To the editor:
After being in the 19th Judicial District Court in Libby, under Judge Matthew Cuffe, several different times, I have a few observations that I think all of us would benefit from knowing. Iím pretty amazed.
For one thing, Cuffe is remarkably able to identify with the common petitioner. He doesnít seem to look down on the people. He seems to be inclined to speak in order to be understood, instead of speaking to intimidate the petitioner.
If you are tempted to believe heís soft, donít. Cuffe is in total control of the entire courtroom and is not adverse to speaking loudly and forcefully to get the attention of anyone going out of bounds.
In short, justice is served. When leaving the courtroom in Libby, youíll have the straightforward understanding that you have just been in the presence of a bona-fide fair judge. One who understands the issues presented because heís taken the time to press the two parties into revealing everything needed. One who carefully studies the details.
I think Cuffe is a fair-minded judge, catching up where previous courts may have left slack. His sharp mind and reputation for caring for our community is growing by leaps and bounds. He has so far served three full years of his six-year first term.
I hope our Montana court system will benefit from this fair judge for decades to come.