COLUMBUS- A Sebring native has been named to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Gov. John Kasich on Thursday appointed 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Judith L. French to replace Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton effective Jan. 1. French has served on the 10th District Court since 2004.
French replaces Stratton who announced in May that she would retire by the end of the year. Stratton's term expires on Jan. 1, 2015.
"While our state will miss Justice Stratton, Ohioans can be confident Judge French has the diverse experience and strong legal mind required to serve on Ohio's highest court," Kasich said in a written statement. "Judge French has demonstrated her dedication to preserving the rule of law, to Ohio and its constitution, and I'm proud to appoint her to the Supreme Court."
French has been practicing law since her graduation from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1988. In 1993 she began her service to the state of Ohio as Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. She went on to serve as Section Chief and Chief Counsel to Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery from 1997 to 2002 and as Chief Counsel to Ohio Governor Bob Taft from 2002 to 2004.
She has also served as an associate for Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur from 1988 to 1992, with a focus on environmental permitting, compliance, and enforcement issues before moving on to serve as Corporate Counsel for Steelcase Inc. from 1992 to 1993.
French is a member of the Constitutional Modernization Commission co-chaired by Speaker William Batchelder and Rep. Vernon Sykes and serves on the OSU Moritz College of Law National Council, the Ohio Women's Bar Association, and has been a mentor in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She is also a board member of Amethyst Inc., a center for long-term addiction treatment with safe housing for women and their children.
French lives in central Ohio with her husband and two children.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com