Office: For Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division
Term Beginning 2/9/2021
Occupation: Assistant Vice President, Government Relations Officer & Legislative Counsel, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (2015-Present); Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Reserve (2013-Present)
Education: Xavier University: B.A. Philosophy (Minors in Natural Sciences and Economics); St. Louis University School of Law: J.D. (with a Certificate in Health Law, a Certificate in International & Comparative Law, and a Concentration in Criminal Litigation)
Work Experience: Adjunct Professor, UC Law (2016-2018); Adjunct Professor, Xavier University (2016-2018); Chief Legal Counsel, Ohio Senate Minority Caucus (2011-2015); Staff Attorney/Bailiff, Judge Nadine Allen – Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (2011)
Family: Married with 1 child
Affiliations: American Legion (Member); Ohio Ballot Board (Board Member); Cincinnati Bar Association (Board of Trustees); River City Correctional Facility (Facilities Governing Board); American Constitution Society – Cincinnati Lawyers Chapter (Co-Chair); Potter Stewart American Inn of Court (Barrister); Xavier University Mentorship Program (Mentor); Cincinnati Bar Association – Veterans & Military Law Committee (Vice-Chair); Truman National Security Project (Partner); Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southwest Ohio (Board Member); Xavier University State Politics Internship (Co-founder and Advisor); Ohio Center for Law Related Education (Volunteer Competition Judge); Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce C-Change Class 11 (Member); Venue Magazine – Great Leaders Under 40 (Award Recipient); Cincinnati Business Courier Forty Under 40 (Award Recipient)
Endorsements: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Hamilton County Democratic Party, Ohio Young Democrats, Equality Cincinnati PAC, Cincinnati AFL-CIO, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, UFCW Local 75, Ohio AFSCME Power in Action, CWA Local 4400, LiUNA! Local 265, IBEW Local 212, Greater Cincinnati UAW-CAP Council, Bold New Democracy, VoteVets.org, Run for Something, 1889 Friends of the Sentinels, Working Families Party, Our Revolution – Greater Cincinnati, #VOTEPROCHOICE, Indian-American IMPACT Fund, Tri-State Asian American Action Fund
Bar Association Ratings: 2020 – Cincinnati Bar Association
In 2018, the Cincinnati Bar Association conducted a survey of its members and found the following in rating me: Administrative Diligence: Excellent (48%), Above Average (21%), Average (10%), Below Average (2%), Unknown (19%); Communication Skills: Excellent (62%), Above Average (24%), Average (7%), Below Average (7%), Unknown (0%); Community Engagement: Excellent (71%), Above Average (14%), Average (5%), Below Average (2%), Unknown (7%); Integrity/Impartiality/Objectivity: Excellent (64%), Above Average (14%), Average (2%), Below Average (7%), Unknown (12%); Legal Experience: Excellent (33%), Above Average (29%), Average (21%), Below Average (10%), Unknown (7%); Professionalism/Temperament: Excellent (67%), Above Average (17%), Average (14%), Below Average (0%), Unknown (2%)
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I am seeking election for my first term as a judge.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
Given the diversity and breadth of the jurisdiction of Probate Court, it requires a judge who has an extensive and wide-ranging life and legal experience to tackle issues in novel and innovative ways. I believe that experience is defined by the quality of the decisions we make and not solely based upon longevity. If you look at my whole career as a lawyer, as an educator, in business, in the government, and in the Army, you will see that I have dedicated my life and career to lifting people up. I will apply lessons I have learned throughout my career as the top Democratic lawyer in the Ohio Senate advocating for civil rights and election reforms to my service as a Special Victims Counsel in the US Army Reserve JAG Corps representing victims of sexual assault.
As an Officer and Judge Advocate I also spent a significant portion of my career advising deploying soldiers about their estate planning needs and writing their wills and powers of attorney to ensure their families would be taken care of should they be forced to give the ultimate sacrifice.
I will bring new perspectives to creating greater access to the courts and improving the administration of justice. In addition to being engaged in service to the legal profession by serving in leadership positions in local bar associations, I am active in legal education and I have served as an adjunct professor at UC Law and Xavier University. I will bring that understanding of principles of law in theory and practice to ensure that my decisions are rooted in the law with a concern for fundamental fairness.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running to be the next Hamilton County Probate Court Judge because I believe it is time for a new generation of leadership in our courts. For too long, our specialty courts have been designed and operated as fiefdoms – insulated from the workings of the other courts and the citizens at large. I want to bring a real sense of public service and duty to the Probate Court by increasing transparency, accessibility, and empathy from the Court.
To increase transparency, I am going to work to integrate the electronic filings (that only recently became available) with other county-wide systems. I am also going to utilize the media and social media to publicize the work that is done and to help educate the taxpayers of Hamilton County about how Probate Court affects their lives and how their money is being spent.
From an accessibility perspective, I want to engage in significant community outreach. I want to work with community organizations like the NAACP and Urban League in addition to organized labor, to make sure working class people understand the implications of not having a will or estate plan and to help them find legal services to obtain one.
And from an empathy perspective, I will pledge to never forget the people behind every case and work to tackle the most difficult issues in regards to issues for people suffering from mental illnesses. I have spent years writing wills for soldiers deploying to war and I will remember that level of my solemn duty when administering estates and when celebrating adoptions and marriages at Probate Court. Probate Court affects everyone’s lives. I believe that I can transform the Court and peoples’ experiences to better serve the citizens of Hamilton County.