Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
New Magistrates Orientation
March 8, 2017

Thanks to all of you for taking on the responsibility of becoming a magistrate. Let me be one of the first to welcome you to the Ohio judiciary.

You represent the largest class of new magistrates in 10 years. We are pleased with the importance that your judges have placed on this education, and we are confident that your time will be well spent.

As magistrates, you assist in the critical work of making sure each case receives the individual attention it deserves and that every person can have his or her day in court.

As a former probate court magistrate, I know the challenges of managing cases, writing opinions, and scheduling hearings.

I also know that making the best possible decision on a case is the motivation for what you will be doing.

Both magistrates and judges perform their duties with one outcome in mind: to dispense justice faithfully and impartially and to ensure that all litigants and interested parties know that they were able to present their case to someone who actually listened.

Over the next few days, courses on the work of magistrates and on the transition from bar to bench will take center stage.

These courses will include court-system basics like Rules of Practice and Procedure and points of evidence.

In addition, practice-area specific knowledge will help you understand the important and crucial tasks that you are undertaking.

The quality of this course prepared by the Ohio Judicial College is second to none and the Judicial College is nationally recognized for excellence.

Your education and interaction with the Judicial College does not end with the close of this course.

You will find that the Supreme Court, through the Judicial College, offers courses throughout the year to help you be the best magistrate you can be.

I urge you to seek out our resources and stay involved.

Magistrates are also increasingly involved in the Supreme Court’s boards and commissions.

Many magistrates serve on committees such as the Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Judicial College’s Board of Trustees, and committees of the Ohio Judicial Conference.

In addition, magistrates are involved in drafting legislation.

Undoubtedly, you will have questions as you go along.

Don’t hesitate to ask.

Please take advantage of the resources the Supreme Court offers through the Judicial College, the Office of Judicial & Education Services, and the Office of Court Services.

Our services are here for one purpose: to serve the judiciary…of which you are now a member.

Thank you once again, God bless, and good luck.