1st District Court of Appeals

Jennifer Kinsley 

Jennifer is an accomplished writer, having written more than a dozen legal journals, book chapters, and other publications. She has 20 years of legal experience, including cases before the United States Supreme Court and various Courts of Appeals. Jennifer is a professor at the Chase College of Law with a number of leadership and director roles at the law school. She’s received a number of awards during her time as a professor, including Professor of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. She’s given dozens of presentations and participated in national media on first amendment issues. Jennifer has her own law practice where she engages in criminal justice reform litigation, post-conviction cases, and indigent defense appeals.

Domestic Relations Court

Manisha Kotian

Manisha has over 25 years experience in the areas of domestic relations and juvenile law. This experience has spanned organizations such as the ACLU, Public Defender’s Office (representing children of abuse and neglect), Legal Aid (representing victims of domestic violence), and she eventually entered private practice. She developed a family mediation program for child custody disputes that is in use in other states, and has previously served on a task force for race relations. She is well respected in the legal community and specifically the Domestic Relations Court community.

Common Pleas Court, General Division

Judge Jody Luebbers (re-elect)

Judge Luebbers is a third generation judge. She has served as a Common Pleas Court Judge since 2008, and was selected this year as one of the first Democrats to serve as the Presiding Judge for the Court.

Common Pleas Court, General Division

Tom Beridon

Tom has been a long-time supporter and activist in the Democratic Party, and his campaign experience is unparalleled. He previously won election in the Court of Common Pleas General Division, and has served as a Chief Magistrate for the Common Pleas Court. Tom has followed through on prior campaign promises to bring about necessary reforms to our local justice system, and has served a number of civic and community organizations that further our Democratic values.

Domestic Relations Court

Anne Flottman

Anne has lived and breathed domestic relations during her professional career. She clerked for a Domestic Relations Court judge early in her career, started her own practice, became a partner at a local firm and led the domestic relations practice group, and eventually became a magistrate in Domestic Relations Court in Warren County. Anne was one of the best on the bench and the families of Hamilton County deserve her expertise and judgment. She’s also a member of a number of civic organizations, including the NAACP and ACLU.

Juvenile Court

Rickell Howard Smith

Rickell is an experienced litigator and a juvenile and criminal justice policy expert. She has a passion for children, and has dedicated her life to developing policy and advocating for young people and those who cannot speak for themselves. She has given a number of presentations and trainings on civil rights issues, systemic racism, and the impact of racial disparities on juveniles and the juvenile justice system. Rickell has worked for organizations that speak to our core values as Democrats, such as the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, Legal Aid Society, Children’s Law Center, and is currently the Executive Director at the Center for Social Justice at the Urban League.

Common Pleas Court, General Division

Judge Tom Heekin (re-elect as a Democrat)

Judge Heekin is from Cincinnati and was raised in a prominent Republican family. His father was a Republican judge. Like so many other Republicans who now align with the Democratic Party, Judge Heekin watched as Donald Trump took over the Republican Party, and saw the local Republican Party’s positive reaction to Trump rhetoric and bullying tactics in recent years. Judge Heekin has always reflected Democratic values, has always been progressive, and has always fought for inclusivity. He realized over time that he no longer identified with the Republican Party. He realized that he could not be complicit in the Republican Party’s assault on democracy, their regressive approach to race and criminal justice reform, and that his own values more closely aligned with those of the Democratic Party. In his own words, Judge Heekin is drawn to the Democratic Party’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the Party’s sense of good governance, and its progressive approach to criminal justice reform. Judge Heekin discussed his own commitment to diversity. He has been intentional and open about this issue - making sure that his courtroom staff and law clerks reflect the diversity of the community and the individuals that come before him. He discussed his approach to the administration of criminal justice and talked about his decision to strike down an unconstitutional Republican-enacted sentencing law that deprived individuals of due process (Regan-Tokes). Judge Heekin’s approach aligns with our Democratic values. And his temperament and reputation on the bench is beyond reproach. We are excited to welcome Judge Heekin into the Democratic Party.