Here is some incite into why I believe I am the right person for this position.
Why do you aspire to be Judge?
Since I began my practice as a trial attorney in 1997, I have had a passion for helping citizens find fairness and consistency in our justice system. Whether it is advocating for a just resolution for a client or offering a victim a fair settlement, I have found it rewarding and fulfilling to assist the community. I love fighting for the enforcement of our constitutions.
When I accepted the position of Director, I found that not only did my responsibilities grow but so did my commitment to public service. The next logical step in my commitment to public service is to serve the community as a Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge.
I believe my 20 years of experience has given me the compassion, empathy, temperament and decisiveness to administer fair and equal justice to all.
How have you demonstrated in your professional and personal life a high degree of honesty, integrity, consideration for your fellow citizens, and respect for the law?
My faith has taught me that honesty, integrity and compassion are to be admired. In both my professional and personal life, I have been committed to serving the public the right way. While in private practice many of my clients were poor citizens in bad situations. To effectively represent the clientele, it was necessary to have the appropriate compassion and empathy. My clients, colleagues and peers know my word can be trusted. I operate and advise clients with brutal honesty. My goal is always to represent clients with the idea that after resolution of the matter, I can see the client or his family in public and there will be no hard feelings because my representation was honest, thorough and ethical. In addition, I have organized and presided over a not for profit youth organization, where I have acted as a role model to many children and young adults. Honesty, empathy and respect for law and order are characteristics I do my best to display and teach to the group.
If elected, how you would maintain your impartiality and avoid undue influence in the performance of your judicial responsibilities?
Being an Officer of the Court and advocate for more than 20 years, I have learned the one thing all parties to any action want is justice. Justice cannot be achieved when the court is unduly influenced. Justice requires the process be just and the finder of fact be impartial to each party to the action. As administrators of justice, it is a Judge’s duty to remain objective. I would maintain my objectivity by being empathetic to each party and working hard to avoid situations that could compromise objectivity. The court must make efforts to avoid any situation that gives the appearance of bias to a party.
How would you describe your judicial philosophy?
A Judge must respect the parties and the process. Anyone who appears in court -spectators, litigants and lawyers- should be treated with respect. Judges can and should set the tone by being courteous to each other and to those who appear before the Court.
Judges, like all other citizens, are bound by laws and must faithfully interpret them rather than re-writing them from the bench. Judges are supposed to interpret the laws, not make them.
I believe in equal justice for all under the law. Judges must treat each party equally and judge every case fairly and without bias. Only the law and facts of the case should determine a judge’s ruling.
I do not believe every conviction calls for jail time. Courts must be knowledgeable and open minded to alternative programs to hold individuals accountable while also keeping the community safe.
What professional accomplishments, unique qualifications or character traits do you possess that merit an appointment to the bench?
I am trial attorney with 20 years of experience handling the highest level cases and death penalty certified. I am a public servant and as Director of the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office Felony division, I train, supervise and assist more than 120 attorneys and approximately 9,000 cases annually. As a result in 2016, I was awarded “The Jim Looker Award” presented by the Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association for Excellence in the Conscientious and Effective Representation of Citizens Accused of Crimes
In the community I am visible and respected. In 2013, I founded, organized and presided over a not for profit youth football and cheerleading organization because the Princeton Community did not have a viable option in that regard. That organization has already given an opportunity for children 4-12 years old to participate in a positive, fun and safe community activity. Recently, I worked tirelessly through Black Lawyer’s Association of Cincinnati to educate and calm the community during a time of high tension, regarding the shooting by University of Cincinnati police officer of an unarmed citizen. In 2017, I was presented with the “Distinguished Service” Award from the Black Lawyer’s Association of Cincinnati. Rodney has also served the community as a Precinct Election Official.