Judith Ann Lanzinger
January 1, 2005 - present
Last day of current term: December 31, 2016
In 2004, Judith Ann Lanzinger became the only person in Ohio ever elected to all four levels of the state judiciary. Re-elected in 2010 to the Supreme Court for a second six-year term, over the last 28 years she has also served on the 6th District Court of Appeals, the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and the Toledo Municipal Court. And for the first time in Ohio history, with Joshua Lanzinger joining the municipal bench in 2013, a mother and son are serving together as state court judges.
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 was employed in Toledo Edison’s legal department and then practiced 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 is currently on the faculty.
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 a variety of 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 was the first chair of the 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. Waite American Inn of Court. 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, a choir director, and a performer in the Toledo Junior Bar Association’s Gridiron shows.
Married for more than 45 years, the justice and her husband, Robert Lanzinger, live in Toledo and along with their son, also have a daughter and son-in-law, both attorneys, and three grandchildren who keep her enjoying life.
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