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Kani H Hightower

Kani H Hightower

For Judge of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division
Full Term Beginning 1/6/2023

*Top Vote-Getter in General Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Age
  • Occupation
    Magistrate & Trial Attorney
  • Education

    University of Akron - School of Law - Juris Doctor Degree - 2008

    University of Akron Center for Family Studies - Certificate in Mediation - 2008

    University of Akron Center for Family Studies - Certificate in Divorce Mediation - 2008

    Kent State University - Bachelors of Arts Degree - 2003

    Stow-Munroe Falls High School - Class of 1991


  • Work Experience

    Magistrate - Akron Municipal Court - 1/2020 to present - handling hundreds and hundreds of cases in Small Claims, Evictions, and Traffic Courts.

    Trial Attorney - Lynda Harvey Williams & Associates, LLC - 2008 to present. Practicing in the areas of family, juvenile, criminal, civil, probate, and appellate law.

    Adjunct Professor of Law - University of Akron School of Law - 1/2009 to 12/2019

    Clerk of Council - City of Aurora - 1998 to 2004

    Staff Assistant - Roetzel & Andress, A Legal Professional Organization - 1995 to 1998

  • Family
    Divorced mother of three children
  • Affiliations

    Akron Bar Association - member and various Bar Association committees
    Akron Bar Foundation - Foundation Fellow
    Ohio State Bar Association - member
    Ohio Bar Foundation Association - 2021 Foundation Fellow Class
    Summit County Democrats - member
    Summit County Federated Democratic Women - member
    Ohio Black Judges Association - Magistrate member
    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. - member. Eta Delta Sigma Chapter - Legal Advisor
    Jack and Jill of America
    100 Women Strong Ohio 
    Ohio Women's Bar Association

  • Endorsements

    Senator Sherrod Brown
    Congressman Tim Ryan, State Senator Dr. Vernon Sykes, State Representative Emilia Sykes, State Representative Tavia Galonski, State Representative Casey Weinstein, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Retired Judge Carla Moore - Ninth District Court of Appeals
    Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan, Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters, Macedonia Mayor Nick Molnar, Barberton Mayor William Judge, Tallmadge Mayor David Kline, Stow Mayor John Pribonic, Twinsburg Mayor Sam Scaffide, Summit County Council Member Veronica Sims, Summit County Councilwoman Erin Dickinson, Summit County Council Member John Donofrio, Summit County Council Member John Schmidt, Stow Clerk of Courts Amber Zibritosky, Akron Council President Margo Sommerville, Akron Council Member Ginger Baylor, Akron Council Member Shammas Malik, Akron Council Member Tara Samples, Akron Council Member Russell Neal, Akron School Board Member N.J. Akbar, Silver Lake Councilman Matthew Plesich, Twinsburg School Board President Mark Curtis, Hudson City Council Member Nicole Kowalski, Norton City Councilman Joseph Kernan, Barberton City Council Member Shorter Griffin, Cuyahoga Falls School Board Member A.J. Harris, Cuyahoga Falls Council Member Brian Ashton, Cuyahoga Falls Council Member Russ Balthis, Cuyahoga Falls Council Member Rachel Loza

  • Bar Association Ratings

    Akron Bar Association - Excellent - for Summit County Domestic Relations Court Judge - 9/2022

    Akron Bar Association - Recommended - for Summit County Domestic Relations Court - 2020

Photo of Kani H Hightower Kani H Hightower

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

Magistrate 1/2020 to present - Akron Municipal Court - handling hundreds and hundreds of cases in small claims, evictions, and traffic courts.

Question 2

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

I have 14 years of significant experience as a trial attorney in the areas of family, juvenile, civil, criminal, and probate law. I have written briefs and handled cases at the Ohio Supreme Court and Appellate levels.  I have represented clients, sometimes at the worst stages in their lives, in many counties throughout the State in domestic relations courts, municipal, and common pleas court. I have been appointed on a non-partison basis by most of the judges in Summit County to represent indigent, underprivileged, and underrepresetned clients. 

I also taught the law as an adjunct professor of law at Akron Law for nearly 11 years. Being a professor helps a judge to identify the problems, spot the issues, and communicate a fair outcome to all parties, in a manner in which they can understand.

Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

I am fair and proven. A domestic relations (family court) judge needs vast experience in these areas of the law in order to make educated, well-rounded decisions with the requisite empathy. Children matter to me, and I aim to reduce the trauma that the legal system can place on our children through programming and the breaking of generational cycles. I have represented people in all domestic relations areas, such as divorce, child support, child custody, grandparent rights, and even an annulment or two.  I understand the complexities of the cases and the need for a judge to be well-versed in the law with the ability to render fair judgments. In my estimation, this court can affect the most people in Summit County, more than any of the other courts.  Therefore, it is important to have a judge who is mindful of the effects of this Court on families, who is willing to implement change and programs which will be a betterment to families and our community as a whole. I will be that type of judge.