Megan Shanahan

Judge Megan Shanahan is a skilled and experienced trial court judge who has earned the respect of the people who come into her courtroom and the citizens who elected her. Judge Shanahan’s transparent, no-nonsense, plain-spoken approach is on display in every case.

Prior to taking the bench, Megan Shanahan was a felony-level criminal prosecutor, where she successfully tried over 50 jury trials. As a prosecutor, she helped send hundreds of the most dangerous criminals to prison. She brought a particular passion to prosecuting child predators. She gave comfort to these victims and gave no quarter to their abusers.

In one case, she persuaded the court to permit closed circuit television for the live testimony of a young victim, which allowed the child to testify in a separate room so as not to be intimidated by his offender. The judge agreed and the jury convicted the criminal.

After reaching the highest levels of prosecution, Judge Megan Shanahan was first elected to the Municipal Court in 2011 and re-elected in 2013. She presided over hundreds of cases and helped keep a docket with thousands of cases moving smoothly and fairly.

After she was appointed to fill a judicial vacancy, voters overwhelmingly approved, and in 2016 promoted Judge Shanahan to the Common Pleas Court, where the most serious criminal cases and most complex civil cases are decided. In winning an impressive 65% of the vote, she outperformed some better-known statewide and national candidates on the same county ballot and won more votes than any other contested judicial candidate in the county.

In 2012, the Enquirer named Judge Shanahan one of the “Women to Watch,” and noted that with her election she became the “youngest of the 14 Hamilton County Municipal Court judges, achieving a growing respect as a courthouse leader and political force.”

Throughout her career, Judge Shanahan has shown a commitment to public safety and her passion was rewarded by the Hope in Heels Organization, advocate for crime victims. They recognized her with the Peggy Caldwell Award for professionalism, creativity, and determination in working with victims of violent crime.

Born and raised in coal country, Judge Shanahan was the youngest of eight children in a working-class family. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University before going on to a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law.

Judge Shanahan frequently lectures at schools and civic groups. She has supported the Cincinnati Living Hope organization which helps provide transitional housing for homeless women and their children. Judge Shanahan is married, has two children, and resides in Cincinnati.

Joe Deters

Justice Joseph T. Deters is the 163rd justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He took office in January 2023, following appointment by Governor Mike DeWine.

Prior to joining the Court, Justice Deters served as Hamilton County’s longest-tenured prosecutor. He held the position for more than 25 years over two stints: 1992-1999 and 2005-2023.

During his time as prosecutor, Justice Deters established the first drug court in Ohio, in partnership with Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. The Hamilton County Drug Treatment and Recovery Court now handles more cases than any other specialized docket in the state. Additionally, he established the county’s first victim/witness advocate program and helped develop several diversion programs for first time non-violent offenders, started a sex offender unit to monitor offender registration and compliance, and formed a unit focused on violent crimes against women and children.

In between his time as county prosecutor, Justice Deters was elected statewide as Ohio Treasurer for two terms, in 1998 and 2002. As treasurer, he was responsible for collecting, managing, and investing more than $11 billion in assets for the state.

He served as Hamilton County Clerk of Courts from 1988-1992. The justice spent the first six years of his legal career as an assistant Hamilton County prosecutor.

Justice Deters received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He received the U.C. Law School’s Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award in 1997 for outstanding contributions in legal practice and public and community service. He is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association and various civic organizations. He previously served on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, Ohio Organized Crime Commission, and the Southern Ohio Leukemia Foundation.

Dan Hawkins

Judge Dan Hawkins was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.  He graduated from St. Francis DeSales High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University.  Judge Hawkins then returned home and earned his law degree from The Ohio State University.

After graduating from OSU Law School and passing the bar exam, Judge Hawkins was hired as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.  Judge Hawkins spent 13 years as a trial prosecutor, the last 10 years serving as Director of the office’s prestigious Special Victims Unit.  This unit specializes in crimes of violence against women and children, including murders, sexual assaults, child abuse, human trafficking, and internet child predators. As a prosecutor, Judge Hawkins personally took more than 100 cases to trial.

In July 2013, Judge Hawkins was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Environmental Division of the Franklin County Municipal Court and was later elected to finish the remainder of his predecessor’s term. The Environmental Court hears cases involving nuisance properties throughout Franklin County.  While presiding over this Court, Judge Hawkins implemented new strategies to deal with those properties that became a magnet for criminal activity such as vacant and abandoned structures and drug houses.  Judge Hawkins also created a new neighborhood clean-up program that directed individuals with court-ordered community service hours to pick up trash in the community.

In November 2018, Judge Hawkins was elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.  Since taking the bench in Common Pleas, Judge Hawkins has earned top ratings from the Columbus Bar Association as well as recognition from law enforcement and numerous community organizations.  Judge Dan Hawkins has recently been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party for election to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2024.

On the home front, Dan and his wife, Amy, have been married for 17 years.  The couple have three children and live on Columbus’ north side. Amy works for her family’s youth sports business, Integrity Athletics, located in Plain City, Ohio.  Dan’s family are life-long parishioners at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville, Ohio.