On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

May 3, 2012
Chief Justice O'Connor Speaks at OSBA Convention

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor told the membership of the Ohio State Bar Association today that properly funding Ohio’s courts not only keeps courthouse doors open but serves a far greater purpose: ensuring access to justice for the state’s citizens.

Each year the chief justice speaks during the annual convention of the association that represents about 25,000 members of the bench and bar. This was Chief Justice O’Connor’s second annual address.

“Open and accessible courts are not a luxury,” she said. “They are an absolute necessity in a free and civilized society. They are guaranteed in the Ohio and U.S. constitutions.”

She referenced the American Bar Association’s 2012 Law Day theme of “No Courts. No Justice. No Freedom.” in her remarks. She also noted that ABA President Bill Robinson has made solving court funding his number one issue and priority during his year-long term.

Chief Justice O’Connor also gave an update on the progress of the Task Force on the Funding of Ohio Courts. The group has met twice and will continue to meet throughout this year and next. It was formed to look beyond the immediate financial situation and examine long-term solutions to strengthen the financial picture of Ohio’s courts.

“We who work in the legal system can’t simply bemoan the lack of funding for courts and the consequences and leave it at that,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “We can’t make demands only to keep a sinking ship afloat. We must make an effort to think differently. Improving the delivery of services is paramount even if we weren’t faced with the financial constraints.”

At the conclusion of her remarks, Chief Justice O’Connor presented the association’s fifth John C. and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award to Columbus attorney James Feibel.

The convention also included these highlights:

Read the complete text of Chief Justice O'Connor's OSBA Convention speech.