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Mary Jane Trapp Seeks 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals Judgeship

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Seeking an 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals judgeship for a term beginning Feb. 10 are two lawyers in private practice, one of them a former judge of the court, which hears appeals from Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull counties.

The Republican nominee is Casey O’Brien of Jefferson, whose law office is in Chardon. The Democratic nominee is Mary Jane Trapp of Russell Township, a former appellate judge and member of Cleveland’s Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan law firm.

O’Brien, 43, said the appeals court ”needs the perspective of someone with a busy life, similar to the [appellate district’s] voters.” He said he’d strive to modernize procedures, including easing participation of ”pro se” litigants — people representing themselves.

Trapp said that if she’s elected, she’ll work to foster confidence in the courts through clearly written opinions and would push for a fully electronic docket to reduce litigant costs, promote transparency and provide easy access to court records.

Trapp, 62, served as president of the Ohio State Bar Association in 2001 and was elected a judge of the 11th District court in 2006, serving through 2012, when she was unseated by Republican Colleen Mary O’Toole.

O’Brien is a thoughtful and substantial candidate. He should continue his quest for a judgeship. But Trapp’s insights and experience, her earlier appeals court service and her leadership within the legal profession make her the preferred candidate. Voters should elect Mary Jane Trapp to the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals on the Nov. 6 ballot.