O'Connor seeks to be Ohio's first female chief justice

Kathy Woods Feb. 19, 2010, 7:14pm

Maureen O'Connor (R)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-Ohio Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, is running to become Ohio's first female chief justice.

She and probate Judge Eric Brown are vying for the state's top judicial post this year.

O'Connor is currently serving her second term on the high court and is considered one of the conservative voices of the seven-member all-Republican court.

Prior to becoming a Supreme Court justice, O'Connor was a prosecuting attorney in Summit County. She also served as a judge in the common pleas court, magistrate in Summit County probate court and was an attorney in private practice.

O'Connor received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hill College in 1973 and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980.

If O'Connor is not victorious in her run for chief justice she will not lose her seat on the court. However, if she does prevail, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland will appoint a replacement to finish out the four years that would remain on her current term.

O'Connor's opponent, Probate Judge Eric Brown, is currently presiding over the probate division in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Prior to that, he spent five years in the general division overseeing cases that varied from criminal felonies to civil disputes.

From 2003 to 2005, Brown was a magistrate in Columbus, where he presided over jury trials, motion hearings discovery hearing and other legal proceedings.

From 1992 to 2002, Brown was an assistant state attorney general. He led tobacco litigation for the Ohio attorney general's Office.
Thomas Moyer, who has been Ohio's chief justice for 24 years, is unable to seek reelection because of age restrictions.

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