Hamilton County Judge Wende Cross Takes on Leadership Role to Transform Court System and Restore Trust

CINCINNATI, OHIO – Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Wende Cross has been selected by her fellow judges to serve as the presiding and administrative judge in 2024. In this role, Judge Cross will be responsible for overseeing nonjudicial court operations and administrative duties. However, Judge Cross aims to bring about meaningful change during her tenure by prioritizing public engagement and increasing trust in the justice system.

Judge Cross believes that it is crucial to demystify the legal process and promote a better understanding of how the court functions. One of her proposed initiatives includes organizing community forums where judges can answer questions and explain the impact of new laws on legal cases. Additionally, she plans to expand internship programs and invite high school students to participate in “civics days” at the courthouse, where they can learn directly from judges about the judicial system.

Fairness and inclusivity are also top priorities for Judge Cross. She intends to implement initiatives that work towards these goals, including continuing implicit bias training for judges and incorporating it into juror orientation. Judge Cross firmly believes that everyone involved in the court system, from defendants and victims to witnesses and family members, deserves respect and a voice in the courtroom. She envisions initiatives that make everyone feel valued and understood within the court environment, including court employees.

Judge Cross brings a wealth of experience to her new role. As a onetime federal prosecutor and former juvenile court magistrate, she understands the importance of treating every individual with dignity and fairness. It is worth noting that Judge Cross is the fourth consecutive Democrat to hold the position of presiding and administrative judge for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, following in the footsteps of judges Jody Luebbers, Terry Nestor, and Chris Wagner.

In conclusion, Judge Wende Cross’s appointment as the presiding and administrative judge for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in 2024 presents an opportunity for positive change within the justice system. Her focus on public engagement, fairness, and inclusivity aligns with her vision of a court system that instills trust and confidence in the community it serves. With her experience and dedication to these principles, Judge Cross is poised to make a lasting impact during her tenure.