Terrence O'Donnell

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Terrence O'Donnell
Current Court Information:
Ohio Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Position:   Term commencing 1/1/2013
Salary:  $142,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Bob Taft
Active:   2003-2018
Preceded by:   Deborah Cook
Past post:   Judge, Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals
Past term:   1995-2003
Past post 2:   Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Past term 2:   1982-1994
Personal History
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   Kent State University, 1968
Law School:   Cleveland State University, 1971
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Ohio
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Election vote:  69.12%ApprovedA

Terrence O'Donnell is a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court. He was appointed to this position by Governor Bob Taft, effective May 19, 2003, to replace Judge Deborah Cook. His current term ends December 31, 2018.[1][2]


O'Donnell received his B.A. in political science from Kent State University in 1968 and his J.D. from Cleveland State University in 1971.[3]


Awards and associations


  • 2006: Distinguished Alumni Award - Cleveland State University
  • 2006: ORT Jurisprudence Award
  • 2006: Honorary Doctors degree - University of Akron School of Law
  • 2005: 75th Anniversary of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kent State University - Outstanding Graduate
  • 2004: Alumnus of the Year, St. Edward High School
  • 2003: Public Official of the Year, Federation of German-American Societies of Greater Cleveland
  • 2003: American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin - Central Ohio
  • 2003: American Nationalities Movement - Captive Nations Commemoration Program, Justice Award
  • 1989-1998: President's Award, Cleveland Bar Association, Law Related Education Committee,
  • Student Essay Contest[3]


  • Officer, Catholic Lawyer's Guild of Cleveland
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, 2005 Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellows Class
  • Chairman, Ohio Legal Rights Service Commission
  • Chairman, Law Related Education Committee, Cleveland Bar Association
  • Member, Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Supreme Court of Ohio
  • Member, Court Statistical Reporting Committee, Supreme Court of Ohio[3]



O'Donnell defeated Mike Skindell in the general election on November 6, winning 69.12% of the vote.[4][5]

See also: Ohio judicial elections, 2012

Ohio State Bar Association rating

In June and September, the Ohio State Bar Association rated O'Donnell as "Recommended" according to eight criteria: legal knowledge and ability; professional competence; judicial temperament; integrity; diligence; health; personal responsibility; and public/community service.[6][7]

2006 Election

In 2006, O'Donnell defeated William M. O'Neill, winning 58.67% of the vote.[8]

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyElection %
Terrence O'Donnell ApprovedA YesTerm commencing January 1, 2007Republican58.7%
William O'Neill NoTerm commencing January 1, 2007Democratic41.3%

Campaign contributions

In 2006, the Ohio Supreme Court found itself the subject of a national story. The New York Times had run an article detailing how the court favors those providing hefty campaign contributions. According to the paper's research, O'Donnell voted with his donors 91% of the time.[9]

2004 election

In 2004, O'Donnell ran for the seat to which he was appointed in April 2003.

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyElection %
Terrence O'Donnell ApprovedA YesTerm commencing January 1, 2005Republican60.5%
William O'Neill NoTerm commencing January 1, 2005Democratic39.5%

2000 Election

In 2000, O'Donnell was defeated by incumbent Alice Robie Resnick. Resnick won 57% of the vote.[10]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. O'Donnell received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.87, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more conservative than the average CF score of 0.62 that justices received in Ohio. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[11]

See also

External links


OhioOhio Supreme CourtOhio District Courts of AppealOhio Courts of Common PleasOhio County CourtsOhio Municipal CourtsOhio Court of ClaimsUnited States District Court for the Northern District of OhioUnited States District Court for the Southern District of OhioUnited States bankruptcy court, Northern District of OhioUnited States bankruptcy court, Southern District of OhioUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitOhio countiesOhio judicial newsOhio judicial electionsJudicial selection in OhioOhioTemplate.jpg