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Helmick ’88 confirmed as federal judge

June 7, 2012 | Alumni

Toledo lawyer Jeffrey Helmick ’88 was confirmed as a federal district court judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio with a 62-36 vote from the United States Senate June 6.

Helmick’s confirmation came about a year after his official nomination from President Barack Obama May 11, 2011, following the January 2010 retirement of former Chief Judge James Carr.

In an interview with the Toledo Blade following his official nomination in 2011, Helmick said, “To be nominated by the President of the United States to be a federal judge is the greatest honor of my professional life.”

Professor Nancy Rogers, professor emeritus and former Ohio Attorney General, chaired the commission that originally recommended Helmick. “The commission believes that Jeffrey Helmick will be a superb judge. During his years of practice on both the criminal and civil sides, Mr. Helmick has shown a commitment to excellence,” Rogers said. “He treats people with respect, whether they are on the opposite or same side in litigation and regardless of their station. He has handled tough cases, and handled them with a great deal of integrity and good judgment.

“People who know him think that he has the temperament, dedication, and integrity to be a wonderful federal district judge. His dedication to his community and to the administration of justice has been shown in his volunteer work and came through strongly in his interview with the commission.”

The Senate came to its 62-36 vote after a staunch debate about an ethics case that went to the Ohio Supreme Court and for in 2009 Helmick’s representation of accused terrorist Wassim Mazloum, according to an article in the Toledo Blade.

“The Northern District of Ohio has not been at full strength for too long, more than two years. So it is especially gratifying to see the Senate put differences aside and confirm Jeffrey Helmick’s nomination,” said Alan C. Michaels, dean of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Helmick is a principal in the Toledo, Ohio law firm of Gamso, Helmick & Hoolahan, which he co-founded in 1998. Prior to that, he was a principal in the law firm of Helmick, Jacobs & Solomon from 1996 to 1998 and Kaplan, Richardson, Rost & Helmick from 1989 to 1995. He also worked as an associate at Marshall & Melhorn, LLC from 1988 to 1989. Helmick has served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s commissions on Continuing Legal Education and Professionalism, and he is a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Advisory Council for the Northern District of Ohio.

“He has ably served the legal community for over 20 years and has handled a multitude of cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts,” Michaels said. “This Ohio State College of Law alumnus has the skill, temperament, dedication, and integrity to be an outstanding federal judge. This is a moment of great pride for our law school and of success for our system of government.”