foreclosures, personal injuries, medical malpractice, and business disagreements to name a few. “In short, this is the court where citizens go to seek justice in matters which are not criminal in nature. It is important that people feel secure when they seek redress for injustices, and they must be treated with fairness and decency.”

Mark Meddaugh’s distinguished reputation is known throughout New York’s legal system. He has the distinctive passion and compassion essential in understanding issues facing Family Court.

Judge Meddaugh told me he views his role as a chance to make a change in the lives of those who appear before him. “Family Court is not without its challenges. Unfortunately, this past year because of some difficult cases, we were compelled to double the number of children we have in foster care. My goal in the short term is to get those children out of foster care and safely return them to their parents, or to move them on to alternative permanent living arrangements.

“The challenge that we face have become even greater because of the cut backs of services that are available to us. Each child deserves to be raised in a home that is safe and nourishing of both body and soul, and I see it as my obligation to give them the opportunity that they deserve to be successful. That is my challenge and my goal,” Judge Meddaugh added.

Sullivan County clearly has a lot to be proud of when it comes to our judiciary. Congratulations Justices Schick and Meddaugh.

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