Mary Jane Trapp for the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals, Feb. 10 term: endorsement editorial

The editorial board of The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com endorses Mary Jane Trapp for the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals, Feb. 10 term.

trapp.jpgMary Jane Trapp 

Seeking an 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals judgeship for a term beginning Feb. 10 are two lawyers in private practice, one of them a former judge of the court, which hears appeals from Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull counties.

The Republican nominee is Casey O’Brien, of Jefferson, whose law office is in Chardon. The Democratic nominee is Mary Jane Trapp, of Russell Township, a former appellate judge and member of Cleveland’s Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan law firm.

O’Brien, 43, said the appeals court “needs the perspective of someone with a busy life, similar to the [appellate district’s] voters.” He said he’d strive to modernize procedures, including easing participation of “pro se” litigants – people representing themselves.

Trapp, if she’s elected, said she’d work to foster confidence in the courts through clearly written opinions and would push for a fully electronic docket to reduce litigant costs, promote transparency and provide easy access to court records.

Trapp, 62, served as president of the Ohio State Bar Association in 2001 and was elected a judge of the 11th District court in 2006, serving through 2012, when she was unseated by Republican Colleen Mary O’Toole.

O’Brien is a thoughtful and substantial candidate. He should continue his quest for a judgeship. But Trapp’s insights and experiences, her earlier appeals court service, and her leadership within the legal profession make her the preferred candidate. Voters should elect Mary Jane Trapp to the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals on the Nov. 6 ballot. 

Early in-person and absentee voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Oct. 10. For more resources on judicial races in Ohio, consult Judicial Votes Count at the University of Akron and the League of Women Voters’ voters’ guide

Retiring 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals Judge Diane V. Grendell wanted her seat abolished when she steps down next February. It’s not happening. Instead, Mary Jane Trapp, a former administrative and presiding judge of the Trumbull County-based appeals court, is running to rejoin the court, which also hears appeals from Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Portage counties. She is opposed by Casey O’Brien of Ibold & O’Brien in Chardon. He started practicing law in 2000 and and lists a varied general practice. The two candidates were interviewed Sept. 11, 2018 by the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer as part of its endorsement process. Listen to full audio of the endorsement interview below:

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