Judge Alison McCarty graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and obtained her Juris Doctorate Degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1987. She began her legal career as a Law Clerk in the Summit County Probate Court for Judge Bill Spicer. She then became a Staff Attorney for Judge William Baird of the Ninth District Court of Appeals. She started as a Summit County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in 1989. During her ten-year career as an Assistant Prosecutor, Judge McCarty handled thousands of cases, from low-level drug cases to death penalty murder trials.
As a criminal prosecutor, Judge McCarty handled some of the most sensitive and high profile cases in our county. A seasoned trial veteran, Judge McCarty personally tried nearly one hundred jury trials, prosecuting murderers, robbers, rapists and child abusers, and obtained convictions in an overwhelming majority of those cases. While in the prosecutors’ office, Judge McCarty specialized in handling child physical and sexual abuse cases, as well as sexual assault cases.
Judge McCarty was appointed to the Akron Municipal Court in May of 1999, where she served for nine years, having been elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2005. As an Akron Municipal Court Judge, she presided over the Akron Municipal Drug Court from 2003 to 2007, and created and presided over the first urban DUI Court in the State of Ohio from 2007 until her election to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Judge McCarty was elected Presiding Judge for the Municipal Court in 2005. She was awarded Committee Chair of the Year by the Akron Bar Association in 2002 and 2013, awarded the 2005 Urban Light Award from the Department of Public Administration at The University of Akron, received the 2006 Legacy III Criminal Justice Award for Outstanding Service, and is a MADD Red Ribbon Award Winner for her tough stances and innovative approaches to dealing with repeat drunk-driving offenders.
Judge McCarty has long been an advocate for victims, and has worked to protect particularly vulnerable populations, such as battered women, children, and the elderly. She serves on the Summit County Domestic Violence Coalition, the Summit County Child Fatality Review Committee, and is a former Chair of the Summit County Sexual Assault Coalition. She also co-chairs the Akron Bar Associations High School Mock Trial Committee, a position she has held for thirteen years. Judge McCarty has twice been recognized by the Akron Bar Association as the "Outstanding Committee Chair of the Year" for her work on that Committee. She was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse, and has served on the Board of the Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault. She is a former member of the board of the Summit County Choral Society. She sings in the choir at her church, and is very active, having previously taught Sunday School and just recently having served as an Elder.
Judge McCarty was elected to a six-year term on the Summit County Common Pleas Court in November 2008 for the term beginning January 5, 2009. She presides over serious felony matters and major civil lawsuits. Judge McCarty also presides over a Re-Entry Court program, which strictly monitors certain offenders after they are released from the prison system, to improve their chances of a successful transition to a law-abiding lifestyle. Judge McCarty has lectured on many topics over the years, including ethics and professionalism. She is a Bencher with the Scanlon/Bell Inns of Court, a collaborative program that promotes civility and ethical behavior within the profession and mentors young lawyers in the practice of law. Judge McCarty currently serves as a mentor for the Ohio State Bar Association.
Judge McCarty has been married to Thomas McCarty for twenty-four years and they are the parents of two daughters. The McCartys also invite foreign exchange students into their home, and currently are hosting a Swedish student.