January 16, 2014
Justice Kennedy Gives Keynote Address at Lawyers Club of Dayton, Ohio

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy gave the keynote address at The Lawyers Club of Dayton meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2014.

Justice Kennedy’s remarks centered around her experience serving as the Supreme Court of Ohio’s 154th justice, and the current makeup of the court.

“Not since the 1930s have we changed three justices as we did in 2012,” Justice Kennedy said. “The future of the court lies in 2016 when two of the current justices will be retiring based on age limitations, followed by two more in 2018.”

Justice Kennedy also fielded questions from the audience, addressing how her past experience as a police officer has served her throughout her career.

“It gave me a working knowledge of the law and put the law into action,” she said. “I had to make decisions in heartbeat—whether to stop, search, or arrest. Fifty-one percent of the cases we read at the Ohio Supreme Court are criminal cases, and my background has always given me clarity in looking at criminal issues, because I’m looking at it through the eyes of experience.”

She also touched on her wide array of experience following her time on the police force. That included law clerking in the trial court system (general division court of common pleas), working as a general practitioner, and serving as appellate counsel in the 12th District Court of Appeals, among other things.

Justice Kennedy is serving her first term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. Justice Kennedy served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

For a high-resolution, print-quality photo of Justice Kennedy, visit: http://www.sc.ohio.gov/PIO/news/images/justices/kennedy_highres.zip.