By Frank Lewis
Scioto County Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha III of Portsmouth has been elected to serve as the District 8 representative on the Board of Governors of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA). District 8 includes 324 attorneys who reside or practice in Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.
Harcha, who has served on the Scioto County Common Pleas Court since 1997, completed the term of attorney T. Todd Book, and was recently elected by area lawyers at an OSBA district meeting to begin a new three-year term.
“I’ll be starting my first new term,” Harcha said. “I was lucky enough to get appointed to an unexpired term this previous time. From the beginning of my career I have seen the Ohio State Bar Association do great things within the legal community. They’re instrumental in helping lawyers, promoting laws that are fair to the citizens of the state. They have a continuing legal education branch which is second to none and it’s just a great organization to be a part of and to help them for the next three years.”
The 21-member Board of Governors manages the association’s business affairs, sets policy, reviews pending legislation and conducts other business on behalf of the 23,000 Ohio lawyers who are OSBA members.
Judge Harcha received his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and his law degree from the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. From 1982 to 1991, he practiced law with his father, Howard H. Harcha Jr., while also serving as city prosecutor for the Portsmouth Municipal Court. He subsequently served as a judge of the Portsmouth Municipal Court from 1991 to 1997 until he was elected to his current position on the bench.
Judge Harcha served as a member of the OSBA Council of Delegates from 2009 to 2013. A member of the Ohio Judicial Conference (OJC) Executive Committee since 2007, he also has served as co-chair of the OJC’s Committee on Community Corrections. He served on the American Judges Association Board of Governors from 2002 to 2008 and has served on its Court of Appeals since 2010. A past president of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association, he has also served on that association’s board of trustees. In addition, he served on the Ohio Supreme Court Committee for Attorney Specialization from 2004 to 2008 and was a member of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers Board of Trustees from 1986 to 1989.
In the community, Judge Harcha is involved with the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, and chairs the Judicial Advisory Board. He is a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth.
Judge Harcha is married to Peggy L. Harcha, who is a pathology manager at Southern Ohio Medical Center. They have four grown children: Heather, Howard, John and Matthew.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.