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Nick  Papa

Nick Papa

Bedford Municipal Court
Full Term Commencing Jan. 1, 2024

*Top Vote-Getter in General Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Age
  • Occupation
    Attorney & Acting Judge and magistrate
  • Education

    Trinity High School, 1985

    Kent State University, BA 1989

    Ohio Northern University College of Law, JD 1992

  • Work Experience

    Ohio Concrete Resurfacing, Inc., In-house legal counsel, 2012-Present

    Bedford Municipal Court, Acting Judge & Magistrate, 2005 - Present

    Nicholas A. Papa, Atty, Private Practice, 2006 - Present

    Carlin & Carlin, Senior Staff Attorney & Contract Attorney, August 1992 – January 2006

    Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Arbitrator, 1993 - 2000

    Prosecutor Village of Reminderville 1997

    Assistant Prosecutor Village of Reminderville, 1994 – 1997

    Law Director, Village of Reminderville, 1996 – 1997

    Assistant Law Director, Village of Reminderville, 1994 – 1996

    Cuyahoga Community College, Adjunct Professor, January 2010 – June 2010

    Ursuline College, Adjunct Professor, September 2002 – January 2005

    Notre Dame College, Adjunct Professor, October 2000 – May 2002

    American Institute for Paralegal Studies, Instructor, September 1995 – June 1997

    Northfield North Corporation, January 1981 - August 1992

  • Family
    I have been married for 29 years and we have been together for 39 years. We have three children and two grandchildren.
  • Affiliations

    Ohio Association of Magistrates

    Solon Italian Club

    FBI Citizens Academy

    St. Rita's Catholic Church

    City of Solon Cable Advisory Commission, 2006 - 2007

    Served as a youth travel fast pitch softball coach, youth travel baseball coach, and youth travel tackle football coach. 

  • Endorsements

    Congresswomen Shontel Brown

    Mayor Stan Koci, City of Bedford

    Mayor Leonard Spremulli, Village of Bentleyville

    Mayor Mark Cegelka, Village of Glenwillow

    Mayor David Smith, Village of North Randall

    Mayor Gary Gottschalk, Village of Oakwood

    Mayor Kathy Mulcahy, Village of Orange

    Mayor Brad Sellers, City of Warrensville Heights

    Mayor Benjamin Holbert, III, Village of Woodmere

    Over 35 Councilmembers and other local politicians

    Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 57 and 67

    North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor

    Teamsters Ohio D.R.I.V.E

    Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council

    Communication Workers of America, Local 4340

    For a complete listing please visit: 

  • Bar Association Ratings

    Not Applicable for this race. 

Photo of Nick  Papa Nick Papa

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

Acting Judge & Magistrate, Bedford Municipal Court, August of 2005 to present

Question 2

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

In addition to my 17 years of judicial experience as an Acting Judge and magistrate in the Bedford Municipal Court, I have been a practicing attorney for 30 years in municipal, state and federal courts. 

I am a former municipal prosecutor and law director.  As a prosecutor I represented the state in criminal trials, Motions to Suppress, Preliminary Felony hearings, argued post-trial motions, gave recommendations on sentencing as well as defending the state on appeal.  Further, I also represented Defendants in criminal trials, Motions to Suppress hearings, Preliminary Felony hearings and I have appealed adverse criminal rulings.  Thus, I am the only candidate with experience on the prosecution side, defense side and adjudicating criminal matters as a jurist.  

Likewise, on the civil side I represented plaintiffs and defendants in civil trials, civil motion practice, post-trial motion practice and civil appeals.  As a plaintiff’s attorney in a law firm, among other duties I handled complex civil litigation matters for victims of wrongful death, medical malpractice and product liability cases.  In the 14 years that I worked for the firm, I was involved in securing for the firm settlements for victims in the amounts of $1,700,00.00, $825,000.00, $589,000.00, $570,000.00 and $425,000.00.  Additionally, I was involved in securing a verdict at trial of $1,300,000.00 for a truck driver who was a victim in a products liability action.

In civil matters, I am the only candidate with experience on the plaintiff side, defense side and adjudicating civil matters as a jurist.  

Equally important, as a Law Director, I was involved in guiding the mayor and council with the authority, validity and constitutionality of proposed local ordinances.  Additionally, I was charged in drafting those local ordinances to represent council’s intent as well as insuring that those ordinances comply with the laws of the State of Ohio and both the Ohio and United States Constitutions.  

Moreover, during my practice of law I have had several Court of Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court Opinions issued and published.  I have argued cases in both the Ohio Supreme Court and the Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Further, I served as a Court appointed arbitrator for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution program.

In 1995, I became an Instructor for the American Institute for Paralegal Studies at Walsh University in North Canton.  This eventually led me to being an adjunct professor for Notre Dame College, Ursuline College and finally Cuyahoga Community College teaching law courses in their paralegal and legal studies program.

That is why I believe that I have been endorsed by Congresswomen Shontel Brown, numerous mayors, councilmembers and other local politicians in the Court’s jurisdiction, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodges 57 and 67, the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor,  the Teamsters Ohio D.R.I.V.E., the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council and the Communication Workers of America, Local 4340. 

Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

From my parents’ middle and working class background, they instilled in me the concepts of loyalty, respect, hard work, and dedication.  My parents treated all their children equally and were fair yet stern in raising us.

These are the qualities: fairness, respect, hard work, loyalty, and dedication that I learned from my parents and that I have brought to the bench in my 17 years of service as an Acting Judge and part-time Magistrate for the Bedford Municipal Court.

As such, my top priority is to keep our neighborhoods safe and secure.

Further, from the Bench I know that every lawyer and person who appears before me should be treated with respect and dignity.  My main role as a Judge is to fairly and impartially apply the law and dispense justice fairly, evenly and appropriately.

However, I am also aware that at some point in our lives, the wrong path has been chosen and mistakes have been made. Understanding this fact, there is another side to our judicial system in that judges are public servants and as such I want to help Defendants become productive members of our society.  I want to be a positive influence in an individual’s life and when the facts so dictate and where appropriate, to give that person a second chance and an opportunity to change his or her circumstance to become a better person.

I have been working with defendants in this capacity for over 17 years.  The best example that I can give is a Defendant by the name of T. White, a young African-American female with two little girls.    I worked with Ms. White to help her change her circumstances.   After the case was finalized, Ms. White  sent me a letter on August 19, 2016.  In her letter, she wrote the following: “Dear Judge Papa  Thank you so much I can’t express how thankful I am you are truly a blessing for me & my girls.”  This letter is hanging on my office wall. 

Moreover, I have had several defendants come up to me in public and ask me if I was a judge in Bedford.  When I answer yes, they would inform me that I was their judge and that I  have helped change their lives.  This recently happened to me this past summer at the Bedford Strawberry Festival in June.  Other Defendants have commented on my campaign social media posts.  These include the following: “He’s a nice and good guy, He is my judge and he is very caring.”  (I. A.)  “This Man here will work with You.  . . . He was very Fair if I lived in Bedford I would Vote for Him, good luck Judge.” (J. G)

Consequently, helping the T. Whites of this world is what being a public servant and a judge is all about.   It is not just about sentencing people, rather, under the right circumstance, it is about helping individuals change their circumstances and their lives.  Thus, I am experienced, dedicated and committed to improving, expediting and advancing the administration of justice in our judicial system.

Finally, I want to start an outreach program where I meet with 5th and 6th graders, 7th and 8th graders and juniors and seniors in high school.  I want to convey to them that the choices they make now and the consequences they may face will have an impact on them throughout their lives.  As such, I would have three or more opportunities to speak to the same group of students before they become adults.  Hopefully, this will prevent them from ever appearing before me.