J. Gregory Howard was appointed to the Butler County Common Pleas Court by Governor John Kasich in February of 2017. Judge Howard was admitted to the practice of law in November 1987 after earning his Juris Doctor from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law. After completing law school and passing the bar, Judge Howard began private practice in Hamilton, Ohio in 1987, with a concentration in criminal defense and family law.
During his thirty year tenure as a practicing lawyer, Judge Howard has been involved in many civic and professional activities. Judge Howard is a member Ohio State Bar Association, Middletown Area Republican Club, Past President of the both the Butler County Bar Association and Mid-Miami Valley Bar Association. He has also served as former Regional Chair of the Butler County Republican Party, Chairman of the Butler County Bar Association’s Criminal Law Committee, and was a participant in the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program established by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Howard was certified by the Ohio Supreme Court to handle death penalty litigation, and also had the honor to serve as an acting Judge in Middletown Municipal Court for 8 years prior to taking the bench on the Common Pleas Court.
Judge Howard is a member of the Butler County Bar Association’s Grievance Committee, and serves on the Ohio Judicial Conference’s Criminal Law & Procedure, Jury Service and Specialized Docket Committees.
Judge Howard was born in Louisville, Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky for his undergraduate degree, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Judge Howard currently presides over the Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (SAMI) Court, a certified, specialized docket using effective, evidence-based interventions and treatments in a holistic, accountability-based, community-supported, approach designed to enhance public safety by preventing recidivism while assisting participants in taking responsibility for their behavioral health issues and leading a clean and sober lifestyle.
In his spare time, the Judge enjoys fly-fishing, golfing, wood working, and spending time with his family.