Benita Y. Pearson
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio|
December 27, 2010
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Peter Economus|
|United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio|
August 2008 – December 27, 2010
|Born||February 1963 (age 51)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||Georgetown University
Cleveland State University
Benita Yalonda Pearson (born February 1963) is a United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and formerly a United States magistrate judge on the same court.
Early life and education
Born and raised in Cleveland, Pearson earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Georgetown University in 1985 and then earned a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University in 1995.
From 1985 until 1992, Pearson worked for BP, first as a corporate accountant (1985–1987) and then as a supervisor of retail marketing accounting (1987–1990) and then in retail sales (1990–1992).
From 1992 until 1994, Pearson worked as a law clerk for a Cleveland law firm, and from 1995 until 1996, Pearson served as a litigation associate for a Cleveland law firm. From 1996 until 1998, Pearson served as a law clerk for United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Judge John Michael Manos. From 1998 until 2000, Pearson served as a general litigation associate for Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland.
From 2000 until 2008, Pearson served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Cleveland.
In August 2008, Pearson became a United States magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Nomination to federal judiciary by President Obama
In July 2009, Pearson was recommended to serve as a United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by both Ohio Senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican George Voinovich. On December 3, 2009, President Obama formally nominated Pearson to serve on the Northern District of Ohio. Pearson was chosen to fill the seat vacated by Judge Peter C. Economus, who had taken senior status.
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary reported Pearson's nomination to the full Senate on February 11, 2010. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on December 21, 2010 by a vote of 56-39, with George Voinovich of Ohio casting the lone Republican 'aye' vote. She became the first African-American woman to hold a U.S. district judgeship in Ohio.
- Mike Tobin, Benita Pearson recommended to federal judgeship, The Plain Dealer (July 21, 2009).
- President Obama Nominates Nancy Freudenthal, Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. and Judge Benita Pearson to Serve on the District Court Bench, whitehouse.gov (December 4, 2009).
- U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 2nd Session, Vote Number 290: Confirmation Benita Y. Pearson, senate.gov (December 21, 2010).
- David Skolnick, First black female federal judge in Ohio to serve in Youngstown, The Vindicator (December 22, 2010).
- James F. McCarty, Cleveland woman confirmed by U.S. Senate to federal bench in Youngstown, The Plain Dealer (December 21, 2010).
- Benita Y. Pearson at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio