Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Justice Judith L. French Ceremonially Sworn In as 155th Justice

Justice Judith L. French was ceremonially sworn in as the 155th justice of the Ohio Supreme Court at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium this afternoon, surrounded by around 350 family members and friends. She officially took office on January 1.

View the complete ceremony.

Justice French was appointed by Gov. John Kasich in December after Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton announced her retirement. She must run in the November 2014 general election to serve a full six-year term.

“What I really want to say is ‘thank you,’” Justice French said. “I’m only here because many people throughout the course of my life helped me grow and develop as a person, as a lawyer, and as a judge.”

The ceremony began with a processional from the Shamrock Pipes and Drums. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor gave the keynote remarks and then administered the oath of office.

“Justice French is accomplished and generally a nice person to be sure,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “One thing Justice French has probably noticed already is the collegiality we all feel toward one another on the court and in the spirit of respectfulness we conduct our deliberations.”

Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice French served on the Tenth District Court of Appeals since 2004. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from The Ohio State University. Justice French lives in Grandview Heights with her husband, Ed Skeens, who is a magistrate in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and two children.

“I promise that every moment of every day I serve the state of Ohio as a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, I will give the full measure of my energy and devotion,” Justice French said.

This is the fourth swearing-in ceremony for Ohio Supreme Court justices in recent weeks. Returning Justice Terrence O’Donnell took the oath of office for his second, full six-year term on January 10. Justice William M. O’Neill was sworn in to his first six-year term on the court on December 27, while Justice Sharon L. Kennedy took her oath on December 7 to fill out the final two years of an unexpired term.