Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Municipal Court Judge - District 2

6 YEAR TERM. Salary $125,850RESPONSIBILITIES: Has original jurisdiction in civil cases (auto, neighborhood disputes etc.) involving claims of $15,000 or under, and in criminal cases involving misdemeanors in Hamilton County. Conducts preliminary hearings in felony cases.Judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court - 1 to be elected per district - 6 year term. For more information about judicial candidates visit:
  • Candidate picture

    Rodney J. Harris

  • Candidate picture

    Elisa Murphy

  • Candidate picture

    Alan C. Triggs

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

List your judicial experience (court 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 46
Residence Cincinnati, OH
Occupation Director of the Felony Division, Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office
Education J.D. from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law; B.S. (Accounting) from Central State University
Work Experience Criminal Defense Attorney; General Practice Attorney; Director of Felony Division, Law Office of Hamilton County Public Defender
Family Married 16 years; 2 children
Affliations 38 year member of First Baptist Church, Covington, Kentucky; Member of Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys; Lifetime Member of Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati
Endorsements N/A
My courtroom and jury trial experience qualify me to be a Judge. I have practiced law as a trial attorney for 20 years, licensed to practice in the State of Ohio and in the United States District Court. I have handled the highest level of felony offenses ranging from aggravated murder, rape, aggravated robbery to misdemeanor offenses such as theft, domestic violence and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. I have tried more than 150 jury trials and a countless number of trials to the court, while being recognized and respected by both the legal community and the community in general as a criminal law expert. I am death penalty certified. I maintained a private practice for 17 years as a general practitioner specializing in Criminal, Personal Injury, Domestic Relations, Juvenile, Traffic, Social Security, and Civil Rights law. I closed my successful private practice to serve the citizens of Hamilton County as Director of Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office Felony Division. I have held the office of Director of Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office Felony Division for 3 years. In my role as Director of the Felony Division, I supervise and assist more than 120 attorneys (Staff and Felony Panel) in the General Division, Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, and Mental Health Court handling more than 8,500 cases annually. The attorneys under my supervision, practice in both Hamilton County Common Pleas and Municipal Courts daily.

Each day with few exceptions, I am present in the courtrooms of the Hamilton County Courthouse and know the issues/challenges our legal system and community confront daily. Additionally, I act as a liaison between the Court and Criminal Defense Bar. I investigate and resolve client complaints/issues with their legal representation. In the community, I am well known for my service. I am very proud to have implemented policies and protocols that have raised the level of indigent defense in Hamilton County. My work led to me being named the 2016 Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association “Jim Looker” Attorney of the Year award for excellence in the conscientious and effective representation of citizens charged with crimes. In 2017, I was the recipient Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati “Distinguished Service” Award for career achievement and service to the community. Recently, I received proclamations from 132nd General Assembly (Ohio Senate and House of Representatives) for my community service.
I am running for Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge because I believe our Judiciary needs more public servants that are passionate about serving the community. I do not believe that politics belong in the courtroom and am proud to say I am running on my experience and commitment to the community over my career as an Independent candidate. I believe too many times citizens vote for a party without closely investigating the qualifications, experience, and community impact the candidate has had. I have spent my career on the frontline advocating for the community, acting as a voice for the underserved and fighting for justice for all regardless of the citizen’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. I believe our elected officials should show a commitment to the community before asking the community to commit to the candidate. I have had an interest, got involved, made an investment and had an impact in my community through my service.

I am a native son of Hamilton County Municipal Court District 2 (College Hill) and in touch with the entire Hamilton County community. I have served the youth of the Hamilton County as a Mentor-Leader and role model through youth sports, moot court, speaking engagements, and other activities. I co-founded, formed, presided over and coached with Viking’s Youth Athletics, ltd. a not for profit youth football and cheerleading organization. I have served the entire community as an Educator-Leader through community law forums, providing legal analysis and commentary so the community could easily comprehend the relevant legal issues while also serving on various boards throughout the Hamilton County area. In the courtroom, I am an experienced professional. I am known and well respected by the Hamilton County judges, law enforcement, the legal community and the community in general.

I believe my background and experience as a criminal defense attorney has equipped me with a commitment to equal justice, patience, open-mindedness, decisiveness, punctuality, freedom from bias, compassion and humility necessary to be a fair and just Judge for the Hamilton County. My experience has taught me that civility is always in style. Judges should set the tone by being courteous to each other and to those who appear before the Court. A Judge must respect the parties and the process. Anyone who appears in court – spectators, litigants, and lawyers – should be treated with dignity and respect.
Age 53
Residence Cincinnati, OH
Occupation Magistrate in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court – Juvenile Division
Education J.D. from The University of Akron
Work Experience Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division, Magistrate (Current magistrate for over 14 years)
Family Mother of multiple children
Affliations Life Member of Black Lawyers Association; Cincinnati Bar Association; Member of NAACP; Active Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Member of SheLeads
Endorsements N/A
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division, Magistrate for over 14 years – presiding over felonies, misdemeanors, abused and neglect cases, and custody matters.
Clerked for the Honorable Carla Moore, Retired. Former Attorney with Lexis Nexis, worked briefly with Lawson and Gaines LPA. Thereafter, became an attorney through the Public Defender’s Office. I worked diligently as an attorney to abused neglected children, individuals that committed felonies and misdemeanors, and litigated custody matters. For the last 14 years, I preside over felonies, misdemeanor, abused and neglect children, and custody matters. I know that I can do the job because I have been doing it for years. I know that the skills are easily transferable to Hamilton County Municipal Court.
I am a lifelong resident to Cincinnati. I am a member of the Murphy, Webb and White family. My family members owned Old Southern Restaurant, the barbecue pit, and a local cornerstone in the Westend of Cincinnati. I thought that someday I might be in business too, but I decided to become an Attorney because I saw injustice and I wanted to promote equality for all! Through hard work and experience I became a Magistrate in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division.

I am here today to ask for your support as I run for Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge in District 2. I have the judicial experience and have been in public service for over 17 years. I have been a magistrate for 14 years – presiding over felonies, misdemeanors, abuse, neglect, and custody cases. I left corporate America and took a pay cut to become a public servant. I started out as a child advocate attorney or what is known as a Guardian ad Litem. My Aunt, Clarice White, one of the Founders of Lighthouse Youth Services, restaurant owner, store owner, and property owner taught me hard work and humility. I know that hard work and experience speak! You say you never heard of me, well I am not a politician but a hard worker.

As a Magistrate, I have seen the problems that confront our communities, our families, our future, and our generations. The Municipal Court, unfortunately is a threshold into the justice system where people fall deeper and deeper into trouble. I know that I am Just, Impartial, Experienced, and Efficient enough to make a difference, and I firmly believe that my experience can contribute to positive changes in some of the choices that people making in their lives. The Municipal Court should not be a vacuum into the system; it should be a deterrent from it. I know that I can do this job well, because I have been doing this job for years. So with your support and your vote I know that we can win in November! Please Elect Elisa November 2017.
Age 47
Residence Cincinnati, OH
Occupation Corporate Counsel/Attorney
Education Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron; LLM (Master of Laws – Advanced Law Degree) from Concord University; Bachelor of Business Administration from Memphis State University
Work Experience Hamilton County Municipal Court Magistrate Judge; City of Cincinnati Assistant Solicitor; City of Cincinnati Assistant Prosecutor; General Practice Attorney
Family Married for 19 years; 1 daughter, age 15
Affliations 15 year member of Crossroads Church; Member of the American Bar Association
Endorsements Endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party; Endorsed by Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune
Hamilton County Municipal Court (11 years); Village of Lincoln Heights Mayor’s Court (8 years); Village of Woodlawn Mayor’s Court (7 years); City of Silverton Mayor’s Court (7 years); City of Golf Manor Mayor’s Court (7 years)
Hamilton County Municipal Court (11 years); Village of Lincoln Heights Mayor’s Court (8 years); Village of Woodlawn Mayor’s Court (7 years); City of Silverton Mayor’s Court (7 years); City of Golf Manor Mayor’s Court (7 years)

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge? I have been practicing law for 23 years and I have experience in both criminal and civil law. As an Assistant City of Cincinnati Prosecutor, I tried over 500 bench and jury trials and managed 7,500 criminal cases annually. All of which were in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. As an Assistant City of Cincinnati Solicitor, I defended the City in civil actions and also managed the City’s tax collection unit. Currently, I serve as the Chief Legal Officer of a company that manufactures DUI testing equipment and speed detection devices. One of my major roles is to educate prosecutors and judges around the country on the use of my company’s instruments in DUI prosecutions and speeding cases.

My experience is not one sided. I also have experience representing individuals who were charged with crimes and have experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil actions. I volunteer 10 hours a week by providing free legal services to individuals whose cases are heard in the Hamilton County Municipal Court.
I am running for Municipal Court Judge because I strongly believe that our judges should be experienced in all aspects of the court in which they serve. My major experience comes from being a Magistrate Judge in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. I spent half of my legal career as a Magistrate Judge. In that role I presided over every aspect of the Municipal Court and four area courts. I managed 20,000 criminal and civil cases annually. The criminal caseload consisted primarily of misdemeanor DUI and traffic matters and misdemeanor criminal charges brought by both the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The civil caseload involved resolving disputes arising from landlord/tenant issues, insurance subrogation claims, personal injury claims, property damage claims, employment disputes, collection actions, commercial litigation, and contract disputes.

I have the broadest range of legal and judicial experience and I am well respected by the current judges who serve in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. I am also well respected by the attorneys and litigants who have appeared before me. I have a proven track record of excellent judicial temperament, patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, punctuality, firmness, legal knowledge, compassion, humility and common sense. I am committed to equal justice under the law. I am committed to treating all people with respect. I am committed to giving each litigant his/her day in court, no matter how long it takes. I have been a public servant for over 20 years and I will continue to be a public servant. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.