WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today announced the members of the bipartisan judiciary advisory commission that will assist them in identifying the best candidates to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio. The Southern District has court locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton and serves more than five million Ohioans in 48 counties. The Northern District has court locations in Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves approximately 5.9 million citizens of the 40 northernmost counties in Ohio.

Elizabeth Smith, a Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP, will chair the commission. The other members of the bipartisan commission are as follows:

  • Ted Adams, Vice President and Senior Counsel, L Brands
  • Michael J. Beazley, City Administrator, Oregon, Ohio
  • Tim Cosgrove, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Michael Crites, Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, United States Department of Justice
  • Rebecca Cull, Partner, Kohnen & Patton LLP
  • Caroline Gentry, Partner, Porter Wright
  • Joyce Goldstein, Partner, Goldstein Gragel LLC
  • Art Hernandez, Director of Global Compliance, RPM International Inc.
  • Emily Houh, Professor of the Law and Contracts, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Matt Jolson, Assistant General Counsel, Nationwide Insurance
  • Kurt Kaufman, Attorney at Law
  • Cathy Kilbane, ‎Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • Peter Kirsanow, Partner, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
  • Mark Kuhn, County Prosecutor, Scioto County
  • Michael Lenzo, Chief Legal Counsel, The Ohio House of Representatives
  • Sandy McNair, Partner, Schwarzwald McNair & Fusco LLP
  • Margaret Murray, Partner, Murray & Murray
  • Mike Oestreicher, Partner, Thompson Hine LLP
  • Leah Pappas, Partner-in-Charge, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
  • Aftab Pureval, Clerk of Courts, Hamilton County
  • Lisa Radigan, Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Diebold, Inc.
  • Carole Rendon, Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, United States Department of Justice
  • Frederick L. Ransier, III, Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP
  • Marquettes Robinson, Shareholder, Thacker Robinson Zinz, LPA
  • Mark Wagoner, Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
  • Christopher Walker, Associate Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • Mark Weaver, Partner, Isaac Wiles Burkholder & Teetor, LLC

The bipartisan advisory commission process was first established by Sen. Brown and former U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), and Sens. Brown and Portman have carried on the tradition.

Sens. Brown and Portman accepted and reviewed applications for the Commission earlier this year.  The process yielded a strong field of candidates to serve on the Commission, and the senators are confident the commissioners they are announcing today will provide informed and constructive counsel in choosing Ohio’s federal judges.

The President of the United States nominates U.S. district court judges based on recommendations from U.S. senators. Nominees must then be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate. Federal district courts are general trial courts that hear both civil and criminal cases.