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  • 14 Nov 2011 12:42 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    FORT WORTH, Texas — Amid the feathers and leather, rhinestones and pastel boots that dominated the National Cowgirl Museum’s recent celebration of tough women, Sandra Day O’Connor searched for ways that ranch life had prepared her to become the Supreme Court’s first female justice. Read more
  • 02 Nov 2011 8:03 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    November 2, 2010, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor was elected the first woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

    Her story: Born in the nation's capital, but raised in Strongsville and Parma, Maureen O'Connor's November 2010 election as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio is her latest achievement in a long career of public service. Following her previous seven years on the Court, Chief Justice O'Connor's latest election victory makes her Ohio's first female Chief Justice and only the tenth Chief Justice in the history of the Court.

    While gaining experience in practice as an attorney during the early 1980s, Justice O'Connor created a home for her family and her legal career in Northeast Ohio. Appointed a magistrate in Summit County in 1985, she served in that capacity until becoming a common pleas court judge in 1993. As a busy trial judge, Justice O'Connor was selected by her peers to serve as the administrative judge undefined a testament to her ability to build coalitions and maintain collegiality while administering to the business of the courts.

    But Justice O'Connor felt compelled to return to work on the front lines of protecting the public. She became the Summit County prosecuting attorney in 1995, aggressively prosecuting repeat offenders, violent criminals and public officials who committed ethical violations or improprieties. She was recognized for her work on behalf of crime victims, and remains proud of awards bestowed on her by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Cleveland State University. As prosecutor, Justice O'Connor also lobbied the General Assembly for tougher rape laws and mandatory jail time for gang-related offenses. Successful in her undertakings, she set her sights on more difficult challenges.

    In 1998, Ohioans elected Justice O'Connor as their lieutenant governor undefined the second-highest official in the state. She quickly became the governor's chief advisor on criminal-justice issues, serving as director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and as chair of Ohio's Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee. Justice O'Connor's experiences in law enforcement proved invaluable, particularly in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, when she led the state in its response to new threats of terrorism. Her leadership in this area garnered the attention and praise of the country's first homeland security director, Tom Ridge.

    Like her previous election, Chief Justice O'Connor won election as Chief with more than 67 percent of the popular vote, nearly the same percentage earned in her 2008 general election victory. Her first statewide judicial election in 2002, in which she took more than 57 percent of the vote, made her the 148th Justice to the Court, the sixth woman to join the Court and gave the Court its first-ever female majority.

    As a Supreme Court Justice, she devoted herself in recent years to educational initiatives for Ohio students and to matters of security, such as the Court's new Advisory Committee on Court Security & Emergency Preparedness, which she chairs. As Chief Justice, she will be responsible for overseeing the not only the operations of the Supreme Court itself, but also has general superintendence over all state courts.

  • 01 Nov 2011 9:08 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach,  announces the election of four attorneys to the firm’s membership including Anne Owings Ford (Cleveland - Member, Litigation).

    “We are always gratified to see our attorneys advance in their careers,” said Carl J. Grassi, president of McDonald Hopkins. “All four of these professionals are talented lawyers who have demonstrated their meaningful value to our clients. They have contributed to the growth of our firm and I am confident they will continue to help us thrive. In addition to these promotions, we continue to recruit attorneys for our national practice groups.”

    Anne Owings Ford (Cleveland), co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Public Service Committee, is a seasoned litigator who has experience in the law of products liability, insurance, employment, state and federal discrimination and more. She has successfully represented clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts around the country, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums.

    Based in Cleveland, Ford was instrumental in the development of the McDonald Hopkins Juvenile Court Pro Se Clinic, which is an unprecedented collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to provide those in need with free legal assistance. She is also an active member of the firm’s Women’s Committee. Ford is a member of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ADR Panel and serves as a neutral in matters referred by that Court for mediation. She further serves the Court as a member of the Advisory Group and the Civil Pro Bono Legal Services Program for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Ford is an influential member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, serving on that body’s Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and Diversity Circle Steering Committee.
    Ford has a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the University of Michigan.

    Ford is also a member of the Ohio Women's Bar Association and will be a panelist for an upcoming session of the Ohio Women's Bar Foundation's Leadership Institute.

  • 01 Nov 2011 9:04 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Erin A. Sutton has been elected as a partner with Peck, Shaffer & Williams LLP, a national leader in public finance law. Ms. Sutton works out of the firm’s Columbus office.

    Ms.  Sutton's public finance practice includes both traditional governmental bond and note issues as well as financings for nonprofit and for-profit entities. She has worked with public schools, counties and municipal corporations, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and senior living communities. She has experience as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel and issuer counsel.

    “We’re very pleased to announce that Erin Sutton has been elected as a partner with Peck Shaffer,” said Dennis Schwallie, managing partner in the firm’s Columbus office. “Erin is a skilled public finance attorney and highly respected by her clients and colleagues.”

    Ms. Sutton earned a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in 1994, and her law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1997. She is also a member of the first class of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, an Ohio Women’s Bar Association program designed to develop the leadership skills of women in the legal profession.  

  • 17 Oct 2011 8:32 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Jan Allen was one of the first women to hold a top position in Ohio state government, as deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Richard Celeste. Read more.
  • 17 Oct 2011 8:27 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Ohio voters will elect 109 judges to municipal courts across the state in the Nov. 8 general election with 39 of those contested races. Read more.
  • 04 Oct 2011 10:08 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    The Ohio Women’s Bar Association announced today its ratings for the 2011 Municipal Judicial Candidates running for election in Cuyahoga County.

    The purpose of the OWBA Judicial Selection Committee (JSC) is to objectively evaluate and rate judicial candidates and publish the ratings to the community at large. To see the most recent ratings, go to  

    The OWBA’s JSC is part of an organization known as the Judicial Candidates Ratings Coalition or “JCRC.” The JCRC consists of committees from the OWBA, the Norman Minor Bar Association, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association. Before each primary and general election, JCRC conducts interviews of candidates running for judicial office in Cuyahoga County.

    The evaluation process is confidential, non-partisan and independent. The candidates are evaluated based on the criteria of integrity, judicial temperament, diligence, professional competence and community involvement and understanding. Overall, the question is whether the candidate will be a competent, fair and trustworthy judge. The evaluations include a questionnaire which provides information regarding the candidates’ background, legal experience and motivation for becoming a judge.  Interviews of each candidate are also conducted by representative members of the organizations involved in JCRC. The candidates also provide writing samples and references. After the interview process is completed, each organization gives the candidates one of the following ratings:

    Excellent: This rating means that the candidate is outstanding based on the criteria and is a superior choice for the office.

    Good: This rating means the candidate substantially meets the criteria and is well-qualified for the office.

    Adequate: This rating means the candidate meets the criteria passably, or, alternatively, fails to satisfy one or more of them.  A candidate rated adequate possesses at least the minimum qualifications for the office.  

    Not Recommended: This rating means the candidate does not meet the criteria, lacking the minimum qualifications for judicial office.  

    Refused to Participate: If a candidate fails or refuses to appear for an interview or fails to complete the questionnaire, the candidate’s rating will be “refused to participate.”  However, if the candidate fails or refuses to appear and there is enough information relative to the candidate’s qualifications, a “not recommended” rating may be given.

  • 23 Sep 2011 8:15 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    September 23, 1991

    The seed for the OWBA began with a speech Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick gave in Cleveland on April 29, 1991.  In that speech, Justice Resnick talked about the need for a statewide women’s bar association. An energetic attorney inspired by the speech then wrote a letter to Justice Resnick. The attorney, Pamela M. Hultin, concluded her letter by offering, “If I can be of any help to you, I would be more than happy to devote time and energy to this project.”  

    In response, Justice Resnick sent Ms. Hultin a list of names, and encouraged her to contact the other women and “take the initiative” to establish a statewide women’s bar association.   Justice Resnick’s list included the names of many other talented lawyers, including Patricia A. Hemann, who later became a magistrate judge for United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

    Over the next few months, these three exceptional women worked together, nurturing the idea of a statewide association devoted to advancing the interests of women lawyers.  On September 23, 1991, at the Supreme Court of Ohio, twenty-six women voted to form the Ohio Women’s Bar Association.

    To view the 6 minute inspiring "Celebrating 20 Years, Inspiring 20 More" video, click here.
    To see the list of founding members, click here.

  • 12 Sep 2011 1:34 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Brecksville resident Pamela A. Barker will become the newest judge on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bench when she takes office on Sept. 19 after her appointment today by Gov. John R. Kasich. Read more
  • 12 Sep 2011 1:31 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    A longtime federal judge in Memphis, Tenn., breezed through the U.S. Senate confirmation process today with bipartisan support for a seat on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more

Ohio Women's Bar Association | 136 South Keowee Street | Dayton, Ohio 45402 | Phone (866) 932-6922 | Email

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