Hamilton County, OH November 3, 1998 General
Smart Voter

Judge Tom Lipps' Qualifications

By Thomas R. Lipps

Candidate for Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile

This information is provided by the candidate
Outline of Judge Lipps' Experience with Juvenile Court


As you know, I am running this fall for Judge of the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. This is a natural extension of my life's vocation. I am currently in my 25th year of service with the Juvenile Court - my first day was April 8, 1974. I immediately felt comfortable in the juvenile justice field and I still love my work to this day. The challenges in juvenile law are immense. We rule on juvenile delinquency cases, child abuse/neglect cases, child custody matters, child support, child medical emergencies, and others. The issues of confidentiality, school violence, teenage pregnancy, firearm proliferation, deadbeat parents, truancy, dropouts, drug abuse, teenage drivers, inappropriate parenting, adoption, and many others are woven through each of the 50,000 cases filed in the Court each year. My career in Juvenile Court has allowed me to make an impact on individual lives and to the community in which we live.

I worked my way up through the ranks. I began as a detention worker, watching over defendants in custody. I supervised youth assigned to work details. I accepted filings in the Clerk's Office. I worked on the streets as a Probation Officer, and was promoted to supervisor. I attended law school at night, graduating first in my class. I then became a trial referee, later Chief Referee, and then Chief Magistrate. These duties involved presiding over thousands of trials, ruling on evidence, and making decisions. As Chief Magistrate, I was assigned the most complex and notorious cases. I held the position of Chief Administrator, the highest non-elected position in the Court, for the last 13 years. I was appointed Judge on June 1st, 1998, when Judge David E. Grossmann retired.

Along with our other Judges, I have led the Hamilton County Juvenile Court to national reputation. This Court is widely regarded as one of the most efficient, technologically advanced, and able juvenile courts in the United States. We are constantly visited and studied by juvenile experts from across the world. We are a national model, most noted for our caseflow management, dependency systems, detention facilities, treatment facilities and adoption efforts. We are the subject of an ABA study entitled "One Court that Works." We developed the national guidelines used in child abuse and neglect cases. Our detention facility is listed by the American Correctional Association (ACA) as a "best practices/excellence in corrections" example. Our Hillcrest Training School is the only ACA certified treatment facility of its kind and is considered one of the best treatment centers in the country. Hamilton County has developed resources to respond the cases brought before us and has graduated sanctions envied by other courts across the land. Hamilton county has innovative and progressive business and finance practices which have enabled the Court to maximize resources available for federal, state and local sources.

Our court is also resilient. When evacuated from the Alms & Doepke Building, our staff was able to improvise and handle cases and workload immediately, without missing any of our 538 daily hearings - working out of hallways, closets, or any unused room that we could find on a particular day. This accomplishment is testimony to the dedication of our employees and the management that supports them.

I'm also involved in child-related issues as a volunteer. I was a volunteer referee for 15 years in Delhi, working in the evenings with police on local, minor problems that could be handled unofficially in the neighborhood. I'm still in charge of over 30 volunteer referees throughout the county. I chaired the Red Cross Youth Committee for several years. I was the President of the Oak Hills Girls Basketball League and am currently on the board of the Oak Hills Boys Basketball League. I coach many youth sports, including basketball, baseball and soccer. I remember how much my coaches helped me when I was growing up.

I was a founding member of the Child Fatality Review Team, established about three years ago. I am currently a member of the Task Force formed with area superintendents to study school violence. I am a founding member of the Shane's Kids Soccer League, which is a Bond Hill league for young children designed to promote parental involvement, proper adult role modeling, teenage referee jobs, sportsmanship, and fun. I am a member of the Child Advocacy founding team along with Dr. Shapiro to build a center at Children's Hospital which will be devoted to child sexual and physical abuse, medical treatment, investigations, interviews, and social services. This will provide for the first time a central location where traumatized children can be treated by experts available at all times.

I regularly teach at the Police Academies and I guest lecture each semester at the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University and the College of Mt. St. Joseph.

I believe my experience and my background qualify me for the office that I seek.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 25, 1998 15:32
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