Enquirer Voter Guide

Judge - Hamilton County Common Pleas - Comm. 4-1-19 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Lisa Allen

  • Candidate picture

    Leslie Ghiz

  • Candidate picture

    Pavan V. Parikh

  • Candidate picture

    Arica L. Underwood

Social Media

Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What makes you the best candidate?

Campaign Phone (513) 378-2787
Age 60
City/town Cincinnati, Ohio
Education/Degrees B.A. Ohio Northern University J.D. Ohio Northern University Claude Petit College of Law
Endorsements Fraternal Order of Police - Queen City Lodge 69 Equality Cincinnati PAC
Campaign Message She's a Judge, Not a Politician
I want to continue using my 34 years of experience as a trial attorney, magistrate, and judge to serve our community. When I graduated from law school, I was determined to serve the public. I still am, and it is something I have been fortunate to have been able to do. When I was a prosecutor with the City of Cincinnati, it became apparent to me that many defendants suffer from mental illness that is often co-occurring with substance abuse issues. Jails are not designed to treat people with mental health issues. That is why in addition to my regular docket I have presided over a mental health docket since 2007, first in Municipal Court and now in Common Pleas Court. This is highly rewarding work that delivers results. In Municipal Court alone, the program is 90% effective. With programs like this, and a judge's normal docket, it is important to have experience that enable the judge to make the best, most effective decision. After nearly 30 years in the courtroom, I have that.
I am the best candidate because of my experience. I'm a judge, not a politician. I firmly believe that a trial judge should have first practiced law as a trial attorney. Over the 10 years I was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Cincinnati, I tried thousands of cases to the bench and jury.

Experience is the best teacher in the legal profession, and I am not ashamed to say I am still learning. I have 15 years of experience as a trial judge--first as a Municipal Court Judge for 13 years, and as a Common Pleas judge since 2016. As a judge I have presided over thousands of trials, both bench and jury. I know how important it is that victims of crime are heard so that their fears and concerns are addressed by the court. It is very important that judges understand when incarceration is required and also when probation should be granted. I also know how important it is to treat everyone fairly and equally because the law and humanity require both.
Campaign Phone (513) 850-3321
City/town Cincinnati
Education/Degrees B.A. English-West Virginia University J.D. Capital University
Endorsements Hamilton County GOP
I am running for re-election because I have the best job in the world. Every day is a new challenge: different cases, different people, different styles. I have learned to acclimate to new situations on a daily basis. Additionally, there are a number of different criminal and civil cases I very much want to see through. I love being able to learn new areas of the law each day and to still "study" even when I'm not in school. I take pride in being able to help my community by keeping criminals off the streets, but also by giving defendants fair and impartial trials. There is no greater feeling than when a jury comes back with a resolution. I have full faith in the judicial system, and feel blessed I get to see it in action on a day to day basis.
Prior to taking the bench in 2013, I practiced labor and employment law for 18 years. I have extensive civil litigation experience in this area, particularly in employment discrimination. During this time, I was the chief labor negotiator for the City of Cincinnati, gaining a wealth of knowledge in the area of labor negotiations. I was also elected to Cincinnati City Council and served for six years, where I became well versed in legislative practices. These areas of knowledge help in my day to day work in the Court of Common Pleas, particularly with my civil docket. The most important quality a judge can bring to the bench is practical experience. The longer a person practices, the more familiar he/she gets with a host of different legal issues, and the more easily that person can adapt to moving parts. Each case that comes before a court is different, and practical knowledge is a mush when making judicial decisions.
Age 35
YouTube , ,
City/town Cincinnati, OH
Education/Degrees B.A. in Philosophy from Xavier University; J.D. with a Certificate in Health Care Law, a Certificate in International and Comparative Law, and a Concentration in Criminal Litigation from St. Louis University School of Law; Basic Course Graduate of The United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School (Commandant's List)
Community Involvement River City Correctional Facility (Facilities Governing Board); American Constitution Society - Cincinnati Lawyers Chapter (Co-Chair); Potter Stewart American Inn of Court (Barrister); ArtsWave - Catalyzing Impact Committee (Member); Xavier University Mentorship Program (Mentor); Cincinnati Bar Association - Veterans & Military Law Committee (Vice-Chair); Truman National Security Project (Partner); Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southwest Ohio (Board Member); Xavier University State Politics Internship (Co-founder and Advisor); Ohio Center for Law Related Education (Volunteer Competition Judge); Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce C-Change Class 11 (Graduate); Venue Magazine - Great Leaders Under 40 (Award Recipient); Cincinnati Business Courier Forty Under 40 (Award Recipient)
Endorsements Hamilton County Democratic Party; Run For Something; AFSCME Ohio Council 8; Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council; Ohio AFL-CIO; Cincinnati Federation of Teachers; Greater Cincinnati Building Trades; Greater Cincinnati UAW-CAP Labor Council; National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter; Sheet Metal Workers PAC; UFCW Local 75; Teamsters Local 100; AAA-Fund Tri State Chapter; Equality Cincinnati Political Action Committee
Campaign Message In our courtrooms, every decision matters and every person matters. Vote Pavan Parikh for Judge because every vote matters.
We need to do better.

Like too many of our institutions, faith in our courts has suffered unnecessary and unfortunate degradation recently. We need to guarantee that justice in our county is being served in such a way to balance maximizing justice while minimizing taxpayer expense.

In my court we will not waste anyone's time by ensuring that court starts on time and that everyone is only there when they need to be there. We will strive to run an efficient courtroom that values the time of victims, police, and attorneys.

In my court we will guarantee transparency by informing attorneys of why rulings occur so they can better represent their clients. We will also find ways to engage the community through outreach.

Finally, in my court we will ensure that empathy is a guiding principle of our criminal justice ethos. My court will not be hesitant to impose punishment when warranted but we will recognize that every case has its own unique set of circumstances that must be considered.
My extensive and wide-ranging legal and non-legal experiences make me the best choice for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

I will apply lessons I have learned throughout my career as the top Democratic lawyer in the Ohio Senate advocating for civil rights and election reforms to my service as a Special Victims Counsel in the US Army Reserve JAG Corps representing victims of sexual assault. I will bring new perspectives to creating greater access to the courts and improving the administration of justice.

In addition to being engaged in service to the legal profession by serving in leadership positions in local bar associations, I am active in legal education as an adjunct professor at UC Law and Xavier University. I will bring that understanding of principles of law in theory and practice to ensure that my decisions are rooted in the law with a concern for fundamental fairness.

Put simply, my passion for the law and justice will make sure my courtroom works for everyone.
Age 48
City/town Cincinnati, Ohio
Education/Degrees Walnut Hills High School - Diploma; Tuskegee University - B.A.; University of Cincinnati College of Law - J.D.
Community Involvement Volunteer with Several programs at Crossroads Church; Coach Mock Trial at Walnut Hills High School
Campaign Message Justice Understood with Arica Underwood
I have spent the last 8 years practicing primarily in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. I have practiced in every courtroom. I have had the opportunity to see every step of the criminal process, and to listen to civil and criminal practitioners. I will bring a balanced and committed sense of judicial service to the citizens of Hamilton County. I am hard working, and will work every day to ensure that all citizens have an equal and fair voice. I understand that Judges are uniquely qualified to deal with issues such as mental health, addiction, overcrowded prisons, and overcrowded jails. Because of my diverse background I can offer unique solutions to address these issues. I am polite, professional, patient and prepared. Additionally, I will be present and approachable, so that I can answer questions about Court proceedings, and make sure that everyone has an opportunity to be heard.
The diversity of my background and experiences are what most qualify me to serve as Judge. As a Hamilton County Public Defender, I have spent the last 8 years practicing primarily in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. I have practiced in every courtroom, in front of various Judge, including visiting Judges. Additionally, I have watched other attorneys as they practiced in these courtrooms. I have negotiated with prosecuting attorneys, and law enforcement officers. I have interviewed witnesses. I have had more conversations with clients and their families than I can count. I have had conversations with the people who work in the courthouse and observe proceedings daily. I believe that these experiences give me the unique ability to listen and then make an accurate and fair determination about potential outcomes. Prior to working for the Public Defender, I was a reference attorney with LexisNexis.
If you need any help as a candidate, please email Carl Weiser at