jurisdiction over Cuyahoga County, the Eighth Appellate
District Court is the largest and busiest appellate
court in Ohio. Randomly assigned, its twelve judges sit
on three-judge panels.
Weekly, nine or more cases are allocated to each
panel for review. Each judge reads the briefs filed by
the parties, reviews the lower court record, and with
the aid of legal staff, conducts research on the issues
Oral arguments are primarily scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, most weeks throughout the year, with each side given 15 minutes to present its case. Twenty-seven or more cases are scheduled for hearing in three courtrooms, all of which are open to the public. The court calendar contains a schedule for upcoming hearings. Following oral arguments, the judges conference the cases. One of the judges is randomly selected to write an opinion, which states the ruling of the panel and contains an analysis of the legal issues and the reasons underlying the decision. If one of the judges on the panel does not agree with the decision, he or she may write a dissenting opinion, which is released with that of the majority. Opinions are released weekly, generally on Thursdays.
party dissatisfied with a decision may appeal it to the
Ohio Supreme Court. However, unlike an appeals court that accepts every case, the
Ohio Supreme Court generally has the discretion to
accept or decline an appeal.
On average, the Supreme Court accepts only about
ten percent of those cases.
As a result, the Eighth District Appellate Court
is the court
of last resort
for the majority of civil and criminal litigants in