Mary DeGenaro

Office:  Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals

Age: 40

Residence: Perrysburg, OH


Website:; Facebook

Occupation: Attorney

Education:  Notre Dame Law School, JD cum laude; Providence College, BA summa cum laude

Work Experience: Dewey Ballantine, New York, NY (Summer 2000; 2001-2005): litigate antitrust, tax fraud, sports law, financial, and insurance/reinsurance disputes. Cooper & Walinski (2005-2011): complex commercial litigation and appeals practice involving disputes related to contracts, trade secrets, banking, professional liability, insurance recovery, and torts. Chair, Business Litigation Group (2010-2011), Argue before ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris, France (2007). Thacker Robinson Zinz (f/k/a Thacker Martinsek) (2011-present): expand commercial litigation, appeals, and arbitration practice to include software development, automotive supplier, consumer law, and construction disputes. Elected to firm Board of Directors (2015-present)

Family: Married with three children (ages 9 yrs, 6 yrs, and 19 months)

Affiliations: Chair, ABLE/LAWO Development Advisory Council (2016-present); Cabinet member, Justice for All Campaign (2014-present); Steering Committee, Access to Justice Awards Dinner (2016); “Second Chance Tuesdays” (TBA monthly expungement clinic) (2015); Presenter, Nicholas J. Walinski Federal Court Practice Seminar (2007-2013); Presenter, TBA Legal Malpractice Seminar (2010); Editor-in-Chief, ABA Section of Litigation\’s Woman Advocate Committee Newsletter, “The Woman Advocate” (2011-2014), Editor (2009-2011); Executive Board , Downtown Perrysburg Inc. (2014-present); Executive Board, The Auxiliary of ProMedica Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children\’s Hospital (2011-2014); Junior League of Toledo (2005-present); Member of the Toledo, Toledo Women\’s, Wood County, Ohio State, Ohio Women\’s, and American Bar Associations

Endorsements: N/A

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years) N/A

2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
My private-practice background of actually representing people and businesses in complex cases would add value to the Ohio judiciary. My clients have ranged from domestic abuse victims who need free legal assistance to small business owners, fellow lawyers, and Fortune 500 companies. I have represented clients in connection with complicated disputes pending before various courts in Ohio, the USA, and the US Virgin Islands. The depth and breadth of my legal experience requires me to be agile, diligent, a good listener, and a hard worker. I have mastered many nuanced and complex legal issues, and every case presents a new challenge. I consistently exercise solid professional judgment. Being under the pressure of tight deadlines in big cases forces one to develop a backbone to do what\’s right, the wisdom to recognize the key legal issues, and the practical sense to know what\’s important. In addition, given that I have spent my career in the trenches, I know how appellate decisions directly impact people\’s lives and shape Ohio\’s common law system. I have seen how ambiguous or unsupported appellate decisions create unnecessary confusion for trial courts, litigants, and businesses. I am ready to put my analytical, legal research, and legal writing skills to work writing well-supported, succinct, and clear opinions that can be applied in the real world. In addition, my experience has taught me that justice delayed truly is justice denied. I have waited with my clients for a year or more for a court to decide a contested legal issue. Nobody should have to wait that long for a decision — not only is it unfair to the parties involved, but it is also a waste of taxpayer dollars. Because I have seen how court delays impact the parties involved in those cases, I would work extremely hard to issue opinions on a timely basis. Finally, my legal experience would add professional diversity to that particular court. At the appellate level, cases are decided by panels of three judges, who meet and discuss the merits of each case. Having someone with relevant and recent private practice experience at the judges\’ table means that the Court will have deeper and wider background of experiences and perspectives, and would therefore be able to better understand and take into consideration all aspects of any given issue before the court.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
Quite simply, I am running for this seat out of a genuine desire to make a difference. I want to bring my private-practice skills to work for the public by issuing timely, well-reasoned, and well-supported legal opinions. I believe that judges should work harder than their law clerks, and that courts should be run like businesses — with accountability to the parties before them, the attorneys representing those parties, and the public at large. I have always been a hard worker — a value instilled in me by my parents. My mother grew up in a small, poor village in Northern Portugal, left home at the age of 19 to begin her journey to America, and has been a proud U.S. citizen for almost four decades. My father was raised by Irish immigrants in the South Bronx of New York City, and honorably served as a policeman for over 33 years. My parents raised me to work hard, be honest, play by the rules, and treat everyone fairly and equally – and these are core values that I will bring with me to the bench. I firmly believe that the proper role of an appellate judge is to work tirelessly to get it right in every, single case — even if the result is unpopular. An appellate judge must be committed to actually reading the parties\’ written legal arguments and the relevant statues, cases, and constitutional provisions to ensure that the trial courts are reaching proper results for the right reasons. Appellate judges should be mindful that their rulings set precedent for future cases and therefore appellate decisions must be fair, well-reasoned, and consistent. And those decisions must be timely. I would set deadlines for decisions to be released and then work with my staff to make sure those deadlines are known and met. I truly believe that I can make a positive impact on the Ohio judiciary by doing the work, doing the work well, and doing the work in a timely manner. And I am ready to get to work.