Trumbull County Probate Court Judge Thomas Swift and Clermont County Municipal Court Judge James Shriver have been elected to lead the Ohio Judicial Conference, a statewide organization comprised of 725 Ohio judges.
Judge Swift was elected to chair the conference and Judge Shriver was elected as second vice chair of the organization, during the Ohio Judicial Conference’s annual meeting in Columbus on Sept. 10. The judges will serve a two-year term.
Through the Ohio Judicial Conference, judges come together to consider issues of mutual concern and to improve the administration of justice. As Judicial Conference officers, Judges Swift and Shriver will help oversee the work of over 20 committees of judges active in areas encompassing everything from judicial ethics to alternative dispute resolution.
Judge Swift formerly served as partner in the law firm of Turner and Swift in Warren, Ohio. He is past president of the Ohio Association of Probate Judges, a board member of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, serves on the Board of Governors of the American Judges Association and chairs their Elder Abuse Committee.
In addition, he is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts, and is active on the Adult Guardianship Committee. Judge Swift serves as a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Commission, the Ohio Elder Abuse Task Force Steering Committee, and the Ohio Coalition of Adult Protective Services Steering Committee.
He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Trumbull County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, and the American Judges Association. Judge Swift received his B.A. from Kent State University and his J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law.
“I look forward to serving my fellow judges and ultimately the citizens of Ohio,” said Judge Shriver, of his new position. “Today, the cases that come before judges are often very complicated; it is critical that we, the judges of Ohio, ensure that we are prepared to face the challenges of the future, while ensuring everyone that comes before us is treated fairly and that the cases proceed in a timely manner.”
Judge Shriver is currently the administrative judge of Clermont County Municipal Court. During his 15 years of service on the bench, Shriver has pioneered many innovative programs designed to improve the critical thinking of offenders, reduce the rate of recidivism, and provide meaningful alternatives to jail time for many offenders.
He serves as the judge for the first OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) Court in the state; the OVI Court has received a Mothers Against Drunk Driving award for excellence and has been named a Clermont 20/20 Safety and Justice Award winner.
Judge Shriver serves as chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Committee, is a member or co-chair of three committees of the Ohio Judicial Conference, and serves on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Specialized Dockets program.
In 2009, Judge Shriver received the President’s Award from the Association of Municipal/County Court Judges of Ohio for outstanding and meritorious service; he also was awarded the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections’ C.J.
McLin Award for his work toward improving community corrections programs in Ohio. Recently, Shriver and Clermont Municipal Court’s Adult Probation Department received the 2010 Clifford Skeen Award; the Clermont jail diversion program was recognized for the operation of an outstanding non-residential community corrections program, selected as the top program among 47 community corrections programs across Ohio.
Judge Shriver received his B.S. in Political Science and a Certificate in Economics, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati.
He received his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati Law School where he was the recipient of the Paul M. Squillante Memorial Award.
The officers of the Judicial Conference include a Chair (Judge Thomas A. Swift, Trumbull Co. Probate Court); a Chair-Elect (Judge Jim D. James, Stark Co. Family Court); a First Vice-Chair (Judge John M. Durkin, Mahoning Co. Common Pleas Court); a Second Vice-Chair (Judge James A. Shriver, Clermont Co. Municipal Court); an Immediate Past Chair (Judge Sheila G. Farmer, Fifth District Court of Appeals); a Secretary, who shall be the Executive Director of the Judicial Conference; and a Treasurer, who shall be the Executive Director of the Judicial Conference or such other person as is elected by the Executive Committee.
In addition, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio serves as Honorary Chair.