AKRON BEACON JOURNAL | 02/23/2020
Kani Hightower is a magistrate in Akron Municipal Court who has spent most of her legal career in private practice, handling everything from traffic offenses to murder cases.
“This is the court where I can make the most positive changes to affect Summit County, as a whole, and help relieve a stressed community,” said Hightower, 46.
Hightower emphasizes having more experience in handling domestic cases than Scott.
Since Hightower got her law degree in 2008, she has practiced in the areas of domestic, juvenile, criminal, civil, probate and appellate law. This includes cases involving child support, child custody, divorce, dissolutions, grandparent rights and civil protection orders.
“I have represented hundreds and hundreds of clients, sometimes at the worst point in life,” she said. “I have worked hard to relieve their stress and fight for them, like I would want someone to fight for me.”
Hightower has cut back on her private practice since she was appointed last month as a magistrate in Akron Municipal Court. She is one of two magistrates in charge of eviction and small claims cases. She estimates she’s already handled 200 cases.
Hightower said working as a magistrate has given her the opportunity to see the court system from a different vantage point. She said she would enjoy serving in this capacity in domestic court, where people visit at their “most vulnerable stage.”
Hightower said she would provide the perspective of someone who has represented indigent clients and would add diversity to the bench.
“I have been a voice for African-Americans and our underprivileged public in the legal field since I’ve been practicing,” she said.
If Hightower is elected, she said she would “reach out to the community and make this court about the people.” She said she would try to make the court more affordable, efficient and respectful.
“I will implement those programs necessary to make a change,” she said.