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John O'Meara

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John O'Meara
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #5
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   9/15/1994 - 1/1/2007
Senior:   1/1/2007 - Present
Preceded by:   Horace Gilmore
Succeeded by:   Mark Goldsmith
Personal History
Born:   1933
Hometown:   Hillsdale, MI
Undergraduate:   University of Notre Dame, A.B., 1955
Law School:   Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1962
Military service:   U.S. Navy 1955 - 1959

John Corbett O'Meara is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. O'Meara presides cases out of the Ann Arbor branch. He is serving on senior status.

Early life and education

A native of Michigan, O'Meara graduated from the University of Notre Dame with his bachelor's degree in 1955 and graduated from Harvard Law School with his Juris Doctor degree in 1962. Before attending law school, O'Meara enlisted and served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1959. O'Meara attained the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserve and was the Commanding Officer of Submarine Division 9-228 located at the Broadhead Naval Armory in Detroit.[1]

Professional career

After leaving the US Navy, O'Meara became a staff assistant to former United States Senator Philip Hart. After graduating from Harvard with his law degree, O'Meara became a partner at the firm of Dickinson, Wright, Moon, VanDusen & Freeman of Detroit from 1962 to his appointment in the Federal Judiciary specializing in employment law litigation, representing management clients.[1][2]

Judge O'Meara taught employment law as an adjunct professor at Detroit Mercy Law School from 1965 through 1970. O'Meara was active in Bar activities and served as an officer or member of various sections and committees of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Detroit Bar Association.[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Michigan

On the recommendation of Senators Carl Levin and William Riegle, Jr, O'Meara was nominated by Bill Clinton on April 26, 1994, to a seat vacated by Horace Gilmore. O'Meara was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 14, 1994 on a senate vote and received commission on September 15, 1994 and later assumed senior status on January 1, 2007.[2]

Notable cases

Possibility of parole for juvenile lifers (2013)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Henry Hill, et al v. Rick Snyder, et al, 5:10-cv-14568-JCO-RSW)

In February 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of nine Michigan inmates who were sentenced to life in prison as juveniles without the possibility of parole. The named plaintiff in the case, Henry Hill, was 16 when he was convicted of first-degree murder. On November 26, 2013, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision condemning the sentencing of children to life in prison without the possibility of parole as cruel and unusual punishment, Judge John O'Meara ordered that the State of Michigan cease enforcement of a law that denies the parole board jurisdiction over juvenile lifers. Further, O'Meara ordered that all juvenile offenders sentenced to life who have served 10 years be given notice of their eligibility for parole. Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette, however, did not believe that the Supreme Court's edict was meant to be applied retroactively, and appealed O'Meara's order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On December 23, 2013, the Sixth Circuit stayed O'Meara's ruling pending the resolution of the governor's appeal.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Disabled army vet loses disability discrimination monetary award (2010)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (James N. McKelvey, v. Pete Geren, Secretary of the Unites States Army, 5:07-cv-14538-JCO-MKM)

On January 28, 2010, Judge O'Meara tossed out a $4.3 million dollar verdict awarded to an Iraqi war veteran over claims he was ridiculed on the job due to a disability. The man had lost his right hand during combat duty in Iraq, and alleged that he quit his job because of a hostile work environment. Judge O'Meara felt it was better to have his job reinstated rather than have millions of dollars awarded to him.[9]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Horace Gilmore
Eastern District of Michigan
Seat #5
Succeeded by:
Mark Goldsmith

MichiganMichigan Supreme CourtMichigan Court of AppealsMichigan Circuit CourtMichigan District CourtsMichigan Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganUnited States District Court for the Western District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MichiganUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitMichigan countiesMichigan judicial newsMichigan judicial electionsJudicial selection in MichiganMichiganTemplate.jpg