Jennifer McTernan is a criminal defense attorney with a decade in practice and broad courtroom experience handling a variety of matters ranging from low level misdemeanors to high level felonies to juvenile cases to appeals, including extensive work on Cuyahoga County's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities specialty docket.
She is the only candidate in her race that:
Jennifer has her own solo practice where she handles cases for both retained clients and assigned clients – those that are indigent and do not have the financial ability to hire an attorney. For the past ten years, she has been in courtrooms throughout Northeast Ohio almost every day, handling a wide variety of cases ranging from low level misdemeanors to high level felonies to appeals. Practicing criminal defense litigation further means that she has had the opportunity to not just briefly interact with those that would appear in front of her, but actually get to know them at length throughout her representation of them, making her more mindful of the significance and impact of any judicial decision, even smaller seemingly trivial decisions, on the parties involved. Through her practice, she has frequently been a part of discussions with other attorneys, prosecutors, and judges to find creative and innovative solutions to adequately address the needs of a particular case in order to best achieve fairness and justice on a case by case basis. In other situations, however, she has observed missed opportunities that she would hope to address differently from the bench.
Jennifer McTernan is also qualified to handle criminal cases on Cuyahoga County’s Mental Health and Developmental Disability specialty docket, and frequently notes the importance of getting clients access to mental health and developmental disability services often in combination with addiction services, not just in the resolution of their cases but in their everyday lives. She understands that perhaps the most effective deterrent to someone ending up back in court with a future case, is addressing the underlying causes and getting them access to services when appropriate. Too often in her current practice, she encounters clients with obvious mental health and/or developmental disability issues that would likely benefit from services, but unfortunately have never previously been assessed or diagnosed, despite having previously been through the system. As such, she recognizes just how important and necessary it is for both attorneys and judges to be able to identify and adequately address these issues, and would continue to advocate for increased awareness of these issues from the bench.
Jennifer McTernan is a lifelong Cuyahoga County resident. She grew up in Lyndhurst and is a proud product of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst public school system. She now lives in Lakewood where she is an active member of the Lakewood Democratic Club. She has also been on the executive board of the Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association since 2019 and is actively involved with a variety of other local professional and non profit organizations.