Judge Sadler’s journey to the bench began when she was a senior in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University. She interned at the Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office in the Night Prosecutor’s Program (NPP) where she served as a human relations counselor (HRC) and a crisis intervention counselor, providing much-needed support and referrals to victims of crime and others involved in the court system. Because Lisa worked her way through school by waiting on tables at a local restaurant, she scheduled her internship between classes during the day. Serving her internship during the day led to Judge Sadler’s first exposure to the legal profession. The experience permitted her to work directly with the legal staff and to observe the courtroom as a neutral forum to resolve disputes.


Based on this experience, Judge Sadler went to Capital University Law School after graduating from OSU. While obtaining her law degree, Judge Sadler continued to work at both the prosecutor’s office and the restaurant. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Sadler was hired as a prosecuting attorney and gained extensive experience as a trial lawyer.

Early in her legal career, Judge Sadler became interested in becoming a judge. She viewed the role of judge as a position where she could utilize her legal reasoning and organizational skills, as well her social work background. Judge Sadler believed that, with the proper experience, she could serve the public well in the role of judge.

Judge Sadler began tailoring her career to diversify her legal resume to include all aspects of the legal field she believed necessary to be an effective and qualified judge. Because a judge presides over both civil and criminal matters, Judge Sadler believed that the public would be best served by an individual with extensive litigation experience in both civil and criminal law. Judge Sadler transferred to the civil division of the Columbus City Attorney’s Office and became a member of the litigation staff. There, she gained valuable civil trial and appellate experience in both state and federal court.

After serving in the Columbus City Attorney’s Office in both the civil and criminal divisions, Judge Sadler served the State of Ohio as deputy chief legal counsel for Governor George V. Voinovich. In 1992, Judge Sadler was appointed to the Franklin County Municipal Court and was elected to that court in 1993. In 1996, she was appointed to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas where she presided over felony and complex civil jury trials. She was elected to that court in 1996 and 2000.

Because an appellate judge reviews decisions made by judges in the trial court, Judge Sadler believed that her judicial trial experience would uniquely qualify her to serve on the court of appeals. In 2002, and after a decade serving Franklin County as a trial judge, Judge Sadler ran for election to the Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Sadler easily won election and has served on that court since 2003.

Judge Sadler is proud of her record as judge in the Tenth District Court of Appeals and enjoys a reputation for being fair and impartial. She believes that each party and case before her deserves timely resolution and is entitled to a full and thorough examination of the legal issues presented. Judge Sadler takes pride in the detail and legal reasoning she puts in her legal decisions. She currently serves as the court’s Presiding Judge.

In addition to serving on the Franklin County Municipal Court, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and Tenth District Court of Appeals, Judge Sadler has served on multiple occasions as a visiting judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio. She is proud of her public service and has enjoyed each of her judicial positions.

Judge Sadler believes that, as judge, she is accountable to the public and feels that she has a responsibility to be active in the community and educate the public on the role of the judiciary. Judge Sadler has served on several boards and has a long history with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. She currently serves on the Maryhaven Board of Directors, where she serves as Chair of the Program Committee. Judge Sadler is a current member of Women Lawyers of Franklin County and enjoys mentoring young women.


Judge Sadler is a life-long resident of Franklin County and a product of public schools. She was raised in Westerville where both her parents were public school teachers. Judge Sadler is particularly proud of her father who was the high school baseball coach for 27 years, and of the fact that Westerville South High School named the baseball field “J.W. Sadler Field” in his honor. Judge Sadler credits her parents with instilling in her a strong work ethic, a fundamental belief that all people must be treated with respect and dignity, and that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

Judge Sadler is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School. She lives in Gahanna with her husband, Larry, who is a retired police lieutenant. Their son, Trent is a graduate of both Gahanna Lincoln High School and Wittenberg University.

Coach Bill Sadler