Candidate Column: I have the education, experience to be county’s next probate judge

-A A +A

My name is Dee Studebaker. I have been Lancaster County’s associate probate judge for almost two years. I immediately filed to run for probate judge when filing opened at noon March 16 because I am serious about gaining your trust.
I have the skills, education and experience necessary to serve you as probate judge, and I feel called to public service.  I’ve had the privilege over the past two years to assist and observe the court’s operations while earning the trust and confidence of other personnel and citizens.    
I’ve been an attorney for 23 years. My background and experience uniquely qualify me to serve you well. I believe it’s important for a judge to know the rules of evidence and civil procedure, ensuring uniformity. I am prepared for that, since I have tried many lawsuits in my native state of Arkansas. I’ve written briefs across the country, most often in elder abuse and neglect cases.
I enjoy legal research and writing, necessary skills for a judge.  Probate court has such diverse subject matter jurisdiction that there is a need to balance legal skills with compassion and the ability to write well-reasoned opinions, which I can do.
I am actively involved in the S.C. Association of Probate Judges and serve on various committees at the state level.
Knowing the technical rules helps ensure timely and clear rulings from the bench, which is good for all. With the county’s growing population, the likelihood of a resident interacting with the probate court is significant. The loss of a loved one is stressful, and those situations require a competent judge with legal experience and compassion. I am committed to the prompt, business-like administration of the court’s duties with a kind-hearted personal touch.
I believe it’s valuable to remain current and constantly learning to keep pace in an ever-changing world. We face interesting issues in the probate arena, including digital assets, so a probate judge must have a finger on the pulse of modern technology.
I have written and spoken on the subject of courtroom technology and believe it’s important for our county. It is only a matter of time until our systems adopt electronic filings, with which I have experience and fully support because it will save taxpayer money.
My husband, Tim, and I have two sons at Indian Land schools. I am actively involved in our community. I’m a graduate of the chamber’s Leadership Lancaster program, a member of the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club, and volunteer at the Indian Land schools, Lancaster Promise Neighborhood, and mentor active military service members and veterans re-entering the private workforce. I love the arts, have participated in the South Carolina Ag+Art Tour and enjoy painting and quilting with the Scrap Happy Quilters at Osceola United Methodist Church in Indian Land.  
I invite you to visit my campaign committee’s website at www.ElectDeeStudebaker.com and Facebook page: Dee Studebaker for Lancaster County Probate Judge.