The Suburbanite
  • Werren appointed Stark County Common Pleas Court judge

  • J. Curtis Werren is the new Stark County Common Pleas Court judge. Werren, who replaces the retiring Lee Sinclair, was appointed Thursday by the governor.

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  • J. Curtis Werren is the new Stark County Common Pleas Court judge.
    Gov. John Kasich announced the appointment Thursday. The wait for Werren and the other two candidates was a long one — Kasich received the names of three candidates from the Stark County Republican Party in late January.
    “I’m obviously delighted to get the news and at the same time I’m realizing the extreme heavy burden that’s been placed on me (by Kasich) to live up to the integrity and the great work that’s been done by the court,” Werren said late Thursday afternoon.
    Werren is replacing Lee Sinclair, who retired. He said he brings a blend of both legal skill and community service background to the position.
    Werren was selected over Jean Madden and Lori Flowers. Madden is a magistrate in Alliance Municipal Court, who also spent many years as Stark County’s assistant public defender. Flowers is a magistrate, staff attorney and bailiff for Common Pleas Judge Kristin Farmer.
    Werren, a local attorney, is chief executive officer of the Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross. He will assume office on July 8 and must run in the November 2014 election to retain the seat.
    Werren ran unsuccessfully in 2003 for an at-large seat on Canton City Council and served as the campaign chairman in 2007 for prominent Republican Janet Weir Creighton when she was seeking re-election as Canton mayor. Creighton is now a Stark County commissioner.
    He received his bachelor’s degree from Grove City College in 1989 and earned a law degree from Ohio State University in 1992.
    “I have a diverse legal background,” Werren said of his more than 20 years experience in the field. “I have a civil background that allows me to deal with a lot of complex and varying issues that will come before the court.”
    Since 2010, he has served as Red Cross director in Stark County. While holding that position, Werren has continued to practice law but not on a full-time basis, he said.
    Werren was a partner at Day, Ketterer from 1992 to 2010.
    Asked how he will approach his work as judge, Werren said he will apply both “common sense and compassion,” echoing the words of a Red Cross volunteer.
    “Quite frankly, I think that’s what it would take to be a great judge,” he said.
    Reach Ed at 330-580-8315 or
    On Twitter: @ebalintREP

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