News - Capital University Law School

CapLaw Alums Morrison and McFarland Nominated for Federal Bench

11/1/2018  -  Two Capital University Law School alumni have been nominated by President Donald Trump to fill open seats on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Sarah Morrison, L’97, and Judge Matt McFarland, CU’89, L’92, received endorsements from both of Ohio’s United States Senators: Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the nominations in the coming weeks, before a confirmation vote by the full U.S. Senate. Federal judges receive lifetime appointments.

Ms. Morrison, who currently serves as the administrator for the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, was nominated for the vacancy in Columbus created by the retirement of U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.

“Administrator Morrison enjoys widespread support because of her significant experience in both the public and private sectors, including her time as CEO of Ohio’s Bureau of Workers Compensation,” Senator Portman said. “She will make Ohio proud in this new role.”

Senator Brown concurred: “She brings a broad range of legal experience to the table, which will help her tackle the issues she will face as a judge,” he said.

Ms. Morrison was appointed to her position at the Bureau of Workers Compensation by Ohio Governor John Kasich in 2016. Previously, she was a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, specializing in civil and commercial litigation, and has argued cases before the Ohio Supreme Court. She also served as a judicial law clerk for Judge John D. Holschuh of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Morrison earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from The Ohio State University.

Judge McFarland, currently sitting on the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals, would replace U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose, who is retiring from his position in Dayton.

“Judge McFarland has been a dedicated public servant in the state court of appeals,” Senator Portman noted. “His esteemed reputation is well-deserved, and I am confident he will continue to distinguished service on the bench.”

Brown said, “I’m proud to join Senator Portman in this bipartisan process, and I thank Judge McFarland for his willingness to serve.”

Judge McFarland, who also serves as an adjunct professor at Shawnee State University, previously taught constitutional law at Capital University Law School and has served as the magistrate in Scioto County Common Pleas Court and as chairman of the Ohio Association of Magistrates, Juvenile Section. Judge McFarland’s legal career includes a stint as Scioto County assistant prosecutor, where he acted as special counsel for the Ohio Attorney General.

Two other Capital Law alumni currently sit on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson, L’87, has served since 2004 and Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers, L’94, was appointed in 2010. Dozens of Capital Law graduates have served, or are serving, as state court judges and are featured prominently on the Law School’s “Wall of Justice” located in Room 208.