Casey P. O’Brien

Office: Trumbull County – Eleventh District Court of Appeals

Age: 42

Residence: Jefferson, OH



Occupation: Attorney

Education: Notre Dame Cathedral Latin – Walsh University – Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law

Work Experience: General Practice attorney for 18 years

Family: Married (Wendi Chutas), 3 sons

Affiliations: Country Neighbor Program Inc. (President) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio (Past Board Member) – Ashtabula County Educational Service Center (Past Board Member) – Grand Valley Youth Football (Past President – Coach) – Pymatuning Area Youth Organization (Little League Coach) – Geauga Lions (Football Coach) – Catholic

Endorsements: N/A

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

Chardon Municipal Court – Part-Time Magistrate – 2004-2006 – I believe I have appeared in all courts in the 11th District, as a practicing attorney, over the course of my legal career.

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

I am a partner with Ibold and O’Brien (formerly Petersen & Ibold) in Chardon Ohio, a general practice law firm, where I practice in the areas of personal injury, real estate, small business, collections, estate planning/probate, criminal and general litigation. I practice throughout Northeast Ohio and have been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, a 10 Best Personal Injury Attorney and am listed in the Global Directory of Who’s Who as a 2016 Top Lawyer. I am a member of the Ohio State, Ashtabula and Geauga County bar associations, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Order of Barristers following my national final appearance on behalf of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Moot Court Program while in law school. I have experience in the Real Estate/Title industry and have clerked for both the Lake County Prosecutor’s office and a large Cleveland law firm Arter & Hadden Tucker Ellis. I am authorized to practice in all Ohio Courts, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the United States Tax Court.

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

I believe that I have a wealth of knowledge and experience which, along with my volunteer positions, have given me the ability to not only see both sides of most disputes but to observe the impact appellate decisions have on both the lower Courts and the everyday life for the citizens of Northeast Ohio. I believe that I have appeared in every Court in the 11th district (Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage, and Trumbull Counties) which has provided a unique view of the wide array of differences between the citizens, businesses, civic organizations and governmental entities throughout this diverse district. It is these experiences, along with my core legal training under some of the best professors, attorneys and Judges in Northeast Ohio that have prepared me for this position. I believe the 11th District Court of Appeals would be well served with the input of someone with my life experience and training in order to carry out the important tasks of reviewing the decisions of the lower Courts and the limited amount of original jurisdiction cases it handles.

Joshua W. Lanzinger

Office: Lucas County – Lucas County Common Pleas

Age: 46

Residence: Toledo, OH



Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law

Work Experience: Toledo Municipal Court Judge since 2013

Family: N/A

Affiliations: N/A

Endorsements: Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association, Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association Iron Workers Local 55

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

Toledo Municipal Court; 2013 – present

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

I have a well-rounded legal career. Prior to being elected to the Toledo Municipal Court, I handled a variety of cases as an attorney including general civil and criminal law, domestic relations, civil rights, traffic law, workers’ compensation, and landlord/tenant disputes. Throughout my legal career I appeared in in over 35 courts across Ohio. Early in my career I also volunteered my time as a mediator in the Toledo Municipal Court. My experience as an attorney prepared me to become a judge in the Toledo Municipal Court. My experience as a municipal court judge has prepared me to serve on the court of common pleas.

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

As a municipal court judge I have presided over thousands of cases and over 130 trials. Judges in the municipal court preside over misdemeanors, traffic violations, and civil matters under $15,000. Judges in the court of common pleas preside over felonies, the most serious criminal offenses, and civil matters over $25,000. The community deserves judges with knowledge and experience to be assured a fair justice system. Having been a judge since 2013, I have the knowledge and experience to serve Lucas County well in the court of common pleas.


Erik R. Blaine

Office: Montgomery County – Montgomery County Common Pleas, General Division

Age: 37

Residence: Vandalia, OH



Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law, B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton

Work Experience: Felony and juvenile prosecutor, 2007-2012 Private civil practice, including federal and appellate cases, 2007-2017 Private criminal defense practice, 2012-2017 Private debtor and creditor bankruptcy practice, 2008-2017 In house insurance defense 2006- 2007

Family: Married with 1 child

Affiliations: Civic/Community/Professional/Religious Affiliations: Ohio Judicial Conference, Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association, Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court Dayton Lawyers’ Club, Ohio State Bar Association, Dayton Bar Association, Shelby County Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, National District Attorney Association, American Bankruptcy Law Forum American Association for Justice, Ohio Association for Justice Catholic Knights of Columbus

Endorsements: N/A

Bar Association Ratings: Not yet available

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

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge – General Division: May 2017-Present As Judge of the General Division, I preside over: – Adult Felony Crimes including Murder, Rape, Child Pornography, Trafficking, and Grand Theft. Serious Civil Cases – personal injury, workers comp, contract, real estate, tax, employment, public records, and business cases. As Judge, I ensure every party in every case gets Due Process and an opportunity to be heard. Magistrate (acting): several times in 2015 – As an acting magistrate, I substituted and assisted, in Vandalia Municipal Court, presiding over misdemeanor criminal and civil matters. Judicial Hearing Officer – University of Dayton -University Hearing Board: 2000-2003 -Chairman; 2002-2003; Student Hearing Board: 2000 – 2003

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

As an Assistant Prosecutor, I was solely responsibility for my cases, both adult and juvenile felonies, including the highest first-degree felonies. To make certain juveniles got help instead of prison, I created a juvenile comprehensive technology diversion program. Additionally, I developed education outreach programs on sexting and cyber-bullying presenting the programs twice a year to over a dozen public schools, thus reaching thousands of children.

Because of my work as an assistant prosecutor, I was selected for and completed highly competitive specialized training programs with the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center and the U.S. Secret Service. As one of only a handful of prosecutors with this training, I was ensured that these highly technical cases were properly prosecuted. When companies put profits over people, I represented individuals protecting their rights in complex nationwide litigation. Over the course of my career, my practice included civil rights, business/corporate compliance, bankruptcy, landlord tenant, foreclosure, divorce, plaintiffs’ personal injury, insurance defense, exoffender re-entry, agriculture law, labor and employment, disability rights, probate/estate planning, administrative, and criminal defense.

As a private practice attorney, I have been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 – an honor awarded to only 2.5 percent of attorneys. I am licensed to appear and practice in the Supreme Courts of the United States, Ohio, and Kentucky, and several federal courts. Because of my diverse legal experience and proven dedication to public service, I am a highly qualified Common Pleas Court Judge. As Judge of the Common Pleas Court, I ask for your support and vote.

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

My commitment to public service began before I was born, when my mother and grandparents escaped Communist Czechoslovakia to legally emigrate to America. My family left behind a justice system that was closed, corrupt, and inept. Their story anchors my values as well as motivated me to become an attorney and now to continue serving as a fair, open, and prepared judge. Public service does not begin when someone takes the bench; it is a duty, a calling, and a life.

In the community, I have dedicated myself to service not for praise or for the advancement of an agenda, but because it is what all attorneys and judges should do. I have shown a commitment to public service and education about the judicial system unmatched by my contemporaries. I have the drive and ability to enhance the judiciary by continuing to give back to the community regularly and for the right reasons. And as important as the extracurriculars are to a judge’s work, the most important piece of being a judge is doing the job. The role of a judge is to interpret the law as written by the General Assembly.

When judges overstep the bounds of their oath by effectively rewriting the law, they are wrongly picking up the legislators’ pens. That is exactly what my mother and grandparents fled from, leaving their home, their country, and everything they ever knew behind them, in search of the American Dream. My ability to cross the aisle and work together with people of all backgrounds, values, affiliations, and interests sets me apart as a judge. In addition to having represented clients of all varieties, I have a very unique perspective on working collaboratively because my wife and I are of different political parties. Our bipartisan relationship is possible because we listen without recrimination or prejudgment and devote ourselves to challenging our own positions in order to understand each other’s views. Anyone can claim that they can do that, but it is harder, and more worth it, to live every day. My family informs who I am as a judge. I endeavor to make them proud, keep them safe, and provide justice for everyone

Michael W. Krumholtz

Office: Montgomery County – Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery

Age: 64

Residence: Oakwood, OH


Website: N/A

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law

Work Experience: Assistant Montgomery County Prosecutor 1979- 1981; Private Practice – Bieser Greer & Landis 1981-2012

Family: Married with 3 children

Affiliations: President Building Bridges Board of Trustees

Endorsements:Montgomery County Democratic Party

Bar Association Ratings: Unknown

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

Court of Common Pleas 1/5/13 – Present

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

I served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for two years at the beginning of my career. I then joined the law firm of Bieser Greer & Landis in 1981, where I became a Partner in 1987. I was fortunate to have a very diverse trial practice which involved commercial litigation, the defense of self-insureds and insureds, as well as criminal defense

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

It has been my honor to serve in this judicial position over the last six years. I believe this is the type of community service where I can effectively make a difference to assist the citizens of a community that has always been my home.

Katrine Lancaster

Office: Clark County – Clark County Common Pleas Court-Domestic
Relations Division

Age: 49

Residence: South Charleston, OH



Occupation: Magistrate

Education: J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, CSU, 1991 and
B.A. from The College of Wooster, 1988
Work Experience: Magistrate, 18 years; trial attorney, Legal
Coordinator and Assistant Deputy Director of CSEA with Clark County
Department of Job and Family Services

Family: Divorced with 3 boys

Affiliations: Clark County Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association,
Ohio Magistrate’s Association, Sisterhood of Philanthropic Educational
Opportunities, regular visitor of Covenant Presbyterian Church

Endorsements: Clark County Deputies, FOP Lodge 209, see also

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years):
Magistrate (caseload includes divorce, child custody, child support,
paternity, civil domestic violence and civil stalking cases)-Clark County
Court of Common Pleas January, 2000-present Magistrate-Champaign
County Family Court, March 2006-present Magistrate-Montgomery
County Juvenile Court, 2004-2006

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience quali×es you to be a
Previous to my position as Magistrate, I worked as an attorney for the
Clark County Department of Job and Family Services. I am the only
candidate in this race who has represented the State of Ohio’s interests
in juvenile court cases. The position I am running for requires some
administrative and supervisory skills.
While at the DJFS, I supervised a staff of 14 persons directly and
almost 70 indirectly. I also had administrative experience as the
Assistant Deputy Director of the CSEA. At DJFS, I gained experience in
setting and implementing policy to provide our community with the
most effective services. I also worked together with various community
groups and state groups to develop strategic plans for our agency and

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running for this position because my experience gives me a skill set
to make a difference in the lives of the families and children in our
community. I have spent my career of 26 years dedicated to the families
and children in our community. My passion is and has been with service
to families and children. While the official title on the ballot for this
position is Judge of the Domestic Relations Court it is the actually the
judge of the juvenile court. I have prepared for this position for 26 years
and look forward to meeting the challenges of the of juvenile court

Susan Baker Ross

Office: Summit County – Summit County Court of Common Pleas

Age: 52

Residence: Akron, OH



Occupation: Magistrate, Akron Municipal Court

Education: : J.D. Law, University of Akron, 1991; B.S. Management, Minor English, University of Akron, 1988

Work Experience: Akron Municipal Court: Magistrate/Judicial Attorney – 2/2012-Present, Summit County Prosecutor’s Office – Assistant Prosecutor, Civil – 1/2001-7/2010, Portage County Prosecutor’s Office – Assistant Prosecutor, Civil – 5/1993-1/1997, Self Employed – Attorney/Small Business Owner – 8/2010-8/2012 & 1/1997-1/2001, City of Akron – Legal Intern – 6/1989-5/1993

Family: Daughter Alexandra, 26 and son Kevin 19

Affiliations: Akron Bar Association, Ohio Association of Magistrates, Ohio Judicial College – Criminal Law and Procedure Committee, Ohio State Bar Association, Athena International, NAACP, League of Women Voters and Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, Cornerstone Church, Leadership Board, 2015-Present, Collaborative Against Human Traf×cking Prior: Mogadore Village Councilwoman, Mogadore Planning & Zoning Board, Mogadore Zoning Appeals Board, Summit County ADM Board, Women’s Network Board, Mogadore Athletic Boosters Board, Mogadore Youth Football Board, Mogadore Band Boosters Board, Girl Scout Leader, Cookie District Chair and Cupboard; and Leadership Akron Class 35

Endorsements: In Progress – Will be updated on Website and Social Media

Bar Association Ratings: Will be updated on Website and Social Media

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

Akron Municipal Court: 6 Years (2/2012-present) In early 2012 I was sworn in as a visiting magistrate and was then hired full time by the Court in August, 2012. I have handled thousands of civil and traffic cases, assisted the Judges as needed with their caseload and managed the Small Claim Mediation program for the court. Beginning in February, 2017 I was promoted to full time Traffic Court Magistrate for the Court. This court handles over 20,000 cases a year and on a typical day I can see as many as 50-60 people. I manage all aspect of the traffic court, including implementing and administering programs that assist Defendants in getting their license valid so that our roads will have more licensed insured drivers. There is no typical defendant in my courtroom but in each case the Defendant just wants to be heard. I have good instincts and an appropriate judicial temperament. In my courtroom each Defendant is treated with fairness and respect and I promise that when I am elected to the Common Pleas Court that will not change

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

The Common Pleas Court handles high level civil and criminal matters. Our community needs Judges that are highly experienced and knowledgeable. I have been a licensed attorney for over 26 years. Working as an Assistant County Prosecutor for over 13 years I provided legal representation to the Sheriff, the County Executive and Council, Job & Family Services, the Board of Elections, the Engineer, the ADM Board, Townships, Libraries and other County entities as assigned. These cases included high level civil rights cases in both Common Pleas and Federal Court, contentious labor and employment issues, personal injury issues, adult protective services, property issues, business issues, worker’s compensation cases, and contract review. These legal issues are exactly what I will be dealing with in Common Pleas Court on the civil side. Additionally, while working in private practice I handled numerous criminal cases and will bring this knowledge and experience to the job as well. I promise that when I am elected to the Common Pleas Court I will bring the knowledge and experience needed to serve our community well.

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

I have spent the last 26 years developing the knowledge and experience needed to serve our community as a judge. I love serving as a Magistrate and would like to take that to the next level in Common Pleas Court. My children are now grown and in college and the time is right for me to pursue this dream. I believe every job I have had has prepared me for this seat and has led to this election in 2018. My opponent was appointed to this position by the Governor last year. The seat should be filled by someone who is elected by the voters in our community. When looking at the candidates based upon years and level of experience it is clear that I am the best candidate for this seat. With over 25 years of proven service I am ready to serve our community as your next Common Pleas Court Judge. When you vote this year, my race will be the last judicial race on the ballot. I respectfully ask you to look for my name and vote for Susan Baker Ross for Judge!

Dale Stalf

Office: Hamilton County – First District Court of Appeals

Age: 61

Residence: Cleves, OH



Occupation: Attorney

Education: B.S.B.A (Accounting) from Xavier University (Distinguished Military Graduate; summa cum laude); J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (Law Review; Order of the Coif);

Work Experience: Forward Support Platoon Leader, Battalion Motor Officer and Main Supply Platoon Leader, 426th Supply & Service Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, KY (1978-1980); Military Prosecutor, 1st Armored Division, Bamberg and Erlangen, Germany (1984-1987); Attorney-Advisor, Office of the General Counsel to the Secretary of Defense, The Pentagon, Washington, DC (1987-1988); private practice with Lindhorst & Dreidame (1988-2002), Buckley

Family: Married for over 38 years with four grown children, six granddaughters and one grandson (and a second due in July)

Affiliations: Cincinnati Bar Foundation (Board of Trustees 2012-present; Secretary (2014-2016; Treasurer (2016-present); Annual Advocate); Hamilton County Public Defender Commission (2012-2016); Beyond Civility Initiative (Steering Committee); Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Greater Cincinnati Chapter; Volunteer Lawyers Project (pro bono volunteer attorney and financial contributor); Supreme Court of Ohio’s Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program; Xavier University’s Williams College of Business Executive Mentor Program; 30-year member of Santa’s Goody Bag Band, which raises money for local children’s charities (; Cincinnati Bar Association (Board of Trustees 2008-2012; Chair of the
Professionalism Committee (2008-2012); Chair of the Veterans & Military Law Committee (2014-2016); Ohio State Bar Association; Kentucky Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; Roman Catholic

Endorsements: Hamilton County Republican Party; Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati (

Bar Association Ratings: Not Applicable

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

Not applicable

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

As an Army Judge Advocate (JAG), I prosecuted soldiers before general courts-martial for felony-level crimes. I also reviewed the administration of military justice and the processing of administrative discharges by commanders to ensure both substantive and procedural legal sufficiency and regularity. My first boss and mentor, Major Randy Parker, impressed upon me that our “first and only job” was to ensure that “justice was served” in all cases – – not only for the United States Army but also for the accused soldier. In 2012, I was unanimously appointed by the Hamilton County Commissioners to serve on the Hamilton County Public Defender Commission, where for the next four years I provided oversight and guidance for the operation of the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office. On the civil side, after leaving the JAG Corps and returning to Cincinnati, I was most fortunate to be hired as an associate attorney at Lindhorst & Dreidame. My boss and mentor at L&D, Leo Breslin, stressed that while “winning” the case for our client was what we were being hired to do, our overriding duty as legal professionals was to always do it “the right way”: to zealously represent our client but to at the same time always be honest and fair to opposing parties and counsel and to the courts. I am the Chair of my law firm’s Litigation Practice Group and espouse these same principles to every attorney in my firm.

For the past 30 years, I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants at the trial and appellate levels in a wide variety of civil disputes, including construction defects, breach of contract, products liability, employment practices, consumer sales and deceptive trade practices, lender liability, insurance coverage, bodily injury, wrongful death, property damage and medical, legal and accounting malpractice. I have also served on the Steering Committee of the Beyond Civility Initiative (, which promotes civility among community leaders, partisans and litigants as a more effective way to meaningfully resolve disputes. I have also been a mentor to young lawyers through the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program and
have served as a judge for high school and college mock trial programs. My broad and diversified experience in handling serious criminal, civil and administrative matters, from all sides, is unique and I believe makes me eminently well qualified to serve as an appellate court judge.

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

Judges are the ultimate guardians of our personal and property rights, and of our civil liberties, under the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. Because so few cases are accepted for review by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the First District Court of Appeals is effectively the court of last resort for the vast majority of cases, both civil and criminal, that are brought in Hamilton County. I am running for this seat to ensure that the rights and liberties of the people I will be serving are vigilantly protected. As a trial lawyer representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil cases for over 30 years, I believe that all litigants are entitled to a fair trial before a tribunal that is not biased for or against one side or the other merely because of their status as a “plaintiff”, “defendant”, injured party or tortfeasor. I believe that I have the judicial temperament and discipline to hear all sides of every case and to render a fair and just opinion based on the evidence presented to the trial court and the law.

As a former Army JAG prosecutor, and more recently as an advocate for the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office, I believe that all criminal defendants in Hamilton County deserve fair trials and, if convicted, should receive fair and appropriate sentences for their crimes. One of the purposes of a sentence is to punish the offender for the harm caused to the victim of the crime. But a fair sentence also must take into account any relevant mitigating circumstances that may justify a sentence other than a long period of incarceration. As a veteran I strongly support the Veterans Treatment Courts, and I also view the Hamilton County Drug Court, as critical to promoting the fair administration of justice via alternative sentencing dispositions. Finally, I appreciated the Commercial Docket of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas that was managed so effectively for many years by Judges Beth Myers and Steven Martin. The quality and timeliness of their written decisions greatly contributed to Ohio’s jurisprudence and promoted a healthy appreciation and respect for our judicial system and the notion that Hamilton County is a good place to set up and operate a business. I believe that I can and I will bring that same level of competence and diligence to the Court of Appeals.

Jason D. Warner

Office: Marion County – Marion County Court of Common Pleas (General Division)

Age: 48

Residence: Marion, OH


Website:; Facebook–

Occupation: Magistrate of the Marion Municipal Court

Education: Bachelor of Arts (1993) from The Ohio State University; Juris Doctor (1996) from The Ohio State University College of Law

Work Experience: Over 20 years in the practice of law, including 6 years in private practice, 14 years as a prosecutor, and, most recently, over 6 years as a judicial official while serving as Magistrate of the Marion Municipal Court.

Family: Married with 2 children

Affiliations: Among other groups, member of the Marion County Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Association of Magistrates, and the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce; Christian and active member of the Cornerstone Alliance Church, serving on the Governing Board and as an Elder.

Endorsements: Marion County Fraternal Order of Police (Steve Young Memorial Lodge);  Marion County Commissioners Andy Appelfeller, Kerr Murray, and Ken Stiverson;  Marion City Council representatives Leslie Cunningham, Rick Huddle, Robert Landon, Kevin Norris, and Jason Schaber 

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

I have been privileged to serve as the Magistrate of the Marion Municipal Court for more than 6 years, having been appointed by Judge Teresa Ballinger in 2011. During the years in which I have served as Magistrate, I have presided over thousands of cases, including misdemeanor criminal cases and a wide variety of civil cases. I have reviewed thousands of motions and other pleadings filed with the court. I also preside over the initial appearances/bond hearings and preliminary hearings in felony cases when those charges are filed in the Marion Municipal Court.

Throughout the years in which I have served as a Magistrate, I have often been asked about the difference between Magistrates and Judges. Magistrates, like Judges, are judicial officials. The primary difference is that Judges are elected by the people, and they appoint Magistrates to assist them in presiding over the court’s docket. Like Judges, Magistrates preside over trials, research and rule on motions, and make decisions. Magistrates, like Judges, also regularly attend ongoing “Judicial College” education that is required for judicial officials. Magistrates, like Judges, are required to make difficult and sometimes life-changing decisions on a daily basis. Service as a judicial official is unlike any other position in the practice of law. There is no position that could better prepare someone to be a Judge than serving as a Magistrate. My six years of judicial experience clearly distinguishes me from my opponent, who has no judicial experience.

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

Everything I’ve done throughout my legal career has been done to prepare me for my ultimate career objective of becoming a Judge. I have never run for any other elective office, and I have no intention to do so. When I first joined the practice of law in 1996, I spent 6 years in general private practice, during which time I gained invaluable experience by handling a wide variety of civil and criminal cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants.

From 1998 through 2002, I also served on a part-time basis as a prosecutor, specializing in the prosecution of domestic violence cases and other crimes against the family. In 2002, I gave up my private practice when I was promoted to the newly-created full-time position of First Assistant Law Director/City Prosecutor for the City of Marion. I spent the next 9 years in that position, during which time I was actually in the office and in the courtroom every day, prosecuting all types of criminal misdemeanor and traffic cases, representing the interests of victims, and holding criminal offenders accountable for their conduct. As indicated above, however, it is the experience that I have gained as a Magistrate that most qualifies me to be a Judge, as I now have the unique responsibility of looking at every case over which I preside from the perspective of someone whose job it is to make decisions that are based only on interpreting and enforcing the law.

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

I believe that service as a Judge is the highest calling in the legal profession. I’m running to become Judge of the Marion County Court of Common Pleas because I was born and raised in Marion, and I love this community.

That said, I am very concerned about recent trends in which we have seen our community struggle with rising crime rates and the devastation caused by drug addiction and drug-related crime. I desperately want to help this community regain a reputation as a great community in which to live and work and raise our families, and I believe that, if elected, I can have a tremendous impact on our community.

In recent years, I have been encouraged by countless citizens, including dozens who serve in law enforcement, to run for Judge. While I understand and appreciate the opportunity that I have to impact the lives of those with whom I interact while serving in Municipal Court, I know that I can have an even greater impact on our community if elected as Common Pleas Court Judge. Thank you for your consideration and support.

Marilyn Zayas

Office: Hamilton County – Ohio First District Court of Appeals

Age: 53

Residence: Cincinnati, OH



Occupation: Judge, Court of Appeals

Education: J.D. University of Cincinnati College of Law; 2011 Graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy

Work Experience: Judge from 2016-Present, Attorney from 1997-2016, IT Manager at Procter & Gamble from 1988-1994

Family: 3 Adult Children and 2 Rescue Dogs

Affiliations: Ohio Court of Appeals Judges Association; The Ohio Judicial Conference; Ohio Bar Association; Cincinnati Bar Association; Board Member of Beech Acres Parenting Center and Cincinnati Memorial Hall; Former Board Member of Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio and Cincinnati Ballet

Endorsements: National Association of Social Workers; Sheriff Jim Neil; Coroner Dr. Sammarco; Auditor Dusty Rhodes; Honorable Nathaniel Jones, Retired Judge, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; Honorable Ann Marie Tracey, Former Judge, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court; Honorable Marianna Brown Bettman, Former Judge, Ohio First District Court of Appeals

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

I have served the community on the Court of Appeals since my election in 2016.  After my election, the Court of Appeals faced an unprecedented transition because half of the judges were leaving the court.  The first few months I was a judge, I had about three times more cases than average. I have heard hundreds of appeals from all trial courts in Hamilton County – Common Pleas, Municipal, Juvenile, Domestic Relations, and Probate.

I was honored to be selected by the Chief Justice to sit on an Ohio Supreme Court case in June 2018.

My commitment as a judge has been recognized by the attorneys that have come before me. I have been told that my reputation is that, “When Judge Zayas is on the bench, she is very prepared, listens to both sides, and follows the law.”

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

Prior to taking the bench, I was a political outsider, interested in serving the community wherever I could make a difference. Growing up in tough New York City neighborhoods taught me the value of respecting the rule of law and the importance of applying the law equally to all. This is something that I carry with me in my profession as an attorney, my volunteerism and community service, and currently, as a judge.

A majority of the cases we hear at our Court of Appeals involve criminal convictions. My extensive background in litigating criminal appeals, felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile delinquency cases enables me to fully understand and analyze these important issues.

I have over 21 years of courtroom experience.  In 2001, I founded a private practice and built a strong reputation by successfully handling complex cases.  I have an extensive legal background including: criminal law, juvenile law, business law, family immigration law, intellectual property law, labor law, and employment law.  I have also practiced in numerous courts, including state and federal trial and appellate courts.

As an attorney, I partnered with several law enforcement agencies on victims’ advocacy issues to develop best practices so that foreign-born victims would overcome their fears, report crimes, cooperate with the investigation of crimes, and appear for court proceedings. I have also served as an adjunct professor at my alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College of Law and have provided legal training to judges, magistrates, attorneys, and the Cincinnati FBI.

Additionally, my computer and technology experiences at Procter & Gamble help ensure that every case that comes before me is reviewed accurately and with attention to detail.

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

I am running because we face difficult challenges, and we need judges who have life experiences that help them to best address them.  My unique background allows me to take an independent approach to each case, with a focus on maintaining integrity and impartiality. I am very proud of the work I have done as an appellate judge.  I am honored that the Ohio State Bar Association has selected several of my opinions for publication to provide guidance for attorneys and judges across the state.

Our Court of Appeals draws many parallels to our Ohio Supreme Court. Our decisions create binding law for Hamilton County magistrates, trial judges, and our community. There are three appellate judges that hear and decide each case. It is important to have a combination of different backgrounds and experiences to thoroughly review the cases, especially in those cases where error has occurred and must be corrected.

It was humbling to learn that I am the first Latina judge elected to an Ohio Court of Appeals, and that after my election, our Court of Appeals held its first all-female, three judge panel.

After my election, I created the “Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders” program, an educational program for high school students. The program invites students to the Court of Appeals to interact with judges and attorneys, learn about the law, and inspire them to dream big. I am committed to promoting accessibility and accountability through student outreach and community forums. 

I am grateful that the Hamilton County voters entrusted me to serve as their Judge. Every day, in every case, I take my responsibility to do justice very seriously, and I am committed to ensuring that justice is administered with integrity, independence, and impartiality.

Mary DeGenaro

Office: Supreme Court of Ohio

Age: 57

Residence: Poland, OH



Occupation: Justice Supreme Court of Ohio

Education: 1986 JD Cleveland State University; 1983 BA Youngstown State University

Work Experience: January, 2018-date Justice Supreme Court of Ohio; 2001-January, 2018 Judge 7th District Court of Appeals; 1986-2001 Appellate/General Practice Attorney Youngstown Ohio; 2011-2013 Adjunct Faculty Youngstown State University Political Science Department

Family: Married 34 years; older son is married and younger son is engaged.

Affiliations: Religious: Roman Catholic. Professional includes: 2010-date Ohio Women’s Bar Association, current Vice-President; 2001-date Member Ohio Judicial Conference Judicial Ethics & Professionalism Committee and Co-Chair 2013-date, OJC Executive 2013-date, Founding Member Appellate Practice & Procedure 2013-date, Specialized Dockets 2017-date; 2005-date Founding Member Appellate Practice Certification Board through the Ohio State Bar Association which administers the bar exam for lawyers specializing in Appellate Practice; 2003-04 Named by then Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to serve on the Voter Education/Public Funding Working Group as a part of a larger Committee reviewing issues involving judicial races. Also helped prepare YSU teams to compete in national college appellate competitions and judged Ohio High School Mock Trial Competitions for 17 years. Community & Civic includes: 2015-date Ohio Civility Consortium, created in 2015 to promote and educate about the importance of civil discourse; 2017-date Ohio Farm Bureau member; 2011-date Mahoning Valley Historical Society Board, has held various offices, 2003-date Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County Board, 2007-2012 Mahoning County Alcohol & Drug Addiction Service Board; External Advisory Committees for Cleveland State University Center for Women in Public Service 2002-2004 and Youngstown State University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 2007-2009; Also a member of the Italian Education Foundation and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. 2018 Inductee, Association of Ohio Commodores.

Endorsements: Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council ACT Ohio; Ohio Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business; Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades; Columbus Fire Fighters Union Local 67; Ohio State Medical Association; Ohio Manufacturers Association; Ohio Society of CPAs.

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

January, 2018-date Justice Supreme Court of Ohio 2001-January, 2018 Judge Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals, serving Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe & Noble Counties. (elected 2000, re-elected 2006 & 2012) Sat by assignment on 10 cases with the Ohio Supreme Court; also sat by assignment with 6 other Appellate Districts across Ohio. Served as Administrative/Presiding Judge for 2 two-year terms, 2007-2008 and 2013-14.

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

My 33 year legal career has been dedicated to appellate practice, which is a unique writing style and very different from trial court and academic writing. I had extensive experience as an attorney; over 25 appeals before the 7th and 11th Districts and two before the Ohio Supreme Court which are rare achievements for a civil attorney. Over 17 years as a judge, I wrote 1,000+ opinions in over 3,000 cases. In several significant cases appealed to the Supreme Court my reasoning was adopted and became the law in Ohio. I grew up in Cleveland Heights and my family moved to Youngstown when I was 15, where I live today. Many family members, including my husband and son, belonged to unions and I was able to go to college because of the state university system, by living with family and working as a waitress and sales clerk. In law school I interned at a hospital legal department and for a federal trial judge My life experience and having served eight counties made up of urban, suburban, rural, agricultural and manufacturing communities has enabled me to build relationships with the people I serve, and expertise in a variety of legal issues. More important, it keeps me committed to fairly and impartially decide every case, and treat every party, attorney, court employee and member of the public with respect. I belong to numerous boards and organizations to improve the practice of law, judging and my community. It is a joyful responsibility to serve on the Youngstown Library Board, Ohio Civility Consortium, and Appellate Specialty Board for example. I am a leader in the Ohio judiciary on ethics and professionalism, and am also a voice for civility in the profession, civic engagement and daily life. Through my involvement with the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, we have been addressing issues of recruitment, retention and advancement of women, and I recently participated in a joint Supreme Court/Ohio State Bar Association half-day presentation on sexual harassment in the legal profession. Also as an OWBA officer and justice, I have been able to begin the conversation with leaders in the legal profession about reinstituting mandatory education for judges and lawyers on substance abuse and other ways for the profession to address the drug/alcohol/opioid crisis which is affecting everyone in some way throughout Ohio.

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

In addition to deciding cases, I believe a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court has additional responsibilities: 1) improve access to and the administration of justice on the Supreme Court and statewide; 2) educate the public about the work of judges and lawyers; and 3) public service to improve the lives of Ohioans. I have a passion for literacy, civic education and civility, and as a justice I have a platform to bring attention to these issues and the opportunity to promote programs that will make a difference. To successfully improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our courts and the practice of law, relationships with judges, lawyers and the public across the Ohio is important. I have built those relationships over 17 years as an active member of the Ohio Judicial Conference, the Ohio Civility Consortium, the Ohio State and Women’s Bar Associations. For example, I helped put together a panel of health professionals and women in recovery for an OWBA seminar on substance abuse. I encourage the creation of, as well as promote and educate the public about specialty courts which address drug abuse, human trafficking and other criminal and juvenile/family issues. This is a creative tool for judges to address the opioid/drug/mental health crisis and to stop the revolving court/jail door. Finally, the Supreme Court decides what cases it will hear; hundreds of requests are filed but less than 10% are accepted. Since I’ve joined the Court, we have tested and implemented a new process to review the requests, and we still thoughtfully but more efficiently make that decision. I also believe as a justice it’s important for me to be accessible to the public and dispel the myths popular culture and TV have created about the legal system, so they understand the work that lawyers and judges really do every day in Ohio\’s courts to help people: start a business, guide them through a divorce, help them with an adoption, and protect their civil rights. There are still countries around the world which don’t have the independent legal system we do. I am honored to be serving as a Justice, and am proud to be a part of a team of over 200 professional, dedicated people at the Court who work every day to make the Judicial System in Ohio the best it can be.