2 more file for Durham Court judgeships

Feb. 17, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

Nancy Gordon filed Monday for another four-year term as Durham County District Court judge, and a criminal magistrate filed against another judge for her seat.

Gordon, 59, would be serving her third term if re-elected.
In a statement, Gordon singled out three people she said had inspired her to run again:
- Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), a prominent American civil rights leader and feminist.
- George Washington.
- Abraham Lincoln.
Gordon said Anthony “never heard of the ‘glass ceiling,’ but she knew and understood equality and discrimination when she saw it. So did Abraham Lincoln when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation and George Washington when he led the earlier Americans in their battle for freedom from tyranny. Those fights continue in other forms today. Our courts stand as a bastion of equality and access to justice, independent, to provide equal access to justice for all.”
Gordon said she brings “unique skills” to the bench.
“I am a board certified family law specialist and I’ve spent much of the past seven years in our family courts,” she said. “I work hard. I stay current on the law. I make decisions in difficult and complicated cases where the families can’t work out their differences and the lawyers can’t find a way to settle the case.”
Gordon said her primary focus continues to be “access to justice for children and families.”
“Family court is often the court of last resort for these children and families,” she said.
So far, Gordon faces one challenger – Durham attorney Fred Battaglia Jr., who filed last week.
Also filing last week was Steven Storch, a criminal magistrate in Durham who is challenging incumbent District Court Judge Pat Evans.
Storch, 48, received a doctorate in philosophy, with a specialty in ethics, from the University of Buffalo and his law degree in 2003 from N.C. Central University.  
He’s taught courses ranging from philosophy, ethics, business ethics and critical thinking for 14 years at the university level.
After receiving his law degree, he opened a law practice in Durham.
In 2007, he joined the Durham County District Attorney’s Office as a criminal prosecutor after then-District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct in the wake of the Duke University lacrosse case.
In 2009, Chief Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson appointed Storch as a magistrate. In elaborating on his campaign slogan, Because Durham Deserves Better, Storch alluded to a recent survey by the N.C. Bar Association that ranked 120 judges in North Carolina. He cited the relatively low ranking of Evans, who scored 3.19 on a scale of 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor).
“A judge should not only possess the skills surveyed – integrity and impartiality, legal ability, professionalism, communication and administration skills, but actually demonstrate these skills in the courtroom,” he said. “And several of our judges have shown the absolute lack of this much-needed judicial wisdom.”
Since 2012, Storch has presided as a magistrate over Durham’s new Administrative Court, which he said handles more cases than all of Durham’s other District Courts combined. He said he’s shown the “judicial virtues as a matter of persistent character.”
“No gimmicks, no tricks, no failed promises, and no imperious condescension,” he said. “And I will continue to do so as a District Court judge.”