Office: For Judge of the Hardin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate/Juvenile Division
Term Beginning 2/9/2021
Education: Ohio Northern University B.S. Bus. Adm. 1981; J.D. 1984
Work Experience: Trial attorney 1984-2013; Acting Judge Muni. Ct. 2005-2013, Adjunct Professor, ONU 2005-2014
Family: Married; 3 adult children
Affiliations: New Hope Fellowship Church; Hardin County Mounted Posse; Blanchard Twp. Trustee 1997-2013; various conservation organizations
Bar Association Ratings:
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have served in the position for which I am now a candidate since 2013.Prior to that I served as the acting judge in the Hardin County Municipal Court from 2005 to 2013.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I am the only member of the local bar that has tried serious cases such as capital homicide cases and product liability cases.
Prior to becoming a judge, I served on the governing boards of both the Ohio Association of Justice (Ohio’s Plaintiff’s Bar) and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I was one of 40 young lawyers chosen in 1995 to attend the Trial Lawyers College and be mentored by nationally renowned trial lawyers such as Gerry Spence, Richard “Racehorse” Haines, and Johnny Cochran, among others. I am the only or 1 of only 2 members of the local bar who has handled million dollar civil litigation.
My legal practice geographically covered the area from Chicago east to Boston and Ohio south to Georgia. I am the only attorney in my county who has actively practiced in Federal Court other than bankruptcy, having appeared in the Southern and Northern districts of Ohio as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
As an Adjunct Professor at Ohio Northern University, I developed and taught a first of its kind (in the U.S.) class on expert witnesses; taught government class, Juvenile law and coached the Mock Trial team. I served as an associate counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund and referral attorney for both the American Center For Law and Justice and the National Rifle Association. In 2004 I served as one of the Ohio Counsel for President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign and as a recount witness.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
Due to my experience, I am in the position to make much needed change in the local court system. Currently, I am in the midst of reconfiguring the local Common Pleas system, which has not been changed since 1903. I am currently scheduled to testify at the Ohio Senate as a proponent for this legislation, which I shepherded through the approval process at the Ohio Supreme Court and helped to write. This change will more evenly divide the workload between the two judges in our county and help cases in Probate and family law be more expeditiously decided. I believe that it would be helpful for me to be in my position when this transition takes place to mentor the new judge, work out wrinkles caused by the change and provide some degree of continuity to the new system.
In addition, I am in the process of competing for a very large grant from the Federal government for my treatment court and if it is successful, my experience on the bench will be helpful in complying with the terms of the grant. My treatment court was one of only four recommended by the Ohio Supreme Court and the only Ohio court selected to participate in a national study to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment court model. This is a project that may be disrupted if there is a change in leadership during the process.
Finally, I am a lifelong resident of my community and am committed to trying to use my service to improve my local court system and mentor the younger lawyers to prepare the next generation of leaders and judges in my county.