-Appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, June 7, 2012
-Rated “Well Qualified” (highest rating) during nomination proceedings by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary
-Previously a civil and criminal litigator for more than 23 years with extensive experience in complex cases in both state and federal courts
-Tried more than 40 cases as counsel or co-counsel
-Martindale-Hubbell rated “AV Preeminent 5.0” (highest rating)
-Licensure: State of Ohio (inactive), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Sixth Circuits, U.S. Supreme Court
-Previously certified as lead trial counsel in capital cases in Ohio by the Supreme Court of Ohio
-Previously served as trial counsel to a total of 15 defendants accused of capital murder in state and federal courts
-Previously served as co-counsel to a total of 8 petitioners challenging their state court convictions and capital sentences with habeas corpus petitions in the federal courts under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
Gamso, Helmick & Hoolahan (formerly Prajsner, Helmick & Hoolahan). Toledo, Ohio. 1997-2012. General civil and criminal practice in three-member practice group, with particular emphasis on complex criminal cases, including white collar defense, capital defense and other serious matters in both state and federal courts. Significant federal habeas corpus litigation in federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Helmick, Jacobs & Solomon. Toledo, Ohio. 1996-97. General civil and criminal litigation in three-member firm.
Kaplan, Richardson, Rost & Helmick. Toledo, Ohio. 1989-1996. Solo practitioner with practice group. Practice included the handling of general civil litigation, employment law and other matters for small businesses and individuals, plaintiff’s personal injury, and criminal defense in both minor and significant cases.
Special Advisor to the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. 1993-95. Hired with Vincent M. Nathan by Director Reginald Wilkinson to advise the Department in the aftermath of the riot in April, 1993, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (“SOCF”) in Lucasville. Duties included changes to and future use of SOCF, the handling of institutional complaints and grievance procedures within the department, analysis and recommendations for revision of use of force procedures, supervision of administrative hearings to ensure fairness, and advice to Wardens and DRC
staff on a variety of issues.
Marshall & Melhorn. Toledo, Ohio. 1988-89. Associate in litigation department of 45-person law firm. Work included advocacy in civil hearings, the taking and defense of depositions and other discovery practice, legal research and writing, including summary judgment and other motion practice.
U.S. District Court, Office of the Special Master. Appointed by federal district court judges to assist court-appointed Special Master Vincent M. Nathan in monitoring compliance with federal court orders, conducting inspections and investigations, and reporting to the courts in three major cases involving institutional reform litigation:
• Guthrie v. Evans, Civil Action No. 73-3068, conditions at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, 1983.
• Duran v. Anaya, Civ. No. 77-0721-JB, conditions of confinement at the 3 adult state correctional institutions in the state of New Mexico, 1984.
• Ruiz v. Estelle, Civ. A. No. H-78-987, conditions of confinement at all 27 adult correctional institutions in the state of Texas, 1984-85.
Ohio State University College of Law
Juris Doctor, 1988
- Editor-in-Chief, The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 1987-88
The University of Michigan
Bachelor of Arts in English, 1983