An Aging Judiciary: How Old is Too Old?

by fstrack | July 25th, 2011

In November, Ohio will present the voters with a constitutional amendment which seeks to raise the mandatory retirement age for state elected judges from age 70 to age 76. The retirement age has been age 70 since 1968. I have been a trial lawyer for 33 years. Being in trial is one of the most emotionally, intellectually and physically challenging experiences I have had. Will I be as capable a trial lawyer at age 70 as I was at age 55? I hope so, but the march of time takes it’s toll on everyone in different ways. Just because we are living longer doesn’t mean we stay as sharp mentally as we grow older. I have had the pleasure to appear in front of trial judges who were exceptionally gifted jurists well into their 70’s and 80’s and one, in particular, into his 90’s. Unfortunately, those are the exceptions to the rule. What are your thoughts?