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Mary Kay Fenlon

For Judge of the Franklin County Municipal Court
Full Term Beginning 1/9/2022

*Top Vote-Getter in General Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
    Upper Arlington
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Education
    B.A. Criminology, The Ohio State University; J.D. Capital University Law School
  • Work Experience
    Owner of a mediation company 2020-present; AT&T Services, Inc., AVP General Counsel 2001-2019; Porter Wright, Partner 1998-2001; Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Hearing Examiner, 1989-2001
  • Family
    Married with two adult children
  • Affiliations
    Columbus Bar Association, Ohio Mediation Association, Franklin County Women Lawyers, Franklin County Democrat Lawyers Club, Upper Arlington Progressives, Franklin County Juvenile Justice Circle member
  • Endorsements
    Franklin County Democratic Party, Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio, AFSME in Action, Central Ohio Labor Council/AFL-CIO, Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council, Baptist Ministerial Alliance of Columbus and Vicinity, Franklin County Adelante Democrats and Teachers for Better Schools; Communication Workers of America (CWA)

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

This is my first run for judge.

Question 2

What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

My practice over the last 30 plus years has focused on honesty, integrity and respect. I have had the extraordinary opportunity to gain experience in resolving both business and consumer issues in government, private and corporate in-house practices. During my last 18 years with AT&T, I served as a strategic legal advisor to business units around the globe. I handled complex litigation, contract disputes, and regulatory matters before state and federal courts. I worked extensively with industry coalitions and consumer interest groups. My mediation company handles business and consumer mediations. I have volunteered weekly this past year for the Columbus Legal Aid Society's Tenant Advocacy Program, assisting tenants in their evictions proceedings in Municipal Court. I am a member of the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Circle. I am founder of of Rock and Roll Over Brain Cancer, Inc., a non-profit that has raised $175,000 for research at The James Cancer Hospital over the past 10 years.

Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

I was raised in Columbus and am committed to making central Ohio an even better and safer place to live. Serving as a Municipal Court judge would allow me to give back to the community that I love. I believe that I can bring a unique perspective to the bench with my public, private and in-house corporate legal experience for civil and criminal matters. I am committed to serving those in need-those who are most likely to find their way to the criminal justice system. I am knowledgeable and sensitive to the issues that impact our community through the various activities that I am involved in. I have served on boards and handled a significant amount of pro bono work throughout my legal career. This service has made me aware of the issues that impact those coming before the Court, e.g. hunger, housing, employment, and mental illness. I understand the necessity of working with the various resources within and outside the Municipal Court in order to ensure that all persons involved in the judicial system, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, income, and education, obtain fair and just service. This includes being involved in finding alternatives in setting bond and serving jail time. I look forward to serving the people of Franklin County.