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Judith Ann Lanzinger

Judith Ann Lanzinger is the only person ever elected to all four levels of Ohio’s judiciary. In addition to the Supreme Court, she has also served on the 6th District Court of Appeals, the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and the Toledo Municipal Court. And with Joshua Lanzinger joining the municipal bench in 2013, for the first time a mother and son served together as state court judges.

Justice Lanzinger served two full terms on teh Supreme Court of Ohio, becoming the 150th justice after her election in November 2004. She was re-elected in 2010.

Judith Hodorowski was the granddaughter of coal-miners and daughter of a carpenter. After grade school, believing she had a religious vocation, she joined the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, attended Lourdes Jr. College, and then taught as Sr. William Ann at St. Jude elementary school in Toledo. After leaving the order as a novice, she enrolled at the University of Toledo and received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in education and English. She married Robert Lanzinger and started a family while continuing to teach and before earning a law degree cum laude at the University of Toledo College of Law where she was valedictorian of her class. She was named Distinguished Alumna of her alma mater in 2012.

Before taking the bench, Justice Lanzinger worked in Toledo Edison’s legal department and was a Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick associate attorney. Later, as a judge, she won scholarships to earn a master’s degree in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Judicial College. She has been on the NJC faculty since 1990. She taught trial practice for 18 years at her former law school, as well as judicial courses throughout the U.S. and in the former Soviet Union.

She chaired the committee that published the first Supreme Court Writing Manual in 2012, which is used by the court for its opinions. She was the first chair of the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence that created rules of access to court records. In 2015, she was appointed to the Recodification Committee of the 130th Ohio General Assembly.

For nearly 30 years the justice was active in judicial associations. She was a chairperson and a board member of the Ohio Judicial College. She was president of the Morrison R. Waite American Inn of Court, which mentors young lawyers. She was a member of the Ohio Courts Futures Commission and the Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Professional Conduct, as well as the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.

Justice Lanzinger received a variety of awards during her career. Among them are the Toledo Junior Bar’s Order of the Heel and the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the Toledo Women’s Bar Association, both given for helping young lawyers. Her outside interests include music and art.

The former justice and her husband, Robert, live in Toledo and, along with their son, also have a daughter and son-in-law, both attorneys, and three grandchildren.

Justice Lanzinger's term on the Supreme Court ended on Dec. 31, 2016, due to Ohio's mandatory age limits for judges.

William Howard Taft

150th Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio

Jan 1, 2005
to Dec 31, 2016

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