Office: Stark County Family Court
Political Party Affiliation: Democrat
Residence: Canton, OH
Website: Facebook; Jason Reese For Stark County Family Court Judge; www.reeseforjudge.com
Education: Ohio University B.A. cum laude, English 1990-1994 University of Akron School of Law Juris Doctor, 1994-1997
Work Experience: Private Practice 2000–now ·Domestic Relations Court: divorce, including high-conflict cases, business evaluations, high-asset division, complex financial matters (including QDROs and DOPOs), financial misconduct, and hidden-asset location; custody, including cases involving physical and sexual abuse; child and spousal support; inter-jurisdictional disputes; post-decree matters · Juvenile Court: custody, paternity, establishment of parental rights and responsibilities, child support, and dependency, neglect, and abuse cases · Guardian ad litem in divorce, juvenile, and neglect cases · Litigated adoptions in the Stark County Probate Court · Prosecute and defend civil protection orders · Practiced in multiple counties: Stark, Tuscarawas, Summit, Carroll, Portage, Columbiana, and Wayne · Briefed and argued cases in the Fifth Appellate District Court of Appeals Assistant Law Director, City of Canton 2000–now · Legal advisor for Canton’s public officials, including the last four mayoral administrations, as well as the Board of Building Appeals and Canton Construction Board. · Litigated cases in the Canton Municipal Court, Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and Fifth Appellate District in cases involving workers’ compensation, subrogation claims, mandamus actions, whistle-blower claims, construction cases, and nuisance actions involving drug houses and building code violations · Labor relations: negotiated contracts with the city’s five unions, and represented the city in arbitration, mediation, and fact-finding; litigated alleged unfair labor practices. Testified in the Ohio House Local Government Committee, 129th General Assembly, on behalf of the Ohio Municipal League in opposition to HB 50, which proposed changes to expedited Type II annexations · Write legal opinions on various issues, including Ohio’s Sunshine Law and public official ethics and conflicts of interest · Draft contracts, purchase agreements, ordinances, annexation agreements, cooperative economic development agreements (CEDAs), and joint economic development districts (JEDDs) · Litigated in the Ohio Supreme Court (City of North Canton v. City of Canton, 114 Ohio St.3d 243, 2007-Ohio-4005, 871 N.E.2d 586) Assistant Prosecutor, City of Canton 1997–2000 · Prosecuted over 40 jury trials · Prosecuted felony preliminary hearings · Provided legal advice, including the preparation of arrest and search warrants, to multiple police agencies, including the Canton Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ohio State Patrol · Served as special prosecutor in surrounding municipalities.
Family: Married for 15 years to Holly Ensign Reese, no children
Affiliations: Stark County Bar Association (Family Law Committee, past member), Secretary, Market Heights Neighborhood Association, Canton Ex-newsboys Association, Jefferson-Jackson Club, Volunteer and speaker, Project Rebuild, Courthouse Players, Pro Football Hall of Fame (past volunteer), Co-chair, Market Heights Neighborhood Party-in-the-Park (2015), Participated in the 2007 YWCA Night of Champions.
Endorsements: Ironworkers Local 550; AFSCME District #10
Bar Association Ratings: Recommended by Stark County Bar Association
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have practiced law for nineteen years in various courts and counties. I have no judicial experience.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have significant legal experience in both civil and criminal matters. I am a former prosecuting attorney and have tried 41 criminal jury trials. My private practice mainly focuses on family law. I have experience in the following areas: Domestic Relations Court: divorce, including high-conflict cases, business evaluations, high-asset division, complex financial matters (including QDROs and DOPOs), financial misconduct, and hidden-asset location; custody, including cases involving physical and sexual abuse; child and spousal support; inter-jurisdictional disputes; post-decree matters Juvenile Court: custody, paternity, establishment of parental rights and responsibilities, child support, and dependency, neglect, and abuse cases Guardian ad litem in divorce, juvenile, and neglect cases Litigated adoptions in the Stark County Probate Court Litigated hundreds of cases before the Stark County Family Court Prosecuted and defended civil protection orders Practiced in multiple counties: Stark, Tuscarawas, Summit, Carroll, Portage, Columbiana, and Wayne Briefed and argued cases in the Fifth Appellate District Court of Appeals. I have spent the last 16 years in private practice representing people in the family court system. I am aware of the high emotions and the impact that divorce and juvenile custody cases have on the participants and the children involved in these cases. My 16 years of experience representing people through this emotionally charged and difficult time is why I am qualified to be judge.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running for this seat because my experience, my compassion, and my drive are what make a family court judge effective. My goal is to ease an extremely painful experience for parents and their children by treating the parties with respect and compassion. I will translate my litigation and counseling experience to enable all parties to trust the court system to reach a fair and balanced resolution to difficult situations. My experience in multiple jurisdictions has taught me that clients are fearful and mistrust the system; I will gain the parties\’ trust that I will reach a just resolution to their situations. One of the top priorities of the court should be to eliminate the fear and the stress of the parties involved in what they perceive as a hostile environment. A common complaint from parties who participate in the process is that decisions are made without the parties present. As a family court judge, I want to transition the common practice of holding pretrials behind closed doors to conducting discussions in the open in order to eliminate the parties\’ distrust, and to cultivate their confidence in integrity and fairness that they can see first hand. As a judge and a public servant, I will uphold the duty to execute the tenants of the judicial system, maintaining the honor, respect, and dignity that our community deserves.