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Judge Michael C. Mentel

Judge Michael C. Mentel

Presiding Judge

Judge Michael C. Mentel received his undergraduate degree in history and political science from the Capital University in Bexley, Ohio in 1984. After graduation he attended the Capital University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1987. While in law school, Judge Mentel attended Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, summer semester, focusing on international contract law. Later in his career he was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters, Humana Causa, from the Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio. 

Judge Mentel practiced law for 32 years prior to joining the Court of Appeals. His career has encompassed serving as legal counsel to government agencies, as an associate, and a partner in law firms located in Columbus, Ohio. Before joining the Court in February 2021, he was a partner at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP, practicing in the areas of energy, environmental, governmental law, and litigation. He has served as the chief legal officer to two corporate engineering firms, and as a chief legal officer to a governmental solid waste authority, advising the Board and its director on all aspects of governmental regulatory compliance, environmental compliance, and litigation matters. Earlier in his career, Judge Mentel was a staff attorney at the Ohio EPA where he advised the DERR program on regulatory compliance issues and negotiated administrative consent orders with responsible parties requiring the clean-up and removal of hazardous waste and substances disposed of throughout Ohio.  Judge Mentel later became the supervising attorney to the DERR program. He managed the staff attorneys responsible for the negotiation of administrative orders and worked with the Director's office, and the Ohio General Assembly, in the drafting the Ohio Voluntary Action Program legislation. Prior to joining the Ohio EPA, Judge Mentel was privileged to serve as a Franklin County Public Defender. Judge Mentel served in the municipal division and represented the indigent and disadvantaged at all stages of the trial process. During his years serving in private practice, Judge Mentel was honored to receive the recognition of his peers in Best Lawyers in America and in Chambers & Partners in the areas of government law and environmental law, respectively.

Judge Mentel is part of a family with a history of dedication to public service. While in private practice, Judge Mentel served 11 years as a member of the Columbus City Council, serving as President of the Council during the last 3 years of his tenure. During the course of his tenure on the Council, Judge Mentel was chair of the Zoning, Safety, Administration and Judiciary, Recreation and Parks, Finance, and the Rules Committees. Judge Mentel aggressively addressed the problem of homelessness in our community while serving on Council. He was recognized twice by the Community Shelter Board for his efforts and was presented with the Shelter Board's Hero Award, and later presented with the Melvin Shottenstein Leadership Award for his efforts to combat homelessness.

Judge Mentel has been admitted to practice in the following courts and jurisdictions:
  •  The United States Supreme Court
  • The United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
  • The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • The Ohio Supreme Court

Judge Mentel is a member of the following organizations:
  •  Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • The Brehon Law Society of New York
  • The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Patrick Pierce Division
  • The Shamrock Club of Columbus, Ohio

Judge Mentel and his wife have been married for over 31 years and are the proud parents of two adult children. He and his wife are parishioners at Saint Michael Catholic Church in Worthington, Ohio.

Staff Members


  • Zachary Farquhar
  • Brian Kelso

Judicial Secretary

  • Sherae Coaxum