PDT Staff Writer
Marie Hoover, recently elected to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, may hit several state milestones when she is sworn in on Feb. 9.
“I am the first woman on the Fourth District Court of Appeals,” Hoover said. “I am assuming I’m the first Asian-American, and maybe in all of the appellate districts. I’m not sure about that. I think I’m probably the youngest on it too.”
Hoover, who was busy writing opinions on Monday when most members of the legal community took the day off (“I’m a crazy worker.”), has an Ohio background. She was born in Lakewood, Ohio; the daughter of a physician father and a nurse mother. Hoover said her parents came to the U.S. from the Phillipines. Her father was first recruited in Ravenna, Ohio, and the family them moved to Lakewood.
“We moved to Waverly when I was two years old,” Hoover said. “My brother Tony Morajela is an assistant prosecutor in Pike County.”
Hoover said she is looking forward to sitting on that court.
“I sure am,” Hoover said. “I’m excited to work with them. I think I’ll learn a lot. They have a lot to offer.”
Hoover will join two other judges with Scioto County ties. Judge Matthew McFarland, a native of Wheelersburg, sits alongside Judge William H. Harsha III, of Circleville, who is also from Scioto County. His father, the late William H. Harsha, Jr. served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1981.
McFarland said Judge Russell K. McCurdy of Scioto County served on the Fourth District Court from 1934 to 1957 and Judge Earl Stephenson began his stint on that court in 1968 and served five terms in that judicial seat.
“I welcome Judge-Elect Hoover to her new position and very much look forward to working with her in the years to come. I’m sure she will be great and learn quick. And I want to help her with that transition,” McFarland said. “I think it says a lot about our area and the people we elect. It’s really great and I am very blessed to be able to live here and serve the citizens of Scioto County and our State.” McFarland will be Presiding Judge in January.
McFarland, who has sat on the Supreme Court, and was named by the Chief Justice to serve on the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline at the Ohio Supreme Court, is also on a short list of names being considered by Governor John Kasich, to fill the unexpired terms of current Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who will be retiring at the end of the year. McFarland is being considered along with 10th District Appeals Court Judges Judi French and William Klatt, Fir1st district Appeals Court Judge Patrick Fischer, First District Appeals Court judicial candidate Pat DeWine, Chancellor of Higher Education Jim Petro and Gov. Kasich’s Chief Counsel Michael Grodhaus.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law professor Jonathan Adler, former Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge Charles Brown and Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo, are among the legal professionals who have been tapped to consult with the governor during in his selection process.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals serves 14 counties.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org