Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nomination Hearing of Judge Jack Zouhary
INTRODUCTION [AS PREPARED]: JUDGE JACK ZOUHARY CONFIRMATION HEARING - JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
It is my pleasure and honor to introduce fellow Ohioan Judge Jack Zouhary to the Members of the Judiciary Committee today. Judge Zouhary currently serves on the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. President Bush has nominated him to serve as a Federal Judge in the Northern District of Ohio. At this point, I'd like to extend our welcome to Judge Zouhary's family members who are with him today -- his wife, Kathleen, and his daughters Katie Marie and Alexis. Thank you for joining us. I know you are very proud of your husband and father.
Judge Zouhary has had a long and accomplished legal career, a career with 30 years of legal experience that has given him the background and understanding of our legal system to successfully take on the role of a federal judge. He attended Dartmouth College, where he received his undergraduate degree, before returning to his hometown to earn his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law.
Judge Zouhary began his legal career with Robison, Curphey & O'Connell, where he worked for 23 years as an Associate and as a Partner. During this time, he had a varied practice, representing individuals and businesses on a range of legal issues, with an emphasis on civil trial practice and corporate matters. In 2000, Judge Zouhary became the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for S.E. Johnson Companies, Inc., a large highway contractor and asphalt producer.
Judge Zouhary was responsible for all of the corporation's legal issues, including environmental/safety, human resources, contract negotiations, supervision of risk management, union grievances, and litigation. In 2004, Judge Zouhary accepted a position as Of Counsel with the law firm of Fuller & Henry. He remained with Fuller & Henry until 2005, when he was appointed by Governor Bob Taft to the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. In Ohio, the Common Pleas Court is the highest state trial bench. It hears all major civil and criminal cases.
During his time as an attorney in private practice, Judge Zouhary distinguished himself as an excellent litigator and was honored by being selected as a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. This is notable because membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers is by invitation only and is limited to the best of the trial bar. Judge Zouhary clearly meets that criteria.
Even more important, Judge Zouhary has long been committed to the ideals of civility and professionalism in the legal field -- something we unfortunately don't see enough of sometimes. He frequently has presented lectures focusing on legal ethics and civility in the practice of law for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminars. He is also a member of the Morrison Waite Chapter of the Inns of Court, a nationwide organization dedicated to improving the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bench and bar. Judge Zouhary's commitment to serving the community as a professional also is exemplified by his membership in the Toledo Rotary Club, as well as a broad array of other charitable activities, ranging from pro bono work for a local church to service at a community soup kitchen.
Although he has been a common pleas judge for only a relatively short time, Judge Zouhary has already begun to distinguish himself on the bench. He has been working diligently to clear a very large backlog of cases on his crowded docket and successfully made a good deal of headway in that effort. Most important, attorneys who have appeared before him -- criminal and civil, prosecution and defense -- speak in glowing terms of his talent, fairness, and excellent judicial temperament.
With Judge Zouhary's impressive record as a legal professional and community leader, it should come as no surprise that the American Bar Association was unanimous in giving him its highest rating of "well-qualified." Judge Zouhary is an outstanding nominee, and I gladly join his supporters in the belief that he will serve admirably as a Federal judge for the Northern District of Ohio.