Sean C. Gallagher

Office: For Judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals

Term Beginning 2/9/2021

Age: 64

Residence: Cleveland



Social Media: 

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D. Cleveland Marshall College of Law; B.A. Ohio University; St. Edward High School

Work Experience: Judge since 1998; Prosecuting Attorney 1991-1998; Bailiff 1985-1991; Probation Officer 1980-1984

Family: Married with one son

Affiliations: Cleveland Metro Bar Association; Ohio State Bar; Arizona Bar; Assoc.; Ohio Sentencing Commission; Our Lady of Angles; St. Coleman Resoration Committee

Endorsements: Democratic Party

Bar Association Ratings: I do not have an opponent, so I was not rated in this election. In 2014 I was rated “excellent” by each of the participating bar associations.

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have over 22 years experience as a judge in both the trial and appellate court levels. I’ve served as a judge in the Ohio Court of Appeals, 8th District, for over 17 years. I’ve authored over 1,400 lead opinions and have served on over 4,300 appellate panels. I’ve also handled numerous original action cases. I served for 5 years as a judge in Cleveland Municipal Court where I presided over 25,000 cases including more than 20 jury trials and 400 bench trials. I’ve also served as a visiting judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I served as an assistant County prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office from 1991-1998 where I tried and investigated numerous cases from murder to fraud including a period of service in the “white collar” Economic Crime Unit of that office. I also served as a trial court bailiff in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court from 1985-1991 where I managed the civil and criminal docket for Judge Donald C. Nugent while attending law school at night. I also served as a probation officer in Cuyahoga County from 1980 to 1984. I completed the A.S.T.A.R. course, at the Applied Science Technology Adjudication Resource Center, Washington D.C. (2007-2009) A two-year certification program offered through the Supreme Court of Ohio addressing the admission and/or exclusion of scientific evidence in American courts. Training included course study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland. I was certified on April 17, 2009. I currently serve on the Ohio Sentencing Commission and previously served as the Chairman of the Commission on Practice and Procedures for Ohio Courts, (Supreme Court of Ohio) in 2008-2009. I’ve been active with the Ohio Judicial Conference: Criminal Law and Procedure Committee since 2001. I’ve served as presenter with the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College since 1998. I am also active with the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association (Life member) and I previously served as Editor of the former Cuyahoga County Bar Association’s, “Law and Fact,” magazine in 2005-2007. I am a past President of the Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association, 2001-2002.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running for re-election to continue my effort to provide a fair and balanced platform for the resolution of disputes in our community. I come from a humble, simple background. My first job in a courthouse was as a janitor cleaning floors. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and go to law school. My parents were immigrants who worked to provide me the opportunity for a better life. I’ve worked my way up through the system. I’ve been involved at every level of the court system for more than forty years. I believe in its innate ability to ultimately offer hope and justice to all who appear in court. The best trait I offer is that I remember my humble origins and offer every attorney, litigant and colleague the promise that I will listen to each issue and balance the interests of those litigants within the context of the applicable law, regardless of any personal interests. I am not an activist judge. I try to apply the law to the facts of each case in a manner that is fair and balanced to all involved. I am humbled by the fact that I have been elected as a judge and have been afforded the great opportunity to serve and try to make our justice system better. I don’t take the responsibility lightly. I’ve dedicated myself to not only be a fair and impartial jurist, but also to work with professional entities to try to improve the judicial system. I believe my years of service have made me a better and more thoughtful judge. I’ve sat on a significant number of cases over my career in the court of appeals. I sincerely believe this experience will serve the court and the legal community in a positive way in my last term.