Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Justice Donnelly Relishing Jump from Trial Court to Supreme Court

A new year and a new court is in session with two new justices on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Joining newly-elected Justice Melody Stewart on the Supreme Court bench is Justice Michael Donnelly, a former trial court judge.

After serving the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court for 14 years, the 160th justice on the state’s high court felt he needed to be a part of the bigger picture.

“I wanted to be in a position where I could work with my fellow justices, all the stakeholders in the system, and work on policies that will help make our justice system better and foster confidence in the citizens that we serve – that the justice system is working the way it’s supposed to be and is transparent and is efficient as it should be,” said Justice Donnelly.

As the first trial court judge elected to the Court since Justice Sharon Kennedy in 2012, Justice Donnelly is getting used to a new workflow.

“It’s like going from an emergency room where everything’s coming at you... it’s a lot of snap decisions that you have to make... and then you have a lot of work at the appellate level where you have to be very disciplined,” he said.

The dialogue is also different. Instead of only talking to attorneys, now the former assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor is sharing opinions on cases with his peers.

“Just to listen to my other colleagues, who may have other points of view, and listen to their arguments and let them resonate. I think I’m going to relish the time you have to think deeply about important issues that affect Ohioans,” Justice Donnelly said.