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Lucas County magistrate appointed to appeals court

COLUMBUS - The senior magistrate for Lucas County Juvenile Court has been appointed by Gov. Bob Taft to fill a vacancy on the 6th District Court of Appeals created by the election of Judith Lanzinger to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Dennis Parish, 54, a Perrysburg Republican, will leapfrog directly to the appellate level in his first judgeship.

"It's obviously unusual," he said. "I've had over 20 years on the bench in common pleas, juvenile court, and probate court in Lucas and Wood counties. Magistrates conduct hearings all day long, and our findings of fact and conclusions of law are reviewed by a judge.

"Now, on the court of appeals, I'll be reviewing the findings of facts and conclusions of laws of judges," he said. "I believe being a magistrate was the perfect training ground."

Mr. Parish is expected to be officially sworn into office on Monday, a state holiday, and begin work Tuesday. A ceremonial swearing-in will follow later.

He must run in 2006 to complete what, at that time, would be the two years left in former Judge Lanzinger's term. He could then run in 2008 for a six-year term. He received bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Toledo.

Mr. Taft also appointed a pair of private attorneys to judgeships in Fulton and Putnam counties.

Beginning March 2, Jeffrey Robinson, Wauseon city law director and president of the Fulton County Bar Association, will replace Judge James Hensal on the county's western district court. Judge Hensal resigned on Jan. 1 to move to Florida. The court hears civil cases involving $25,000 or less and conducts preliminary hearings for felonies and misdemeanors.

Mr. Robinson, 52, received his bachelor's degree in education from Miami University and his law degree from UT.

On Feb. 28, Chad Niese, 32, of Leipsic will join Putnam County Common Pleas Court, replacing Judge Ann Cunningham, who retired. Mr. Niese, solicitor for the villages of Hamler and New Bavaria, received a bachelor's degree in political science and law degree from UT.

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