Sharon L. Kennedy
Justice since December 7, 2012
Last day of current term: December 31, 2014
Prior to her term on the Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy served at the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division since 1999. From 2005 until December of 2012 Justice Kennedy served as the administrative judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division.
Serving as the administrative judge, Justice Kennedy improved the case management system to ensure the timely resolution of cases for families and children. Working with state legislators she championed a "common sense" family law initiative to reduce multiple-forum litigation for Butler County families.
During Justice Kennedy’s term as administrative judge, Butler County faced tough economic times. Justice Kennedy organized concerned elected officials in a county-wide Budget Work Group. Seeing the need to bring private sector financial know-how to the government, she worked to create the Advisory Committee to the Budget Work Group. Serving as the facilitator, Justice Kennedy led discussions between county officials and private sector leaders to analyze county finances, study and implement cost saving measures, and present business driven fiscal policy to the County Commissioners.
Beginning her legal career as a solo practitioner, Justice Kennedy ran a small business of her own. While in private practice she served the legal needs of families, juveniles, and the less fortunate. As special counsel for Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery, Justice Kennedy fought on behalf of Ohio’s taxpayers to collect monies due the State of Ohio. As a part-time magistrate in the Butler County Area Courts, Justice Kennedy presided over a wide-array of civil litigation and assisted law enforcement officers and private citizens seeking the issuance of criminal warrants for arrest.
Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer. She was assigned to a rotating, shift-single officer road patrol unit working to protect and serve the citizens of the City of Hamilton. From the routine, to the heart pounding, to the heart breaking she has seen it all. During her career at the Hamilton Police Department Justice Kennedy also worked undercover operations, implemented crime prevention programs, and later, as a civil assistant, assisted in drafting police policy and procedure for the Accreditation Program.
Throughout her career Justice Kennedy has served on numerous boards, developed and facilitated programs to address the needs of young people, and worked with judges across the state. As a dedicated jurist she has received multiple awards of recognition including: The University of Cincinnati College of Law Nicholas Longworth, III Alumni Achievement Award, May 17, 2014; Northwest High School Distinguished Alumnus Award, April 25, 2014; named one of 13 professional women to watch by The Cincinnati Enquirer, March 17, 2013; Excellence in Public Service, June 2009; Judge of the Year, 2006; Above the Fold Award, 2002; and the Furtherance of Justice Award, 2001.
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