Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

New Magistrates Learn the Ropes

It’s not easy transitioning from the bar to the bench.

That’s why the Ohio Supreme Court’s Judicial College recently offered a three-day orientation course to teach 47 magistrates how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor offered advice and guidance.

“Sometimes the best solution isn’t the legal solution, but rather a compromise,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “It may be a solution that you’ve been able to fashion because you listened and you instilled some level of trust from the parties. The proposed solution will make sense, save time and money, and just as important, allow people to move on.”

Jamie Agnew, newly appointed to the Toledo Municipal Court, had many questions.

“I’m very new, this magistrate conference was great for me,” said Agnew. “A lot of people I’m running into at the conference have been on the bench for six months to one year. I’m learning from everybody else.”

The attendees evaluated and learned how to improve their decision-making and writing skills. They also discussed ethical issues that may come up in the courtroom.

Michelle Hay, a new magistrate with Summit County Common Pleas Court, said she has a passion for public service.

“I’ve worked for eight years in litigation at both big law firms and in-house,” Hay said. “I really wanted to get involved in the judicial system and make an impact on the community.”

These magistrates will continue their education throughout their tenure on the bench. Ohio magistrates must complete 24 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction offered by the Judicial College, every two years.