The Judicial Qualifications Committee (JQC) is part of the CMBA-led reform effort, created by then-President Mike Ungar in December 2010, working cooperatively with Chairs of both local political parties.
It has been used by both Governor Kasich and former Governor Strickland to ensure that candidates being considered for appointment to judicial vacancies are qualified. It has led to appointments of only qualified candidates by both governors.
Criteria considered to determine if a candidate is qualified or not qualified includes: professional ability; work ethic; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Also considered are: (i) the number of years of experience practicing law (six years is required by Ohio law, but in and of itself may be insufficient); (ii) specific experience in the Court to which the applicant aspires; (iii) community and bar activities; and (iv) the need for diversity.
Co-chaired on bipartisan basis by Bob Linton, Jr. of Linton & Hirshman and Peggy Foley Jones of Giffen & Kaminski
The JQC has a broad diversity of membership. Members of the JQC include representatives from the CMBA Judicial Selection Committee, Asian American Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition, Human Rights Campaign, Norman S. Minor Bar Association, Ohio Hispanic Bar Association, Ohio Women’s Bar Association, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and both the Democratic and Republican parties. Membership includes representatives from small firms, large firms, prosecutors, defense lawyers, government lawyers, public representatives, etc.