Where and when
Thomas J. Moyer has served as Ohio’s chief justice since 1987. Since taking office, the Chief Justice has worked with a broad range of citizens’ groups, attorneys and judges to develop new programs to ensure that Ohio courts are prepared to meet both today’s demands and those we will face in the 21st century.
Chief Justice Moyer has taken the lead in shaping initiatives, including:
- New programs to provide citizens with more control of resolving their disputes at less cost and in a reasonable time.
- Adoption of strict contribution limits for judicial campaigns.
- Changes in rules governing the conduct of lawyers and judges, and stricter enforcement.
- Resisting attempts by militia-related groups that attack the justice system by taking the law into their own hands.
- Developing education programs to further children’s understanding of Ohio’s justice system.
As chief justice, Tom Moyer chairs the Criminal Sentencing Commission that produced changes in and juvenile and felony laws, and recommended changes in misdemeanor, and traffic laws.
In 1995-96, he chaired the national Conference of Chief Justices. In that role he testified before Congress and briefed the U.S. Attorney General on issues facing the state justice system.
A native of Sandusky, Justice Moyer received his undergraduate and law degrees from The Ohio State University. Prior to his election as chief justice, he served eight years as judge of the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, four years as executive assistant to the Governor and eight years in private practice.
He is past president of the Columbus Bar Association and the Columbus Board of Education. He chaired the Board of Directors of The Ohio State University Alumni Association and is on the Board of Trustees of Franklin University. The Chief Justice received the American Judicature Society Award for improving the administration of justice in Ohio. The Ohio State Bar Association presented him with its highest award, the Ohio Bar Medal, for his service to the profession in 1991; in 1996, he received the Ritter Award from the Ohio State Bar Foundation; and, in 1997, the National Center for State Courts presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. He received the Liberty Bell Award from the Columbus Bar Association; in 1998, received the Innovative Program Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and was honored by the Phyllis Wheatley Association for “Open the Doors to Diversity and Success”; in 1999, he received the Better World Award from the Ohio Mediation Association; and, in 2000, the Whitney North Seymour Medal from the American Arbitration Association. He co-chairs a national committee to develop model legislation for mediation in state courts.
The Chief Justice and his wife, Mary, live in Columbus.