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Judge Matthew W. McFarland

Standing Orders


Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, Room 838  
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio
(513) 564-7650


Judge Matthew W. McFarland was born in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio, and raised in Wheelersburg.  He graduated from Wheelersburg High School in 1985, from Capital University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and from the Capital University Law School in 1992, where he was inducted in the Order of the Barristers.  He also served as a research assistant for Dean Rodney K. Smith. Judge McFarland first took the bench in 1999 as a Magistrate in the Scioto County Common Pleas Court.  He was first elected to the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals in 2004 serving fourteen southeast Ohio counties. In 2010 and 2016 he was re-elected, and in 2016 by winning all fourteen counties.  As an appellate judge, Judge McFarland authored over 1,000 opinions and made over 2,900 panel votes and served as the Presiding and Administrative Judge for multiple years.  He has served as a visiting Judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio on four separate occasions allowing him to sit on each level of the Ohio Judiciary including the trial, appellate, and supreme court bench. The Ohio Chief Justice also appointed him to serve as a Commissioner on the Board of Grievances and Discipline and the Advisory Committee on Court Security and Emergency. 

On October 10, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Judge McFarland to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio after being recommended by the Portman/Brown Bipartisan Federal Judicial Search Commission. The United States Senate received Judge McFarland’s nomination on November 13, 2018.  At the sine die adjournment of the 115th Congress on January 3, 2019, the Senate returned Judge McFarland’s nomination to President Trump. President Trump then re-nominated Judge McFarland on January 23, 2019.  The Senate Judiciary Committee held Judge McFarland’s confirmation hearing on June 26, 2019, and favorably voted his nomination to the full United States Senate on July 18, 2019.  The United States Senate then confirmed Judge McFarland on December 18, 2019, and President Trump signed Judge McFarland’s Commission on December 31, 2019.  With Judge McFarland’s confirmation, he is now only the second federal judge to serve the Southern District of Ohio from Scioto County.  The first being Judge Albert Thompson, who served from 1898-1910.  Judge McFarland succeeded Judge Thomas M. Rose who took senior status on June 30, 2017.

Professional career

  • 2020-present: Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • 2004-2019: Judge, Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals
  • 1999-2004: Magistrate, Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio
  • 1995-1999:
    • Special counsel, Ohio Attorney General
    • Sole practitioner, Matthew W. McFarland, Esq.
    • Assistant county prosecutor, Scioto County
  • 1994-1995: Assistant county prosecutor, Licking County
  • 1992-1994: Associate attorney, Faulkner Law Office
  • 1992-1993: Assistant city solicitor, Portsmouth, Ohio
  • 1991-1992: Law clerk and associate attorney, Mazanec, Raskin and Ryder


  • 2008: Capital University Law School Alumnus of the Year
  • 2006: Ohio Association of Magistrates Judicial Award
  • 2004: Vernal G. Riffe Leadership Award for contributions to the Boy Scouts of America
  • 1981: Eagle Scout, Troop 21, Wheelersburg, Ohio