Judith Ann Lanzinger
January 1, 2005 - present
Last day of current term: December 31, 2016
In 2004, Judith Ann Lanzinger made history by becoming the only person ever elected to all four levels of the Ohio judiciary. She was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2010. Over the last 27 years, she has served on the Supreme Court, the 6th District Court of Appeals, the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and the Toledo Municipal Court. This background gives her a wide-ranging perspective of Ohio’s court system.
The granddaughter of coal-miners and daughter of a carpenter, Justice Lanzinger was the first one in her family to attend college. She received a bachelor's degree magna cum laude in education and English from the University of Toledo. She then taught elementary school and started a family before earning a law degree cum laude at the University of Toledo College of Law where she was valedictorian of her class. She was named Distinguished Alumna of her alma mater in 2012.
Before taking the bench, Justice Lanzinger worked in the Toledo Edison legal department and then practiced for five years with Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick. Later, as a judge, she won scholarships to become one of the first to earn a master’s degree in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Judicial College, where she was recognized for 12 years of faculty service.
She was an adjunct professor for 18 years at her former law school and has taught judicial courses throughout the United States, as well as in the former Soviet Union. The Justice continues to speak about the court system to community groups, and has special interest in the Law and Leadership program.
In the spring of 2010, Justice Lanzinger started a blog, http://justicejudy.blogspot.com, for public education about the courts. She is Ohio’s representative for former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s icivics.org, a national website that has a similar intent. Her special interest in the use of technology and writing spurred her to chair a committee that published the first Supreme Court Writing Manual in 2012.
Justice Lanzinger has performed extra-judicial service in her quarter of a century as a judge. She was the first chair ofthe Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts. Previously, she served as chairperson and a board member of the Ohio Judicial College. She is past president of the Morrison R. WaiteAmerican Inn of Court and now serves as the Supreme Court liaison to the Ohio Historical Courts Society. She also served as co-chair of the Public Education and Awareness Task Force of the Ohio Courts Futures Commission and was a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline, as well as the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.
Among her awards are the Toledo Junior Bar’s Order of the Heel and the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the Toledo Women’s Bar Association, both given for assistance to young lawyers. Her interests include music and art. She has been an organist and choir director and has performed in the Toledo Junior Bar Association’s Gridiron shows in the ‘80s.
Married for more than 40 years, the justice and her husband, Robert Lanzinger, live in Toledo and have a daughter, son, and son-in-law, who are all attorneys, and three grandchildren, who keep her well-balanced and enjoying life.
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