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Senators Brown and Voinovich Appoint Dave Hobson, John Kulewicz, Elizabeth Smith to Judicial Advisory Commissions


For Immediate Release

Monday, April 27, 2009


Meghan Dubyak (Brown): 202-224-3978

Garrette Silverman (Voinovich) 202-224-7784


Senators Establish Judicial Advisory Commissions to Receive Recommendations for U.S. District Court Judges in Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and George V. Voinovich (R-OH) announced today the nomination process for U.S. District Court judgeships. In the interest of identifying the best possible candidates to fill U.S. District Court vacancies, the senators formed two bipartisan judicial advisory commissions, which will recommend candidates for positions in the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio.

“These diverse commissions will provide thoughtful recommendations for candidates to fill our state’s federal district courts,” the senators said. “We are confident that the process will help identify dedicated and honorable public servants.”

The two commissions will each have 17 members.  To prevent any conflicts of interest, commission members residing in the Southern District of Ohio will screen applicants for the Northern District while members residing in the Northern District will review Southern District applicants.  There is currently one vacancy in the Southern District, and the Northern District will have one vacancy effective July 3, 2009.

Candidates can request applications by emailing Applications can be requested through close of business on Friday, May 8, 2009 and must be completed by close of business on Friday, May 22.

U.S. District Court judges are nominated by the president of the United States and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. S. District Courts are general trials courts which hear both civil and criminal cases.

The Northern District has court locations in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves 5.9 million citizens in 40 Ohio counties. The Northern District commission will be chaired by Nancy Rogers of Columbus. Ms. Rogers is a former Ohio Attorney General and former dean of the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University. Other commission members include Robin Bozian, of Marietta, an attorney with Washington County Legal Aid; Donald Brey, of Columbus, a partner at Chester, Wilcox & Saxbe; Al Gerhardstein, of Cincinnati, a partner at Gerhardstein & Branch; Sean Grayson, of Dayton, General Counsel to AFSCME Ohio Council 8; Ralph Harper, of Dayton, former Green County commissioner; Dave Hobson, of Springfield, a former Representative of Ohio’s 7th Congressional district; Nathaniel Jones, of Cincinnati, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Blank Rome and former member of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Ralph Kohnen, of Cincinnati, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister; John Kulewicz, of Columbus, a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease; Greg Lockhart, of Dayton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Roderick McDavis, of Athens, president of Ohio University; Jill Meyer, of Cincinnati, member-in-charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Cincinnati office; Alvarene Owens, of Dayton, an independent practitioner specializing in civil claims; Elizabeth Smith, of Columbus, a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease; Susan Tomasky, of Columbus, executive vice-president and general counsel to American Electric Power; Kurtis Tunnell, of Columbus, administrative partner at Bricker & Eckler.

The Southern District has court locations in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton and serves more than 5 million citizens in 48 Ohio counties. The Southern District commission will be chaired by Paul Harris of Cleveland. Mr. Harris is executive vice president, secretary, and general counsel to Key Bank in Cleveland. Other commission members include Kenneth Callahan, of Cleveland, a partner at Buckley King; Timothy Cosgrove, of Cleveland, a partner with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; Patrick Keating, of Akron, CEO and president of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs; Wendy Leatherberry, of Cleveland Heights, a community activist; E.J. Leizerman, of Toledo, founder of E.J. Leizerman & Associates; Brant Luther, of Canton, director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program for Stark County Family Court; Patrick McLaughlin, of Cleveland, a founding partner at McLaughlin & McCaffrey and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; Margaret Murray, of Sandusky, a partner at Murray & Murray; Sandy McNair, of Cleveland, partner at Schwarzwald & McNair; Ralph Regula of Navarre, a former U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 16th Congressional District; Charna Sherman, of Cleveland, a partner at Sanders, Squire & Dempsey; John H. Siegenthaler, of Mansfield, counsel with Weldon, Huston & Keyser; Lou Stokes, of Cleveland, a former U.S. Represenative from Ohio’s 21st Congressional district and current senior counsel at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; David Sweet, of Youngstown, president of Youngstown State University; Larry Turner, of Youngstown, a partner with Turner, May & Shepherd.

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