Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Donning the Supreme Court Robe for a Day

For all of us, there's no telling where life's road will lead. That's certainly the case for any judge lucky enough to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court, even for just a day.

A visiting judge, as they're known, is one of the 69 sitting Ohio appellate court judges selected by the chief justice to sit temporarily on the Supreme Court when a justice recuses from a case. Wednesday marked the fifth time that Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Susan Brown was asked to fill in for the state's highest court.

"It feels good. I haven't been back in a while, so it was nice to have been invited to come back," said Brown.

Although this time she felt calm and relaxed, her emotions the first time around in 2000 were anything but reserved.

"I was very excited. It was interesting, intimidating. I was nervous, but it was a wonderful experience. The conference room was interesting, the way that it works in the conference room when you're conferencing the cases. It was a learning experience. I think my parents even came that day to watch," Brown said.

Even after two decades building her comfort level by hearing cases at the appellate level, Brown admitted the lights are noticeably brighter on the Supreme Court's bench.

"It is a little different, not quite as comfortable, not wanting to misstep."

So, for those fortunate to grace the hallowed halls of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center as a visiting judge, her word of wisdom is simple: preparation.

"Give yourself enough time to come in and settle down and to be prepared. That's the most important thing. Make sure you've read everything and that you are prepared. Even if you don't get a question out, when you go back into conference you want to be ready and be prepared with your thoughts."