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Kim A. Browne

Kim A. Browne

For Judge of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations/Juvenile Division
Full Term Beginning 1/5/2023

*Top Vote-Getter in Primary Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
    Gahanna/New Albany
  • Email
    VoteBrowne2022@gmail.com
  • Website
    JudgeBrowne2022.com
  • Social Media
    m.facebook.com/people/Judge-Kim-A-Browne/100000577884046
    twitter.com/judgebrowne
  • Age
    55
  • Occupation
    Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court Judge
  • Education

    Juris Doctor, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

    Bachelor of Arts (Economics), University of Cincinnati

  • Work Experience

    January 2002 – present:  Judge of Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court; as a Judge, I ensure hearings and trials are conducted in a fair and impartial manner for litigants and attorneys; safeguard litigants’ legal rights guaranteeing full compliance with a variety of laws, rules and procedures of the state and federal governments; manage a full-time docket consisting of approximately 5,000 active domestic relations and juvenile cases per year; specifically resolve divorces, dissolutions, annulments, domestic violence civil protective orders pursuant to ORC §3113.31, allocations of parental rights and responsibilities, assignments/enforcements of child support and visitation, contempt actions and complaints of juvenile delinquency; create programs to achieve Court goals; manage the Court’s liaison law schools extern program; deliver public relations presentations to the community; assist in HR-related matters to include strategic planning and organizational development, establishment of best practices, training, development, coaching, conflict resolution, disciplinary actions and compensation; participate in director-level recruiting and selection.

    2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021:  Elected Court’s Administrative Judge

    November 2016:  Re-Elected as Judge

    November 2010:  Re-Elected as Judge

    2008, 2009, 2010: Elected Court’s Lead Juvenile Judge

    November 2004:  Re-Elected as Judge

    November 2002:  Elected as Judge

    January 2001 – present:  Judge of Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court; I have served as an Adjunct Professor at Ohio Dominican University where I teach/have taught Labor Relations, Human Resources Management, Business Law and the Legal Environment of Business in the Associate, Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree programs.

    January 2001 – January 2002:  Associate Attorney at Maguire & Schneider LLP; I handled labor and employment relations and a variety of other legal issues.

    1996-2001:  Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation; I served as OBWC’s Director of Legal Operations; in this capacity I was responsible for a staff of about 70 attorneys, 20 support staff clerks and interns; the Department’s principle responsibility was to represent the state fund at Industrial Commission hearing at OBWC offices around the state and to provide legal support to the more than 3,000 employees of the agency.  In 1999, I was recognized by the Bureau for my contributions to the legal field.  I also served as OBWC’s Director of Employee and Labor Relations as and served as a State Workplace Mediator; in this capacity, I was responsible for a staff of 5 Labor Relations Officers and 2 support staff members; in addition to agency-wide training and contract enforcement, I handled mediation/arbitration proceedings and interim contract negations with OCSEA and SEIU at OBWC offices around the state.  I commenced my employment with OBWC as a Labor Relations Officer handling all phases of contract labor disputes.

    1994-1996: Ohio Department of Administrative Services/Office of Collective Bargaining; I served as a Labor Relations Specialist; my employment involved representing the State of Ohio in formal mediation and arbitration proceedings with OCSEA, FOP, SEIU, OEA, CWA and the State Employment Relations Board, and I represented the state in interim contract negotiations.

    1992-1994: Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 11, AFL-CIO (OCSEA); I worked as an Arbitration Clerk representing the union and its membership in investigations, contract labor disputes with state agencies, formal arbitration proceedings and contract negotiation preparation.

  • Family
    Judge Browne and her husband Steven, a retired U.S. Army veteran of 31 years, have been happily married for more than 30 years. The Brownes have 2 lovely and accomplished daughters; they reside in the Gahanna/New Albany area.
  • Affiliations

    I have a long legacy of community service which began in high school where I (as Student Council President of Riverside High School) successfully chaired the Painesville Township Schools 1984-1985 levy issue and served as a camp counselor for 6th graders.  In college, I served as a team tutor/mentor for the men’s football and baseball teams.  In law school, I volunteered for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program annually.  As an attorney, I have served as a member or officer of a number of philanthropic organizations throughout my career, including Columbus Bar Association’s Homeless Project, Directions for Youth and Families, Art for a Child’s Safe America Foundation, The Lighthouse Project, the Community Collaboration Board, the Ohio Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee, the Community Collaboration Board Juvenile sub-Committee, and the Columbus Coalition against Family Violence Taskforce. 

    Efforts and organizations dedicated to race, equity and inclusion and advocacy for children and families are my passion. I currently chair the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative (JJCPI) and am active in a number of middle schools pursuing efforts designed to shape youngsters into thriving, productive community members, such as the Teen and Police Service Academy and the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s Middle School Mock Trial program (contributing writer and Legal Advisor for Woodward Park Middle School, Sherwood Middle School and the Columbus Gifted Academy).  I am a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Case Management Advisory Committee, the state of Ohio JDAI State Leadership Committee, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services REI ThinkTank, the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, the Ohio Black Judges Association, the National Council of Juvenile/Family Court Judges, the Franklin University Public Safety Board, Women-to-Women, Columbus NAACP Chapter 3177, the Franklin County Democratic Lawyers Club, Gahanna Democrats and Friends, and the Whitehall Community Youth Roundtable. I also periodically serve as a City of Gahanna Area Commissioner and sits ad hoc on City of Gahanna hiring committees.

    Finally, I have created innovative programs for school-aged children such as the Mini-Mock Trial Program & the All Rize College Tour.  In 2003, I proposed legislation (sponsored by then State Rep. Jim Hughes) to address the safety of children in automobiles (HB 244).  I am a baptized Christian.

  • Endorsements

    Baptist Ministerial Alliance of Columbus and Vicinity

    Franklin County Democratic Party

    A Philip Randolph Institute

    Coalition of Labor Union Women

    Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

    Columbus Fire Fighters Local 67

    Central Ohio Labor Council AFL-CIO

    CWA Local 4502

    Columbus Building Trades Council

    Ohio AFSCME Power In Action (Council 8)

  • Bar Association Ratings

    Rated five stars by the Columbus Bar Association Judicial Screening Committee

    Preferred over opponent 79% to 21% in the 2022 Columbus Bar Association Preference Poll

    2016: Central Ohio Association for Justice  “Highly Recommended”

    2016: Columbus Bar Association “Highly Recommended”

Photo of Kim A. Browne Kim A. Browne

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

Jan 2002 – present      Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court

Columbus, Ohio,  Common Pleas Court Judge

Conduct hearings and evidentiary trials in a fair and impartial manner for litigants and attorneys; safeguard litigants’ legal rights guaranteeing full compliance with a variety of laws, rules and procedures of the state and federal governments; manage a full-time docket consisting of approximately 8,000 active domestic relations and juvenile cases per year; specifically resolve divorces, dissolutions, annulments, domestic violence civil protective orders pursuant to ORC §3113.31, allocations of parental rights and responsibilities, assignments/enforcements of child support and visitation, contempt actions and complaints of juvenile delinquency; manage the Court’s law school extern programs with The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School; engage in community outreach efforts to educate employees, the local bar and other court users on issues that relate to fairness, equity and justice reform; supervise 3 judicial staff members.

 

Jan 2015 – Dec 2021    Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court

Columbus, Ohio,  Administrative Judge

Coordinated the dockets of 6 other Judges; oversaw the Court’s approximate 400 employees; created programs to achieve court goals; administered the Court’s COVID-19 response; oversaw the Court’s human resources matters, including strategic planning and organizational development; established best practices and policies to ensure appropriate, equitable, and consistent techniques and administration procedures; performed the human resources functions of training, development, coaching, conflict resolution, internal investigation, disciplinary/corrective action, compensation and employee rewards; oversaw all litigation involving the Court, including complaints of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct filed in other courts, EEOC or Ohio Civil Rights Commission; ensured the Court’s compliance with Title VII, FMLA, ADA, FLSA, ADEA and Ohio Sunshine Laws; oversaw matters of bid solicitation, contract award and other aspects of County purchasing; supervised the Court’s $46 million budget; directly supervised the Court Administrator, the Administrative Magistrate/Legal Director and the Duty Bailiff.

 

Jan 2009 – present      Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court

Columbus, Ohio,  Juvenile Alternatives Detention Initiative (JDAI) Judge

Lead the DRJ Court’s juvenile justice reform effort in conjunction with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Baltimore, MD); collaborate with Ohio’s other JDAI counties in their own reform efforts; created the County’s Juvenile Reception Center; serve as a member of the State JDAI State Leadership Committee and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services REI ThinkTank; created the Court’s Juvenile Community Enrichment Services Department (JCES) – a national model for probation transformation and positive youth development; chair the County’s Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative (JJCPI); created the Court’s Police-Initiated Diversion program (PID); co-created the Teen and Police Service Academy program (TAPS) with Columbus Division of Police, Columbus City Schools and Franklin University; created the Court’s Project Faith program; created the Court’s Juvenile Court Oversight and Reporting Department (JCOR); created the Court’s CourtRide program; chair the County’s Race Equity and Inclusion (REI) Committee; directly supervise the Court’s JDAI Director and 2 JDAI staff members.

 

Jan 2009 – Dec 2011    Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court

Columbus, Ohio,  Lead Juvenile Judge

Established Juvenile policy and procedure on behalf of the Court; trained court-appointed counsel; managed the Court’s $3 million RECLAIM budget from the Ohio Department of Youth Services; supervised the Superintendent and roughly 250 employees of the Court’s Juvenile Intervention Center.

Abbreviated Candidate Answers

2002-2022 Domestic Relations/Juvenile Court Judge: Conduct hearings and evidentiary trials in a fair and impartial manner; manage a full-time docket consisting of approximately 5,000 active cases per year including, divorces, dissolutions, domestic violence civil protective orders, allocations of parental rights and responsibilities, enforcement of child support and visitation and complaints of juvenile delinquency; manage the Court’s law school extern programs with OSU/Capital University Law Schools; engage in community outreach efforts; lead the Court’s juvenile justice reform effort; created the County’s Juvenile Reception Center; serve as a member of the State JDAI Leadership Committee and the ODJFS REI ThinkTank; chair the County’s JJCPI; created the Court’s Police-Initiated Diversion program; co-created the Teen and Police Service Academy program with Columbus Division of Police, Columbus City Schools and Franklin University; created the Court’s Project Faith program and CourtRide programs; chair the County’s Race Equity and Inclusion Committee.

2015–2021 Administrative Judge: Oversaw the Court’s approximate 400 employees; administered the COVID-19 response; oversaw the human resources functions, including strategic planning, training/development, conflict resolution, internal investigation, corrective action, compensation and employee rewards; oversaw all litigation; ensured compliance with all work-related laws; oversaw matters of bid solicitation and contract award; supervised the Court’s $46 million budget.

2009–2011 Lead Juvenile Judge: Established juvenile policy and procedure; managed the Court’s $3 million RECLAIM budget from ODYS; supervised the Superintendent and roughly 250 employees of the Juvenile Intervention Center.


Question 2

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

Since I passed the bar exam in 1993, I have amassed a wealth of expertise and experience serving the families and employers of Franklin County and representing this State in a number of ways through both my work and philanthropic endeavors.  I have performed pro bono work as an Associate with the firm of Maguire & Schneider LLP.   At the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (Director of Legal Operations), I oversaw a legal team of 70 and ensured that the state fund was well represented at Industrial Commission hearings around the state and was recognized by the Bureau for my contributions to the legal field.  As OBWC’s Director of Employee and Labor Relations, I served as a State Workplace Mediator and advocated the State’s position in a multitude of mediation/arbitration proceedings and interim contract negations with major labor organizations around the state.  In my work for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services/Office of Collective Bargaining, I represented the State of Ohio in formal mediation and arbitration proceedings with OCSEA, FOP, SEIU, OEA, CWA and the State Employment Relations Board, and I represented the State in interim contract negotiations.  At the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 11, AFL-CIO (OCSEA), I worked to represent union membership in investigations, contract labor disputes with state agencies, formal arbitration proceedings and contract negotiation preparation – to protect members’ rights to a fair and safe workplace.

As noted above, I have devoted countless hours of my personal time over the past 20+ years,  serving as a member or officer of the following philanthropic organizations, including Columbus Bar Association’s Homeless Project, Directions for Youth and Families, Art for a Child’s Safe America Foundation, The Lighthouse Project, the Community Collaboration Board, the Ohio Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee, the Community Collaboration Board Juvenile sub-Committee, and the Columbus Coalition against Family Violence Taskforce. 

I currently chair the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative (JJCPI) and am active in a number of middle schools pursuing efforts designed to shape youngsters into thriving, productive community members, such as the Teen and Police Service Academy and the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s Middle School Mock Trial program (contributing writer and Legal Advisor for Woodward Park Middle School, Sherwood Middle School and the Columbus Gifted Academy).  I am a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Case Management Advisory Committee, the state of Ohio JDAI State Leadership Committee, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services REI ThinkTank, the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, the Ohio Black Judges Association, the National Council of Juvenile/Family Court Judges, the Franklin University Public Safety Board, Women-to-Women, Columbus NAACP Chapter 3177, the Franklin County Democratic Lawyers Club, Gahanna Democrats and Friends, and the Whitehall Community Youth Roundtable. I also periodically serve as a City of Gahanna Area Commissioner and sits ad hoc on City of Gahanna hiring committees.  Finally, I have created innovative programs for school-aged children such as the Mini-Mock Trial Program & the All Rize College Tour.  

Abbreviated Candidate Answers

Since 1992, I have diligently served the public through hard work and philanthropy. I performed pro bono work at Maguire & Schneider LLP. As OBWC's Director of Legal Operations, I well-represented the state at Industrial Commission hearings and was recognized for my legal contributions. Both as OBWC’s Director of Employee/Labor Relations and at the ODAS/Office of Collective Bargaining, I represented this state as a Certified Workplace Mediator and in mediation/arbitration proceedings, SERB proceedings and interim contract negations with major labor organizations, i.e., OCSEA, FOP, SEIU, OEA, CWA. At OCSEA, AFSCME Local 11, I represented union membership in labor disputes, arbitration proceedings and contract negotiations thereby guaranteeing rights to fair and safe workplaces.
Even now, I chair the County's Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative and dedicate time to area middle/high schools through the Teen and Police Service Academy, OCLRE's Middle School Mock Trial program, the Mini-Mock Trial Program & the All Rize College Tour. I also serve as a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Case Management Advisory Committee, the State JDAI Leadership Committee, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the ODJFS REI ThinkTank, the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, the Ohio Black Judges Association, the National Council of Juvenile/Family Court Judges, the Franklin University Public Safety Board, Women-to-Women, Columbus NAACP Chapter 3177 and the Whitehall Community Youth Roundtable.


Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

As a Judge, I have spent the last 20+ years of my legal career serving the families, citizens and bar of Franklin County.  I have been elected to this Court four times (in 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2016) and have a very good record on appeal.  My judicial peers think enough of my commitment to the children of this County and the administration of this Court to have three times elected me as Lead Juvenile Judge and three times elected me Administrative Judge (for a total of 6 years).

I have/continue to honorably serve the Court and this County in a number of different community-focused capacities in addition to my duties as a Judge. I Chair the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative (JJCPI) and serve as a member of the State JDAI State Leadership Committee and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Race Equity and Inclusion ("REI") ThinkTank.  I also serve as an active member of the Ohio Women's Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, and the National Council of Juvenile/Family Court Judges.  I also write and provide training for the Ohio Center for Legal-Related Education's Middle School Mock Trial Program and serve as Legal Advisor for the Woodward Park Middle School Mock Trial Team.  Finally, I created innovative programs for school-aged children such as the Mini-Mock Trial Competition & the All Rize College Tour targeting disadvantaged youth.

I am dedicated to fairness, equity and access to judicial services and resources for all court users.  I have effected juvenile justice reforms for this County that serve as national and state models.  I am solicited to speak nationally about my work on this Court.  

As a person of color and a wife, mother, educator, volunteer, attorney and judge, I personally represent the majority of people who flow through the courthouse doors.  I know what it is to have to juggle home-life, work-life and the stress of litigation.  Perhaps, most importantly, I have proven my ability to maintain a current docket and well manage my roles so as to minimize docket disruptions and optimize court services.  I seek re-election to this seat for a fourth full term, because I sincerely believe that I am the best and most qualified candidate for this, my current position.

Abbreviated Candidate Answers

As a Judge, I have spent the last 20 years of my career serving the families and citizens of Franklin County. I have been elected to this Court four times (i.e., 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2016) and have an outstanding record on appeal. I have proven my ability to maintain a current docket and well manage my roles so as to minimize docket disruptions and optimize court services. My judicial peers think enough of my commitment to the children of this County and the administration of this Court to have three times elected me Lead Juvenile Judge and three times elected me Administrative Judge.

I have/continue to honorably serve the Court and this County in a number of different community-focused capacities in addition to my duties as a Judge. I am dedicated to fairness, equity and access to judicial services and resources for all court users. I have effected juvenile justice reforms for this County that serve as national and state models. I speak nationally about my work on this Court.

As a person of color and a wife, mother, educator, volunteer, attorney and judge, I personally represent the majority of people who visit our Court. I uniquely know and have compassion for the burden of juggling home-life, work-life and the stress of litigation.  I seek re-election to this court seat for a fourth full term, because I sincerely believe that I am the best and most qualified candidate for this, my current, position.