Joseph P. Kearns Jr.

Office: For Judge of the Ashland County Court of Common Pleas, Probate/Juvenile Division
Term Beginning 2/9/2021

Party Affiliation: Republican

Age: 52

Residence: Ashland



Social Media:

Occupation: Attorney

Education: The Ohio State University, B.A., 1989; Creighton University School of Law, J.D., 1994

Work Experience: General practice since 1994

Family: Married, Sarah

Affiliations: Past Mental Health and Recovery Board, 8 year member


Bar Association Ratings: 

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
Have been an Acting Judge in the Ashland Municipal Court since January, 2019.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I am licensed to practice in all state courts as well as the Federal Court, Northern District of Ohio, from 1994 to present. For the 25+ years I have been an attorney, I have represented numerous clients in the Juvenile and Probate divisions. That includes, Delinquencies, Abuse/Dependency/Neglect, Traffic, Custody, Child Support, Unruly, UIFSA, Adult, and Permanent Custody. In Probate Court, I have filed multiple Estates, Adoptions, name changes, as well as filed Guardianships. I have held myself out to represent indigent clients at no cost to the client to afford them equal access to justice and due process. I am a Guardian ad Litem in both Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court, and am a Guardian for an incompetent adult. I also participate in Mock Trial and have served as a judge at the State Championship tournament in Columbus, Ohio over the past several years. In my work I have shown that I am able to work with other attorneys, law enforcement, parties, and Administrative agency personnel. I am also willing to put in the long hours needed to effectively run the Court.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
The present Judge is retiring at the end of the term in 2021. He has served for more than 23 years and there will be a void left when he is gone. I will fill that position and continue on with the same work strong ethic. I have great experience in both Juvenile and Probate Court. I have a strong passion for the law, and for trying to help children and society’s most vulnerable. I want to work with a goal to reunify children who have been removed form their homes, with stable parents or other stable homes as necessary. I also want to address the drug problem by getting at-risk children into programs. I will also go to the classrooms and speak to the children before they get to the Courtroom.

Juvenile Court needs a Judge who is able to listen and be slow to anger. To show compassion, but also firmness when necessary. To be understanding, and yet decisive. To treat people in the Court with dignity and respect, and also instill a respect of others for the Court. And be fair and impartial, treating each case on its own merits. I have been able to work well with others and am able to listen and be compassionate, but also able to be firm when necessary.