Klammer, Trapp deserve seats on Appeals Court

TERM BEGINNING FEB. 10:

In our many meetings with political candidates seeking election to judicial benches, we hear many speak about the need to speed up the pace at which courts dispose of cases.

That’s why we were surprised to hear attorney and former Eleventh District Court of Appeals Court Judge Mary Jane Trapp, 62, of Russell Township, speak about the value of taking one’s time and consuming every written word of every case before passing judgment.

Yet, even with the in-depth research of appeals, Trapp said she was able to reach her goal of moving cases in and out of the local appeals court within eight months. She says if elected, she will do that again.

During Trapp’s six years on the Eleventh District Court of Appeals, she authored hundreds of opinions and heard more than 1,150 appeals. She also has served as visiting judge on the Ohio Supreme Court, and in the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Appellate Districts.

But it’s not just her experience that impresses us. It is her love of the law and understanding of operations in this Warren-based higher court that handles appeals for a five-county area including Trumbull, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Portage.

Trapp’s opponent, Casey O’Brien, also appeared to be dedicated to the study of law and, if elected, said he would focus on court efficiencies, including reducing the time required to issue a decision, and would work to increase leadership efforts to establish specialty courts, like drug courts.

While we believe O’Brien, 43, of Jefferson, is not a bad choice, we simply were more impressed with Trapp’s level of experience and words that exhibited the passion she felt for her role as a jurist and the importance of fostering confidence in the courts among the public.

We endorse Trapp for the Eleventh District Court of Appeals seat, term beginning Feb. 10.

TERM BEGINNING FEB. 9:

Appeals Court judge candidates Darya Klammer, 46, of Concord, and Matt Lynch, 67, of Chagrin Falls, both have served in private practice for many years and each also has served in important public roles.

Lynch served as Bainbridge Township Trustee for four years and as a representative in the Ohio statehouse for two years. He also unsuccessfully sought election for Geauga Municipal Court Judge and for U.S. Congress.

Klammer has served as chief assistant prosecutor for Geauga County and has served as both an acting judge and magistrate in the Mentor Municipal Court. She has worked as a guardian ad litem in both private custody matters and children’s protective services. This is her first run for political office.

Lynch describes himself as a Christian conservative who will be “loyal to our constitution, … guided by the wisdom of our founding fathers.”

Klammer shared pride in her service to the public, to children in need and as a parent.

We liked that Lynch has made a pledge not to accept donations from attorneys who may practice in his court, should he be elected; however, we were uneasy with his criticism of Klammer for not declining such donations — especially considering such donations are perfectly legal and ethical under Ohio law and considering that Lynch admits he, too, has previously made donations himself to candidates who were seeking judge’s posts.

It’s evident each candidate brings much experience to the table, and we believe both would work hard to serve well the public and appellants.

At the end of the day, though, we believe Klammer is the better choice.

We endorse Klammer for the Eleventh District Court of Appeals seat, term beginning Feb. 9.

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