Enquirer Voter Guide

Judge - First District Court of Appeals of Ohio (Comm. 2-10-19)

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    Dale Stalf

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    Marilyn Zayas

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Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What makes you the best candidate?

Campaign Phone (513) 374-6127
Age 62
City/town Miami Township, Ohio
Education/Degrees B.S.B.A. in Accounting from Xavier University (Distinguished Military Graduate; summa cum laude); J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (Law Review; Order of the Coif); Basic Course Graduate of The United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School
Community Involvement Cincinnati Bar Foundation (Board of Trustees, 2012-present; Secretary, 2014-2016; Treasurer, 2016-2018; Vice President, 2018-present; Annual Advocate); Hamilton County Public Defender Commission (2012-2016); Beyond Civility Initiative (Steering Committee); Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Greater Cincinnati Chapter; Volunteer Lawyers Project (pro bono volunteer attorney and financial contributor); Supreme Court of Ohio's "Lawyer to Lawyer" Mentoring Program; Xavier University’s Williams College of Business Executive Mentor Program; 30-year member of Santa’s Goody Bag Band, which raises money for local children’s charities (; Cincinnati Bar Association (Board of Trustees, 2008-2012; Chair of the Professionalism Committee, 2008-2012; Chair of the Veterans & Military Law Committee, 2014-2016); Ohio State Bar Association; Kentucky Bar Association; Federal Bar Association
Endorsements Hamilton County Republican Party; Fraternal Order of Police, Queen City Lodge No. 69; Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati
Campaign Message As a lifelong Cincinnatian and Army veteran, I am deeply committed to serving the community where my eight grandchildren will be growing up. I will work tirelessly to protect all individuals from any and all oppression and overreaching by the government. I will treat all persons who come before me fairly, regardless of their social status or position, and will base all of my decisions on the evidence and the law as written, not on my personal beliefs or desires.
Judges are the ultimate guardians of our personal and property rights and of our civil liberties under the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. Because so few cases are accepted for review by the Ohio Supreme Court, the First District Court of Appeals is effectively the court of last resort for the vast majority of cases, both civil and criminal, brought in Hamilton County. I am running for this seat to ensure that the rights and liberties of the people I will be serving are vigilantly protected. I want to ensure that all criminal defendants receive fair trials and, if convicted, fair sentences which take into account not only the nature of the offense but also the harm suffered by the victims and the public. I want to ensure that all civil litigants get a fair opportunity to present their cases and receive a decision that is based on the law and supported by proper evidence. I want to make sure that Hamilton County continues to be a place where businesses invest and families thrive.
I am uniquely qualified due to my extensive criminal and civil trial experience from both sides. I am a former Army JAG prosecutor and member of the Hamilton County Public Defender Commission. I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases for 30 years. I am well respected by my peers, having been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers "Top 50 Cincinnati" list since 2012 and its "Top 100 Ohio" list in 2014, 2018 and 2019. As a conservative, I firmly believe in the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government; that the role of a judge is not to "legislate from the bench" but to fairly interpret and apply our federal and state constitutions, statutes and regulations as written; and that individuals' rights must be vigorously protected from unlawful infringement by the government. I have the discipline and temperament to fairly consider all sides of every case and to render a decision based solely on the law and the evidence.
Campaign Phone (513) 256-1186
Age 53
City/town Cincinnati
Education/Degrees J.D. University of Cincinnati College of Law, B.S. in Computer Science, CUNY, the City College of New York, 2011 Graduate of the F.B.I. Citizens Academy
Community Involvement I created the “Students to Court of Appeals Program,” a partnership with local high schools to provide students the opportunity to learn about the court system, observe our court system in action, and interact with judges and attorneys. I am currently a member of the Beech Acres Parenting Center Board and Cincinnati Memorial Hall Board, Ohio Appellate Judges Association, Ohio Bar Association, and Cincinnati Bar Association. I am a former Board Member of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, and a former Adjunct Professor at U.C. College of Law.
Endorsements National Society of Social Workers, Hamilton County Democratic Party, Sheriff Jim Neil, Coroner Dr. Sammarco, Auditor Dusty Rhodes, Honorable Ann Marie Tracey, Former Judge, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Marianna Brown Bettman, Former Judge Ohio First District Court of Appeals, and Honorable Cheryl Grant, Retired Judge, Hamilton County Municipal Court
Campaign Message Integrity, Independence, and Impartiality. Judicial integrity requires that judges are fair and impartial. Politics should have no role to play in our judiciary. Public trust and confidence in the judiciary is achieved when our decisions are based solely upon the facts of each case and the law. All decisions should be detailed, well-analyzed, and rooted in the law. It is of paramount importance to me that I thoroughly review the facts and evidence of each case, and analyze and apply the law as written. By being faithful to the law, this ensures a just and fair resolution. I would be honored to continue serving our Hamilton County community.
Today we face difficult challenges. Judges with wide-ranging life experiences bring balance to the court. I grew up in a neighborhood that was devastated by the heroin epidemic of the 1970’s. As a political outsider and current Court of Appeals judge, I bring an independent approach to each case, with a focus on maintaining integrity and impartiality. My 20 years of experience as an attorney, extensive appellate work, and six years at Procter & Gamble, enables me to be thorough and fair, while being faithful to the law.

Each case in the court of appeals is decided by a panel of three judges. It is important to have judges with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to ensure that each issue is carefully and completely reviewed.

As an experienced Court of Appeals judge, I have heard hundreds of appeals from all of the trial courts in Hamilton County including home foreclosures, divorces, child custody, criminal convictions, and civil cases involving large sums of money. I worked in a large law firm, for Hamilton County, and ran my own law firm. My legal background includes business and family immigration law, intellectual property, labor and employment, criminal, delinquency, custody and adoptions. I am the only candidate for this seat that has extensive experience in both federal and state appeals.

My successful law firm assisted entrepreneurs, hospitals, performance artists, technology firms, physicians, and political refugees. My practice was built on a strong reputation for providing honest and zealous representation and successfully navigating complex cases. My P&G experience in IT advanced my ability to analyze, problem solve, and focus on details.
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