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Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Probate Division - Term Begins 2/9/2021

Responsibilities: The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the administration of estates and trusts, appointment of guardians for incompetents and estates of minors, adoptions, the issuance of marriage licenses, name changes, commitment of the mentally ill and various other actions. The Court also approves settlements in wrongful death actions and minor injury claims.. Term of office: 6 years. Additional information about judicial candidates may be available at

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    David Brannon

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    Arvin S. Miller

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?

Who would you choose as a mentor or role model as a judge, and why? (Please choose one individual.)

Education J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law; B.S. in Political Science from Miami University; B.S. in Public Administration from Miami University
Experience Private practice since November of 2005
0 years as an active Judge.
I have been certified as an expert in probate law by the Ohio State Bar Association since 2015, and am the only candidate with such distinction. Since 2005, I have handled hundreds of probate cases in Montgomery County and other probate courts. I have also litigated other matters in numerous other trial and appellate courts, all the way through the Ohio Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Besides practicing probate law, I have served as: trustee of special needs trusts, living trusts, and irrevocable trusts; guardian of minor and incompetent estates and persons; executor and administrator over estates; guardian ad litem and as power of attorney for both health care and financial decisions of others. Anyone who has served in any of those functions understands the difficulties and real world impact to families when serving in those roles. Finally, my active community service shows that I am willing to serve the public with no expectation of personal gain. I have served as Section Chair of the Dayton Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section since 2013. I have actively served the University of Dayton School of Law Alumni Board since 2007. I have provided hours of pro bono services through the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project.
I have spent my legal career advocating for families before the Court and outside of the courthouse. I fully understand the difficult decisions families face in the day-to-day oversight of loved ones suffering from age or health-related diseases, mental health and/or drug abuse. I have seen the devastating consequences of non-responsive or apathetic courts when not moving cases forward. I have also witnessed estate and guardianship cases linger, with no excuse for delay, which is financially and emotionally harmful to families. The Court must render speedy and fair decisions. I have also discussed implementing administrative programs to allow better access to the Court.

My record shows I am a diligent worker and care about families. I have fought hard for my clients and justice, and will continue to do so as Probate Court Judge. I am not a political appointee, and I will treat all people that come before me equally and objectively. Probate Court is truly a governmental entity that should serve families from birth through death.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Education J.D., U. of Dayton School of Law B.A., Miami University Northwestern University – Mediation Skills Training Program Elder Mediation Training, Ohio Eldercaring Coordination Training
Experience Magistrate Montgomery County Probate Court (April 2008 – present) (Mediator) Visiting Assistant Professor of Law University of Dayton Previous teaching responsibilities Visiting Assistant Professor of law/ Instructor of law/Adjunct Professor Assistant Montgomery County Public Defender Assistant Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney
Magistrate Montgomery County Probate Court (2008-present)

Visiting Magistrate Dayton Municipal Court (2007)
Most of my non-judicial legal work experience has been in the public sector representing individuals and in legal education teaching students the skills necessary to become competent ethical professionals. Through my work as a prosecutor and public defender, I learned all aspects of trial procedures and evidence used by judges when presiding over and deciding cases. Teaching students and running an indigent clinic at the University of Dayton School of law gave me more opportunities to learn and teach trial procedures and the ethical standards necessary to provide quality representation to those who cannot afford representation.

All my jobs have prepared me to be a judge by bringing me in contact with people from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. My work experience has instilled in me a sense of duty to treat all people equally, fairly, and with respect and kindness; all necessary qualities for being a good judge. My past positions also allowed me s to be involved with organizations that address the lack of legal representation for those of limited resources. A judge must be committed to seeking justice for the individual but also must be committed to seeking justice for the community by helping address and solve systemic problems facing the legal system.
I am running for Montgomery County Probate Judge because I believe that I am the most qualified person to be Probate Judge. The probate court is not a typical court. It deals with numerous and complex social issues. It requires experience. Having served as a Probate Magistrate for almost twelve years, I have both the knowledge and experience necessary for the position. As a trained mediator for the court, including advanced training in Elder Mediation and Elder Care Coordination I have worked to find alternatives to contested court hearings. I have performed almost every aspect of probate court.

I have been in Public Service for most of my legal career. I want to continue my public service career and impact positively the lives of those who come before me. I I have shown that I have the proper bench demeanor and have built the reputation for treating all who come before me with the respect and fairness they deserve. Probate court is responsible for protecting some of society’s most vulnerable individuals. I want to help those suffering from severe mental health issues; protect the elderly and mentally challenged from abuse and neglect though guardianship; and see that children can find forever homes through adoptions. Also, more recently, to help those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction receive necessary treatment.
Candidate has not yet responded.