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The two candidates for Rochester City Court -- an incumbent judge and a local prosecutor -- don't have to worry too much about the election results.
The two are vying for two seats on the city bench.
2013 election: Complete coverage
City Court Judge John Elliott, 52, is seeking election to his second term.
Caroline Morrison now serves as deputy bureau chief for the Local Court Bureau in the District Attorney's Office. Morrison, 41, is seeking a seat being vacated by retiring City Court Judge John Schwartz.
Elliott, a former Monroe County assistant public defender, is now handling two specialty courts -- Drug Treatment Court, which Schwartz started in 1995, and the county-level Mental Health Court.
Elliott said he has no trouble with the standard City Court docket of hundreds of misdemeanor crimes, but he feels like he's learning anew in the specialty courts. Both try to direct defendants into treatment.
"It's kind of like being a public defender," Elliott said of the specialty courts. "You do good for these people. I'm in a job now where I'm trying to get people help.
"It's got to be what it's like being a Family Court judge. It's much more emotional. You're much more involved with everybody."
Still, he said, accountability is key, ensuring that defendants do stick by a court-prescribed treatment regimen. Otherwise, jail may be the alternative.
With her experience in the DA's Office, Morrison has seen the law from a different perspective. But, like Elliott, she thinks lives can be rerouted at City Court.
"I see City Court as a place where a judge can make a difference," she said. "Most of the people who come in through City Court are first-time offenders."
As a prosecutor who handled 2,000 cases in town courts and City Court, she knows the alternatives available for defendants, she said. And, she said, that experience helps her know which defendants have a background that would match them with the specialty courts.
Morrison moved through the DA's Office, prosecuting serious felonies in recent years and handling administrative duties. Those roles provide her a foundation to juggle the ample caseload in City Court, she said.
In 2011, the legal publication, the Daily Record selected Morrison for its "Up and Coming Attorney" award.