Judicial Branch

Featured Member of the Judicial Branch for Prayer

Judge Michael R. Barrett, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Michael Ryan Barret was born in January 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Wabash College in Indiana prior to enrolling at the University of Cincinnati where he received a B.A. in History. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

He began his legal career as a state administrative hearing officer in Ohio, then joined the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. After a few years, he went into private law practice.Barret was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio by President George W. Bush. He was confirmed by the

Barret was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio by President George W. Bush. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in May 2006.


IN THE NEWS

A U.S. District Court originally ordered the depositions of IRS employees Lois Lerner and Holly Paz be sealed. Last week, Judge Michael R. Barret removed that prohibition and instead said the testimony should be deemed “confidential,” keeping it secret until he can see what the women had to say and what effect releasing it to the public would have.

Parties in the class action lawsuit against the IRS can eventually ask to make the information public, and then the burden shifts to Lerner and Paz to explain why it should be kept secret.

“Good cause exists to maintain the confidentiality of the depositions during the discovery phase,” Judge Barret ruled. For now, only the lengthy list of lawyers involved in the case will be allowed to see the deposition testimony.