Susanne M. Cetrulo was appointed to the Court of Appeals in September 2021 to serve the 6th Appellate District, Division 2, which is composed of the commonwealth’s 21 northernmost counties.
Her career has brought her full circle, as her first law job was as a staff attorney for the Court of Appeals from 1984-1991, first for Chief Judge Charles Lester and then Judge Judy M. West.
Judge Cetrulo went on to spend 30 years in private practice and came to the Court of Appeals from the civil litigation law firm of Cetrulo, Mowery & Hicks, which she founded along with her husband in 2000. Prior to establishing her own firm, Judge Cetrulo practiced with Kohnen Patton & Hunt in Cincinnati, where she focused on medical malpractice defense. She then became a partner with Ware Bryson West & Kummer in Edgewood.
In addition to practicing civil litigation in Kentucky and Ohio, she was an adoption attorney in both states for over 30 years. She has finalized placements for more than 350 children and she and her husband are adoptive parents.
Judge Cetrulo has been named one of the most prolific trial attorneys in Kentucky several times by the “Kentucky Jury Verdict Reporter.” She has presented on appellate advocacy and mediation skills at continuing legal education and new attorney events. She has also taught at the University of Cincinnati, authored several legal articles and presented at seminars on legal matters for the Kentucky and Ohio bar associations and several practice groups. She is a certified mediator and has performed mediations in Kentucky and Ohio, helping other attorneys resolve their client’s disputes.
Judge Cetrulo is on the scholarship committee for the Northern Kentucky Bar Association’s Judge Judy West Award. The association provides money to a female student from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law each year in honor of Judge Cetrulo’s mentor, Court of Appeals Judge Judy M. West, who passed away in 1991.
She is a co-founder of Cameron’s Cause, a nonprofit organization that places automated external defibrillator in Northern Kentucky schools and businesses to prevent sudden cardiac death.
Judge Cetrulo previously served as a board member and volunteer for the Northern Kentucky Bar Associations’ women lawyers and mentoring programs. She has also volunteered with Josh Cares, KAREFarm, the Citizen Foster Care Review Board, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Diocesan Children’s Home and Dixie Heights High School Band. She served as a board member and volunteer with the Women’s Crisis Center of Northern Kentucky, IMPACT 100 and Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside Park, Ky.
She earned a juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University.
Judge Cetrulo and her husband, Bob, are the parents of a daughter and two sons and have two grandchildren.