|Education||1969 - 1973 Ohio Northern University, B. A., Political Science, with high distinction 1973 – 1976 Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law Juris Doctor, Willis Society (top 10% of law school class)|
|Employer||State of Ohio - Ohio Supreme Court|
|Family||Wife - Libby
Two sons and two grandchildren
|Family in office?||None|
|Reasons for running||I bring a unique background of experience to our state’s highest court. I am only member of the court who has been elected to serve in all three branches of government. As a city prosecutor, I worked to enforce the law and to obtain a measure of justice for crime victims. As an Allen County Commissioner, I worked hard to administer the law and ensure that quality county services were provided. As a 16 year member of the Ohio Senate, I sponsored laws to reform the workers compensation system, improve our education system, reduce the tax burden on Ohio businesses and citizens, and reform Ohio’s civil justice system. Moreover, I worked hard to uphold a standard of civility and decency in the conduct of the public’s business. In judicial branch, where I now serve, I work to uphold the law and the constitution. My judicial service has encompassed nearly ten years: first, as a judge on the Ohio Court of Appeals, 3rd Appellate District and now as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
My purpose in serving on the court is to ensure that Ohio has a system of justice that is stable, predictable, and fair. The rule of law enables citizens to know what rules of conduct apply to them. This is something that all Ohioans are able to benefit from.
|Priorities||One priority if elected pertains to electronic filing. I believe that the courts, practicing bar, and public would benefit from implementation of electronic filing in the Supreme Court and in courts of appeals. I have encouraged the court and the court administrative staff to proceed with and expedite efforts to implement full electronic filing similar to what the federal courts have instituted, and I will continue to do so.
In looking at other pressing issues before the court there are a few issues that are important to me that I would like to mention.
The primary responsibility of the court is to decide cases before it in a manner that ensures a stable, consistent and fair legal environment for Ohio. This requires applying settled precedent and the plain meaning of the statutes and the constitution to each case and not attempting to re-write the statutes or re-make the constitution from the bench.
A second pressing issue is adequate funding for our courts and for legal services. Although in tough economic times, all government institutions need to find efficiencies and to tighten their fiscal belts, it is still important that courts have proper funding to continue the important work of resolving disputes and administering justice in a timely manner. Moreover, it is essential that adequate funding be available to provide for sufficient public defenders and appointed counsel in order to assure proper representation of those accused of crimes. Moreover, our civil justice system fails to assure equal justice when individuals with meritorious claims or other legal needs are unable to get their claims heard properly, or their needs met, because of inadequate funds for legal representation.
Finally, greater public understanding of our constitutional system of government and the role of our court system is needed. I will continue to promote civic education through such efforts as the high school mock trial program, the We The People program on the U.S. Constitution, and by speaking before civic and school groups explaining how the courts work in protecting individual rights, property rights, and peacefully resolving disputes.
|Qualifications||Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio; elected Nov. 2006 for term commencing Jan. 2, 2007.
Judge, Ohio Court of Appeals, Third Appellate District; elected Nov. 2002 for term commencing Feb. 9, 2003.
In sum, I have participated in deciding over 1,100 cases as an appellate judge and more than 1,600 merit cases decided with opinion as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The subject matter addressed in these cases has covered nearly all fields of the law.
|Positions on the issues||As judges we are prohibited from taking positions on issues per the judicial canons.|