Name: Sarah Thomas Kovoor
City of residence: Warren
Party affiliation: Republican
Office desired: 11th District Court of Appeals Judge
Why should you be elected?
My 22-year career includes work in state and federal court at the trial and appellate levels. I have litigated cases in many areas of the law such as first and second amendment law, constitutional law, civil rights, domestic relations and criminal defense all over and outside the State of Ohio and I have tried more than 40 cases to verdict.
As a criminal defense and appellate lawyer, I advocate zealously for my clients, whether juveniles or adults charged with crimes, where I pursue truth and defend their liberty. I have successfully defended my clients’ civil rights when government entities over-reached and violated them. I have fought particularly hard for prisoner’s rights to ensure they are treated humanely; they receive adequate medical and mental health care and that they be afforded a fair process for addressing grievances and challenging parole decisions and disciplinary actions taken by prison officials. I represent victims of police brutality, prisoner mistreatment and other illegal conduct perpetrated by law enforcement and corrections personnel and I won landmark decisions in three particular cases where police misconduct and indifference caused injury to prisoners.
I am particularly passionate about criminal justice reform because I have spent a large part of my career on criminal justice issues. I have been a voice for people of color and vulnerable communities throughout my career. I believe it is important to have qualified, fair, and independent judges on the bench to ensure that the system treats everyone equally no matter their race or economic situation. Likewise, I believe that women and people of color are under-represented in the judiciary. I believe that a more gender and ethnically diverse judiciary would bring an increased level of confidence in the concept of fair and equal treatment of all people who come before the court.
These experiences have helped me develop the skills to understand and effectively manage the demands of a judgeship. I will be a good judge because I am a thoughtful listener and speaker. I am a natural born advocate, but I do not jump to conclusions. I conduct thorough research before I make a decision.
I believe each and every courtroom should have extremely qualified judges who are hardworking and prepared for every case. A lot of work is required in order to do this job well. In addition, it is important for the community to understand what the court does. In order to make that happen, the judges on the court need to reach out to the community to educate them on the role of the court and our legal system in general.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
1. To render fair and thoughtful opinions based on the law as written.
2. To provide a balance of experience to the judiciary.
3. To make efficient use of the court’s resources.
I was born to Abraham and Anna Thomas in Kerala, India. When I was just 7 years old, my family immigrated to the US and settled in Rye, New York. After graduating from the University of Rochester, I married. My new husband and I moved to Northeast, Ohio, where we started our family. While raising my children, I went back to school to achieve my dream of becoming a lawyer. I received my law degree from the University of Akron in 1998. I am proud to call Trumbull County my home. My family has lived in this community for nearly 30 years and I am prepared to serve its residents as judge.
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