Cynthia Westcott Rice
Judge, 11th District Court of Appeals
J.D.- University of Akron School of Law; B.S.- Purdue University, Krannert School of Management
Judge, Eleventh District Court of Appeals, 2003 – Present; Presiding/Administrative Judge, 2007 & 2016; Administrative Judge, 2020; Preside over appellate cases in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull Counties. See additional information at www.JudicialVotesCount.com
List your judicial experience (courts and years):
Judge, Eleventh District Court of Appeals, 2003 – Present; Presiding/Administrative Judge, 2007, 2016 & 2017; Administrative Judge, 2020; Preside over appellate cases in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull Counties. Authored over 1,500 appellate decisions and decided over 4,000 appeals.
Ohio Judicial Conference – Executive Committee, 2011 – present; Criminal Law & Procedure Committee co-chair, 2011 – present; Appellate Law & Procedure Committee, 2013 – present; Ohio Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Court Security, 2013 – present
What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
Prior to taking the bench, I spent 12 years as a state and federal criminal prosecutor. I prosecuted all major crimes including capital murder, murder, rape, bank robbery, cyberstalking and gang violence. As a criminal prosecutor, I gained experience in the courtroom trying cases to juries. During my service on the bench, I have been able to contribute insight into nuances of criminal procedure that have assisted our court in delivering sound, well-reasoned opinions.– Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office, 1991- 1999– United States Attorney’s Office, 1999 – 2002; Assistant United States Attorney, General Crimes Division, Youngstown, Ohio Responsible for prosecuting to trial assigned federal offenses including firearms violations, drug trafficking, cyberstalking and bank robbery.– Special Assistant United States Attorney, 1997 – 1999– Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office, 1991 – 1999; First Assistant, Criminal Division Responsible for overseeing all felony criminal prosecutions. See additional information at www.JudicialVotesCount.com
Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I have served the 11th District as a judge for the past 18 years. I believe my legal experience is an asset to the court. The majority of my legal practice prior to taking the bench was as a state and federal prosecutor. Approximately half of our appellate cases are criminal. Presently, none of the current judges have an extensive background in criminal law and procedure.
During my service on the appellate bench, I have been able to contribute insight into nuances of criminal procedure that have assisted our court in delivering sound, well-reasoned opinions. Having practiced as an Assistant United States Attorney, I am more familiar with differences between state and federal criminal laws. This enables me to better determine how U.S. Supreme Court decisions that address federal cases affect Ohio’s criminal justice system.
I have worked in various positions with the Ohio Judicial Conference for over ten years. The judicial conference provides research and impact statements on legislation that affects the administration of justice in Ohio. The goal of the Ohio Judicial Conference is to improve the judiciary from within the judicial branch and to recommend legislation where needed. I would like to continue my work with the Ohio Judicial Conference during my upcoming term on the bench. Judicial education is a critical part of ensuring a strong judiciary. I have assisted other appellate judges in teaching the new appellate judges’ educational seminar. I have also taught various continuing legal education courses for the local bar associations in our district. I find teaching intellectually challenging and hope to continue contributing in this manner. And last but not least, I will serve as the Ohio Court of Appeals Judges’ Association Chief Judge in 2020. I am looking forward to this responsibility and challenge.