Portman, Brown Applaud Senate Judiciary Committee for Advancing Nominations of Judges to Serve on Ohio U.S. Federal District Courts
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for advancing three Ohio judicial nominations – Judge J. Philip Calabrese and Judge James Knepp to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judges for the Northern District of Ohio, and Judge Michael Newman to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. The nominations will now be considered for confirmation by the full U.S. Senate. 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. The Southern District has court locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton and serves more than five million Ohioans in 48 counties.
“I am pleased the Judiciary Committee has advanced the nominations of these deserving Ohioans to serve as federal judges in the Northern and Southern Districts,” said Portman. “They have all been dedicated public servants whose experiences have uniquely qualified them to serve in these roles. I urge my colleagues to support their nominations on the Senate floor and I am confident they will serve the people of Ohio admirably.”
“The advancement of Judges Calabrese and Knepp to serve as Federal District Court Judges for the Northern District of Ohio, and Judge Newman to serve as Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, is welcome news,” said Brown. “These are seasoned lawyers and public servants who were recommended by our bipartisan judicial selection commission in Ohio. They’ve earned widespread support from our state’s legal community, and I am confident that they will serve with honor and impartiality as judges on federal bench in Ohio.”
Judge Philip Calabrese: Judge J. Philip Calabrese was appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to sit on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in June 2019. Prior to taking the bench, Calabrese was a partner at Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur in Cleveland where he gained extensive civil litigation and trial experience, including oral arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court and state and federal courts of appeals. He serves as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Calabrese clerked for the Honorable Alice Batchelder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from Harvard Law School.
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.
Judge Michael Newman: The Honorable Michael J. Newman currently serves as a U.S. magistrate judge in the Southern District of Ohio’s Dayton seat of court. He was appointed as a magistrate judge in 2011, and reappointed in 2019 to a second eight-year term. Before going on the bench, Judge Newman was a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl in Cincinnati, where he led the firm’s pro bono appellate litigation program and was named as both an Ohio Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor & Employment Law. His professional memberships include the Dayton Bar Association (Chair, Federal Practice Committee), the Ohio State Bar Association (Chair, Federal Courts and Practices Committee), and the Federal Bar Association (President of the Cincinnati and Dayton chapters; Judiciary Division Chair; and National President). He was the first magistrate judge in the United States to be appointed National President of the Federal Bar Association. Judge Newman received his B.F.A. from New York University and his J.D. cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law. He was a law clerk to the Honorable Jack Sherman, Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and to the Honorable Nathaniel Jones on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Newman now co-chairs the Sixth Circuit’s Civics Education Committee, and also chairs the Southern District of Ohio’s Civics Committee.
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.