Juvenile-Probate Judge Candidates: D. Brode v. B. Berger

David Brode

Juvenile/Probate Judge

Brode is running for Juvenile probate judge against Bob Berger.
Brode is running for Juvenile/Probate judge on Nov. 4 . Submitted photo


In 2002, Brode said he left the court and became an assistant prosecuting attorney, where he continues to work today and assigned as general counsel for Portage County Job and Family Services.

Brode said he was given the opportunity to work for the current juvenile-probate judge, Tom Carnes and worked as magistrate for 11 years.

Brode said he spends most of his time representing children services agencies in juvenile court and the adult protective services agency in probate court. For most of Brode’s legal career, he has been working with the juvenile and probate court, handling child abuse and neglect cases in Portage county.

Brode has done eight years in commercial banking that is now under the name of Chase Bank and finished his career in banking as branch manager for Huntington Bank.

Brode received  his bachelors and masters in business at Kent State University and attended University of Akron for law school.



The experience  that I have, almost 24 years, as lawyer has been spent in the juvenile/ probate courts in Portage County. My entire life has been spent in this county, my entire career legal have been spent in the juvenile and probate courts. I spent 11 years as a judicial officer in that court. I’ve heard the cases from behind the bench and I am now responsible for presenting the case to the court in front of the bench. I know the juvenile and probate court, inside and out.


If elected I will protect families, protect children and keep a tight budget as their judge.



Robert (Bob) Berger

Juvenile/Probate Judge

Robert Berger is running for Juvenile/Probate judge on Nov. 4.
Robert (Bob) Berger is running for Juvenile/Probate judge on Nov. 4.



Berger currently serves as magistrate under judge, Laura Pittman in Common Pleas Court.

Berger has practiced law for 37 years in Portage county as trial attorney and has done private practice for 30 years, and serves as magistrate for the last seven years to judge Pittman.

Berger received his degree in education from Kent State and joined the military after graduation. After serving time in the military he went to law school.



When I became a trial attorney in juvenile court, I had several cases of children who couldn’t stay out of the adult court – in other words we couldn’t steer them away with juvenile court and basically it broke my heart. I’m real enthusiastic about trying to keep kids out of the adult system and social welfare network and allow them to have their self-esteem and accomplish things. So, many children don’t have that background with the parents that I had, it’s a shame that they can’t find their niche in life

I just really think I can make a difference after 37 years. When Judge Carnes decided to retire, I thought ‘I want his job’. I want to try and bring my enthusiasm to that court.

I think the philosophy in working with children are in trouble with — is to be perfectly honest with them and consistent and give them consequences for their actions, not mean-spirited or anything like that, but consequences that are inconvenient to them to allow them a chance to think and progress and not make the same mistakes.



(I want) to do the best I can; I have a pretty good reputation as a hard worker and as a trial magistrate I have been able to hear jury trials and mistrials.

I plan on using my experience to relieve the stress on parents going through a divorce and give the parents a chance to think about the best interests of the children and what the children are going through. I’d like have another program like (Children First) in the juvenile court because in the juvenile court, it does three things: 1. delinquencies for the felon, 2. deciding custody visitation and child support of unmarried parents, 3. protecting the children from neglect and abuse



Juvenile and Probate Judge handles cases dealing with the well-being of children, juvenile traffic cases, delinquency, guardianship for minors, adoptions, name changes and more.