XENIA — It’s not often a judge gets applause when approaching the courthouse.
But in the case of Cynthia Martin, the cheers from family and friends she received Friday are more than warranted. Shortly after 1 p.m. on the steps of the courthouse, Martin was sworn in as the first female judge elected to the Greene County Common Pleas Court. She will replace Domestic Relations Judge Steven Hurley, who is retiring at the end of the year.
“I’m touched and truly honored to be here today,” Martin, who served as a magistrate in the domestic relations court for more than 14 years, said. “It means a lot to me. It’s very important. It’s reflective of the bar association that we have. Fifty percent of the bar association members are women. It’s nice to have that representation present now and going forward. I think it’s the beginning of something that will continue onward.”
Martin said she always taught her daughters that the “biggest thing you can do is to be able to take care of yourself.”
“I think it’s important for young women to realize that,” she said. “Hopefully I can be a bit of a role model in that area. It means a lot.”
Martin, who was sworn in by Hurley, said she plans to continue Hurley’s philosophy of putting the “interest in children before other parties.”
She will bring some new ideas to the court, including a neutral evaluation program where a third party is brought in to review the specifics of a case and provide an objective report “to help families get through the process better.”
It could lead to an agreement without the courtroom turmoil.
“We find that the less litigation, the better it is for kids,” Martin said.
Martin has already received some advice from Hurley, who began as the judge in 2003.
“Patience,” she said. “Always patience. We both have the same judicial philosophy and temperament. I try to treat every litigant with dignity and respect. The people who come through are really good people who are going through a hard time.”
Prior to joining the domestic relations court, Martin worked for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office from 1992-1994, was an adjunct professor of writing at the University of Dayton School of Law from 1994-2000, and had her own private practice from 2000-2006.
Martin and her husband, Dave, reside in Sugarcreek Township. They have four adult children: Jessica Bryan, Christina Martin, Katie Martin, and Sam Martin.