Kelly McLaughlin

Office:  Summit County – Judge of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, General Division

Age: 56

Residence: Akron, OH


Website: Facebook: @McLaughlinforJudge

Occupation: Chief Magistrate at Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations

Education: The Ohio State University College of Law, graduated in 1987, Juris Doctorate; The Ohio State University, graduated with honors in 1984, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Phi Beta Kappa,Designated Freshman Scholar, and President’s Scholarship Award. Mogadore High School, graduated 1980. Salutatorian, National Merit Scholar, and Distinguished Scholar Award from Kent State University.

Work Experience: 2017 to present Chief Magistrate Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division 2010 to 2017 Magistrate, Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division 1996 to 2010 Davidson, Bonetti, Dunseath and McLaughlin, Civil and Criminal Litigation 1988 to 1996 Tramonte, Kot, Davis and Lowry, Civil and Criminal Litigation Argued cases before the Ninth and Tenth District Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio. Federal Court Practice.

Family: Single

Affiliations: Akron Summit Community Action, Inc., The American Legion Auxiliary, Child and Family Leadership Exchange, Leadership Akron, Buckeye Girls State, The YWCA ,The NAACP, The League of Women Voters , The Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, Member, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Endorsements: Tom Sawyer, former U.S. Congressman, State Senator, Akron Mayor; Margo Somerville, President Akron City Council; Marilyn Keith, Akron City Council; Russ Neal, Akron City Council; Shannon Wokojance, Barberton City Council; Drew Reilly, Cuyahoga Falls City Council; Robert McDowell, Mogadore Village Council; Liz Walters, Summit County Council; Mayor Michael Rick; Ginger Baylor, Akron School Board; Pastor Gregory Harrison; Pastor Daniela Williams; Pastor Louis Harris; UFCW Local 880.

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years):

2017 to present Chief Magistrate Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. 2010 to 2017 Magistrate, Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

The breadth and depth of my non-judicial experience in litigation, mediation, and fair and impartial decision-making, have prepared me to successfully handle all aspects of being a common pleas court judge. I have been an attorney for a total of 30 years. For 23 years I was an attorney in private practice as a civil and criminal litigator. I litigated cases in the areas of personal injury, bankruptcy, consumer law, corporations, criminal law and defense, and workers compensation appeals. I have represented clients before the Ninth and Tenth District Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio. I was admitted to, and represented clients before, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. As an attorney, I’ve handled virtually every type of case heard by a Common Pleas Court Judge.

As a mediator, I have hundreds of hours of experience mediating in our court system. Mediation skills are an important tool for a judge to use in her docket management. Mediation can bring about settlement of cases, providing the parties with a swift resolution of their controversies while conserving judicial resources. Through my work as a parenting coordinator, I dealt with some of the most difficult and litigious parties in the court system. That experience prepared me to effectively deal with challenging litigants from the bench. I am proud of my training and experience as a Guardian ad litem. For 18 years, I acted as a guardian for children in our court system. Being a Guardian ad litem taught me to neutrally, impartially and fairly evaluate evidence in the most heart-wrenching and difficult cases. These non-judicial experiences have made me well-qualified to effectively and efficiently discharge the responsibilities and challenges facing a common pleas court judge.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?

Given my unique combination of skills and experience, this is the most effective way for me to serve the citizens of Summit County. I was raised in a family where service to the community was not only valued, but required. My commitment to my community has never wavered. Summit County, like most counties in Ohio, is facing significant challenges. The court system has a part to play in meeting those challenges, and I want to be a part of the solution. Good judges help solve problems. I will be a good judge.

During my 7+ years at the Summit County Domestic Relations Court, I have heard and decided over 6500 cases. I am currently the Chief Magistrate, supervising 11 other magistrates. As Chief, I have a full hearing docket as well as administrative, personnel, and policy making duties. Judges have the same types of responsibilities. During my time on the bench, I’ve developed the reputation for making fair and timely decisions. I treat everyone with respect, but I don’t tolerate any nonsense. Judicial temperament like mine is a necessity for a judge. The person who wins this seat will take office as soon as the election results are certified. The voters deserve someone who is ready, able, and enthused about the challenges ahead. I am that person.