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Toledo Legal News - News From Vista to Juvenile Court Judge, Denise Navarre-Cubbon is still helping people

 

photo of Judge Denise Navarre-CubbonToday, Vista may just be another operating system, but to Judge Denise Navarre-Cubbon, Vista was a life changing experience. “Vista,” said Judge Navarre-Cubbon, sitting with ease at the head of a table in a jury conference room in Juvenile Justice Center, “stands for Volunteers in Service to America, it was like the Peacecorp, but focused on domestic issues.” Joining Vista after she finished her undergraduate career at American University, where she majored in anthropology, Navarre-Cubbon spent time in Southern Texas setting up community outreach programs for migrant workers. In the summer months she would follow the workers up to Indiana and worked through the Head-Start program. “There were towns in Texas that literally closed-up during the summer months because all of the migrants would travel North. It was very interesting work, very rewarding. And it was because of that experience that I decided to go to law school.”

Not that it was the first time she had thought about becoming a lawyer. “When I was still in college, my parents decided that I should go to law school, but I didn’t think I wanted to do that. I had other things I wanted to do with my life. But, my parents sent me money to take the LSAT’s just for the heck of it.” Looking back on it now that she has children of her own, Navarre-Cubbon sees now how her parents could have understood her better than she did herself, but as a college student she sure didn’t feel that way. “I was young and thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life. So I took that money my parents sent me to take the LSAT with and I went shopping.” Judge Navarre-Cubbon cracks a satisfied smile. “Of course, I had to eat a bit of crow two years later when I decided to become a lawyer after all.”

While her parents may have pointed her down the path, it was the Vista program, and working with the migrant workers that made up Navarre-Cubbon’s mind about studying law. “I’ve always been interested in politics. That’s why I went to American University in Washington D.C. I mean, if you like politics, what better place is there? During my time with Vista, I discovered how politics and government can be used to help people, how the law can give back to communities.”

After her time with Vista, Judge Navarre-Cubbon returned home to Toledo, where she and her nine siblings had been raised, to attend law school at UT. Building on her community enrichment experience, she worked for the North Toledo Area Corporation as a community organizer before beginning her law school classes. During her time at UT, Navarre-Cubbon left the NTAC to work more “traditional” law school jobs such as clerking for established lawyers.

Upon graduating from UT, Judge Navarre-Cubbon was hired by Tony Pizza as an assistant Lucas county prosecutor within the Juvenile division. There, she would eventually become a supervisor until she was elected into office as Lucas County’s Common Pleas, Juvenile Division Judge, and is now the Administrative Judge. It’s a position that keeps her busy to be sure, but she still finds the time to stay active in the Toledo community. Judge Navarre-Cubbon has been active over the years with the Toledo Ballet Association, she has been on the committee of Read for Literacy and has been involved with the Police Athletics League.

Those groups, along with her involvement in a number of professional associations and the increased workload that comes with being the administrative judge of the Juvenile Division more than keeps Navarre-Cubbon’s days packed. When she does find time to relax though, Navarre-Cubbon thinks there’s nothing better than spending time with her friends and family. “I’m a Toledo native. I grew up in the Old Orchard neighborhood. I’ve lived here pretty much all my life. I come from a family of 10 children and my husband, Stuart is the middle child of nine. We ourselves have four children. So, when I say that I spend a lot of time with my family and my friends, I mean it!”

Family is an integral part of life for Toledo’s chief juvenile court judge. Her family has shaped the way Judge Navarre-Cubbon sees the world. She learned the values of hard work and responsibility from her parents. “I was the third child out of ten, so you can imagine how much babysitting I had to do. Especially when my mother was pregnant with her sixth child and my father was gone a year in New York learning how to be a cardiovascular surgeon.” After her father, Dr Peter Navarre, returned from New York (and became Northwest Toledo’s first vascular surgeon), Navarre-Cubbon’s parents sent her to St. Ursula Academy which stressed the importance of volunteer efforts, an emphasis which would go on to direct the course of her life.

“I was really lucky to have a great childhood and great parents. I’m not saying it was perfect, we had our issues like all families. And I appreciate that so much that when I have children and families appearing before me ever day, I just so want them to have a fulfilling life and childhood just like I did. And I don’t think that’s asking so much. If we can provide those services to the families and make those changes to the kids lives, then they’ll be great parents and have great kids and that’s a great goal for everyone.”

Michael A. Davisson, Toledo Legal News Staff Writer

New projects expected to create more than $477 million in investments

Recently Governor John R. Kasich announced the approval of assistance for 15 projects set to create 2,338 new jobs and retain 1,857 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $107 million in new payroll, and spur more than $477 million in investments across Ohio.

Date Published: December 15, 2017

ODNR geologic research grants awarded for third year

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has awarded geologic research grants to two Ohio graduate school students from the ODNR Division of Geological Survey’s Ohio Geology License Plate Fund. The student research will broaden understanding of the state’s natural history and may assist in future development of resources.

Date Published: December 15, 2017

UT wins over CSU at home, 65-56

Toledo secured its 11th-consecutive home triumph with a 65-56 victory over Cleveland State on Saturday, Dec 9, before 3,631 fans in Savage Arena. With the win, the Rockets improve to 7-2 on the season.

Date Published: December 15, 2017

Attorney who charged excessive fee indefinitely suspended

The Ohio Supreme Court recently indefinitely suspended an Urbana attorney who was convicted of a felony because he netted $127,000 by selling the land of his client to pay her legal fee even though he provided only $9,000 in legal services.

Date Published: December 14, 2017

Department of Higher Education announces Northwest Ohio RAPIDS awards

The state Controlling Board recently approved an Ohio Department of Higher Education request to transfer $3,606,352 in capital funds for the purpose of providing four regional awards for workforce development projects relating to the department’s Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program. The funds will be awarded for projects in Southwest, Northwest, Southeast, and the western portion of Northeast Ohio.

Date Published: December 14, 2017

Legislation aims to expand broadband access in Ohio

A bill that aims to expand broadband's reach throughout the Buckeye State has gained the support of county commissioners and a nonprofit nationwide initiative advancing that very argument.

Date Published: December 14, 2017

Toledo drops first home game with 93-87 loss to Marshall

Senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher scored a career-high 31 points for Toledo (5-4) on the evening of Saturday, Dec 9, but it wasn't enough in the Rockets' 93-87 home setback to Conference USA foe Marshall (7-3). The defeat was UT's first in five games in Savage Arena this season, while the victory was the Thundering Herd's first in four road contests.

Date Published: December 14, 2017

Rockets announce 2018 softball schedule

Fifteen home contests and nine meetings with NCAA Tournament qualifiers highlight the 2018 Toledo softball schedule, announced by head coach Kristen Butler.

Date Published: December 13, 2017

Ohio's injury rate below national average, claims dip to record low

Results from a national study show nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio took a nine percent tumble last year and fell well below the national average for the fourth consecutive year. Ohio experienced 2.7 injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2016, bettering the national average of 3.2.

Date Published: December 12, 2017