Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Justice Terrence O’Donnell Sworn in to Second Term

Hundreds of family and friends attended Justice Terrence O’Donnell’s swearing-in ceremony at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center today where United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit Judge Deborah L. Cook administered the oath of office.  Judge Cook is a former Ohio Supreme Court justice.

Justice O’Donnell will serve his second full term on the Ohio Supreme Court. Ohio voters re-elected him in November.

“As I continue my service on the court, it enables me now to step up and positively impact the lives of those who come before this court – seeking justice and seeking an answer,” Justice O’Donnell said.

The ceremony began with a judicial procession led by the Pipe and Drums of the Cleveland Police. Justice O’Donnell was ceremonially robed by his wife, Mary Beth, and four grown children.

“Our lives aren’t about us really. They’re about those that we encounter and the opportunities that we have to impact the lives of so many people,” Justice O’Donnell said. “I know this to be true personally and professionally.”

Justice O’Donnell began his judicial career in 1980 on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, and served there for 14 years until his election to the Eighth District Court of Appeals in 1994. He served on the appellate bench for eight years before joining the Supreme Court in 2003.

Justice O’Donnell began his legal career at the Ohio Supreme Court as a law clerk to Justice J.J.P. Corrigan in 1971, and then clerked for Judges John V. Corrigan and John M. Manos on the Eighth District Court of Appeals. Before beginning his judicial service, he practiced at a Cleveland law firm for six years and was also a former school teacher. Justice O’Donnell received his juris doctorate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University and was recognized by the university with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Since 2003, Justice O’Donnell has led statewide efforts to increase professionalism among lawyers and judges across Ohio. He regularly speaks on topics of ethics, professionalism, and appellate advocacy, and also supports the expansion and strengthening of lawyer mentoring in Ohio.

Justice O'Donnell has served as chairman of the Ohio Legal Rights Service Commission. The commission oversees the protection and advocacy of the developmentally disabled and mentally ill statewide. He is a past member of the board of trustees of Our Lady of the Wayside, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the mentally and physically challenged where his brother, John, lived for 10 years until he died in 2011.

Justice O'Donnell and his wife currently reside in Rocky River.