Judge Patricia Blackmon’s 2022 Law Day speech was given to the Geauga County (Ohio) Bar Association. Judge Blackmon reflects on the Law Day theme of “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Time of Change” using her life story as a backdrop. In 1996, she was elected to the Eighth District Court of Appeals making her the first African American woman elected as a judge on the Ohio Court of Appeals. She served five judicial terms until her retirement on February 10, 2021. Judge Blackmon served as the Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals on three one-year terms in 1998, 2005, and 2012.


Judge Patricia Blackmon was born in Mississippi and graduated magna cum laude from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, with a Bachelor’s Degree in African-American Studies, Political Science and History. She was recruited to attend Cleveland-Marshall College of Law by the late Judge Ann Aldrich. She received her law degree in 1975. With Cleveland as her new home, Judge Blackmon served as Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, and was the city’s first night prosecutor. Judge Blackmon also served as an Assistant Director of the Victims/Witness Program and as a Professor at Dyke College in Cleveland, Ohio.
Among the many honors Judge Blackmon has earned was being inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame; being named the 1996 Alumna of the Year from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; and being included in the 2001 “Evening of Stars – A Celebration of Educational Excellence” in a special salute to United Negro College Fund alumni. She has been a mentor to countless new appellate court judges and is the undisputed golf champion for the Ohio Court of Appeals Judges Association.

Note to Viewers: This video is made available to promote education and discussion on issues related to state intermediate courts of appeal.  The views expressed in the video, however, are strictly those of the Presenter and do not reflect any opinion of the Council or its members on any issue.