At 5 years old, Hon. Ottie W. Reno, Esq. experienced his first spark of interest in the field of law. His father hired a lawyer and when he watched him interact with the important man, he noticed that his father listened intently to every word he said. Hon. Judge Reno later learned that the important man was a judge and a lawyer, and he knew that he wanted to do the same thing with his life. Although his family was poor and no one believed that he would be able to afford law school, he worked hard and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. When the time came to attend college, Hon. Judge Reno borrowed money and was determined to pursue his dreams, even though he didn’t know which schools taught law. In 1949, he obtained an associate degree in business administration from Franklin University. He then received a bachelor’s degree in law from Franklin Law School in 1953 and was admitted to practice in the state of Ohio. He went on to receive a doctorate degree from Capital University in 1966 and a graduate degree from the College of Juvenile Justice at the University of Nevada in 1973.
When Hon. Judge Reno completed law school in 1953, a judge hired him to draft papers, deeds, subdivision, and mortgages for land he had purchased. The judge also helped him establish his own practice later in his career and acted as his mentor until he passed away. Hon. Judge Reno served as a recorder in Pike County, Ohio from 1957 to 1973. He then became a common pleas judge in the probate and juvenile division from 1973 to 1979. Today, for nearly 40 years, Hon. Judge Reno has served his community through private practice.
Outside of his prolific career in the law field, Hon. Judge Reno has been very active in horseshoe pitching. He has authored several books on the subject, including “Story of Horseshoes,” published in 1963, “Pitching Championship Horseshoes,” published in 1971, and “The American Directory of Horseshoe Pitching,” published 1983. He is also the author of “State of Ohio vs. Isaac Milton Smith, Murder,” published in 1990 and “Reno and Apsaalooka Survive Custer,” published in 1996. As an accomplished horseshoe pitcher, Hon. Judge Reno holds the world record for 59 years of attending the World Horseshoe Pitching Championship, where he has won the world title in his class twice. He was also able to travel to South Africa to represent the United States in the horseshoe championship and acted as the catalyst for an exchange program where U.S. players are sent to Africa and vice versa to compete in championship games. Civically, Hon. Judge Reno has been active with the Democratic National Convention in his community.
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