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Nov. 28, 2006
Summit County Jurists Hear Supreme Court Cases

Judge Donna J. Carr and Judge Lynn C. Slaby of the 9th District Court of Appeals served as visiting judges on the Supreme Court of Ohio today and heard oral arguments in a total of five cases.

Judge Carr and Judge Slaby were selected by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer to sit in place of Justice Alice Robie Resnick, who recused herself from all five cases.

Judge Donna J. CarrJudge Carr heard oral arguments in Ohio v. Kim Cunningham, Case No. 2005-1780, State Automobile Insurance Co. v. Russell J. Pasquale et al., Case No. 2005-2047, and Ohio v. William Kavanagh, Case No. 2005-2149.

Judge Slaby heard oral arguments in State v. Betsy Brooke, Case No. 2006-0015, and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, Inc. v. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Case No.2006-0367.

Judge Lynn C. SlabyAccording to the Ohio Constitution, in the event of a recusal by a Justice, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court can select any of the 68 sitting Ohio appellate court judges to sit temporarily on the Supreme Court.

“We are pleased to have Judge Carr and Judge Slaby join us today,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “Their participation provides the parties in the case with a court of seven justices despite the recusal of Justice Resnick.”

The Cunningham case out of Cuyahoga County involves the state's criminal sentencing laws and whether they give the state a statutory right to appeal a trial court order granting judicial release to an offender who has been convicted of a fifth-degree felony.

The Pasquale case involves a dispute over a provision in an Ohio auto insurance policy that excludes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for injuries caused by the operator of an off-road vehicle.

The Kavanagh case out of Hamilton County addresses the constitutionality of a police search of a vehicle stopped for a traffic offense.

The Brooke case involves a Lake County woman who is contesting an enhanced charge based on prior DUI convictions, because she contends that her prior waivers of legal counsel in earlier cases were not “knowing and intelligent.”

The Vectren case involves a utility company that is appealing two orders issued by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that require the company to refund more than $6.5 million in charges the company collected from its customers.

The 9th District Court of Appeals serves Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne counties, and hears cases from county, municipal and common pleas courts as well as original actions in habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, procedendo and quo warranto. Judge Carr was elected to the appeals court in 1998 and Judge Slaby was appointed to the court in 1995.

Judge Carr began her judicial career soon after graduating from the University of Akron's School of Law in 1984. Upon her graduation, Judge Carr worked for Summit County as an assistant prosecutor and later as chief-counsel of the civil division. She was appointed to the Akron Municipal Court in 1995 and remained until July 1998, when she was elected to her current post with the 9th District Court of Appeals. Judge Carr also has served on the interpreter services subcommittee of the Supreme Court's Racial Fairness Implementation Task Force.

“For a judge there is no higher duty or more solemn responsibility than taking part in decisions that affect the entire citizenry of the state,” Judge Carr said of serving as a visiting judge. “I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to do so.”

Judge Slaby serves as a senior judge on the 9th District Court of Appeals, having participated in more than 3,000 cases and written more than 1,000 opinions in his judicial career. Prior to his appointment to the appeals court in 1995, Judge Slaby was the Summit County prosecuting attorney. He also served as assistant law director and prosecutor for the cities of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.

“I am honored to be able to participate in decisions that will affect all of the citizens of the state of Ohio,” Judge Slaby said of serving as a visiting judge.

Archived video of these cases and every case argued before the Supreme Court of Ohio since March 2004 is available at: www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/videostream.

For a high-resolution, publication-quality photo of Judge Carr, please visit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/2006/carr_highres.zip.

For a high-resolution, publication-quality photo of Judge Slaby, please visit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/2006/slaby_highres.zip.

Contact: Andrea M. Strle at 614.387.9250.