Daniel Hollander is a candidate for District Judge in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of The George Washington University and The Catholic University School of Law. His wife, Melissa, is a Registered Nurse in the cardiac unit of the Chester County Hospital. Together, they have two sons, Samuel Lawrence, 2 years, and Jacob Rudy, 5 months.
Daniel is a career public servant who has the necessary knowledge, experience, and temperament to be a successful District Judge. His work as a prosecutor has prepared him for this next step in his career. As a senior trial attorney, Daniel has handled large caseloads and been the lead prosecutor on thousands of cases. He has established himself as a skilled courtroom litigator by having tried cases ranging in severity from driving under the influence and retail theft to felony possession of illegal firearms and homicide. The skills he has learned as a prosecutor, namely, his understanding of criminal procedure and rules of evidence, will serve him well as a District Judge in Chester County.
Importantly, Daniel’s relationship with the criminal defense bar is something that he is proud of. The criminal justice system depends on the working relationship between both the prosecutors and the defense attorneys. No one party is more important than the other. From his years as a prosecutor, he has learned to appreciate the difficulty defense attorneys’ face and the challenges that are inherent in their job. He takes great pride in his working relationship with members of the Chester County defense bar, especially attorneys with the Public Defender’s Office.
District Judges serve as a gatekeeper to the Court of Common Pleas. A good District Judge is able to weed out the cases that should be disposed of prior to reaching higher court levels. Far too often, individuals are shuffled through a system and end up with a criminal conviction when alternative dispositions would be more appropriate. Daniel is well aware of the fact that individuals with convictions face a more difficult task in obtaining steady employment, which in turn leads to recidivism. As a prosecutor, Daniel worked tirelessly to ensure that the serious cases are handled appropriately while the less serious cases are dealt with compassionately – he will bring this same philosophy to the bench.
Additionally, the District Court of West Chester often deals with an abundance of off-campus petty crime from students at the West Chester University. These crimes typically revolve around marijuana use or alcohol consumption. As District Judge, Daniel would work directly with the university to combat these issues. However, it would be naïve to believe students will never get into trouble. When students do appear in his court, he will work with them to identify the causes leading to their arrest and ways they can change their behavior to prevent further criminal conduct. Importantly, Daniel recognizes that in most of these cases it is vitally important to teach and treat rather than simply punish and incarcerate. As District Judge, he will work alongside both the prosecution and defense, and in conjunction with the Adult Probation Office, to ensure that Defendants are receiving the treatment they need and deserve. If we fail to address the core issues relating to their criminality, we certainly cannot expect to change their behavior.
Finally, serving as a District Judge would enable Daniel to give back to his community. Service to community and helping those in need are critically important to him and the reason Daniel went to law school. This desire to aid those in need is why he became a prosecutor and why he now seeks the position of District Judge. Service to community runs deep within Daniel’s family and extended family. It was passed down from his grandfathers and father, all of whom served their communities in numerous leadership positions including the United Way, Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, Osterhout Free Library, and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is Daniel’s goal to become an accessible member of the Chester County judiciary and to help ensure that Chester County remains the best place to live and raise a family.