Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Raise the Bar: Sexual Harassment Training
June 12, 2018

(Remarks prepared for delivery on June 12, 2018, in the PIO Video Studio at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center)

Welcome to “Raise the Bar: How Attorneys and Judges Can Help Eliminate Sexual Harassment in the Courts and the Legal Profession.”

I’m Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.

I called for this joint seminar because it’s important for both judges and attorneys to be in the room at the same time to focus on this issue.

Let me say, with no hesitation, that sexual harassment is against the law and has no place in the office or the courtroom.

Simply put, sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any form.

It is important to educate those within the judicial community to prevent sexual harassment in our courthouses and wherever law is practiced.

The news media has recently focused on allegations of improper conduct by powerful figures in a variety of settings, including entertainment, government, and education.

The legal profession and judiciary are not immune from this problem.

Courthouses and law firms should be havens where all parties and employees should be respected and protected, not victimized by the individuals abusing their authority.

This webcast on sexual harassment reflects a unique partnership between the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio State Bar Association to provide education for lawyers and judges.

The program aims to do several things:

To change the conversation on sexual harassment.

To protect victims from being silenced or penalized.

To ensure inappropriate conduct will be reported and properly addressed.

And finally, to let you hear from a cross-section of experts, who will offer important insights on these issues.

Let me be clear: This webcast is only the start of an ongoing conversation.

Thank you to my colleagues in the legal community for being here and addressing sexual harassment.

It requires commitment and leadership.

I appreciate all of your participation to make courthouses and law offices better places to work and to respect every person’s rights.

God Bless.