Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Eve Belfance said it was an "honor and a privilege" to sit on the Supreme Court of Ohio for the first time Tuesday.
Judge Belfance said she was excited to learn what case she was going to hear weeks ago and busily prepared for the oral arguments.
Judge Belfance sat in for Justice Robert Cupp, who recused himself from the case Doner vs. the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The case involved whether increased flooding of downstream land after the state installed a new spillway constitutes "taking" of property.
Judge Belfance said while she enjoyed every minute of her experience, she was surprised by how quiet she was on the bench.
"I'm normally fairly vocal during oral arguments and I came away from this a little surprised. I didn't ask one question," Judge Belfance said.
Judge Belfance said that's because just as she was about to ask a question another justice would jump in with a similar inquiry.
"It was funny because every time I would go to ask a question one of the other justices - it was like he or she were reading my mind," Judge Belfance said.
While Judge Belfance is currently an appellate judge, and she said listening to oral arguments is familiar to her, she appreciates the "great responsibility" justices have on the bench.
"The reach of the Ohio Supreme Court is so much greater than certainly the Court of Appeals," Judge Belfance said. "The decision of the Ohio Supreme Court affects every person in the state. They have that type of reach so it really enforces that sense of responsibility."
Judge Belfance said it was a tremendous experience, and she hopes the opportunity arises again to sit on the Supreme Court of Ohio in the near future.
Judge Belfance is an Akron native and earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1984. She then graduated cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1990. In 2008, Judge Belfance was elected to the Ninth District Court of Appeals which serves Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne Counties.