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
arguments are scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and
Wednesday, most weeks throughout the year, with each
side given fifteen 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. 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