Michael J. Newman is a federal magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, at Dayton. He was appointed to this position in July 2011.
Early life and education
Newman was born in Somerville, New Jersey. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University's Film School in 1982. He later attended Washington College of Law at American University, graduating with honors in 1989. In 2004, Newman attended the Advanced Mediation Program at Harvard Law School.
After law school, Newman became a law clerk to Magistrate Judge Jack Sherman, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, at Cincinnati. He continued to serve as Judge Sherman's career law clerk for over twelve years. Newman also clerked on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for Circuit Judge Nathaniel R. Jones for one year.
In 2003, Newman entered private practice at Dinsmore & Shohl in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was named a partner in just three years. Newman represented both plaintiffs and defendants, practicing in the areas of labor and employment, business litigation and appellate litigation. Newman chaired the firm's Labor & Employment Appellate Practice Group, and created and ran Dinsmore & Shohl's Pro Bono Appellate Litigation Program in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Newman served as a mediator and arbitrator while in private practice, and was appointed to the American Arbitration Association panel of neutral mediators and arbitrators.
During his time in private practice, Judge Newman was named a Leading Lawyer by Cincy magazine multiple times in a row, and also repeatedly honored as both an Ohio Super Lawyer and as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor & Employment Law. In 2009, he was appointed an Ohio Commodore by Ohio's Governor. Newman served on the Cincinnati Bar Association Board of Trustees. Further, Newman was a Master of the Potter Stewart Inn of Court in Cincinnati. He was also appointed statewide Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association's" Federal Courts and Practice Committee for three consecutive years. In 2011, he acted as the Statewide Chair of the Federal Court/Ohio State Bar Association Sixth Biennial Federal Bench Bar Conference for the Northern & Southern Districts of Ohio.
Newman has been involved in the Federal Bar Association ("FBA"), both at the local and national levels, since the 1990s. Newman previously served as President of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Dayton Chapters of the FBA. During his tenure, Dayton was named "Chapter of the Year." He has been elected to national office of the Federal Bar Association on several occasions—as a Sixth Circuit Vice President, as a member of the national Board of Directors, and as national Treasurer. In 2009, he was one of two lawyers in private practice nationally to be appointed to the FBA's Task Force on Diversity. He has served as national Co-Chair of the FBA's Professional Ethics Committee, as well as national Co-Chair of the FBA's Leadership Training & Agenda Committee. In 2015, he co-chaired the FBA's Diversity Task Force charged with drafting the FBA's diversity statement. He will be the FBA's national president in 2016–17. As national president, Newman will emphasize two substantial initiatives: (1) the creation of a national civics program in conjunction with local FBA chapters across the country; and (2) bringing to national prominence the SOLACE program, a volunteer effort that seeks to help those in the legal community with dire needs.
Further, Newman has been an adjunct professor at the University Dayton School of Law, the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.
Newman co-edited The Bench-Bar Handbook, the leading guide to federal practice and judicial procedures in the Southern District of Ohio. The book's successful publication, and its distribution to pro se litigants throughout the Southern District, led to the Shaw Award for public service. Moreover, for many years, Newman co-authored a monthly column on labor and employment law for The Federal Lawyer magazine, and has also served as the magazine's Judicial Profiles Editor. Further, Newman is on the Editorial Board of Federal Courts Law Review. Newman has authored more than fifty articles or columns published in The Federal Lawyer, and other bar association publications. In 1991, Newman authored a law review article, United States Magistrate Judges: Suggestions to Increase the Efficiency of Their Civil Role, published in the Northern Kentucky Law Review.
Prior to becoming a judge, Newman was involved in a wide array of community activities and the arts. Newman has served in Cincinnati as secretary of the Roundtable, a joint effort by the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Black Lawyer's Association, with the purpose of fostering opportunities for minority law students and lawyers. He helped to create a scholarship for minority students who want to pursue a career in public service, and was honored for that effort by BLAC in 2004. He has also assisted mentoring minority law students in the Summer Work Experience in Law program ("SWEL"). Newman was also a mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court's Lawyer-to- Lawyer Mentoring Program. Further, Newman has engaged in a variety of volunteer work – including serving as a Big Brother for many years, volunteering for the Red Cross, chairing the Friends of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and serving on the Board of Directors of Cincinnati Public Radio. Newman also performed homeless outreach through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky chapter of the Federal Bar Association and its involvement with the non-profit organization, Tender Mercies.
Newman has been honored for his service and leadership on numerous occasions. In 2007, the FBA honored him with an Outstanding Service and Recognition Award for leadership within the Sixth Circuit and nationwide. In 2009, he was awarded, along with the other Circuit Vice Presidents, with an FBA Recognition Award for service as a Vice President for the Sixth Circuit. In 2010, he was awarded the Elaine R. "Boots" Fisher Award – given annual to one lawyer in the United States for "exemplary community, public, and charitable service." In 2014, Newman received a President's Award from the FBA for "leadership [as well as] extraordinary service, commitment and guidance." He is a Life Fellow of the FBA Foundation.
In July 2011, Newman was appointed as a magistrate judge in the Southern District of Ohio, in the Western Division, at Dayton. Newman is frequently called upon to mediate complex civil disputes, and has a high settlement rate. Lawyers often consent to his jurisdiction, and he has a large number of published opinions.
Newman chaired the FBA's national Magistrate Judge Task Force in 2013-14, which was responsible for the special issue of the Federal Lawyer devoted to Magistrate Judges and the FBA's White Paper on the history and role of Magistrate Judges. He was recognized thereafter by the Federal Magistrate Judges Association for "valuable and dedicated service to all Magistrate Judges."
Since becoming a judge, Newman has been active in the SWEL program and sits on the statewide board of directors for the Law & Leadership Institute ("LLI") -- two efforts to assist minority high school students and college students considering a career in the law. Newman led the effort to create the first federal Veterans Court in the Southern District of Ohio, and has served as its presiding judge since the fall of 2015. He is also involved in the Re-Entry Court and Restored Citizens Project, two Federal Court efforts in Dayton designed to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully return to society.
Newman is a member of the Dayton Bar Association ("DBA"), and its Diversity Committee, Federal Practice Committee, and Public & Member Service Committee. He chaired the Federal Practice Committee for two years, and is also a Master of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court in Dayton. He was named a Fellow by the Dayton Bar Association Foundation.