Practice Areas


J.D., Ohio Northern University, 1986   
-Graduated in top 10% of class

MEd.., Edinboro University, 1977

B.S., Edinboro University, 1976

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio, 1986
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1988
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 
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I never forget that lawsuits involve people. For many clients, it is their one and only encounter with the court system. I use my knowledge of the law and judicial experience to familiarize them with the system, while working to achieve the best result.

Shirley has been a trial lawyer for more than 28 years and is a former Judge in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. She has successfully defended doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers in wrongful death, brain injury, birth injury and catastrophic disability cases.  Her experience covers almost every recognized medical specialty.    

In addition to her medical malpractice experience, Shirley has represented employers in discrimination, wrongful termination and other lawsuits. 

While Shirley served as a Judge of Common Pleas Court, she reduced the backlog of cases by 40%, presided over thousands of civil and criminal cases and multiple jury trials, as well as the largest single indictment drug case in the history of Mahoning County. She worked to educate the public about the Court, and also started a Veterans Treatment Court at the felony level in Mahoning County.

Honors & Recognitions

Appointed by Governor Kasich to serve as Judge in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, 2014

Appointed by former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to serve on the Board that hears grievances against Judges and Lawyers

Selected by former Ohio State Bar Association President to serve on Board that evaluates Supreme Court candidates

Honored by Community Legal Aid for service in establishing a Legal Aid Clinic

Rated AV® Preeminent™: Very Highly Rated in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review

Professional Memberships & Community Affiliations

Ohio State Bar Association
- Former Board of Governors

Mahoning County Bar Association 
- Former President

Nathaniel R. Jones Inns of Court

Youngstown Lions Club

Goodwill Board of Directors

Women United (United Way)

St. Jude Catholic Church