From 1975 to 1979, Judge Dlott served in the Southern District of Ohio as an Assistant United States Attorney. Her duties included both civil and criminal litigation. She then entered private practice with the Cincinnati law firm of Graydon, Head & Ritchey and, in 1981, became its first female partner. During her sixteen-year tenure at Graydon, Head, Judge Dlott litigated on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in several high-profile cases. She garnered an acquittal for one client in the longest criminal trial ever in Hamilton County, Ohio, was court-appointed lead counsel in a fifty-nine-defendant securities fraud case, and was court-appointed lead counsel for a subclass of plaintiffs in Bendectin litigation. Her private practice consisted of both civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense.
President Clinton appointed her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in 1995, and she has been stationed primarily in Cincinnati since 1996. Judge Dlott was Chief Judge from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2014. A summary of some of Judge Dlott’s opinions is separately listed and accessible under “Noteworthy Rulings”.
Judge Dlott presided over the negotiation and supervision of the six year implementation of two agreements on police-community relations and law enforcement practices, entered into by the City of Cincinnati, the Fraternal Order of Police, the United States Department of Justice, and various civil rights and community organizations. The landmark Collaborative Agreements have been widely recognized as a successful model for other police reform.
Judge Dlott has served on numerous boards including the Dayton and Cincinnati Federal Bar Associations, the Ohio Building Authority, Cincinnati Arts Association, and Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association and the Cincinnati Bar Association. Judge Dlott is the recipient of the Service Award, Dayton Bar Association, 1975-1976; YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, 1996; Cincinnati Women Honoree, 1998; Downtown Residents’ Council Community Service Gift of Appreciation Award, 2000; the Cincinnati NAACP Fair and Courageous Award, 2006; the YWCA Racial Justice Award, February 2008; the Cincinnati Bar Association 2023 John L. Muething Lifetime Achievement in Law Award.
Judge Dlott is past President of the Potter Stewart Inn of Court, was a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference prior to her appointment to the bench, and has been an instructor in the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School. She is an alumna of Leadership Cincinnati, and a member of the Queen City Dog Training Club Inc; and is active in the YWCA; Board Member, YWCA (2008 -2014), YWCA Executive Committee (2010 - 2012); and is a member of the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) Board since 2008; Cincinnati Public Radio Board of Directors (2023-present).