Melissa Byers-Emmerling

Office: East Liverpool Municipal Court

Age: 63

Residence: East Liverpool, OH


Website: N/A

Occupation: Judge East Liverpool Municipal Court

Education: B.A. Miami University of Ohio; J.D. University of Akron School of Law

Work Experience: East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge since 1990

Family: Married since 1982, Attorney Frederick Emmerling, we have one son, Byers Bowman “Bo” Emmerling

Affiliations: Longs Run Trinity Presbyterian Church, Calcutta Rotary Club

Endorsements: Columbianal, Mahoning & Trumbull – U.A.W. C.A.P. Council and Western Reserve Building Trades

Bar Association Ratings: N/A

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

Judge of the East Liverpool Municipal Court – 1990 to present

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

My broad legal experience as a civil litigation attorney and assistant criminal prosecutor, as well as general private practice experience has provided me with a strong and diverse background that has served me well throughout my legal and judicial career. I began my legal career in 1982 with a civil litigation firm in Cleveland. I was involved in all aspects of litigation including pleadings, depositions, trial briefs and preparation for trial. I then accepted a position with the Columbiana County Ohio Prosecutor’s Office which I held for the next six years. I was first assigned to the Juvenile Court where I protected the rights of abused and neglected children and enforced their rights to be supported by their parents. I prosecuted unruly juveniles and worked with Social Services to provide placement when necessary as well as assisting in their rehabilitation to become productive adults. I protected the community by fully prosecuting those juveniles who committed serious and violent crimes. From Juvenile Court I was assigned to adult misdemeanor crimes where I prosecuted assaults, thefts, driving under the influence and other traffic and misdemeanor offenses. I was then promoted to Felony Prosecutor. As a Felony Prosecutor, I created the concept of a child abuse coordinator to address the unique needs of child victims in which one prosecutor handled all of the child abuse and child sexual assault cases from start to finish. This included investigations, grand jury indictments, jury trials and if necessary, appeals. This approach afforded me the opportunity to establish a rapport with often very young and frightened victims who from their experiences were very wary of trusting adults or telling their stories. Although these cases were very difficult and emotionally challenging, I am very proud of my accomplishments in this area and still remember the high school girl who approached me at a community function and said she wanted to thank me, that she was “safe now”. I had prosecuted and convicted her abuser. I prosecuted cases involving theft, felonious assault, robbery, rape and murder. I am proud that in my tenure as an assistant prosecutor, I had a 95% conviction rate. I also argued cases before the Seventh District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.

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

I am the most qualified candidate for Judge of the East Liverpool Municipal Court where I have served for 29 years. I was elected the first woman judge in Columbiana County. During this time I have completed over 600 hours of judicial training and have developed and implemented many new programs. I am honored to be a past President of the Association of Municipal/County Court Judges (AMCJO) having earned the respect of and been elected by my fellow judges all across Ohio. My duties included coordinating Summer and Winter legal education conferences, quarterly administrative meetings, meeting with the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and facilitating testimony before the legislature regarding proposed laws affecting our Courts. Since 2007 the Ohio Supreme Court has selected me to serve as a mentor Judge to new Judges. I was also appointed to the Ohio Futures Commission which was tasked with the planning of our justice system for the next 25 years. Since taking the bench, I have implemented many programs:

  1. First Community Service Program non-violent offenders learn job skills and give back to their community
  2. First Misdemeanor Probation Department in Columbiana County