submitted by Matt Reger
Matt Reger is seeking the position of Wood County Common Pleas Judge.
Judge Robert Pollex announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election to this position. Reger made his announcement in December of 2015 and won a primary in March of this year.
Reger brings nearly 23 years experience as an attorney and 20 years as a prosecutor to the position of common pleas judge. In that time he has handled over 20,000 cases ranging from the mundane to the high profile. He has litigated over 75 jury trials, 100 court trials and 300 motion hearings and argued more than 60 appeals before the Sixth District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.
Reger began his career working for former Judge Charles F. Kurfess as a staff attorney. Reger says this experience was an exceptional learning ground for a person seeking to serve as a common pleas judge. His duties as a staff attorney included the drafting of opinions, case oversight, and jury supervision. From that experience Reger said that he gained a unique knowledge about judicial decision-making and courtroom management. As a prosecutor Reger started out as an assistant and has served as the chief Bowling Green Municipal Prosecutor since 2000. During that time he has managed a staff of four – two attorneys and two support staff – which translates well into the common pleas courtroom with a staff of five. As a municipal prosecutor his jurisdiction encompasses 15 of the 19 Wood County townships, which Reger believes provides him an exceptional understanding of a large part of the county and its legal issues.
His prosecutorial experience has also put him at the forefront of developing legal issues including the current opiate epidemic. There was a brief interruption in his career from 2006 – 2007 when Reger volunteered with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. Referring to this as Peace Corps for attorneys Reger has said that this is an important and influential part of his life experience. For one year he served as a volunteer – living in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia – training attorneys in the American system of justice and working with the Georgian Parliament and the American Embassy on the development of a new criminal procedure code for this developing democracy.
When Reger returned to the United States, beyond resuming his role as prosecutor, he set about creating a legal clinic that provided access to justice for many people seeking help. Since 2010 the program that Reger founded, through its volunteer attorneys, have helped over 600 people. In responding to a question about why he is seeking the common pleas judgeship Reger had this to say: “I don’t see my running for judge as a personal achievement, but as a call to service. My career has been spent serving the public. As a staff attorney, prosecutor, volunteer attorney oversees, and founder of a non-profit I have continuously dedicated myself to doing more for others with my legal education and experience. I want to continue this call to service as a judge.”
Beyond his professional activities Reger has found time to be active in the community. He has been involved with Wood Lane Industries as a board member and president, committee chair for the Black Swamp Arts Festival Youth Arts area, elder in his church, former member and president of the Wood County Friends of the Library board and volunteer with the Wood County Committee on Aging meals on wheels program. Reger lives in Bowling Green with his wife Heidi and their two children, Elizabeth, 10, and Noah, 6.