Judicial Profile: Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Julia L. Dorrian
Judge Julia Dorrian has nearly 12 years of service on the bench, with the last four and a half years being at the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County.
Public service is deeply rooted on both sides of Judge Dorrian’s family. Just across the street from the appeals court sits Dorrian Commons, a park named after her uncle, Michael, a former Franklin County commissioner. Her father Hugh is Columbus’ long-serving auditor. Her mother Janice comes from a family of firefighters.
“I’m very proud of my family’s tradition of public service and it’s given me a great example to follow now that I, myself, am in public service,” Judge Dorrian said.
She was inspired to enroll in law school after volunteering in Santiago, Chile.
“Chile was transitioning from dictatorship to democracy and it was really a fascinating time to be there as a student of political science, as I was, and I saw firsthand the role that lawyers played both in defending and advocating for human rights in that country but also in reestablishing their democracy and their democratic institutions,” she said.
A print hanging in her chambers depicts the house she lived in, reminding her of the time she spent working with the poor and women’s organizations in a barrio on the outskirts of the Latin American city.
With her knowledge of Spanish and French, Judge Dorrian has used her foreign language experience to champion the use of qualified interpreters in the courtroom.
“I do a lot with the Supreme Court here on interpreter issues throughout the state of Ohio and helping to develop standards to ensure that interpreters in our courts are qualified, and I also work with and teach my fellow judges on how to work with interpreters to ensure that they are qualified.”
Judge Dorrian serves with seven other judges on the appeals court to hear appeals from the trial courts in Franklin County, the Ohio Court of Claims, and state agencies.
“We all bring different experiences to the table and our understanding of the law, different philosophies, and it’s really a very good process to take a look at the cases and all the issues we have to decide together. When people come to the court, they’re looking to the court to assist them in a time of need or to help them resolve a dispute or a conflict, and that’s very humbling,” Judge Dorrian said.
Judge Dorrian strives to be humble and respectful of all who appear before the Tenth District Court of Appeals.