Chief Justice
Eric Brown

Archive of Public Speeches

May 3, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2010

Chief Justice Eric BrownFormer Chief Justice Eric Brown has spent his career in public service focused on protecting communities and families. For more than 30 years, he demonstrated his passion for serving in his community, based upon values derived from his parents and his Jewish faith. He has had broad and extensive experience, from owning his own businesses, to serving as a school board member, to presiding over the busiest courts in our state. As a former Ohio Assistant Attorney General, Brown fought to protect consumers from fraud and to protect children and minorities from tobacco marketing.

The former Chief Justice started his legal career engaged in a private law practice in his hometown of Cleveland, handling a wide variety of legal matters in both a small firm and solo practice. Not only did he handle civil and criminal litigation, but he also handled business, real estate, and probate law matters. Brown was one of the first lawyers in Ohio to develop a law practice serving the needs of the elderly and their families.

Chief Justice Brown served for nearly 15 years as an elected public school board member for Mayfield City Schools. For a decade, he served the bar association as treasurer, chair of the budget & management committee, and as an elected trustee. Further, he owned and operated several businesses, and was honored by the local chamber of commerce as Business Person of the Year.

Brown was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland to serve out the remainder of the term of the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, who died in office on April 2, 2010.

Prior to his state appointment, the former Chief Justice served as the Judge for Franklin County's Probate Court where he presided over the largest single-judge court in Ohio, served as both judge and clerk of the court, oversaw a staff of 50 employees, including seven magistrates.

Before serving as probate court judge, Brown served as a Judge and Magistrate on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, where he presided over a large caseload consisting of criminal felony cases, substantial civil disputes, administrative appeals, and a wide variety of other matters, including serving as the probate judge in a significant guardianship case. As a common pleas court judge, he handled more than 7,300 cases on his docket, nearly 4,400 of those civil and more than 3,000 of those criminal cases.

In June 2009, Brown was named an ASTAR Fellow after completing the two-year Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource program, which prepares judges to preside over cases involving complex science and technology issues and to serve as a resource to other judges.

After the end of his statewide term, Brown returned to the local bench in January 2011, with his appointment to a Franklin County Municipal Court judgeship.

Chief Justice Brown's service on judicial-related organizations also includes: the Ohio Judicial Conference Probate Law & Procedure Committee; the Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice & Procedure; and the Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board, which provides oversight for criminal and juvenile justice programs funded through Franklin County.

Chief Justice Brown also served 11 years as an Assistant Attorney General for Ohio Attorneys General Lee Fisher and Betty Montgomery, where he worked as both a lawyer and a manager. As Assistant and Acting Chief of the Consumer Protection Section, he successfully managed a staff of 70, including lawyers, investigators, consumer specialists, and support staff. As Tobacco Litigation Counsel, he helped lead the largest litigation in Ohio history, coordinating the work of six law firms serving as outside counsel, supervising a core team of eight staff attorneys, and coordinating Ohio's efforts with more than 40 other states.

Brown received a bachelor's degree in history from Cleveland State University in 1975 and a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1979. He shares his passion for public service with his wife of more than 37 years, Marilyn. They are members of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus.

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