Election March 2016: Shirley Christian

Shirley Christian is running for Judge, Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Election March 2016: Shirley Christian

Name: Shirley Christian
City of Residence: New Springfield
Party Affiliation: Republican
Office Desired: Judge, Mahoning County Common Pleas Court

Why should you be elected
I should be elected because I have proven my competence as a Common Pleas Judge. Since October of 2014 I reduced the overall docket by over 19% and the number of cases pending beyond Supreme Court Time Guidelines by 16%.

I presided over more than 1200 civil and criminal cases in this Court. I’ve conducted over 500 felony sentencing hearings where the potential sentences ranged from Community Control (Probation) to Life in Prison. Although the numbers themselves are significant, each case represents a matter of vital importance to the participants and the Public.

I represented clients in this same Court for over 28 years. I was counsel of record on over 500 cases in Mahoning County alone, many of which were complex medical malpractice cases. As a trial lawyer I was rated by my peers in Martindale Hubbell as AV/Preeminent, which is the highest level of professional excellence. I also had cases in a number of other Common Pleas Courts in other counties. This gave me the chance to see how other Common Pleas Courts handle their cases and dockets. I observed a number of judicial styles and docket management techniques and chose from the best.

I am at home in the Courtroom. I am familiar with, and comfortable with, high stakes litigation. This serves me well as a Judge when I am making rulings on matters of grave significance. The seriousness of the situation cannot cloud the application of the proper law to the facts. My experience as a trial lawyer for so many years helps me to properly deal with those settings.

I‘ve never run for public office and previously never worked for the Government. I worked hard my entire career to build a successful practice and now believe that I should take those life experiences and make a greater impact on the lives of others.

As a former athlete and trial lawyer I know that with any dispute there is nothing more important than a level playing field. It has been my job to make that field level. I take that responsibility seriously. I know that is what every person who enters the Court asks. I believe that is what they get.

Top three priorities
1) Continue to work hard every day to provide excellent decisions for the people of this County and fairly follow Ohio’s sentencing purposes and principles of punishing the offender and protecting the public.
2) Continue to reduce the time to end cases so that all participants receive a fair and efficient resolution.
3) Continue to look for ways to improve the Court with programs like the Veterans Treatment Court, Educational Programs and Juror feedback.

Judge Christian attended Edinboro University and Ohio Northern Law School. She was appointed to the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas in August of 2014 and replaced retiring Judge James Evans in October of that year. Prior to taking the Bench she was a trial lawyer and Member of the law firm of Harrington Hoppe and Mitchell and the first female member of its Management Committee. She had 28 years of litigation experience in Common Pleas Court prior to her appointment.

In 2006 she was appointed by former Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Thomas Moyer, to serve on the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the body that reviews grievances against Judges and Lawyers.

She was also appointed by the Past President of the Ohio State Bar Association to serve on the Judicial Review Committee, which evaluates and interviews candidates to the Ohio Supreme Court. She chaired a sub-committee of that group. She served on the Board of Governors of the Ohio State Bar Association and was chair of its Government Affairs Committee.

She is a graduate of Edinboro University where she earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees. She graduated from Ohio Northern University Law School where she graduated in the top 10% of her class.

She is a former President of the Mahoning County Bar Association and longtime member of its Grievance Committee. Her husband, Attorney Robert Christian is the President Elect of the Mahoning County Bar Association.

She is a member of the Lions Club of Youngstown, Goodwill Board, Nathaniel R. Jones Inns of Court, Women United (United Way), Mahoning County and Ohio State Bar Associations.

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