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Judge Michael H. Watson

Standing Orders

Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse, Room 109
85 Marconi Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 719-3280


Judge Watson was born in Akron, Ohio. He was raised and has lived in the Columbus area throughout his life. Judge Watson was appointed by President George W. Bush and sworn in as Judge of The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on October 1, 2004.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Watson served on the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County, from May 1, 2003, until September 30, 2004.  From January 1, 1996, until April 30, 2003, Judge Watson served on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.  During his last three years on the trial court, Judge Watson served as Administrative Judge.

Before his appointment to the Common Pleas Court, Judge Watson served as Chief Counsel to Governor Voinovich throughout 1994 and 1995.  From early 1991 through1993, he also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor and Chief Counsel for the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Judge Watson practiced law from 1988 to 1991 with the law firms of Lane, Alton and Horst and Delligatti, Hollenbaugh, Briscoe and Miless, focusing primarily on personal injury litigation, employment disputes, workers' compensation, and criminal defense.

After service in the United States Air Force and the Ohio National Guard, Judge Watson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University in 1983 and his Juris Doctor degree from Capital University Law School in 1987.  While in law school, Judge Watson served as bailiff and law clerk to Judge Tommy L. Thompson, the trial court judge whom he was appointed to succeed.

Judge Watson has served as a prior member of the Alvis board of trustees.  He previously served as an officer and member of Worthington Youth Boosters in Worthington, Ohio.  Judge Watson is a past President, and current member, of the Federal Bar Association.