- Social Media
Chief Magistrate Summit County Domestic Relations Court
1992 Magna Cum Laude Graduate University of Akron School of Law.
1988 Honor College University of Akron Graduate, Bachelor of Arts, History Major
1984 Graduate Barberton High School
- Work Experience
2017 to present Summit County Domestic Relations Court Trial Magistrate for Judge Katarina Cook, Chief Magistrate since 2021
2016 Judge Summit County Court of Common Pleas presiding over Felony Criminal trials and Civil proceedings
1994-2016 Attorney in private practice representing parties in Juvenile, Probate, Domestic, Common Pleas, Municipal Courts and Courts of Appeals throughout the State of Ohio
Approximately 2010-2016 Law Director Twinsburg Township
Approximately 2009-2014 Part-time Magistrate in Cuyahoga Falls Mayor's Court hearing traffic and Misdemeanor cases.
Approximately 2007 Adjunct Law Professor University of Akron Para-Legal program teaching Wills, Trusts and Estate class
Approximately 2000 through 2006 Part-time Hearing Officer for the Bureau of Motor Vehices hearing disputes between Ohio Automobile Dealers and Manufacturers
Approximately 1997-1999 Small Claims Magistrate in Barberton Municipal Court.
Approximately 1993-1996 Adjunct Professor University of Akron Law School teaching writing and research
1992-1994 Judical Attorney Ninth District Court of Appeals
Married to Wife Diana Stevenson with two children Joshua and Alex
Former member of following Boards.
Barberton Public Library Board of Trustees member and President
Barberton Area Salvation Army Board Member and Officer
Summit County Facility Review Board Member
Barberton Area Community Ministries Board Member
Downtown Barberton, Inc. Board Member and Officer
Friends of the Barberton Public Library
Coach Barberton and Norton Area Little League Baseball
Coach Barberton Nomad and Norton Panthers Travel Baseball teams
Coach and Board Member Barberton Soccer
- Bar Association Ratings
Rated Excellent by Akron Bar Assiciation.
List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I am currently the Chief Magistrate at the Summit County Domestic Relations Court, and have served at the Court since 2017. Prior to that I was a Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge hearing Felony criminal trials and Civil proceedings in 2016. While I ran a full time legal practice, I also had a number of part-time positions to prepare myself to be a Judge. I served as a Magistrate in Cuyahoga Falls Mayor's Court hearing Traffic and Misdemeanor cases. Before that I was a hearing officer for the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles hearing disputes between automobile dealers and manufacturers. My first Judicial position was as a small claims Magistrate in Barberton Municipal Court. In part based on this experience and my conduct in this offices, the Akron Bar Association rated me excellent, its highest rank for this election.
What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I believe my non-judicial experience makes me well qualified to serve as a Judge in any Court. As public servants, Judges need to recognize their primary role is to help resolve cases for the litigants as quickly and fairly as possible. Throughout my professional career, I have strived to find ways to serve the public. While in private practice, I emphasized working with the Volunteer Legal Service Project providing Pro Bono Legal Services to clients in the Summit County area. I was recognized by their Board as Pro Bono Attorney of the year in 2004, 2008 and 2013. Further as an Attorney in private practice, I learned how intimidating court appearances can be for clients who have little or no experience with courts and that delay in the resolution of their cases causes them continuing anxiety. This insight has helped me as a Judge or Magistrate make sure all clients are treated with respect and dignity and have their cases resolved as quickly as possible. Lastly, by serving on various local community boards, I have learned how to accept the opinions and concerns of other members and build a consensus that synergized the best portions of all the parties' comments. As a judicial officer, the most successful settlements are reached by seeking consensus from all parties. Keeping in mind all these experiences has helped me remember my paramount duties as a judicial officer to serve the public by treating parties with respect and resolving their cases as speedily as possible.
Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running for this seat as I am the most qualified Candidate and I wish to publicly discuss the proper role of Court. With the Court decisions this year, there was a lot of criticism from writers that focused on the policy results of the cases. That criticism is misplaced. Our Courts operate in a three branch government that diffuses governmental power between the branches. In short, the Legislaure passes laws, the Executive enforces laws and the judicial branch interprets laws. A Judge's job is to interpret and follow the Constitution or the law in question to arrive at the result. A Judge is not charged with substituting the Judge's opinion of what is the right policy over the clearly expressed will of the people found in the Constitution or law. If the people want to change the law they can elect legislators to do so. Further, our government shares power between the states and the federal government to diffuse power even more. The United States Constitution creates a federal government of limited scope and powers. The 10th Ammendment to the Constitution states that powers not given to the federal Government by the Constitution are reserved to the States or the people. Thus, the Supreme Court correctly returns matters to the states when the constitution does not give power to the federal government. This separation and diffusion of power has served well to keep ultimate power in "we the people" where it rightly belongs.