I have a hard time believing this one. Judge O’Toole was elected to the 11th District Court of Appeals, then lost an election. So she was no longer a judge. She ran for the seat again. Here are quotes from the opinion of Justice Lanzinger.

“Count Three of the complaint challenges O’Toole’s practice of wearing a name badge that identified her as a judge during campaign events. The name badge at issue is gold-colored plastic, approximately 3.5 inches by 1.5 inches, with engraved black lettering that states:


At the panel hearing, O’Toole testified that the badge was made for her when she was a sitting judge. She also testified at length that she believed that she continued to be a judge even after the expiration of her term in 2011, after losing the 2010 primary election. [???] According to O’Toole, this belief stemmed in part from the fact that people continued to call her “judge” after she left the bench.

We find that O’Toole was not a judge in 2012 and that she knew she was not a judge.

Members of the public and the legal community may have continued to refer to her as “judge” as a matter of courtesy in recognition of her past service, but there is no question that she was defeated and that her term ended before her judicial campaign in 2012.

O’Toole argues that she was still “a” judge, just not a “sitting judge.” But Ohio law makes no such distinction. And O’Toole knew that she no longer had a courtroom, a docket, or any judicial authority. ****

In spite of all this, O’Toole continued to wear the name badge proclaiming that she was a judge at campaign events and even at the panel hearing on this matter.”

She wore the badge to the hearing. She may not have had a courtroom, a docket or a robe, but she apparently has a whole lot of moxie.

She won the election. I am tempted to say that her arguments were so goofy as to disqualify her as a judge – but, you never know. She may be a great judge. Perhaps we should just say she gets the Brass Monkey Award