The LuLac Edition #1482, Feb. 19th, 2011
He gets his own lunch and carries it in a simple paper sack. At 85 he has the appearance of a former bantam weight fighter. It is said that he likes to be home every day at 4PM. We also learned that if need be, he’ll come in on a Saturday and bring the rest of his crew with him. He most likely has forgotten more law than most of the attorneys who practice before him know. In the Conahan/Ciavarella case, he was the Judge who rejected the initial pleas by the two former jurists because he just didn’t like their attitude. Despite requests to take him off this case, Judge Edwin Kosik presided with efficiency over this trial. Kosik was born in Dupont, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. from Wilkes College in 1949. He received an LL.B. from Dickinson School of Law in 1951. He was a Corporal in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 and a Reserve Colonel in 1975. He was in private practice in Scranton, Pennsylvania from 1951 to 1953, became an assistant U.S. Attorney of the Middle District of Pennsylvania from 1953 to 1958, before returning to private practice from 1958 to 1969. He was a Chairman, Pennsylvania State Workmen's Compensation Board from 1964 to 1969 and became a judge on the Court of Common Pleas, 45th Judicial District of Pennsylvania from 1969 to 1979. He became a President judge, Court of Common Pleas, 45th Judicial District of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1986.
Kosik was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on May 14, 1986, to a seat vacated by Malcolm A. Muir on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 13, 1986, and received his commission on June 16, 1986. He assumed senior status on July 15, 1996. Kosik ran the trial like a conductor running the railroads. There was a reason for every stop and everything had to be on time.
He was a member of the fading “Greatest Generation” Tom Brokaw wrote in his book of the same name. Mark Ciavarella’s fate when he is appealing his case will be what side he will see of this man of a different generation. Will he see the career lifer Judge who is abhorred by his (Ciavarella’s) disregard for his office or the compassion of a man who has literally seen and heard of failing of humanity?
Whatever will be in the future, the last two weeks Judge Edwin Kosik was a veritable quote machine. Here are a few of his dandies:
“One thing lawyers love to do is talk, that’s why I left the profession”.
“You do your job, I’ll do mine”. (When the Prosecution asked him about a procedural question).
“This is the way it should always be, nice and quiet”. (When he entered an almost empty courtroom shortly after a lunch break)
“I ‘m wearing my carpenter’s coat, you caught me with it on”. (On his way to lunch one day as he opened the front door during lunch).
“You are most likely going to hear as many words as you will ever hear in your lifetime”. (On the day he charged the jury with instructions. )
“Since you didn’t seem to take that too seriously, let me explain it to them directly”. (Scolding the prosecution when they provided a rather curt clarification of a legal point).
“You seem to be holding your own”. (To Defense witness Gina Carelli as she battled with Government attorneys).
“Jesus Christ almighty”. (As he struggled with Ciavarela’s name three times in the midst of reading instructions for hours on end).
“A lawyer asked me why I gave him more time to talk than usual, I said because I knew he was prepared and not wasting time”. (To a lawyer who questioned him regarding a prior case when he (Kosik) was accused of not giving the attorney adequate time”)
“You’re nodding your head there but I don’t know what you’re thinking, do you agree with him or not?” (To Defense Attorney Bill Ruzzo who sat stone faced when Kosik wanted affirmation on a point from the two of them”.