JUVENILE COURT MAGISTRATES PDF Print E-mail

Magistrate Katherine Bertsch

Katherine Bertsch has served as a Magistrate in the Juvenile Court since 1988.  Magistrate Bertsch hears a mixed docket of custody cases, as well as paternity and child support issues associated with all of the Court’s cases.

Magistrate Bertsch received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business as well as her Gerontology Certificate from The University of Akron in 1982. She attended Case Western Reserve’s Law School, earning her Juris Doctorate in 1985. While in law school, Magistrate Bertsch had her work appear in the Journal of Legal Medicine and was associate editor of “Health Matrix: The Journal of Medical and Legal Issues.” She worked as an associate attorney in the law firm of Blakemore, Rosen, Meeker & Varian prior to her court appointment.

Magistrate Bertsch stays actively involved in a number of community organizations.  She was a member of UA’s Law School Adjunct Faculty from 1991-93, teaching Juvenile Law.  She retains an interest in the Constitutional underpinnings of the Court’s jurisdiction over minors, as well as the law’s impact on the family structure as a whole.  Magistrate Bertsch anticipates returning to adjunct teaching in the future.

Magistrate Daniel Cody

Magistrate Daniel Cody was born in Columbus Ohio and received a B.A. in History in 1970 and a 

B.S.Ed. in Secondary Social Studies Education in 1973 from The Ohio State University. Cody attended old St. Charles College in Columbus (now closed). He has completed graduate work at the St. Meinrad School of Theology and Kent State University. From 1973-to 1988 he was a teacher, coach, athletic director and admissions director at Archbishop Hoban High School. He is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law in 1990.

Upon graduation from law school he was a judicial clerk for the Hon. Mary Cacioppo and Hon. Joseph Cirigliano at the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals. He was an appellate attorney at Jacobson Maynard Tuschman and Kalur until 1993 when he entered private practice in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury and criminal law. He joined with Michael Djordjevic in 1995 and practiced law in the area of medical malpractice until 2015. He joined the staff at Juvenile Court in 2011 as a Magistrate, administering the juvenile traffic docket. He now maintains the traffic docket and cases in the area of dependency, neglect and abuse.

He is a member of the Akron and Ohio State Bar Association and also belongs to the Ohio Association of Magistrates. He has been a bar exam grader for the Ohio Supreme Court. A former member of the Archbishop Hoban High School Board of Trustees he also served as a board member and past president of the University of Akron Law Alumni Association (2000-2001), and is a life member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association. He currently serves as legal advisor for the Archbishop Hoban Mock Trial team and Moot Court teams, programs he started back in 1984 while teaching at the school.

Magistrate Thomas Freeman

Thomas Freeman grew up in Kent and graduated from Kent Roosevelt High School. He attended Mount Union College and graduated cum laude in 1979. He was accepted into the University of Akron School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1982.

During his tenure in law school, Magistrate Freeman worked in the Akron City Prosecutors Office. From 1982 to 1984, Magistrate Freeman worked with the United States District Court and United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He entered private practice at the prestigious Akron law firm of Roderick, Myers & Linton. He remained in private practice from 1984-91 as a litigator representing individual and business clients in personal injury and commercial litigation in trial and appellate courts throughout the State of Ohio. His work at the law firm also included significant practice in Federal Court litigation and employment and labor law.

He left the firm in 1992 when he joined the legal department of Charter One Bank with responsibility for litigation, compliance with federal regulation and corporate governance. Immediately prior to joining the Court as a Magistrate, he was associated with a Cleveland law firm representing clients in state and federal court litigation.

He came to Summit County Juvenile Court in 2004. Magistrate Freeman’s responsibilities include Delinquency & Status offenses, Juvenile Traffic, Dependency/Neglect/Abuse, Legal Custody and adult offenses filed in Juvenile Court. Magistrate. He is responsible for the New Paths probation docket dealing with developmentally delayed youth.

Magistrate Freeman is Treasurer of the Ohio Association of Magistrates and Chair of the Juvenile Law Committee of the Ohio Association of Magistrates. Magistrate Freeman is a member of the Juvenile Law and Procedure Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference. Magistrate Freeman regularly presents continuing legal education programs for the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College and the local bar association. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Riverfront YMCA.

Magistrate Freeman is an avid fan of high school and college basketball. He also enjoys running. hiking and traveling and he is an accomplished mountain climber, having scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Whitney and Mt. Washington, to name a few.


He has been married to his wife, Francine, since 1984 and they have three children.

Magistrate Laura Lynd-Robinson

Magistrate Laura G. Lynd-Robinson, J.D., M.S.W., L.I.S.W.-S., brings to the bench the benefit not only of her legal training, but her experience in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse, with a focus on youth and families.

Magistrate Lynd-Robinson obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Otterbein College (Summa Cum Laude) in 2001, and her Masters of Social Work from The Ohio State University in 2003. Prior to entering law school, she gained multidisciplinary experience with the Delaware County Juvenile Court as a clinician and liaison with the Juvenile Treatment Court. Magistrate Lynd-Robinson then attended The University of Akron, where she obtained her Juris Doctorate in 2010. During law school, she worked for The University of Akron School of Law, Appellate Review Office and completed externships with the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Summit County Juvenile Court.

Following graduation, Magistrate Lynd-Robinson’s commitment to juvenile justice continued as a Judicial Attorney to the Summit County Juvenile Court. In addition to handling matters regarding delinquency and abuse, neglect, and dependency for Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio, she assisted in the development of the Family Reunification through Recovery Court, aided in obtaining certification through the Supreme Court of Ohio of two specialized dockets, and served on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) committees.

Magistrate Lynd-Robinson is currently assigned to the Family Reunification through Recovery Court. The Supreme Court of Ohio has appointed her to serve as a member of the Commission on Specialized Dockets. She also continues to serve on JDAI committees; is a member of a committee focusing on the needs of dually involved youth; and is working with Court staff and community members to serve the special needs of refugees who have resettled in our community. Magistrate Lynd-Robinson is also a member of the Akron Bar Association and the Ohio Bar Association.

Magistrate Lynd-Robinson resides in Summit County with her family.

Chief Magistrate Robert McCarty

Rob McCarty was appointed as a Magistrate of the Summit Court Juvenile Court in December 2004. As Magistrate, he primarily hears cases involving abused and neglected children, legal custody, delinquency, and child support.

From 1990 to 2004, Magistrate McCarty was engaged in the private practice of law at the firm of Mentzer, Vuillemin and Mygrant, where he focused on juvenile, domestic relations, and probate law and served extensively as guardian ad litem for children and adults. Magistrate McCarty served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency from 1989 to 1990, and he was the Legal Advisor to the City of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development from 1987 to 1989.

Magistrate McCarty now serves on various Akron Bar Association committees, and he has coordinated the Summit County Juvenile Court’s continuing legal education seminars since 2005.

Magistrate McCarty is a former board member of Catholic Social Services of Summit County and Summit Housing Development Corporation of the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, and he is a former Parish Pastoral Council member at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, where he also assisted in coaching the students’ cross country and track teams.

Magistrate McCarty is an accomplished triathlete and nationally ranked mid-distance runner. He won two national age group championships in the 2013 National Senior Games. His finishes in the 800 and 1500 meter races remain in the top 10 fastest age group finishes in National Senior Games history.

Magistrate McCarty is a native of Akron, a graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School, and he earned his English and Law degrees from the University of Akron.

Magistrate Denise McGuckin

Denise McGuckin brings a wealth of experience to her role as Magistrate.

A lifelong resident of Akron, Magistrate McGuckin graduated from St. Vincent-St-Mary High School and received her Bachelor of Science in Fine and Applied Arts degree from The University of Akron in 1982.

While attending the university’s School of Law, Magistrate McGuckin worked as a clerk for Common Pleas Court Judge James E. Murphy. She earned her Juris Doctorate in 1985 and, following her passage of the bar exam, was soon hired by the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

After a six-month stint in the Tax Division, Ms. McGuckin was placed in the Juvenile Division, prosecuting delinquency cases from December 1986 to October 2000, when she was appointed Magistrate in the Juvenile Court, again specializing in hearing delinquency cases.

A member of the Akron Bar Association, she is a member of the Summit County Juvenile Court Committee.

Magistrate McGuckin continues to reside in Akron with her son and daughter.

Magistrate Mary Ann Mendlik

Magistrate Mary Ann Mendlik is a native of Cleveland and graduated from Trinity High School in Garfield Heights in 1989. Following graduation, she attended Ashland University and graduated magna cum laude in December 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

She interned at the Public Defender’s Office in Washington D.C. as an investigator in the Spring of 1993 before entering Cleveland-Marshall College of Law that Fall.

While there, she worked for the Ohio Public Defender Commission in the Juvenile Representation Project where she assisted a staff attorney in gathering information from juveniles who were incarcerated at Department of Youth Services facilities.

She graduated from Cleveland-Marshall and received her Juris Doctor in 1996. Upon passing the Bar exam, she opened her own practice in Cleveland which consisted of taking court appointments for indigent clients in criminal matters in various courts, taking Guardian ad Litem appointments in the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, as well as civil and probate matters.

She moved to Copley in 2001 and continued to represent indigent criminal clients with the Legal Defender’s Office in Akron.  She remained at the Legal Defender’s Office until joining the Court in March 2003 as a Judicial Attorney, which remains her primary function at the Court. Her versatile legal background allows her to preside as a Magistrate in Delinquency, Dependency and Neglect and Power of Attorney hearings at the Court.

Magistrate Mendlik married her husband, Jason, in 2002. The couple lives in Copley.

Magistrate Rita Rochford

From the classroom to the courtroom, Magistrate Rita Rochford brings solid experience to the Juvenile Court.

In 1982, Magistrate Rochford graduated cum laude from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She continued her education at the university’s School of Law, obtaining her Juris Doctor in 1985.

She served as Deputy Law Director/Prosecutor for the City of Stow from 1985 to 1992, while also maintaining a partnership in the law firm of Martin, Rochford and Durr, representing clients in criminal, civil, juvenile and domestic relations.

As a teacher at The University of Akron, Magistrate Rochford taught such courses as Criminal Law for Police, Evidence and Criminal Legal Process, Introduction to Criminal Justice and the Juvenile Justice Process.

Magistrate Rochford came to Juvenile Court in January 2003, where she directs the Citizen’s Review Board. The Citizen’s Review Board is responsible for reviewing the cases of children placed in the permanent custody of the Children’s Services Board. Magistrate Rochford also hears delinquency cases.

Her community activism includes her membership on a commission formed by former Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bishop Anthony Pilla where she was charged with rendering recommendations to the Diocese for a policy concerning child sexual abuse.

She has also served on the Battered Women’s Shelter Board of Trustees and remains active with the St. Vincent DePaul Parish Board and the Executive Board of the Christ Child Society of Akron.

Magistrate Rochford resides in Akron with her husband. They have four children.

 

Magistrate Douglas McDougal

Douglas McDougal was appointed part-time Magistrate at the Summit County Juvenile Court in February, 2017. He also serves the Juvenile Court as Judicial Attorney, where he has served since August, 2015.

Magistrate McDougal was raised in Portage County and graduated from Field High School in 2005. Magistrate McDougal obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Ohio Northern University in 2009, and his juris doctorate (cum laude) from Ohio Northern University in 2012. Following graduation, Magistrate McDougal worked as a Judicial Attorney for the Hancock County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas from April, 2013, to August, 2015.

In addition to handling matters regarding delinquency, custody, and abuse, neglect, and dependency for Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio and as coverage for his fellow Magistrates, Magistrate McDougal is the Program Director of the Juvenile Court’s Family Reunification through Recovery Court, and he works extensively with that program.

Magistrate Lee Ann Schaffer

Magistrate Lee Ann Schaffer grew up in Barberton and graduated from Barberton High School. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Akron in 1986, graduating summa cum laude from the College of Business. She entered the university's School of Law the next year and received her Juris Doctorate as a cum laude graduate in 1990.

Magistrate Schaffer began her legal career with the law firm of Roetzel & Andress in 1990. She entered general practice in 1993, and accepted a position as a Prosecutor for the City of Stow in 1998. She was elected as the Mayor of Stow in 2000 and served one term before entering private practice in 2004. She remained in private practice until 2016, when she was hired by the Summit County Fiscal Office. While in private practice, Magistrate Schaffer was a familiar face at the Juvenile Court, eventually serving as Counsel for participants in the Court's Family Reunification Through Recovery Court Program.

Magistrate Schaffer came to Summit County Juvenile Court in 2017. She hears cases involving abused/neglected/dependent children, and delinquency.

Magistrate Schaffer is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Magistrates. She continues to reside in Summit County.

Magistrate Milton Rankins

Milton Rankins was appointed as a Magistrate of the Summit County Juvenile Court in October 2017. He primarily hears cases involving delinquency issues, but also hears cases involving dependency, abuse and neglect, as well as child support.

Magistrate Rankins is a native of Colerain, North Carolina, and graduated from Bertie High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations in 1987. He is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate in 1990. While in law school, Magistrate Rankins worked as a law clerk for the City of Akron Law Department (1988-1989), and for Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs, L.P.A. (1989-1990).

Upon graduation from law school, Magistrate Rankins was hired as an associate at Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs, L.P.A., assigned to the Commercial Litigation Department, which included practice in the areas of construction law, creditor’s rights, contracts, landlord-tenant law, business torts, public finance and taxation. In 1994, Magistrate Rankins founded Signature Sports Management, a sports and entertainment law firm, and also joined Merrill Lynch as a Financial Consultant. He was hired by the City of Akron as a Police Officer in 1997, where he worked as a patrol officer and school resource officer. In 2001, Magistrate Rankins joined the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, assigned to the Tax Division. There his duties consisted of handling property tax appeal cases, eminent domain actions, property tax and mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcy and civil litigation.

Magistrate Rankins is a member of the Akron and Ohio State Bar Associations, as well as the Ohio Association of Magistrates. He is a member of the Bar Applicants and Students Committee and Finance Committee of the Akron Bar Association. He has also served on the Diversity, Fee Arbitration, Grievance and Unauthorized Practice of Law Committees, as well as the Investigative Subcommittee of the Akron Bar Association.

Magistrate Rankins is an avid football, basketball and baseball fan. He also enjoys playing basketball, weightlifting, running and reading.

Magistrate Jaime Blair

Jaime Blair came to the Summit County Juvenile Court as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in 2008. She has a passion to advocate for children and victims and has been privileged to chair the Summit County Juvenile Court Human Trafficking Committee as well as co-chair the Direct Services Committee of the Summit County Collaborative Against Human Trafficking. Magistrate Blair assisted in creating the juvenile court’s policy on human trafficking and coordinated the development of Restore Court, Ohio’s only certified specialized docket for juvenile human trafficking victims. In 2016, she was invited to join the Ohio Supreme Court’s first Trafficking of Children Workgroup. She currently serves on the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission.

Magistrate Blair graduated magna cum laude from The University of Akron School of Law in 2013. In 2017, she was appointed as magistrate for the Restore docket. Additionally, she hears traditional delinquency, custody, abuse, neglect, dependency, and child support cases. She also serves as Judge Teodosio’s Lead Judicial Attorney.

Magistrate Blair resides in Munroe Falls with her husband, Rob. They have one daughter.

Magistrate David Fish

After serving twelve years as the presiding Judge in the Barberton Municipal Court, David Fish was appointed as a Magistrate of the Summit Court Juvenile Court in January 2020. As Magistrate, he hears cases mainly involving abused, neglected and dependent children.

Prior to his two terms on the municipal court bench, Magistrate Fish was the Assistant Law Director and Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Barberton and associated jurisdictions of the court for sixteen years. He also served as Chief Prosecutor and Police Legal advisor for the City of Norton and its Mayor’s Court. Magistrate Fish also spent seven years as an adjunct professor at the University of Akron teaching Criminal Evidence and Legal Process.

As judge, Magistrate Fish oversaw the first Ohio Supreme Court certified Mental Health Court in the Barberton Municipal Court. His greatest satisfaction while at that court was helping the families of those who were struggling with mental health and addiction find the services they needed to improve and bring stability into their lives.

Magistrate Fish is a Foundation Fellow and member of the Akron Bar Association. He serves on the Advisory Boards of Jewish Family Services and the Oriana House.

In addition, Magistrate Fish is the longstanding public address announcer for Copley Girls Soccer. He loves attending live music events and has been a devoted follower of the Grateful Dead and its offshoots for the past 40 years.

Magistrate Fish was born and raised in Akron and graduated from Firestone High School (along with his trusted bailiff, Jody Tolley). He then attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where he double majored in Political Science and Public Policy. He returned home to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law.

Magistrate Brett Hammond

Brett Hammond came to Summit County Juvenile Court in 2018. He has a passion for advocating for children. He previously worked as a high school teacher in Maryland for four years before attending law school. Magistrate Hammond also has volunteered with Minds Matter Cleveland, which is an organization dedicated to preparing low-income, high-achieving students for college success.

While at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, he was named a Graduate Fellowship Scholar and served as a legal intern in the St. Louis Public Defender Office. After graduating from law school, he accepted a position as a Fellow in the District of Columbia court of Appeals working for Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby. In 2013, Magistrate Hammond joined the Appellate Unit of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. While there, he was recognized by the Ohio Chapter of MADD for his work to protect the community from intoxicated drivers, and he also received the Stare Decisis Award from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for his work to establish legal precedent protecting sexual assault victims.

At Summit County Juvenile Court, Magistrate Hammond’s responsibilities include Delinquency and Status offenses, Juvenile Traffic, along with Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse offenses. He is also privileged to work with the Crossroads Program, which serves children with substance abuse and mental illness challenges.

Magistrate Hammond resides in West Akron with his family.

The End