FLOOR STATEMENT: NOMINATION OF JUDGE JACK ZOUHARY FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Mr. President, I rise today to speak in strong support of the nomination of Judge Jack Zouhary, whom the President has nominated to be United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. Judge Zouhary currently is serving on the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. His service there has been outstanding and is an excellent indication of the type of judge he will be on the federal bench.
I'd like to share with my Senate colleagues just a few of the numerous admirable qualities that make Judge Zouhary such an outstanding nominee. Both as a professional and as a person, he is exactly the sort of individual we want to be serving on the federal bench.
Judge Zouhary grew up in Toledo. He is a first-generation American, whose parents immigrated from Lebanon to the United States and instilled in their son a respect for the values of education, religion, and community service. After graduating as the valedictorian of his high school, 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 then embarked on what would become 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 began his legal career with the law firm of Robison, Curphey & O'Connell, where he worked as an Associate and then as a Partner. During his 23 years there, 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.
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 Ohio Governor Bob Taft appointed him to the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. In Ohio, the Common Pleas Court is the highest state trial bench and 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. Membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers is by invitation only and is limited to the best of the trial bar.
Judge Zouhary has long been committed to the ideals of civility and professionalism in the legal field. Friends and colleagues often describe him as "a gentleman." I agree with that assessment. He is well regarded for his honesty, his integrity, and his intelligence, and those who have known and worked with him through the years speak warmly of his even-temper and cordial demeanor.
Not surprisingly, given his interest in preserving a less combative approach to the law, Judge Zouhary frequently has presented lectures focusing on legal ethics and civility in the practice of law for Continuing Legal Education Seminars. His commitment to serving the community as a professional also is exemplified by his membership in the Toledo Rotary Club, as well as his participation in 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 already has distinguished himself on the bench. He has worked diligently to clear a very large backlog of cases from his crowded docket and has 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 in every way an outstanding nominee, who will serve the people of Ohio and of this country well.
Mr. President, I strongly support the nomination of Judge Jack Zouhary as a Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio.
I thank the Chair and yield the Floor.