Robert R. Cupp
151st Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio
Term
2007-2013

ROBERT R. CUPP

Justice Robert R. Cupp was born in rural Allen County and grew up on his family's farm. He earned his political science degree with high distinction from Ohio Northern University in 1973 and his law degree from Ohio Northern's Pettit College of Law in 1976. As a student at ONU, he served as president of the Student Senate.

Justice Cupp was defeated in his bid for reelection in 2012 by Justice William M. O'Neill.

Prior to his election to the Supreme Court of Ohio in November 2006, Justice Cupp served on the Ohio Court of Appeals, 3rd Appellate District, which comprises 17 counties in northwest and west central Ohio. He was selected presiding judge of the court in 2005 and administrative judge in 2004.

Much of Justice Cupp's 30-year legal career has been committed to effective public service. Before becoming a judge, Justice Cupp served 16 years as a member of the Ohio Senate, beginning in 1985 and ending in 2000 with the advent of Ohio's legislative term limits. Before his election to the General Assembly, Justice Cupp served as a Lima city prosecutor and assistant director of law from 1976 to 1980 and twice was elected Allen County commissioner, serving from 1981 through 1984 and 2001 through 2002.

Additionally, Justice Cupp engaged in the private practice of law in Lima for more than 25 years and is a member of the Allen County and Ohio State Bar Associations. He co-authored the book, [Legal] Ethics and Discipline in Ohio, published by the Ohio State Bar Foundation in 1977.

In the Senate, Justice Cupp served as president pro tempore, the second-highest Senate leader, from 1997 through 2000. As chairman of the Civil Justice Subcommittee, and a 10-year member of the Judiciary Committee, he focused on civil and criminal justice issues. As a member of the Education Committee, he worked extensively on education and school finance improvement issues. As Chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee, he worked to improve the state's workers' compensation system. Additionally, he served at various times on the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee and the Finance, Agriculture, Ways and Means, State and Local Government, and Legislative Information Systems Committees.

Justice Cupp twice received the Ohio State Bar Association's Distinguished Service Award. He also received the Ohio Association of Elected Officials' Robert E. Hughes Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the improvement of Ohio's election process. He is the recipient of the State 4-H Alumni Award.

In addition to his judicial service, Justice Cupp served as a member of the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management by appointment of the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer. He has been a visiting professor at Ohio Northern University, his alma mater, teaching judicial process and leadership. He is a past president of the 13-county Black Swamp Area Boy Scout Council; a member of the Lima Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow) and a past member of the board of trustees of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, serving as NCA president from July 2008 to June 2009.

Following his term on the Supreme Court, Justice Cupp joined the Ohio Auditor of State’s office as chief legal counsel.

He and his wife Libby have two grown sons, Matthew and Ryan, and two grandchildren.

Justice Cupp's wife, Libby, is a retired educator. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Ryan, both of whom are Eagle Scouts, and two grandchildren.