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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge, unexpired term ending 1/2/2022

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $125,850Judge Jimmy L. Jackson, appointed in 2017, is running against challenger Ann Clare Oakar, who has served as magistrate at Parma Municipal Court since 2011, for the unexpired term of Judge Ed Wade, who died in 2017.
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    Jimmy L. Jackson Jr. Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court

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    Ann Clare Oakar Attorney at Law

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Biographical Information

List your judicial experience (courts and years).

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

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

Age 52
Education J.D. from The University of Akron
Residence municipality Cleveland
Work experience Judge for Cleveland Municipal Court since 01/03/2017; Magistrate for Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas from 12/05/2005 to 12/30/2017
Affiliations Member of the American Judge’s Association; Ohio Bar Association; Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Ohio City, Inc.; Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization; Independence Charter Review Commission; Volunteer for 2017 Homeless Stand Down, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Cleveland Municipal Court’s ROCK (Restoring Our Curfewed Kids) program; Coach for CYO basketball and baseball and City of Independence baseball and soccer.
Endorsements Cement Mason’s Local 404; C.A.M.E.O. (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) ; Municipal, County & State Employees’ Local Union 1099, Laborers’ International Union of North America
Bar Association Ratings N/A
Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court, January 2017 to present; Magistrate (full-time), Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, December 2005 to January 2017
Though nearly all of my legal experience is judicial, my short stint as a solo practitioner provided experience and insight into the workings of Cleveland Municipal Court, Cuyahoga Common Pleas and Juvenile Court, and several of the municipal courts in the greater Cleveland area. I drafted pleadings, attended Court hearings, secured and represented a variety of clients, and negotiated settlements on behalf of my clients. As a staff attorney for Administrative Judge Richard McMonagle and for Judge David Matia, I learned invaluable lessons about the necessity of and how to provide fair and efficient justice to all and how to effectively manage the courtroom and staff to provide a courtroom experience that exceeds the expectations of those who work in and around the Court, as well as those who come before the Court. Most importantly, I believe, I learned how to treat everyone with compassion and professionalism, and in doing so, how to receive the same treatment in return.
I am running to retain the balance of the term left upon the passing of a great man, jurist, attorney, and friend. Judge Ed Wade’s contagious smile, effervescent personality, keen intellect, and compassionate and zealous advocacy for his clients made him a tremendous judge. I intend to carry on and expand upon his work. The municipal courts are often termed “the people’s court,” dealing directly every day with hundreds of citizens from a wide variety of backgrounds and environments. To be a great judge in municipal court, one must be able to balance a significant caseload while still maintaining a connection with the people who come before the court. Recognizing and valuing diversity is integral to understanding the difficulties that defendants face.

As a problem-solving Court, we are charged with finding ways to help people with a wide variety of issues that lead to their legal troubles. To that end, the court system is evolving, and specialized dockets presently provide much needed services to many in need. I have been assisting on the Cleveland Municipal Court’s Drug Court and R.O.C.K. (Restoring Our Curfewed Kids) Docket. Both programs successfully provide significant services and oversight to help prevent future unwanted appearances in court. Read more at judicialvotescount.org.
Age 41
Education University of Dayton, BA Sociology; Case Western Reserve School of Law
Residence municipality Cleveland
Work experience Municipal Court Magistrate, Law Director and Prosecutor and Private Practice Attorney
Affiliations Ohio State Bar Association; Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Secretary and co-founder of the Northeast Ohio Municipal Prosecutors’ Association; Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; Past President and Trustee Parma Bar Association; Ohio Association of Magistrates; Previous volunteer at Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association in conjunction with Cleveland Municipal School District’s 3Rs Program; Legal Advisor to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Greater Cleveland.
Endorsements Cuyahoga County Democratic Party; Cleveland Fire Fighters IAFF Local 93; The Ohio State Council of Machinists; Pipefitters Local Union 120; U.S. Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge; U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
Bar Association Ratings N/A
Magistrate – Parma Municipal Court, 4/2011-present; Mayor’s Court Magistrate – Orange Village, 2012-present; Volunteer Juvenile Diversion Magistrate, 2004-2009
For more than 17 years, I have focused my legal practice in the municipal courts. I have served as a municipal prosecutor and law director for almost 15 years. As a prosecutor, I have had the discretion to amend charges and work with defendants and defense attorneys to reach a fair and just conclusion in each case. I have also stood with victims of crime helping to get the justice they deserve. In addition, I also run a successful private law practice focusing on criminal defense that has brought me to nearly every municipal and common pleas court rooms in Cuyahoga County, as well as neighboring counties. As a defense attorney, I have worked with my clients, counseling them back to becoming law abiding citizens and productive members of society. I have always taken the role of “counselor of law” very seriously, and along with examining the legal issues in each case, I have had the privilege to often help clients personally overcome obstacles which may have led to their criminal conduct. In my private general practice of law, I work on many civil matters in the realm of personal injury, probate and estates, as well as contract cases. In each of these capacities I have been on both sides of the courtroom. I believe that having this experience helps me to be a fair and just jurist in my role as Magistrate and will assist me in being a fair-minded and impartial Judge.
The seat I am running for was vacated by the untimely death of Judge Edward Wade. Like myself, Judge Wade was a private practitioner who practiced criminal defense. We often sat together in courtrooms across the county and discussed our clients’ plights and legal issues that we may be currently working through. Judge Wade was a brilliant legal mind and a compassionate and caring person. It would be an honor to continue his legacy of fairness and compassion. I am currently serving as a Magistrate in a jurisdiction where I do not live. I am passionate about working in the city in which I live and have chosen to raise my family. Municipal court has been the focus of my experience since I began practicing law for several reasons. First, municipal court is truly the only place where everyday people get a glimpse into our justice system. Any regular person can find themselves in the municipal court, whether by way of a speeding ticket or a small fender bender. It truly is the “People’s Court.” Working as a Magistrate for over the past seven years, I have enjoyed daily interaction with these individuals. Working efficiently and effectively with dockets of 100+ cases on a regular basis, I feel that I give each case the individual attention it deserves. Every person deserves their day in court and the opportunity to be heard. This is the basis of our entire system of justice. Read more at judicialvotescount.org

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