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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ohio's 12th District Court Of Appeals: No Woman Has Ever Served On Its Bench

BATAVIA (TDB) -- There used to be a picture here of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner with Laura Curliss, a former Notre Dame University women's basketball player and assistant prosecutor in Clinton County. It had to be taken down because of a copyright issue. Still, Curliss is a Democrat seeking to become the first woman ever on Ohio's 12th District Court of Appeals, which covers eight counties -- Warren, Clermont, Clinton, Butler, Brown, Preble, Fayette and Madison. Curliss says the court has been conservative and dominated by Republicans -- only one Dem has ever been elected since its creation in 1980. "It needs diversity. The court has been dominated by Butler County. It needs diversity in terms of the counties of representation." She also said the Republicans who run for the court are far right. "We're not talking moderates, we're talking extreme."

You can learn more about Curliss by visiting her Web site here. She is an impressive speaker and currently works for the city of Wilmington as a legal aide to the mayor. Early in he career she was a law clerk for Judge Boyce Martin on the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Another Dem seeking another spot on the 12th District is Bruce Carter, a Fairfield trial lawyer, who said he hopes to change the court's reputation "as the most conservative in Ohio." He said the appeals rulings are perceived as consistenly pro-business, anti-worker and anti-human rights. "I want to change that," Carter said of the court's reputation, adding that many leave 12th District session believing they did not get a fair shake from the panels hearing their cases. He did not say how he would rule on any cases, but explained he would bring an open mind to the bench and citizens would know, "At least there were people who listened."

Carter is a Dayton native who worked as a journalist before becoming an attorney. His father was a career sailor in the U.S. Navy, and Carter has represented asbestos contamination victims. His wife, Michele DeCresce, is a lawyer who has represented abused and neglected children.

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