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On Jan. 1, 1921, Allen assumed her duties as common pleas judge. The court had 12 judges who operated without an administrative head of the court. Material witnesses to a crime could be held in jail for months waiting for a trial to begin. Meanwhile, the defendants could be free on bond. Without a judge supervising the docket, the trials involving jailed material witnesses were not moved to the front of the docket. Allen worked with several women’s organizations to draft a law that would mandate a chief justice of the common pleas court in any county having more than one judge to supervise the docket and manage the process in a more timely manner. The Ohio General Assembly passed the law. From Jan. 1, 1921 to Sept. 1, 1922, Judge Allen disposed of 892 cases, including three first-degree murder cases, one second-degree murder trial and the perjury trial of Justice William McGannon, chief justice of the Cleveland Municipal Court.

Source: The Supreme Court of Ohio, Florence Ellinwood Allen Biography

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Image courtesy of Ken Kooyman.

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judical career, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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