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Transition to the Bench

Judge Carmaine M. Sturino was appointed to the Third Judicial District bench onsturino_carmaine_1 September 17, 2015. Here she answers some questions from the MSBA about her experiences so far.

  1. Why did you want to be a judge? Public service is a cornerstone of any community, or state, government. I have studied Public Administration and Constitutional Law and they furthered my childhood aspirations of becoming a judge.
  2. What have you found the most challenging part of the job so far? The number of decisions I am asked to make in any given day.
  3. What are the biggest differences between what you thought being a judge would be like when you were an attorney and what it actually involves day-to-day? I do much more listening now than I ever did as an attorney; it’s hard for me not to interrupt when attorneys make their arguments as I believe I tended to interrupt my opposition either in words or body language.
  4. What advice would you give to attorneys who appear in front of you in district court? BE PREPARED. Stand up, speak clearly, provide me with the framework within which you would like me to rule.
  5. What are the most pressing needs that you see as a judge, i.e. (interpreters, self-represented litigants, right to counsel in certain cases, etc.)? Lack of resources for children, either as delinquencies or in the CHIPS arena. Also, a lack of volunteer attorneys to help self-represented litigants on larger criminal matters.
  6. What are you looking forward to in your new position? Learning about new areas of the law.
  7. What kind of training do new judges receive? The Third District has a great new judge mentoring program as well as an initial one day training session. I used my first two weeks of observation time to travel to other counties approximately the same size as mine. I never knew how valuable this would be later on. I am so glad I did it.