Name: Colleen Mary O’Toole
City of Residence: Concord Township, Ohio
Party Affiliation: Republican
Office Desired: Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio
Why should you be elected
I have been an appellate court judge for nearly nine years. I have dedicated my entire professional life to defending the Constitution and promoting access to justice. I have consistently fought against overreaching government agencies that oppress the weak and underrepresented in our society. I have worked all of my professional life to insure justice, fairness and an equal playing field for al. This, and the blessings of a great education, prepared me for my role as an appellate judge. The retirement of Justice Lanzinger has opened a door and created an opportunity for me to serve the people of this state at a higher level. If the voters deem me worthy, my goal is to insure that the people of Ohio have the most efficient, cost-effective justice system anywhere in this country. I will work for a justice system that people can trust to deliver consistent treatment, fair trials and access to justice regardless of their financial standing. I believe this is the meaning of servant leadership.
I am dedicated to equality of access to the law; not outcome. And to opening up our justice system so that more people can participate without the need for expensive legal representation.
Top three priorities
1) Making the Judicial System more transparent in its process and more open and accessible to the public.
2) Campaign contributions and the potential they have to influence cases. A study conducted during the 2014 election cycle found that two Ohio Supreme Court Justices ruled in favor of their top donors 88 percent of the time. The ability of large campaign contributors and special interests to influence the outcome of decision cannot be ignored.
3) I believe that judges should be allowed greater freedom in expressing their views on important issues. I trust that if citizens are provided with a transparent and open system, they will be able to make well-informed decisions. I am running for Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio in an attempt to make the judicial system more open and transparent for the litigants and the public. And I believe that my stance on the First Amendment demonstrates my commitment to this principle.
JUDGE – ELEVENTH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS, OHIO 2005-2011; 2013 – Present
* Serves as an intermediate court judge with jurisdiction over all state court jurisdictions including post-conviction death penalty and criminal appeals.
* Appointed to serve as a visiting judge on the Ohio Supreme Court in the death penalty appeal of State v. White, 118 Ohio St.3d 12, 2008-Ohio-1623. Elected in November, 2012 to a second six-year term beginning February 9, 2013.
ON DEMAND INTERPRETATION SERVICES, FOUNDER/ENTREPRENEUR 2011 – Present
* ODIS provides certified interpreters to courts and their support networks in 170 Languages and ASL via remote teleconferencing technology.
* Consulted in appellate/litigation practice to perfect strategy and appeal in high profile litigation.
* Appellate Advocacy and Litigation.
LITIGATOR SOLE PRACTICE – CRIMINAL/CIVIL/APPELLATE PRACTICE 1998-2005
* Extensive Civil & Criminal Litigation Practice from filing, discovery and appeal in both state and federal courts.
KRAMER AND NIERMANN LPA 1996-1998 Kramer & Associates LPA of counsel
* Civil and Criminal defense litigation.
* Federal, civil rights and employment practice.
* General practice. Housing Advocates 1996-1997 Staff Attorney
* Litigated Housing Discrimination and Lead Paint Cases.
* Supervised and instructed law students at Cleveland Marshall Law School Housing clinic.
NATIONAL INTERSTATE COMPANY, Cleveland, Ohio 1994-1995
* National Interstate provides property and casualty insurance to the transportation industry in 27 states. In House Litigation Manager
* Managed all facets of company claims litigation.
* Implemented comprehensive litigation management policies.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE 1989-1994 High volume law office with 52 attorneys.
* Providing Criminal, Juvenile Custody and Appellate Defense Work. Litigation and Appellate Attorney
* Major Trial Division: Sole case management responsibility for 200 cases annually (arraignment through appeal). Law Clerk
* Researched and co-authored appellate civil and criminal briefs filed in the Eighth District Court of Appeals.
PROGRESSIVE COMPANIES, Cleveland, Ohio 1985-1988
* Progressive is a major provider of specialty and property casualty insurance. Customer Service Manager
* Responsible for operations and customer service in underwriting and collections for 34 direct reports.
* Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
August 1987 – May 1990. Juris Doctor.
* John Carroll University, Cleveland Ohio
1979 – 1983. Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & ASSOCIATIONS, PRESENT AND PAST
* National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators.
* Ohio Judicial Conference – Member Court Administration Committee and Ad Hoc Committee Community Corrections.
* NAACP, Lake County, Ohio – Board Member
* Ohio Judicial Conference Criminal Rules and Procedure Committee.
* Ohio Judicial Conference – Court Technology Committee.
* Ohio Judicial Conference – Joint Sub Committee Court Reporting & Transcripts.
* Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.
* American Bar Association.
* Cleveland Bar Association.
* Board of Governors’ Criminal Law Section & Litigation Section.
* Lake County Bar Association.
* Chairman Board of Zoning Appeals, Highland Heights, Ohio; 1996 to 2002.
* Board of Director Greater Cleveland Ecology Association (“GCEA”), 2001.
* Advisory Board Western Reserve Nature Conservancy 2010.
* Admitted to Ohio Bar, July 1991.
* Admitted to Northern District of Ohio, December 1995.
* Admitted to U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 1998.
* Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court, April 1999.
EDUCATIONAL /ADVANCED PROGRAMS TRAINING
*New Judges Orientation Seminar Part I, December, 2004.
*New Judges Orientation, Seminar Part II, March, 2005.
*National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE), Second Annual Judicial Symposium, July 7-8, 2006,
*Third Annual Judicial Symposium, June 29-30, 2007,
*Fourth Annual Judicial Symposium, July 11-12, 2008,
*Fifth Annual Judicial Symposium, July 10-11, 2009,
Renaissance Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.
* George Mason Law & Economics
Nature of the Judicial Function, November 3-9, 2006,
Harbourside Resort, Captiva, Florida.
* Happiness Program, September 18-21, 2008
Grande Colonial Hotel, LaJolla CA.
* Joint Center for Regulatory Studies,
Judicial Education Program, June 11-15, 2007 and May 12-16, 2008,
Jurys Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C.
* Dwight D. Opperman
Institute of Judicial Administration,
New York University School of Law,
2008 Appellate Judges Seminar, July 12-17, 2009.
Pound Civil Justice Institute, July 25, 2009.
* Congressman Steven C. LaTourette,
Annual Elected Officials Conference, May 8-9, 2008,
Annual Elected Officials Conference, May 14-15, 2009,
HIGHER EDUCATION INSTRUCTION
* Adjunct Professor, Kent State University, Geauga 2014 – Present.
* Adjunct Professor, Kent State University, Trumbull 2008 – 2013.
* Adjunct Professor, John Carroll University 1999 – 2008.
* Adjunct Professor, Bryant & Stratton College 2004 – 2005.
* Adjunct Professor, Lakeland Community College 2001.
* What Appellate Court Judges Want You To Know, December 2013, National Business Institute. Cleveland, Ohio
* Courtroom Pitfalls, June 2012, NAJIT Presenter, Annual Conference, Boston, MA.
* American Association for Justice, Student Trial Advocacy Competition, Final Round, March 2009. Cleveland, OH.
* Appellate Practice: A View From the Bench in Ohio, March 2009, Lorman Education Services Seminar. Cleveland, OH.
* The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Juvenile Law Symposium, Reinventing Juvenile Law, April and May 2009, Columbus, OH.
* Jurisdictionary, Education of Civil Procedure and Litigation, July 2009, Mount Vernon, OH.
* Cuyahoga County Bar Association, November 2009,
* Professional, Technology Challenges to a Constitutionally Fair Trial, Introduction to Criminal Law: Panel View From The Bench Week 2006 and 2007,
* Case Western Reserve Law School. August 24, 2006,
* Judith Lipton, Professor of Law, Co-Director,
* Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center, Cleveland, OH.
* Lake Legal Views, Lake County Bar Association – A More Rational Approach to Delayed Appeals, April 2015.
* Lake Legal Views, Lake County Bar Association – Making Sense of Sentencing, September 2013.
* For the Record, News for Ohio Courts, Ohio Judicial College – Just What You Need For 21st Century Justice – Published First Quarter 2009.
* Lake Legal Views, Lake County Bar Association – Greetings and Salutations for the New Year, January 2009.
* Lake Legal Views, Lake County Bar Association – Professional, January 2010.
* For the Record, News for Ohio Courts, Ohio Judicial College – Professional, Published First Quarter 2010.
* Jo Ann Davidson, The Jo Ann Davidson Leadership Institute, 37 West Broad Street, Suite 970, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
* David Diroll, Executive Director, Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 South Front Street, 5th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. John Ecklund, State Senator Ohio