Lisa Forbes

Office: For Judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals
Unexpired Term Ending 1/1/2023

Age: 56

Residence: Shaker Heights



Social Media: FaceBook: Lisa Forbes for Judge

Occupation: Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Education: Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude, 1992 / Cornell University, B.S. 1985

Work Experience: Fall 1992 to fall 1993: Law clerk, the Chambers of the Honorable Frank J. Battisti, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio/ Fall of 1993 to August 1997: Litigation Associate, Squire Sanders & Dempsey / August 1997 to January 1, 2003 Litigation Associate, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP / January 1, 2003 to present Litigation Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Family: Married (to Steve for 28 years), three children (Emily (22), Nick (20), Charlie (17))

Affiliations: Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member, 1993 to present (prior to creation of CMBA, I was a member of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association) Member, inaugural class of Ladder Down, 2019 Certified Grievance Committee, member 2018 to present Ohio State Bar Association, member 1993 to present Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section council, member, 2017 to present Ohio Women’s Bar Association, member (est. mid-1990s to 2005, intermittently between 2005 and present) Eighth District Trustee, 1999 to 2002 Program and Projects Committee Co-Chair, 2002-2004 Recipient of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association President’s Choice Award, 2002 Emerald Development and Economic Network, member of the Board of Directors (est. 1995 to 1997) Cuyahoga Women’s Political Caucus, member (est. 1991 through late 1990s) Ohio Women’s Political Caucus PAC Treasurer (est. 1999 to 2004) Girl Scouts of America, Brownie Troop Leader, (est. 2003 to 2005) Onaway Elementary School, Parent-Teacher Organization, volunteer for various activities (est. 2003 to 2011) Examples include volunteer coordinator for Onaway Carnival, organized Math Fair, created costumes for Onaway Little Theater The Centers for Families and Children, Board of Directors, 2008 to present Circle Health (formerly the Free Clinic), Board of Directors, 2017 to present Chair of the Program and Operations Committee of the Board of Directors at the Centers for Families and Children, 2013 to 2018 Co-Chair of the Quality, Risk and Program Committees for the Centers for Families and Children, 2018 to present Co-Chair of the Quality, Risk and Program Committees for Circle Health, 2018 to present Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Centers for Families and Children, June 2019 to the present Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Circle Health, June 2019 to the present El Barrio, Board of Directors, 2011 to present (subsidiary of the Centers) Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2011 Cornell University Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network, member, 2011 to present

Endorsements: Endorsed by the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party; G-PAC; FIIN-PAC; Cleveland Stonewall Democrats; Cuyahoga County Young Democrats; Shaker Heights Democrats; Bedford-Walton Hills Democratic Club

Bar Association Ratings: Highest rated by five associations that participate in (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Excellent; Ohio Women’s Bar Association: Excellent; Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association: Excellent; Asian American Bar Ass’n of Ohio: Excellent; Norman S. Minor Bar Association: Good

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
The Eighth District Court of Appeals is the last stop for justice in Cuyahoga County. So, it is important that the judges who serve on the court have experience in the courts and in the community to provide the foundation to make tough decisions in a way that is legally sound, fair and just. For my entire career I have been a courtroom lawyer, representing my clients in trial courts and courts of appeals. My experience and expertise with complicated legal issues like those that the Eighth District Court of Appeals addresses mean that I will be able to get the job done from Day 1. My intimate knowledge and understanding of how the courts work and of substantive law will provide me with the foundation necessary to make legally correct decisions.

For example, I argued my first appeal in the 1990s and most recently argued an appeal last year. I have represented clients in the Court of Appeals throughout the years in between. Further, my years of experience writing briefs submitted to courts at different levels coupled with my years of experience drafting articles for publication in legal journals will enable me to write decisions that are clear and that provide guidance to the parties at bar, as well as to the public in general. But, understanding the courts and the law is only part of the equation.

My demonstrated commitment to the community gives me a broad perspective that will help me make decisions that are fair and just. I have served as a volunteer on the board at the Centers for Families and Children for the last 11 years, doing my part to ensure that high quality Head Start, job training and healthcare (both physical and mental) are available to tens of thousands of the most vulnerable members of our community. In addition, for roughly the past 20 years I have volunteered election after election to ensure that everyone who is registered can cast a ballot and have it court. I do that because the health and strength of our democracy depends on people being able to exercise their right to vote. I offer my legal experience and my proven commitment to the community as I seek to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I seek to serve on the Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County because I see the the greatest issue facing the court today as the deterioration of respect for the institution. If people do not trust and have confidence in the courts to dispense justice and to apply the law fairly, we risk a breakdown of orderly democratic society.

In recent years, there has been an increase in criticism of judges and questioning of political motivations behind judicial decisions, all of which degrades respect for individual judges and the courts in general. An antidote to this problem is electing judges who are highly qualified, beyond influence and committed to service. I am that candidate.

If elected, I will dedicate myself to writing opinions that address key legal issues efficiently and that offer a window into the analysis that led to a particular outcome, to resolve the matters before the Court and toward the goal of providing guidance to future litigants. Of course, fair and just application of the law would guide every decision. If elected to the Court of Appeals, I will work to continue to be actively involved in the community as well as philanthropic organizations. The purpose behind this community involvement would be to increase public exposure to, and thus confidence in, the courts and judges.

I have always been drawn to public service. I have had a wonderful career as a private practice litigator for the past 27 years. But, the notion of giving back to the law and to the community has always been important to me. Sitting on the Court of Appeals is compelling as it allows me to achieve those goals in a meaningful way.

I have seen how important it is – how it can change lives – when the courts apply the law fairly and evenhandedly. I aspire to be a judge because I believe that my work ethic, dedication to and love of the law, and demonstrated commitment to our community is the right mix of professional and community experience to allow me to apply and interpret the law fairly and justly.