Judge Hoffman Biography

170 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 469-7704


       John E. Hoffman, Jr. was appointed as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio in 2000. Prior to his appointment, Chief Judge Hoffman was a partner in the Columbus office of Arter & Hadden LLP, where he practiced primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and commercial litigation, focusing on the representation of Chapter 11 debtors and creditors’ committees. He joined Arter & Hadden in 1989 after completing a judicial clerkship with the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr., who previously served as a bankruptcy judge and as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Chief Judge Hoffman has been involved in several national and local organizations dedicated to improving the administration of the bankruptcy system and the practice of law in the bankruptcy courts. He was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in March 2017 and elected as a conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference in November 2019. An active member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Chief Judge Hoffman chaired the NCBJ Education Committee in 2018, after having previously served as a member of the committee in 2013 and 2017. He also served on the Elections Committee from 2013‑2015, and the Board of Directors of the NCBJ’s Endowment for Education from 2006-2011, including as Chair of the Endowment from 2007-2009. Chief Judge Hoffman was elected to the NCBJ Board of Governors for a three-year term that ended in November 2021. Chief Justice Roberts appointed Chief Judge Hoffman to a three-year term on the Federal Judicial Center’s Committee on Bankruptcy Judge Education in April 2013 and reappointed him to a second term on the committee in April 2016. Chief Judge Hoffman also is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and previously served as Chair of the Columbus Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee.
       For a number of years, Chief Judge Hoffman has taught business bankruptcy as an adjunct professor of law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he sits on the law school’s National Council. In 2015, the Moritz College of Law presented Chief Judge Hoffman with the William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award, which recognizes personal integrity and commitment to fairness, freedom and equality. In 2016, Chief Judge Hoffman received the Excellence in Public Service Award from the Moritz College of Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation. Chief Judge Hoffman also has worked to make legal services available to those who cannot afford them, having served on the Board of Trustees for The Legal Aid Society of Columbus from 1995-2000. He received the Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Judge from the Columbus Bar Association and Columbus Bar Foundation in 2012, and in 2015 had the honor of being presented with the Ohio State Bar Association’s John and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award, which is given in recognition of “exceptional volunteer service by a lawyer that advances the common good of the people of Ohio.” Chief Judge Hoffman received his B.A. summa cum laude from Wheeling Jesuit University in 1980 and his J.D. magna cum laude from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1983.