Portman, Brown Applaud Senate Confirmation of Judge James Knepp to Serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

November 10, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the Senate confirmation of Judge James Knepp to the position of U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination on September 17, 2020. The Northern District has court locations in Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves approximately 5.9 million citizens of the 40 most northern counties in Ohio. 

“I am pleased the Senate has confirmed Judge James Knepp to be the next federal judge in the Northern District,” said Portman.  “Judge Knepp’s experience as a magistrate judge in Toledo has uniquely prepared him for this role. I am confident he will serve the people of Ohio admirably.”
“Judge Knepp will bring a wealth of experience and commitment to the federal bench,” said Brown. “I’m proud to join Senator Portman in this bipartisan process, and I thank Judge Knepp for his willingness to serve.”   

“I am grateful beyond measure for the confidence President Trump has shown by selecting me to serve the citizens of northwest Ohio as their newest district judge.  I thank Senators Portman and Brown, and the hardworking members of the bipartisan judicial selection commission they established, for recommending me for this position.  I intend to build upon the decade I have spent serving as a magistrate judge in Toledo as I assume this new role as a Constitutional judicial officer.  I have great reverence for our Constitution and pledge to protect the rights of all those who appear before me,” said Knepp. 

Judge James Knepp:  The Honorable James Knepp was appointed to serve as a magistrate judge by the district judges of the Northern District of Ohio in 2010.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Knepp practiced law for 15 years with the Toledo firm of Robison, Curphey & O’Connell, where he served on the firm’s management committee.  There, he had a substantial general litigation practice, including successful trial and appellate level defense of death and serious injury cases and class action litigation in federal and state courts.  Judge Knepp previously served as a law clerk for two years to the Honorable John Potter on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  He earned his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Mount Union College; his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University; and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif and as class valedictorian.

NOTE: The President of the United States nominates U.S. district court judges based on recommendations from U.S. senators. Those recommendations are then vetted by the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee before being considered for confirmation by the full U.S. Senate.  U.S. district courts are general trial courts that hear both civil and criminal cases.