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Hamilton County, OH November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

What Matters to The Real Voters?

By James T. "Jim" O'Reilly

Candidate for Judge; Ohio State Court of Appeals; District 1; 6 Year Term Starting 2/10/07

This information is provided by the candidate
Hamilton County voters know what matters + and choice is first on their list. For the first time in 8 years, there's a choice for the Court of Appeals.

Choice matters! In a city with many choices of chili, basketball teams and music radio, how much choice about judges do you have? One resident looked at me and quoted an old saying: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The alienation that many Hamilton County residents feel from the powers inside our courthouse has led some residents to give me that message. The voters' recurring theme is that people here realize they haven't had a choice of judges to elect, they don't know who selects these judges who then run without opposition in election after election, and they don't like being denied a choice. A Ridge Avenue homeowner told me it was the first time in 46 years in her house that a judge candidate actually came to ask for her vote. If the power to elect judges is to be meaningful, as a way to keep judges feeling accountable, then the system must be open to change. I am running to offer a better choice for this key judgeship. With your vote, select the experienced candidate who has come out to your doorsteps and listened to the voters, and who has shown a real desire to be accountable to voters.

Legal expertise matters! When it's your case on appeal, you want the best and brightest appeals judges. The complexity of laws and the details of our state Constitution are very daunting. It takes experts to understand and to interpret laws. In March 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court called me an "expert". My law books have been cited by the Ohio Supreme Court and my legal articles have been widely cited in federal and state appeals courts. Use your vote to select the best legal expert, and you'll have a more efficient and effective appeals court.

Appellate knowledge matters! Unlike trial judges who act quickly in a tense environment like TV's Judge Judy, appeals involve careful reasoning, thoughtful evaluation and reflection on how constitutions and laws apply to the facts that a jury or judge had decided. The best approach is to be skilled in legal research and analysis, able to apply the constitutions and laws, and able to understand how differing case precedents will apply. These are skills I have used in 26 years of UC Law teaching and in dozens of law textbooks I have written.

Arbitration and mediation matters! We can speed up the lengthy wait for appeals decisions by mediating civil cases. We can reduce costs and help the certainty of outcomes by encouraging the two sides to work out solutions before an appeal is argued.

Life lessons matter! As a former police officer, I understand how the legal system really works from the inside. As an Army veteran, I know the way our country calls on us for service, even at a personal sacrifice. As a community, charity, school and church volunteer, I understand and truly respect our county's diverse people. And as a longtime Legal Aid volunteer, I understand how the court system seems so difficult for the average lower-income resident to understand.

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