Hall of Fame Members

Ann Aber, Class of 2003
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, JOANN Stores

Ann has been practicing law since 2003 and is currently the Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, & Secretary for JOANN Stores (NASDAQ: JOAN). JOANN is the nation’s category leader in sewing, fabrics and is one of the fastest growing competitors in the arts and crafts industry. At JOANN, Ann oversees the legal, trade compliance, risk management, and ESG functions. Prior to JOANN, Ann was General Counsel at a privately held specialty food manufacturer and before that was Counsel for Eaton Corporation. Ann also practiced law in private practice at Jones Day’s Private Equity Practice Group. Ann is very active in community organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the National Advisory Council for On Our Sleeves, and the CSU|LAW’s Board of Visitors. Ann attended John Carroll University (BA, Political Science, 1999) and Cleveland State University College of Law (JD, summa cum laude, 2003). Ann is a life-long Northeast Ohioan, currently living in Lakewood with her husband and three children. 

Judge Ronald B. Adrine, Class of 1973

Ronald Adrine is a member of a proud C|M|LAW legacy family. His uncle Herbert (1953) and father Russell (1954) (also a Hall of Fame Inductee) were Cleveland-Marshall graduates. Adrine practiced law with his legendary father before being appointed senior staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, chaired by fellow Hall of Fame honoree Congressman Louis Stokes (1953). He joined the Cleveland Municipal Court bench in 1981, was reelected five times, and has served as Administrative and Presiding Judge since 2008. He spearheaded the successful merger of four African-American legal organizations to form the Norman S. Minor Bar Association in 1980 and led the creation of the Cleveland Bar Association Minority Clerkship Program. Adrine is the past recipient of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Alumni of the Year and Cleveland State University Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Achievement. He is the co-author of Ohio Domestic Violence Law and is a nationally-recognized expert on domestic violence issues. He retired from the Court at the end of 2017.

Russell T. Adrine, Class of 1954 (1917-2011)

Russell Adrine was an influential presence during Cleveland’s turbulent 1960s, when African-American citizens and lawyers were fighting for equality in public education and government. A World War II veteran, he followed his brother Herbert Adrine (1953) to Cleveland-Marshall; after graduation, the brothers set up a practice in the neighborhood where they were raised. In 1977, Governor James Rhodes appointed Adrine to serve on the Board of Tax Appeals, and in 1984, he was named General Counsel of the Regional Transit Authority. Always politically active, he chaired every one of Louis Stokes’ Congressional campaigns. He served on the boards of the ACLU, the Legal Aid Society, and the law school’s Visiting Committee. He was also president of the Greater Cleveland Urban League and the local chapter of the NAACP.

Ann-Marie Ahern, Class of 1998
Principal, McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman, Co. LPA
Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors

Ann-Marie Ahern is a Board Member and the head of the employment law practice at McCarthy, Lebit. For more than 20 years, Ann-Marie has been an advocate for employees, successfully litigating hundreds of employment disputes and trying cases to juries involving issues of age discrimination, sex discrimination and harassment, race discrimination, disability discrimination/failure to accommodate, wrongful discharge, and illegal retaliation. Ann-Marie has obtained more than $75 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of her clients. Best Lawyers named her the 2020 Plaintiff’s Employment “Lawyer of the Year” for Cleveland. Ann-Marie has also been honored by Super Lawyers® as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Ohio. Ann-Marie is a nationally recognized authority on employment law, having been quoted in The Washington Post, Time.com, and USA Today. She has been at the forefront of the #MeToo and pay equity awareness movements. She is an OSBA Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law and a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. Ann-Marie loves her work with the law school, having been a member of the Board of Visitors at CSU|LAW since 2015, and Co-Chair of the Career Planning and Placement Workgroup for the last several year.

Judge Ann Aldrich (1927-2010)

Ann Aldrich joined the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty in 1968, where she became the school’s first female tenured professor, taught a pioneering clinical environmental law class, and recruited minority students and professors. One of her many mentees was fellow Hall of Fame Honoree Judge Patricia Blackmon (1975). In 1980 she became the first woman nominated to the federal bench in Ohio when President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She retired in 1995 but continued working as a senior federal judge until her passing.

Judge Francis M. Allegra, Class of 1981 (1957-2015)

Francis Allegra became an associate at the Cleveland law firm of Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey, where he specialized in tax and bond work. From 1984-1994, he served the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in several capacities, handling many of the division’s most complex cases. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Associate Attorney General, working with the Tax and Antitrust Divisions as well as with the National Economic and Domestic Policy Councils at the White House. In 1998, he was appointed judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims by President Bill Clinton. Over his career, he issued more than 250 published opinions on topics including tax, government contracts, intellectual property, and military and civilian employment. He was considered an expert on issues involving electronic discovery and was a member of the Information Technology Committee of the Judicial Conference from 2003-2010.

Dean Linda L. Ammons
Dean Emeritus, Widener Law School
Professor Emeritus, CSU College of Law

Linda L. Ammons is dean emeritus at Widener University. She served as counsel to the president of Widener for legal education, after retiring as associate provost and dean of the law school in 2014. She was the first woman and the first African-American to lead the two-campus, two-state, Widener University School of Law, and was the senior African American female dean in the nation when she stepped down after serving eight years. Ammons came to Widener in 2006 from CSU College of Law, where she was associate dean and professor of law. During her 15 years at Cleveland-Marshall, she chaired and served on a number of university committees and taught Administrative Law, Legislation, Mass Communications Law, and Women and the Law. Ammons served as executive assistant to former Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste, from 1988 to 1991, advising him on legal and policy matters in the criminal justice, regulatory and administrative areas. In January 2010, Ammons was appointed by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware to be the special investigator in the case of the alleged child molestations by pediatrician Earl Bradley. Her work resulted in a package of twelve legislative reforms, nine of which were passed unanimously by the Delaware General Assembly. Her Board memberships include the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce serving as the chair of its ethics committee, WHYY TV and Radio of Philadelphia, Vegas PBS, and she is a Trustee of Christiana Hospital.

Judge Joseph A. Artl, Class of 1922 (1893-1970)

Joseph Artl served the citizens of Cuyahoga County for over four decades and was one of its most respected public officials. Elected to Cleveland City Council in 1932, he served as Democratic minority leader and briefly, in 1936, as Council President. He was appointed to the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1936, where he presided for a decade. In 1947 he was elected to the Common Pleas Court. Among his many adjudications was the 1949 order enjoining employees of the Cleveland Transit System to cease a work stoppage. In 1963, Artl was elected to the first of two terms on the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eight District. Honored by his peers, he was named the county’s Outstanding Democrat by the 33rd Ward Democratic Club in 1961.

Tony Asher, Class of 1963
Founder, Weston, Inc.

Anthony J. Asher is a first generation Lebanese American.  He graduated from St. Edward’s High School and attended The University of Dayton. Later he graduated from Cleveland State University’s College of Law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in October 1963. Tony began his career working at a title agency while attending law school.  Shortly before graduation, with his father he launched Guardian Title and Guarantee Agency Inc., which grew to be one of the largest title agencies in Greater Cleveland.  Subsequently in 1972, he started Weston, Inc., an industrial real estate ownership firm that is now one of the largest privately held industrial property owners in an eight-state area. Tony has gifted the Weston Ideation Lab to Cleveland State University, co-founded the Asher Center of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik, Lebanon, and endowed a chair in family medicine and global health at the University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.  He was approved as Honorary Consul of Lebanon for the Greater Cleveland area where an official Cleveland office was established. He was also knighted by the Catholic church in the order of St. Gregory in 2001.

Awatef Assad, Class of 1995
Deputy Director for Risk Management, Cuyahoga County

Awatef Assad is a fighter for fairness and social justice. As the first woman to become an attorney from Beit Hanina, a Palestinian town in East Jerusalem, Awatef found inspiration from her mother, Fahmia—who attended the first Beit Hanina school for girls in the 1930’s—and whose unrelenting determination was responsible for bringing her family to the United States in 1969.  With twenty-five years of experience as a government litigation attorney with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Awatef led the County’s effort in enacting the historic Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and co-authored the first amicus brief filed in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality case. Awatef has led many civic programs focused on improving the lives of women and is nationally recognized for her community work on behalf of the Arab American community.  She is the recipient of the F.B.I. Director’s Community Leadership, Arab American Institute Excellence in Public Service, Ohio Civil Rights Commission “Keeping the Dream Alive,” CAMEO Leadership, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Justice for All Volunteer of the Year Awards. Awatef serves as the CMBA’s Vice-President of Inclusion and Diversity and is a Commissioner to the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists.

Steve Auvil, Class of 1993
Office Managing Partner, Cleveland, Squire Patton Boggs

Steven M. Auvil has been the Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs’ Cleveland office since 2021. He previously served as leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) Litigation Practice for nearly a decade. His practice focuses primarily on IP disputes. He was an engineer before he became a patent lawyer.  He obtained his JD (summa cum laude) from CSU|LAW and later graduated with an LLM from NYU Law before beginning his legal career at Jones Day in Cleveland.  He is the inaugural and current President of The Kathleen M. O’Malley American Inn of Court, and previously served as President of the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association. Since 2007, Steve has been listed in Chambers USA Leading Lawyers and, in 2006, The Best Lawyers in America. He is a volunteer board member of the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Chapter and the Playhouse Square Foundation. He regularly mentors CSU|LAW students interested in IP law, and, under two former deans, previously served on the adjunct faculty at CSU|LAW and on CSU|LAW’s Board of Visitors.

Mark Avsec, Class of 1995
Partner, Benesch

Mark Avsec is the Vice-Chair of Benesch’s Intellectual Property Group. Before becoming a lawyer, he was a full-time musician, producer and songwriter, writing songs and producing or performing on albums for Carlos Santana (“Angel Love”), Bon Jovi (“She Don’t Know Me”), Donnie Iris (“Ah! Leah!” and “Love Is Like A Rock”), Mason Ruffner (“Gypsy Blood”) and Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music, White Boy”). He is the founding member of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers (producing all of the band’s albums and writing all of the band’s songs). Mark has served as an Adjunct Law Professor at Case Western Reserve University for 19 years. He also served as a faculty member of the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Academy, a joint program between Case and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is a member of the Federal Judicial Center’s faculty and teaches music infringement to federal judges across the country with David Nimmer (Nimmer on Copyright) and Professor Peter Menell (University of California Berkeley School of Law). Mark is a ranked copyright lawyer in Chambers USA. He still performs as keyboard player with Donnie Iris and the Cruisers and The James Gang, featuring Joe Walsh, Jimmy Fox, and Dale Peters.

Mary Ann Bagus, Class of 1982 (1944-1987)

Mary Ann Bagus overcame physical difficulties resulting from childhood polio to graduate cum laude from Cleveland-Marshall where she also served as editor of the Cleveland State Law Review. Specializing in probate law, Bagus practiced for almost five years until she died tragically in an auto accident while on vacation in California. Her legacy lives on in a scholarship fund to benefit disabled students who demonstrate both financial need and academic excellence at the University of Buffalo, where she obtained her master’s degree in modern languages, and in The Mary Ann Bagus Memorial Fund at CSU College of Law.

Mayor Newton D. Baker (1871-1937)

Newton Baker was one of our most prominent trustees when Cleveland Law School opened its doors in 1897. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University before moving to Cleveland to practice law. Baker was appointed assistant law director in 1902 and city solicitor in 1903. He went on to serve as Mayor of Cleveland from 1912-1915, during which time he actively promoted municipal Home Rule, helped to write the 1912 Ohio constitutional amendment on the subject, and campaigned for the 1913 passage of Cleveland’s Home Rule Charter. Baker was a founder of the law firm of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo (now BakerHostetler) in 1916, and that same year President Wilson appointed him Secretary of War. In 1921, he returned to private practice in Cleveland, where he was active on many charitable and corporate boards and advocated for American participation in the League of Nations.

Brett P. Barragate, Class of 1996
Partner & Co-Leader for Banking, Finance & Securities Practice, Jones Day

Brett Barragate is a Partner at Jones Day where he has worked for the past 20 years. He is the Global Head of Jones Day’s Banking, Finance & Securities Practice. At Jones Day, he has held a number of leadership positions and as one of the leaders of Jones Day’s finance practice since the financial crisis in 2009, he has overseen the growth of this practice area, which now includes over 300 lawyers around the world. Barragate has represented many of the largest banks and public companies in complicated multi-billion dollar financing transactions. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Hartford. His wife Dana is also C|M|LAW graduate, Class of 1995.

Joyce E. Barrett, Class of 1971
Former Adjunct Professor, CSU College of Law

Joyce Barrett realized she wanted to be an attorney while working as a legal secretary after college. She applied to the CSU College of Law and received a full scholarship, graduating in 1971. Joyce became a very successful attorney in private practice, specializing in family law. She worked on several Ohio Supreme Court cases that set new precedents in family and marriage law. She chaired and served on numerous professional committees in the field of family law, including the Ohio Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Child Support Enforcement. She served as an Adjunct Professor at CSU|LAW and authored “Mastering the Complexities of Family Law” in 1991. In 2022, Joyce and her husband John Krebs established the Joyce E. Barrett ‘71 Endowed Scholarship in order to provide future students with the life-changing opportunity that Joyce had at CSU|LAW. 

Magistrate Judge Joseph W. Bartunek III, Class of 1955 (1924-2003)

Joseph W. Bartunek, a World War II veteran, was serving his first term in the Ohio Senate when he decided to study law at his father’s alma mater. Otto J. Bartunek (1916) and his son were members of a family of Bohemian extraction who had been involved in state politics for decades. Joseph Bartunek was elected to the Ohio Senate first in 1949 and again in 1960. He resigned from the Senate in 1964 to run successfully for the Cuyahoga County Probate Court—but not before he had authored the bill that proposed the creation of Cleveland State University. Bartunek was one of the first members appointed to the CSU board and, along with U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Krenzler, was a principal advocate of the law school’s 1969 merger with the city’s new public university: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University. In 1986, Bartunek was appointed United States District Court Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Ohio; he retired in 1998.

Teresa Metcalf Beasley, Class of 1992
Partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Teresa Metcalf Beasley, a partner with Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, assists clients with the legal aspects of real estate transactions, financing, and development; contracts; employment matters; litigation; construction matters; bond transactions; project labor agreements; and diversity plans. Beasley serves as Chair of Calfee’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is currently serving her second four-year term as Law Director of Warrensville Heights. She served as the Director of Law for the City of Cleveland and on Mayor Frank Jackson’s Special Commission on Missing Persons and Sex Crime Investigations. Beasley has received the following awards: Ohio’s Top 15 Women in Business Award from the National Diversity Council, YWCA Woman of Achievement, YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Hall of Fame, Crain’s Women of Note, CREW Cleveland Deborah R. Klausner Leadership Award, and Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40-40 Club. She serves on the following boards: Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Inc., University Hospitals’ 5805 Euclid Inc., The Cleveland Foundation, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and Karamu House. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., In Counsel with Women, National Association of Bond Lawyers, Commercial Real Estate Women, Women in Public Finance, Executive Women’s Leadership Forum, Bluecoats Inc., and The Western Reserve (OH) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Professor Emerita Susan J. Becker, Class of 1983
Public Interest Leader-in-Residence & Professor of Law Emerita,
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Susan Becker has been a part of Cleveland-Marshall for nearly four decades, first as a law student and then as an adjunct, Law Professor, Associate Dean, Professor Emerita, and Public Interest Leader in Residence. Before joining the C|M|LAW faculty in 1990, Becker clerked for Sixth Circuit Judge Robert J. Krupansky and spent five years as a litigation associate at Jones Day. During the 24 years she taught at C|M|LAW, Becker maintained a pro bono practice that complemented her teaching and scholarship by providing legal counsel to individuals and nonprofit organizations on matters related to attorney ethics, civil procedure, and remedies. She also provided legal counsel to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who encountered discrimination in numerous venues, and served as an expert witness in the Obergefell marriage equality litigation. She received the CSU Distinguished Faculty Award in 2010, the Transgender Day of Remembrance Illumination Award in 2016, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) Hon. William K. Thomas Professionalism Award in 2018. Becker currently serves as a volunteer capacity as General Counsel of the ACLU of Ohio, as a member of the CMBA Certified Grievance Committee, and on the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors Committee.

Alfred A. Benesch (1879-1973)

Alfred Benesch was one of the three principal founders of John Marshall School of Law, where he taught Municipal Law, as well as a founding member of the Cleveland firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff. His undergraduate and law degrees were from Harvard University. As a young lawyer, he defended the rights of the Peddlers’ Self-Defense Association to police protection and in 1922, in a series of letters to the President of Harvard subsequently published in The New York Times, he successfully challenged a proposal to establish quotas on Jewish people admitted to the school. He was elected to the Cleveland City Council in 1912, and in 1914, Mayor Newton D. Baker appointed him the city’s public safety director. He served on the Cleveland Board of Education for 37 years, one of the numerous boards he served on throughout the city.

Sheryl King Benford, Class of 1979

Sheryl King Benford was a teacher and principal for the East Cleveland City Schools before graduating from Cleveland-Marshall, where she later served as assistant dean of admissions and student affairs from 1979-1981 and as adjunct professor from 1980-1981. In addition to having a private practice, she worked as Cleveland’s assistant law director from 1981-1984 and 1988-1991 and as Shaker Heights Law Director from 1992-2000. In 2000, she became the Deputy General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and currently serves as RTA’s Chief Legal Officer. She served Cleveland-Marshall as president of the Alumni Association and as a member of both the National Advisory Council and Visiting Committee. Benford has received many honors in her career including Cleveland State University’s 2006 George B. Davis Award for Service, which recognizes a graduate’s generous dedication to the growth and advancement of the university, and the 2014 YWCA Women of Achievement Award. She is a member of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors Executive Committee.

Kay E. Benjamin
Former Records Officer, CSU College of Law

Kay Benjamin graduated from Howard University and earned a MEd and PhD from Cleveland State University. Before joining Cleveland State University College of Law in 1978, she was a first grade teacher for the CH-UH Schools, but returned to Washington, DC to be a Staff Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives during the Nixon Impeachment Hearings. Her first position with the law school was Administrative Assistant to the Legal Clinic and in 1980, she became the Records Officer. Her responsibilities included maintaining student files and transcripts, grades, certifying bar applicants, facilitating Ethics and Professional Responsibility seminars, and providing stats to deans, faculty, staff, student groups, and University administrators. She restructured the testing and grading process by implementing the use of exam numbers to ensure the anonymity of students. She worked closely with the University Registrar and maintained an excellent working relationship with the Bar Admissions staff at the Supreme Court of Ohio. She was a member of the CSU Black Faculty and Staff Organization. She created and directed The Cleveland State University College of Law ARTS Players, a troop of administrative staff and others who performed comedy skits and song parodies during retirement celebrations for faculty and staff. Her office was always a welcoming place for students as they navigated their law school careers. In 2001, coming full circle, she joined the Teacher Education faculty of CSU’s College of Education and Human Services. She retired in 2007, but continued as adjunct faculty until 2017. She is very proud that her son, Ryan, is a 2001 Cleveland State University College of Law graduate.

Robert T. Bennett, Class of 1967 (1939-2014)

Longtime chairman of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Robert ‘Bob’ Bennett served as chair of the Ohio Republican Party from 1988-2009 and 2012-2013 and was instrumental in bringing the 2016 Republican National Convention to Cleveland. During his leadership, the party went from holding no statewide offices to controlling all three branches of the Ohio government. Bennett was a certified public accountant, former finance director for the city of Strongsville, and author of several publications on tax law. Additionally, he served on the Cleveland Civil Service Commission and the boards of directors of University Hospitals of Cleveland and Southwest General Health Center.

Dean Charles S. Bentley (1846-1929)

Charles Bentley was a founder and the first dean of Cleveland Law School at its inception in 1897. Born in Chagrin Falls, he earned both a B.A. and an M.A. from Hillsdale College. Bentley studied law in the offices of attorneys in Michigan and Cleveland before his election in 1887 to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, where he remained until his retirement from the bench in 1895. Some of the cases that Bentley handled as a judge established important precedents and principles in the law dealing with the public utilities of petroleum, natural gas and electricity as a motive power. Bentley continued as dean and professor at Cleveland Law School until his retirement in 1914.

Nancy L. Berardinelli-Krantz, Class of 2002
Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Legal Officer, Eaton

Nancy Berardinelli-Krantz is senior vice president and deputy chief legal officer at Eaton. In this role, Nancy partners with Eaton’s chief legal and also has responsibility for the legal teams for Eaton’s Electrical and Industrial Sectors. Nancy formerly served as Eaton’s senior VP and general counsel, Digital, Innovation and Technology; senior VP, Ethics & Compliance; VP and chief counsel, Litigation; business counsel supporting the Electrical Products Group; and senior attorney, Government Contracts and Internal Investigations. Prior to Eaton, Nancy served as senior legal counsel, Americas, for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and also worked at Jones Day as an associate in the Trial Practice/Government Regulation Group. Nancy is a Veteran of the United States Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She serves on several community boards, including the Cleveland State University Foundation, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Foundation, and Positive Education Program (PEP) in Cleveland. Nancy was selected as a 2016 Crain’s Cleveland Forty Under 40 honoree, and was a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2020. Nancy received a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Terry Billups, Class of 2005
Chief General Counsel, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

Terry M. Billups serves as Chief General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA).  As Chief General Counsel, he serves as a visionary member of the Executive Leadership Team and provides strategic counsel and leadership on legal, business, and operational matters to advance the Authority’s mission and strategy. Before joining CMHA, Terry was the founder and principal owner of Billups Law, LLC, where he provided a full range of legal services focusing primarily on labor and employment, school law matters (K-12 & higher ed), and workplace investigations. Prior to starting his own legal practice, Terry served as the Chief General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Ursuline College. Prior to attending law school, Terry played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, and the Dallas Cowboys. He also played in the inaugural season of the XFL for the World Champion Los Angeles Xtreme. Terry serves on several non-profit Boards and Committees, including the Ginn Academy of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the CSU Law Alumni Association. He was also a key member of the CSU Law School Name Committee, where he was instrumental in advocating that the law school change its name.

Judge Patricia A. Blackmon, Class of 1975

Patricia Blackmon, a magna cum laude graduate of Tougaloo College, was born in Oxford, Mississippi. During the 1970s, in an effort to increase its African-American student population, Cleveland-Marshall sent then-Professor and fellow Hall of Fame honoree Ann Aldrich south to recruit promising students studying at historically Black colleges. Blackmon, with majors in African-American Studies, Political Science, and History, was such a student, bound to excel. And she has: both in law school and, notably, as Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland and as Assistant Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. She was elected to a Judgeship on the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals in 1991, the first African-American woman in Ohio to serve on any of the state’s appeals courts, and is now serving her third term with distinction. Blackmon was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and received the Law Alumni Association’s 1996 Recognition Award.

Elizabeth M. Boyer, Class of 1947 (1913-2002)

Elizabeth Boyer was a staunch advocate for women’s rights. As a lobbyist for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), she was frequently invited to appear before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. She was the founding president of the Women’s Equity Action League, a national women’s rights organization that was integral in the outlawing of gender discrimination in education. The group established the Elizabeth Boyer Award, a national achievement award for women who support issues of importance to women. The award has been bestowed upon such notable women as former first lady Betty Ford.

Judge Christopher A. Boyko, Class of 1979
Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Prior to becoming a Federal Judge, Judge Chris Boyko served on the Common Pleas bench for Cuyahoga County since his appointment by then Governor Voinovich in January, 1996. He won election in 1996 and re-election in 1998 and 2004. Before taking the Common Pleas bench, Judge Boyko served as Parma Municipal Court Judge, Parma Law Director, Chief Prosecutor and Assistant Prosecutor. He also maintained a general practice for 16 years. Consistently recognized by “Who’s Who in American Law” since 1992, Judge Boyko has lectured for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Judicial College, Ohio Judicial College, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and at numerous law and law enforcement related seminars. Judge Boyko has taught at two law schools in Ukraine and has taught law to Saudi Arabian law enforcement. On January 4, 2005, Judge Boyko was sworn in as a United States District Court Judge and took Senior Status in 2020. On May 14, 2010 Judge Boyko received a Master of Judicial Studies degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, via the National Judicial College. His thesis was published in the Cleveland State Law Review in 2009.

Jason R. Bristol, Class of 2000
Partner, Cohen Rosenthal & Kramer LLP

Jason R. Bristol is a Partner at Cohen Rosenthal & Kramer LLP. He maintains a nationwide practice in the area of employment law—the bulk of which involves complex federal class action litigation. He represents employees from the shop floor to the C-suite and has recovered millions for his clients through negotiation and litigation. Law and Politics Magazine has described him as a “Super Lawyer” in plaintiffs’ employment litigation. His work has received coverage in the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and in broadcasts ranging from America’s Work Force Radio to Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life to Cleveland’s own Sound of Ideas. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall since 2001, teaching administrative law (Fair Labor Standards Act Seminar) and appellate advocacy. In addition to teaching, he has served as a Faculty Advisor to the Moot Court Team. In 2004 he was named Moot Court Alumni of the Year for his work with the Moot Court Team. He is a member of the Cleveland-Marshall Board of Visitors as well as the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is active in civic affairs and politics and sits on the boards of various organizations. 

Professor J. Patrick Browne (1935-1993)

J. Patrick Browne was a formidable presence in the classroom and in the courtroom. He was the undisputed authority on Ohio civil procedure, the author of books, articles, treatises, and the editor-in-chief of the Ohio Civil Practice Journal and Ohio Sanctions Reporter. He was a magna cum laude graduate of both John Carroll University and the Detroit Law School, and a graduate of the Judge Advocate General’s School and the Case Western Reserve School of Library Science. He came to Cleveland-Marshall in 1969 as a librarian but transitioned to the classroom, teaching Civil Procedure, Motion and Discovery Practice, Appellate Procedure, Sanctions, Equity, Insurance Law, Brief-Writing and Advocacy. Browne was admired by faculty and students and remembered by all for his drollery, mischief, high spirits, and wholehearted dedication to educating a generation of lawyers.

David P. Burke, Class of 1980
Shareholder, Carlton Fields, P.A.; General Counsel, Amalie Oil Company

David received his Master of Laws in taxation in 1982 from New York University and chaired the Carlton Fields Tax Practice for over 25 years. He is the General Counsel of Amalie Oil Company and a member of CSU College of Law Board of Visitors. David’s practice has been in state and federal taxation planning and controversy before the IRS and state taxing authorities. He has represented many of the Fortune 100 professional sports teams and professional athletes in tax planning and controversies, saving clients over $100 million in taxes. He was board certified in taxation by the Florida Bar from 1987 through 2022 and was a member of the Florida Bar Tax Certification Committee. David served for decades in the Tax Section of the Florida Bar as a Director of the State and Local Tax Committee and as an Executive Director of the Tax Section. He served as the shareholder and Chair of Tax Practice (1994 – 2017) in Carlton Fields, PA. David has spoken and written on state and federal tax topics for the Tax Section and the NYU Annual Federal Tax Program. David has been inducted into the Hall of Fame in taxation for Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. One of his co-authored articles was cited by the Florida Supreme Court. 

Judge Lillian W. Burke, Class of 1951 (1918-2012)

Lillian Burke, the granddaughter of a slave, was the first African-American woman to serve on the Ohio judiciary. Following her graduation from CSU College of Law, she sought employment as a law clerk in the city courts and was handed an application for a secretarial job. Undaunted, she practiced successfully, and later was appointed to the Ohio Industrial Commission, the highest state government position ever held by a black woman in Ohio. In 1969, she was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Cleveland Municipal Court, a bench on which she served with distinction for 18 years. In 2012, CSU|LAW awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Law.

Nona M. Burney, Ph.D., Class of 1981 (1950-2014)

Nona Burney had a passion for education. She was the first in her family to attend college and went on to earn a J.D., master’s degree, and Ph.D. Burney taught social studies and black history at Cleveland’s Collinwood High School during the 1970s, when Cleveland was struggling with busing and other issues of school integration. Shortly after, she helped start Cleveland’s Martin Luther King Law and Public Service Magnet High School, eventually serving as principal. She became a professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she was named director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and helped to establish service learning as a key feature of a Roosevelt education. She worked diligently to prevent the closure of neighborhood schools in Chicago.

Judge Annette Garner Butler, Class of 1970 (Deceased)
Assistant United States Attorney (Retired) & Former Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Annette Garner Butler’s legal career included service as an Equal Opportunity Specialist for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office of Civil Rights; Attorney with Guren, Merritt, Sogg and Cohen; 24 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office; Hearing Officer with the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision; Judge on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, and Assistant Director of Law for the City of Cleveland. Judge Butler served as President of the Black Women Lawyers Association, President of the Federal Bar Association’s Northern District of Ohio Chapter, the first elected woman President and first woman Board Chair of the City Club of Cleveland, and President of both the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library and the Shaker Heights Public Library. She was the Urban League of Cleveland’s Woman of the Year. She was a member of Cleveland State University’s Board of Trustees from 1982-1989, including two terms each as Vice Chair and Treasurer, followed by 23 years as a member of the CSU FoundationBoard of Directors and Emeritus Director since 2012. She is a life member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association and a former member of the Law Dean’s Roundtable. She received the George B. Davis Award for Service to the University in 2016.

Judge Salvatore R. Calandra, Class of 1951 (DECEASED)
Judge (Retired), Cleveland Municipal Court

Salvatore ‘Sal’ R. Calandra is still known in legal circles as a man of tremendous integrity, having served more than 25-years for the Cleveland Municipal Court. Judge Calandra entered public life in 1957 when he became an assistant law director in Cleveland, serving in that capacity during the tenures of three different mayors. He also served as a legal advisor to Cleveland City Council, and as chief counsel for the Cleveland Law Department before he was appointed to the Municipal Court in 1972. Judge Calandra ultimately won a full, six-year term the following year and was re-elected three times before his retirement in 1997. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. Judge Calandra was also very proud of his service to the country during World War II as a member of the United States Army. Judge Calandra was active in a number of local civic and charitable organizations including the Cleveland Italian American Society, President of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, and he also headed up the Justinian Forum, a group of lawyers of Italian heritage. Judge and Mrs. Calandra were also inducted into the Northern Ohio Italian-American Hall of Fame.

Judge Jean Murrell Capers, Class of 1945 (1913-2017)

Jean Murrell Capers’ family moved from Kentucky to Cleveland in 1919 because her parents, both teachers, wanted their children to receive the benefits of an integrated education. She earned an education degree from Western Reserve University in 1932 and taught for several years. Wanting to do more to serve her community, she enrolled at Cleveland Law School. In addition to her private practice, Capers was appointed an assistant police prosecutor in 1946, was the first African-American woman elected to Cleveland City Council in 1949 (serving the 11th Ward over nine years), was appointed an Assistant State Attorney General in 1959, and served as special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General from 1964-1966. She was appointed to the Cleveland Municipal Court bench in 1977, then was elected and re-elected until Ohio’s 70-year-old age limit for judges required her retirement in 1985. She continued to practice law until 2011 and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2009.

Charles V. Carr, Class of 1926 (1903-1987)

Charles Carr, the grandson of a slave and a powerhouse in the fight for equal rights for African-Americans, earned his undergraduate degree at Fisk University in Nashville before graduating from John Marshall School of Law in 1926. As a new attorney, he helped form the Future Outlook League, an organization active in promoting black ownership of businesses and equal employment opportunity through boycotts, marches, and legal action. He established the firm of Carr, Jackson & Payne in 1954. As a 30-year veteran of the Cleveland City Council for Ward 17, Carr advanced legislation supporting fair housing, integration of city parks, and cancellation of the licenses of public employers refusing to hire African-Americans. He was elected Democratic majority leader of City Council in 1959, serving in that role for 13 years. After his stint on City Council, he sat on the Regional Transit Authority’s Board of Trustees until his death.

Judge Patrick Carroll, Class of 1977
Retired Judge, Lakewood Municipal Court

Patrick Carroll served as judge of the Lakewood Municipal Court for almost 32 years and is currently serving by assignment by the Ohio Supreme Court.  Prior to taking the bench, from 1979 to 1984 Judge Carroll served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Cuyahoga County Civil Division and in private practice until 1990. Judge Carroll served as a Law Clerk for Hon. John V. Corrigan at the Eighth District Court of Appeals. From 1981 to 1990 Judge Carroll was an Adjunct Faculty Member for the CSU College of Law. He received his J.D. from Cleveland State College of Law, serving as the Research Editor for the Cleveland State Law Review. He has written several reported decisions and legal articles, most recently, The Inequity of Third Part Bail Practices, 53 Loyola Univ. Chicago Law Journal, 153 (2022).  Judge Carroll is Co-Chair of the Editorial Board of the Ohio Jury Instructions Committee for the Ohio Judicial Conference, the Education Chair for the Association of Municipal/County Court Judges of Ohio, a past Member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Continuing Legal Education Commission, and a member of the Judicial College’s and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Board of Trustees. Judge Carroll is a life member of the Eighth District Judicial Conference, a two-time recipient of the President’s Award from the Association of Municipal/County Judges of Ohio, a winner of the Bronze Key Award from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and a faculty member for the Judicial College.   

Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr. , Class of 1973 (1941-2003)

Anthony ‘Tony’ Celebrezze served in Ohio’s state government for 16 years as a senator, secretary of state, and attorney general. As attorney general, Celebrezze emphasized consumer and environmental protection and is credited with developing Ohio’s “Lemon Law,” which protects auto buyers. Celebrezze, son of former Cleveland mayor and judge Anthony Joseph Celebrezze Sr., also sat on CSU College of Law’s National Advisory Council, providing advice to the law school. A member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, he served in the United States Navy for five years and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.

Chief Justice Frank D. Celebrezze, Jr. , Class of 1956 (1928-2010)

Frank Celebrezze won a six-year term on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in 1964 and reelection followed. From 1972-1986, he served on the Supreme Court of Ohio, where he sought to push beyond the Court’s traditional interpretation of Ohio’s Constitution. Under Celebrezze, the Supreme Court expanded workers’ ability to seek compensation under Ohio’s system by allowing them to seek benefits for emotional injury or injuries due to performing repetitive tasks over time. During his tenure as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court also limited the principle that local governments had sovereign immunity that protected them from civil lawsuits by injured constituents. Two majority opinions written by Celebrezze concern the 1981 enactment of the Ohio death penalty statutes; the opinions cover the first two death penalty cases brought on appeal to the Supreme Court.

John S. Cipolla, Class of 1989
Firm Vice Chair, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

John S. Cipolla, Vice Chair of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, has 38 years of experience in patent and trademark law, on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in the areas of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, product configuration, and trademarks John has successfully resolved a diverse range of federal and state litigation claims and disputes before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. John is both recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in Intellectual Property (Ohio, Band 1) by Chambers USA and by The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation – Intellectual Property and Patent Law. Having served on Calfee’s Management Committee since 2010, John was elected Vice Chair of the firm in 2021. He served as Chair of the Intellectual Property practice group for over 15 years. The IP Practice Group more than doubled in size during John’s leadership into over 45 IP professionals covering all areas of IP practice. John serves as Chair of CSU|LAW’s IP Advisory Council and as Board President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Cleveland, and he is a member of the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (CIPLA). John earned his J.D., cum laude, from CSU|LAW and his B.S. in Electronic Technology, cum laude, from Bowling Green State University.

Chief Magistrate Gregory F. Clifford, Class of 1980
Chief Magistrate, Cleveland Municipal Court

Chief Magistrate Gregory F. Clifford has been a General Referee and Magistrate in the Cleveland Municipal Court since 1986 and Chief Magistrate since 2001. He was an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and in private practice before his long tenure at the Court. Chief Magistrate Clifford is a life member and long-time Board of Trustee for the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA). He was instrumental in founding the Minority Outreach Committee to help new minority students at Cleveland-Marshall acclimate to law school and the profession through mentoring, programming, and social events. He has been honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Involvement from Cleveland State University and served with distinction as President of CMLAA in 2016-17. Chief Magistrate Clifford also serves on the Board of Visitors of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, is a Past President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association and Past President of the Ohio Association of Magistrates. He continues to serves on multiple CMLAA committees, including Minority Outreach and Social Justice and he continues to mentor students every year through the mentoring program. Inducted 2019.

State Representative William H. Clifford, Class of 1902 (1862-1929)

William Clifford worked for several years at the Woodruff Palace Car Company before obtaining a job in the Cuyahoga County Clerk’s Office in 1888. At that time, he was the highest-ever paid African-American man in local, county, or state government. He was married to Carrie Williams, a noted African-American author and orator who founded the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs and was a member of the Niagara Movement, a predecessor of the NAACP. Clifford held several clerk positions at the Federal Building in Cleveland and also within the Republican Party, casting the deciding vote electing Marcus A. Hanna to the U.S. Senate in 1888. He was twice elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, serving from 1894-1895 and 1898-1899. He graduated from Cleveland Law School in 1902 and is believed to be the school’s first African-American male alumnus. Clifford was appointed to a position in the Auditor’s Office in the U.S. War Department in 1908, where he served until his death.

Michael L. Climaco, Class of 1972
Attorney at Law
Former Chair, CSU Board of Trustees

Michael Climaco studied law by day and night, attending law school while serving as a member of the Cleveland City Council and Majority Whip, weaving his legal studies and council duties into the fabric of his professional career. Climaco made his mark as a litigator trying countless civil and criminal cases. He represented the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County on the formation of the Gateway project in 1994. Climaco represented the City of Brook Park in negotiations with the City of Cleveland for the land acquisition of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Climaco served on the CSU Board of Trustees from 1997 through 2006, serving two terms as treasurer, one term as vice-chair, and one term as chairman of the Board of Trustees. Climaco, as a key player in the community’s civic and governmental affairs, freely utilized his extensive experience and relationships for the benefit of the University. As an alumnus of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, his efforts and contributions were recognized in 1993 and 1997 as recipient of the President’s Award from the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, and two years later as recipient of the Alumni of the Year Award from the College of Law. As one of the University’s 1995 Distinguished Alumni, he received the George B. Davis Award for Service to the University in recognition of his leadership and instrumental role in securing funds for the University’s 17th-18th Street Project, which featured a new College of Law Library, College of Business building, College of Urban Affairs building, and parking garage. Climaco also served as a valued member of the College of Law Visiting Committee and is a Life Member of the Eighth District Judicial Conference.

Judge Genevieve Cline, Class of 1921 (1877-1959)

Like most of the early women graduates of the law school, Genevieve Cline was active in local and national suffrage organizations. “There is no gender in the law,” she once declared. Shortly after her graduation from law school in 1921, President Warren G. Harding named her U.S. Appraiser of Merchandise to the Port of Cleveland, the first woman in America to serve as a federal appraiser. In 1928 President Calvin Coolidge nominated her to the United States Customs Court in New York, an appointment that enraged the New York Customs Bar. Judge Cline was a member of the Women’s Suffrage Party, President of the Women’s Republican League, President of the Cleveland Federation of Women’s Clubs, and a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Hyman Cohen
Professor Emeritus and Interim Dean, CSUCollege of Law

Hyman Cohen was a long-time faculty member, and interim dean, at CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Prof. Cohen began his career, after graduating from New York University School of Law with his JD and LLM, in private practice. He worked at the regional Housing and Urban Development office in New York City and taught Business Law at Pace College. Prof. Cohen joined the Cleveland-Marshall faculty in 1967, teaching torts, administrative law, labor law, labor law in the public sector, and labor arbitration. He served as interim dean for two years, when he encouraged the school’s “truly outstanding faculty” to persevere in the research, academic programs, and other activities in which they were engaged. Prof. Cohen was also a Labor Arbitrator and a decades-long member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He was Chair of the Labor Law Section of Greater Cleveland Bar Association, Chair of the Labor Advisory Council of Cleveland American Arbitration Association, and served on Labor Arbitration Panels of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of the National Mediation Board. Prof. Cohen continued to serve as an Adjunct Professor for five years after retirement and remained a frequent lecturer on labor arbitration.

Tim L. Collins, Class of 1985
Principal, Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Tim Collins joined Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan as principal in 2019, having been actively engaged in litigation practice for more than 30 years in a variety of industries. He has acted as first chair in numerous jury trials to conclusion, bench trials, and arbitration proceedings in an array of commercial and business law cases. Tim has represented class representatives and opt-out plaintiffs in major federal antitrust class action cases in Ohio and California. He has served as receiver and counsel to a receiver in more than 50 state court cases in recent years, where he managed and sold and/or acted as counsel for a national wholesale lumber business, a regional airport fixed base operation, downtown Cleveland office towers, and storefronts, as well as dozens of commercial and residential structures. While a trial lawyer by trade, Tim enjoys blending his legal skills with business issues to achieve efficient solutions for clients, or for courts requiring a receiver or a liquidating trustee. He was recently honored as a member of the Irish Legal 100 of the Irish Voice Newspaper. In his spare time, Tim enjoys cheering on Cleveland sports, playing golf, and cycling as he trains for races like Velosano, which raises money for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic.

Judge C. Ellen Connally, Class of 1970
Judge (retired), Cleveland Municipal Court; Past President Cuyahoga County Council

Judge C. Ellen Connally served as a Law Clerk for the 8th District Court of Appeals and Magistrate for the Cuyahoga County Probate Court before her election to the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1980, where she served until 2004. She holds a BS from Bowling Green State University, a JD and MA from Cleveland State University, and is all but dissertation for a PhD in history from the University of Akron. In 2010, she was elected to the Cuyahoga County Council and was elected the first President of the Council. She served as the Foreman of the Grand Jury, Visiting and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Akron College of Law, and Special Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland. Currently, she is the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Community Action Against Addiction, Vice President of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Commission, President of the Cleveland Civil War Round Table, and Board Member of the Cleveland Baseball Heritage Museum and Ohio History Connection. She is Past President of the Board of Trustees of Bowling Green State University and an honorary member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association.

Chief Judge James C. Connell, Class of 1918 (1897-1973)

James Connell worked for two decades in both private practice and as a city and county prosecutor before being named to the Common Pleas Bench in 1941 by Governor John Bricker. After being re-elected three times without opposition, in 1954 he was appointed by President Eisenhower to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, serving as Chief Judge from 1960-1967. He remained on the court until his death. Connell was named Cleveland-Marshall Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1966. He also served on the school’s Board of Trustees and Alumni Association. Several students have been recipients of the James C. Connell Award for Outstanding Student in Criminal Law.

William J. Corrigan, Class of 1915 (1886-1961)

William Corrigan graduated from Cleveland Law School in 1915 and became an assistant prosecutor for Cuyahoga County the same year. In 1920 he decided to go into private practice. After initially working at another firm, he later assisted in forming the firm of Corrigan, McMahon, and Corrigan with his nephew Timothy McMahon and Joseph Corrigan (no known relation). Corrigan was a prominent defense and labor lawyer in Cleveland from the 1920s until his death. He is most widely known as the defense attorney for Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard in the Marilyn Sheppard murder case. While the murder cases he worked gained the most attention, he spent more time as a lawyer for labor unions—he was even named an honorary member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union after serving those workers for many years. Other unions that frequently employed him as counsel include the Cleveland Federation of Labor and Building Trades Council.

Joseph G. Corsaro, Class of 1982
Founder and Senior Managing Partner, Corsaro & Associates Co., LPA

Joseph G. Corsaro is the Founder and President of the law firm of Corsaro & Associates Co., LPA located in Westlake, Ohio and Integrated Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC located in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to Corsaro, nine other C|M|LAW graduates are employed at the two companies. Several of Corsaro’s immediate family members are also C|M|LAW graduates, including his son-in-law, who is a first-year law student. The focus of Corsaro & Associates is tax and business planning for mid-market companies and high net-worth individuals. The focus of Integrated Retirement Plan Solutions is the development, design, and administration of individually-designed qualified retirement plans for mid-market businesses. Corsaro was born and raised in Cleveland and attended Cathedral Latin High School. After graduating from Cathedral Latin, Corsaro attended The Virginia Military Institute on a football scholarship and graduated in 1979, earning a BS in English with high honors. Corsaro earned his JD at Cleveland Marshall in 1982 and was a member of Moot Court. He began his career with the “Big 4” accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney. Corsaro is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. In 2004, he received the Ohio State Bar Association’s designation as “Certified Federal Tax Law Specialist,” a designation achieved by only a handful of lawyers in the Northeast Ohio area. Corsaro has also been named to the list of Ohio Super Lawyers for multiple years, which is published annually in Cleveland Magazine and Super Lawyers Magazine.

Timothy J. Cosgrove, Class of 1987
Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Timothy J. Cosgrove began his career in Cleveland’s Department of Community Development. He went on to serve as Executive Assistant to Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich, followed by Director of Legislation and Policy for Gov. Voinovich. A respected public policy attorney, he is a Partner with Squire Patton Boggs, the international law firm he joined in 1993. Cosgrove is a member of the Ohio Lobbying Association and of the Public Affairs Committees of both the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Cleveland Partnership. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C.-based Northeast Midwest Institute and has been recognized by Cincinnati Magazine as an Ohio Super Lawyer. He served for ten years as a member of Cleveland State University’s Board of Trustees, including two years as Treasurer and four years as Chair. He is a member of the Cleveland State University Foundation Board of Directors. Cosgrove was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in 2008 and in 2015 he received the George B. Davis Award for Service to the University. He is a member of the Cleveland-Marshall Board of Visitors and a former member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees.

Colleen M. Cotter
Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Colleen Cotter has been Executive Director of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland since 2005. Legal Aid is a nonprofit law firm serving the needs of people with low income, securing safety, shelter and economic security. Colleen serves on the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors. She is Chair of the Saint Luke’s Foundation Board and President of United Way of Greater Cleveland Council of Agency Executives. Colleen is a member of Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Board, United Way Board, the 50 Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Sing Out! Chorale, Leadership Cleveland Class of 2011, and Adler Mission 2019. She previously served on the boards of Center for Community Solutions, National Legal Aid and Defender Association and on the Legal Services Corporation Advisory Committees on the Justice Gap, Data, and Pro Bono. Her 2007 speech “Justice and Healthy Communities” was published in Vital Speeches of the Day. Colleen was named a 2017 Crain’s Woman of Note and received the 2017 CMBA President’s Award. Colleen previously worked as a legal aid consultant, at Indiana Legal Services, and as a Skadden Fellow at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. She received her JD from Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, summa cum laude, and her BA from the University of Notre Dame cum laude.

Anthony J. Coyne, Class of 1987
President and Managing Partner, Mansour Gavin LPA

Anthony Coyne is the president and managing partner of Mansour Gavin. With over 30 years of experience in urban affairs, Tony focuses his practice in the areas of business law, municipal law, zoning and planning, eminent domain, real property, and litigation. Active in the community, he was consecutively appointed by three different mayors to serve on the Cleveland City Planning Commission for 25 years and was its chairman for 16 years. Tony was instrumental in the reconstitution of the Group Plan Commission and the $50 million revitalization of Public Square. Although he recently retired from his role as chairman with the Group Plan Commission, he still remains on the Board of Directors. He recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is Chairman of the Board of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. As a frequent guest lecturer, he has served as an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and has spoken before organizations such as the Cleveland and Ohio State Bar Associations, the Ohio Planning Conference, the CLE International Seminar on Eminent Domain, the Urban Land Institute, and the International Council of Shopping Centers on topics such as eminent domain, zoning, land use, and municipal law.

Frank T. Cullitan, Class of 1906 (1880-1957)

Frank Cullitan, a 1906 magna cum laude graduate of Cleveland Law School, was one of the founders of John Marshall School of Law in 1916 along with David C. Meck Sr. (1913) and Alfred Benesch. He was in private practice for 25 years before being named Assistant Prosecutor in 1931. The following year, he ran for and was elected to the office of County Prosecutor, where he remained for the next 23 years, bringing to justice some of the county’s most notorious criminals. During his career he prosecuted murderers, bootleggers, racketeers, gunmen of the Murray Hill gang, and embezzlers—and along with Elliot Ness he closed down the Harvard Club, which was one of the largest gambling operations between New York and Chicago in the 1930s.

Louise P. Dempsey, Class of 1981

Louise Dempsey began her distinguished career at Cleveland-Marshall in 1984, three years after graduating from the law school, as director of development and alumni affairs. She went on to serve as assistant dean for external affairs from 1988 until she retired in 2011. Dempsey was instrumental in Cleveland-Marshall’s involvement in the Law and Leadership Institute pipeline and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 3Rs pipeline, two programs that connect high school students to law schools and to the greater legal community. Her leadership in these pipeline programs was recognized by the Wingspread Group, a national pipeline initiative, which gave her its National Award for Leadership in 2008. She sits on many educational and community boards, including the Cleveland Municipal School District, where she has served since 1993.

Judge John J. Donnelly, Class of 1969
Former Judge, Cuyahoga County Probate Court

Judge John J. Donnelly served as the Presiding Judge of the Cuyahoga County Probate Court from 1991 until his retirement in 2008. Judge Donnelly began his career in Cleveland’s historic old courthouse and worked from the bottom to the top position in the probate court. He worked as part of the court’s janitorial staff in college, then he was hired as a desk clerk during the day while attending evening classes at Cleveland State University College of Law. Upon graduation he was hired as Court Administrator and Chief Trial Referee. Judge Donnelly was elected Associate Judge in 1980—serving alongside his judicial mentor, the Honorable Francis J. Talty—and was eventually elevated to Presiding Judge. Donnelly’s skills as a jurist earned the confidence of the Ohio Supreme Court, which chose him to preside over all the civil litigation regarding the Home State Savings and Loan failure—litigation that involved a multitude of million-dollar claims. During his career Judge Donnelly served as President of the Ohio Probate Judges Association and Chairman of the Ohio Judicial Conference. He received numerous awards for superior judicial service from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from Cleveland State University College of Law in 1986. Upon his retirement, the Cuyahoga County Metroparks named the John J. Donnelly Nature Center in his honor for his exemplary leadership in appointing the governing board for so many years.

Justice Michael P. Donnelly, Class of 1991
Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio

Justice Donnelly is the 160th justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the state Court, he served as a judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, General Division from 2005 to 2018. Before serving as a member of the local judiciary, Justice Donnelly was an assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor from 1992 until 1997. He then went on to practice civil litigation for seven years, representing plaintiffs and injured workers in asbestos litigation, personal injury lawsuits, and workers’ compensation claims. He was appointed by the chief justice to the Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force in 2013. In addition, from 2010 to 2017, he was one of five judges on Cuyahoga County’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Court, which oversees criminal cases involving defendants who suffer from schizophrenia, schizophrenic disorder, or a developmental disability. He is a proud recipient of the Honorable William K. Thomas Professionalism Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and also received the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) 2017 Public Service Award. Justice Donnelly serves on the board of the Cleveland Baseball Federation, which helps inner-city boys and girls play baseball and softball in the summer at no charge.

John Deaver Drinko (1921-2008)

John Drinko was the 23rd lawyer hired by Joseph Hostetler at BakerHostetler. He served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 1969-1975 and 1978-1985. He endowed 15 faculty chairs at a number of schools and, because of his generosity, his name appears on several college buildings, including Drinko Recital Hall in CSU’s Music and Communication Building. In 1989, John Drinko generously established the first endowed chaired professorship at CSU|LAW to support the Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, to be held by the law school’s Dean.

Abe H. Dudnik, Class of 1927 (1906-1963)

Abe Dudnik worked three sales jobs while attending night school at John Marshall School of Law. Known as a fearsome trial lawyer, he specialized in personal injury cases and founded the A.H. Dudnik Law Firm, which later became Nurenberg, Plevin (now Paris), Heller & McCarthy. He was regarded as a pioneer in jury trial techniques and specialized in representing injured railroad workers when Northeast Ohio was a hub for the movement of cargo by train—successfully carrying the “Bug Bite” verdict up to the Supreme Court. A 1956 issue of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Review includes a dedication to Dudnik that notes that of the many high legal honors he had achieved, the one that pleased him most was his appointment as a member of the faculty of his law school.

Arthur Elk, Class of 1973
Elk + Elk, Managing Partner

For nearly five decades, Arthur Elk – Managing Partner at Elk + Elk – has been passionate about protecting the rights of injury victims as an Ohio personal injury lawyer, representing medical malpractice and wrongful death victims. His impressive career in law began two years out of law school when he was elected Ashland, Ohio’s County Prosecuting Attorney for two successive four-year terms – making him the youngest prosecuting attorney in Ohio. When he decided to enter the private practice of law, Art found great satisfaction in providing injury victims with quality legal services in all major areas of injury law. When he’s not fighting for the rights of those who have suffered injuries, Art enjoys spending time with his wife, four children, and grandchildren – a reminder of why he is so passionate about protecting the rights of injury victims.

Carol G. Emerling, Class of 1955
Corporation Secretary & Attorney (Retired), American Home Products Corporation

Carol G. Emerling graduated at the top of her class and went on to head the Public Defender’s office in Cleveland. Her career path lead her into antitrust law and consumer protection as the Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission in Cleveland. She later transferred to Los Angeles and was selected as Director of the Federal Trade Commission for the Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico Region. In 1977, she moved to New York City to become Secretary of the Corporation for the pharmaceutical giant American Home Products (which became Pfizer). After a long and successful legal career and raising two children, she now lives in Southern California.

Charles R. Emrick, Jr. , Class of 1958 (1929-2015)

Charles Emrick joined Calfee Halter & Griswold in 1965, where he completed over 100 corporate financings and 200 business acquisitions and divestitures for clients during his 35 years of practice. Emrick served on the board of directors of more than thirty-five private companies and received the Lifetime Achievement Deal Maker Award from the Association for Corporate Growth (Northeast Ohio Chapter). He retired as Senior Vice President and Director of The TransAction Group, a Cleveland-based investment banking firm. He received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the CSU|LAW Alumni Association and generously endowed the Charles R. Emrick-Calfee Halter & Griswold Professorship.

Judge Eleanor Farina, Class of 1925 (1896-1989)

Eleanor Farina was the first female deputy sheriff in Cuyahoga County and quite possibly in the state of Ohio. In the 1930s, she worked in the office of the Cleveland Police Prosecutor during prohibition, issuing warrants for bootleg raids. She was appointed special attorney general of Ohio in 1934, handling bank liquidation cases. Farina and her family left Cleveland for Bernadillo County, New Mexico around 1950, where she served as a county probate judge before becoming a small claims court judge in 1957. In total, she sat on the bench for 44 years. She became active with the Albuquerque USO and served as president of the Albuquerque Lawyers’ Club.

José C. Feliciano, Sr., Class of 1975

José Feliciano was born in Puerto Rico before his family moved to Cleveland in 1952. He originally planned to become a social worker but was inspired by work with the Spanish American Committee to study law. He worked at the Cleveland Legal Aid Society where he had interned with C. Lyonel Jones (1963) during law school, taught at John Carroll University while working as a public defender and then became prosecutor for Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, respectively, from 1978-1984. Feliciano was named one of 12 White House Fellows in 1984. He joined the firm of BakerHostetler in 1985 and became a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group in 1987. Feliciano was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1995, served on several American Bar Association (ABA) committees, and was a Cleveland Bar Association president. He is the founder and has served as chair of numerous Hispanic and immigration programs and committees. Feliciano was recognized by the CSU College of Law Alumni Association as Alumnus of the Year in 1998.

Professor Joel J. Finer
Former CSU|LAW Faculty Member (Deceased)

Professor Joel Finer began his long and illustrious career at the University of Texas School of Law, where he headed the Federal Appellate Defender Program. His scholarly research on religious rights in the use of psychedelic drugs led him to aid in the appellate defense of Dr. Timothy Leary, the noted psychotherapist that studied hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and marijuana. Professor Finer then worked at a New York law firm, was a visiting professor at Stanford University, and was a member of the faculty at University of Arizona College of Law for 10 years. Professor Finer began his tenure with Cleveland State College of Law in 1980, and retired in 2008. He was well known for his love of learning, teaching, and he often told his students, “Everything is open to question; challenge me, challenge the judges, challenge yourself, but remember to do what’s right and to love what you’re doing.” The Cleveland State University College of Law Professor Joel J. Finer Award is given annually to the law school’s top Criminal Procedure students. As a tribute to Professor Finer’s teaching, scholarship, and impact on the lives of students, the Joel J. Finer Award was created more than 15 years ago by his former student, Carter Strang ’84, a partner at the Cleveland firm Tucker Ellis. To date, over 60 CSU|LAW students have received the award.

Professor James T. Flaherty (1928-2012)

James Flaherty joined the faculty of Cleveland-Marshall in 1966, during a time when the school was private and affiliated with Baldwin-Wallace College. Cleveland-Marshall Law School’s existence was put in jeopardy when this relationship was terminated, and he was appointed bursar and assistant dean. During a two-year period, he managed to make the law school financially solvent and assisted with merging the law school with Cleveland State University. He initiated several programs during his tenure, including the country’s first minority and women’s affirmative-action admissions programs and the first use of the Federal Work Study Program for a law school. He was the director of Cleveland-Marshall’s CLE program for several years, played a significant role on key Grievance and Ethics committees of the local bar, and served on county arbitration panels.

Sarah C. Flannery, Class of 2002
Partner, Thompson Hine LLP

Sarah leads Thompson Hine’s Immigration practice, which advises employers worldwide on global talent management and immigration compliance.  A summa cum laude graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Sarah has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Immigration Law and is a member of Law 360’s Immigration Editorial Advisory Board. Sarah was a recipient of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Forty under 40 Award in 2016 and its Women of Note award in 2021. A strong advocate for advancement of women, Sarah recently completed her tenure as firm-wide chair of Thompson Hine’s Spotlight on Women Program, developing strategies to recruit, retain and advance women at the firm and within the larger business community. Sarah served on CSU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2012-2018. She currently serves on CSU’s Foundation Board as a member of its Executive Committee. She is also a member of Cleveland Marshall’s Board of Visitors. Sarah co-chaired Radiance in 2021 and actively supports student success at CSU and Cleveland State University College of Law.

Judge Charles W. Fleming, Class of 1955 (1928-1994)

Charles Fleming entered the legal profession at a time when Cleveland’s major law firms would not hire black attorneys. However, his outstanding litigation skills became widely recognized when, as an assistant county prosecutor in the 1960s, he was among those assigned by then County Prosecutor John T. Corrigan to handle the most difficult high-profile cases. Fleming gained litigation experience while defending local civil rights activists—often black nationalists—in front of all-white juries. He was a senior partner at the firm of Fleming, Hubbard, and Davis from 1968-1976. Fleming was elected Cleveland Municipal Court Judge in 1976 and served on the court for 19 years, including acting as Presiding and Administrative Judge from 1981-1984.

Hon. George L. Forbes, Class of 1962

George Forbes is the founder of Forbes, Fields & Associates Co., LPA. From 1963-1989, he was a Cleveland City Councilman and the council’s first African-American president, serving in that role from 1972 until his retirement. As Council President, he worked with mayors Dennis Kucinich and George Voinovich to address the many complicated issues then facing Cleveland—including race relations, the city’s default on debt obligations to local banks and the revitalization of downtown. He also served for many years as Cleveland’s NAACP President, receiving that organization’s highest award for meritorious service in 2009. Forbes has served on many other civic organization boards including the Urban League, Council of Economic Opportunity, Businessmen’s Interracial Committee on Community Affairs, John Harlan Law Club, Freedom to Marry, and the National Association of Defense Lawyers for Criminal Cases. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Cleveland-Marshall in 1998.

Gus Frangos, Class of 1982
President and General Counsel, Cuyahoga Land Bank

Gus Frangos graduated with honors from CSU College of Law in 1982. He served as an Associate Attorney at the firm of Ulmer and Berne starting in 1982, until elected to Cleveland City Council in 1986 where he represented Cleveland’s Ward 13. In 1993, he was appointed a Magistrate in the Cleveland Municipal Court and served until 1997. Thereafter, he continued his private practice to the present date. Gus crafted state legislation in 2005, beginning with HB 294, which streamlined and reformed tax foreclosure of vacant and abandoned properties. He later crafted legislation in 2009, creating County Land Banks. There are now 65 Ohio County Land Banks as a result of Gus’ legislative work. He has served as the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s President since its inception in 2009. He is considered an expert in the field of land banking and his Ohio land banking legislation is considered to be a national model.

Isadore Fred Freiberger, Class of 1904 (1879-1969)

Isadore Freiberger was a banker who served as chairman of the board of the Cleveland Trust Co., president and board chairman of Forest City Publishing Company which published The Plain Dealer and The Cleveland News. He also served as director of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce in 1927 and trustee of many charitable and civic organizations, including the Playhouse Foundation and Cleveland-Marshall Law School. The Case Western Reserve University library was named in his honor and he received many other distinctions in his lifetime, including the Charles Eisenman Award—the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s highest civic honor for outstanding community service—the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce medal for public service, and the American Heart Association’s Award of Merit for Distinguished Service.

Avery S. Friedman, Class of 1972

Avery Friedman, described as a “walking reference source” on civil rights by The Wall Street Journal, is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and law professor. A weekend legal analyst for CNN since 2001, Friedman reaches a weekly audience of over 3,000,000 viewers. He has lectured on federal civil rights law at more than three dozen law schools, including Stanford, Duke, Berkeley, Michigan, and Tulane, and has appeared as an expert on civil and constitutional rights before both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Friedman received the Legendary Champion of Civil Rights Award by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP’s Freedom Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Human Rights Award. The Avery Friedman Human Rights Scholarship at Ursuline College was recently named in his honor, and he was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2010. He is a member of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors.

Gordon S. Friedman
Partner, Friedman & Gilbert & Adjunct Faculty, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Gordon Friedman is the longest-serving Adjunct Professor at Cleveland-Marshall, where he has taught since 1976 and currently teaches Criminal Procedure I. In May 2014, Friedman was the first recipient of the Judge Richard Markus Adjunct Faculty Award at Cleveland-Marshall. The award recognizes excellence in adjunct teaching and the importance of the practitioner-scholar perspective in law school education. As a criminal defense attorney, Friedman has developed a reputation as a defense attorney’s defense attorney. He has been involved in litigation that has changed substantive law in Ohio. Through his brief and oral argument in State v. Lawrence, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed a capital death conviction and created a new standard for mental illness as a mitigating factor in capital cases. In 2009, Friedman received the Al Horn Memorial Award from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee for a “lifetime of ceaseless work to advance the cause of criminal justice.” Prior to his successful criminal defense practice, Friedman was an Assistant Cuyahoga County Public Defender and Director of the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland.

Ian N. Friedman, Class of 1997
Founding Partner, Friedman & Nemecek, LLC

Ian Friedman is a partner at Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C., a Cleveland-based criminal defense law firm. His practice is focused on criminal, cyber, and white-collar matters. He was the first lawyer to be named “Lawyer of The Year” by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2010. He is an Adjunct Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he teaches Cybercrime. Friedman served as President of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association from 2012-2013. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and served as President in 2018. He was elected President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association for 2019-2020. As President of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he was the driving force behind the overhaul of Ohio’s Criminal Rule 16. As a result of this effort, all state criminal cases now operate with greater transparency in what has become known as the “Open Discovery” system. In 2010, he was honored by the CMBA with the William K. Thomas Professionalism Award. In 2017, CSULAA named him as Alumni of The Year. His greatest satisfaction in the profession presently is ensuring that newly admitted lawyers are properly trained and mentored to begin their legal careers. Since its inception, Friedman has chaired the annual New Lawyer Bootcamp at the CMBA.

Georgia A. Froelich, Class of 1984
Senior Vice President, Hawthorn, PNC (Retired)
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Georgia recently retired as Senior Vice President at Hawthorn, PNC, serving high-net-worth individuals in financial services. Prior to that, Georgia worked at Sterling Trust, a premium wealth management service company, a division of National City Corporation, as Vice President and Senior Fiduciary Officer. She has also served as Vice President and Trust Officer for National City’s Private Client Group and in similar positions at FirstMerit and Ameritrust. Georgia has been a long-time member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors and serves on its Advancement Work Group. She received the Cleveland State University George B. Davis Award for Service to the University for her strong support of both her alma maters, Cleveland State University and CSU College of Law.

U.S. Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Class of 1983

Marcia Fudge was appointed U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2021. Prior to her appointment, she represented the people of the 11th Congressional District of Ohio since 2008, serving on the House Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. Past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she has been a consistent voice for low-income families, seniors, and communities. In Congress she was a steadfast advocate for voter protection and campaign finance reform and strengthening and preserving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Fudge served the people of Ohio for more than two decades, beginning her public service career in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She was the first African-American and first female mayor of Warrensville Heights, a position she held from 2000-2008. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from CSU College of Law in 2014.

Judge Nancy A. Fuerst, Class of 1988
Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Nancy A. Fuerst has been on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas bench since 1997 and has been re-elected every term since. Judge Fuerst began her career in the general practice of law after serving as a Law Clerk for a Federal Magistrate and as a Clerk at the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District. Her father was the esteemed Judge Norman Fuerst, Class of 1953, and her family has a long tradition of public service, which extends back to 1940. Judge Fuerst and her husband created the Judge Nancy A. Fuerst & Dr. John F. Burke, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to academically outstanding law students. Judge Fuerst served on the CSU College of Law Board of Visitors, and is a life member and former Board of Trustee for the CSU College of Law Alumni Association.

Judge Sean C. Gallagher, Class of 1989
Administrative Judge, Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eighth District

Judge Sean C. Gallagher is the son of John F. Gallagher of Achillbeg Island, County Mayo, Ireland, and Margaret T. Gallagher (nee Casey) of Tuosist, County Kerry, Ireland. Judge Gallagher graduated from St. Edward High School and received his B.A. from Ohio University. Judge Gallagher was elected to the Ohio Court of Appeals in 2002 where he currently serves as the Administrative Judge. He served as a judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court from 1997 to 2002. He was a felony prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office from 1991-1997. He was a Probation Officer in Cuyahoga County and was Common Pleas Court Bailiff to Donald C. Nugent. He received the “President’s Award” from the Cuyahoga County Bar Association in 2006, was one of the alumni of the year for Cleveland-Marshall in 2007 and was named one of the ‘Irish Legal 100’ for 2014 at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D. C. Judge Gallagher is a member of the bar in Ohio and Arizona. He holds dual citizenship in the United States and the Republic of Ireland. With his wife Dawn, they are the proud parents of a current Cleveland-Marshall student, J. Fergus Gallagher.

Anthony J. Garofoli, Class of 1961 (1936-2003)
Partner, Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., LPA

Anthony Garofoli was a Principal/Partner with Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., LPA. He was elected to the City of Cleveland Council where he held the position of Council President until 1972. He was also Chairman of the Democratic Party of Cuyahoga County, a member and Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, a member and Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation, and a member and Chairman of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees. Garofoli served as Special Counsel to the Mayor of the City of Cleveland, the City Council for the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, the Gateway Economic Development Authority, and several other state and municipal entities and officials. He was admitted to practice before the Ohio, Florida, District of Columbia, and United States Supreme Courts and was a member of the Ohio, Florida, District of Columbia, Cuyahoga County, and Cleveland Bar Associations. Garofoli is a former President of the Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association.

Professor Emeritus Louis B. Geneva
Associate Professor (Retired), CSU College of Law

After Louis Geneva earned his LL.M. degree from New York University, he helped draft the Puerto Rican Tax Code.  He was asked to teach at NYU before leaving to practice in a Connecticut tax law firm.  Lou started the IRS Conference on Federal Wealth Taxation, a program at the law school presenting current tax problems to lawyers for many years.  He was a regular presenter at the Cleveland Bar Association Annual Estate Planning Institute.  Lou is also a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).  Lou was involved in law school charitable programs including the William Thomas Foundation and Delta Theta Phi, the national legal fraternity where he was named the national Professor of the Year.  He formed the board of directors at the Thea Bowman Center serving on that board and eventually as president for eight years.  The Center is one of the most charitable organizations in the Cleveland Mt. Pleasant area.  Lou also served on the Community Fund Management Foundation board for a number of years supporting its efforts on behalf of its residents with disabilities.

Dr. Samuel R. Gerber, Class of 1949 (1898-1987)

Samuel Gerber, a pioneer in forensic medicine, is perhaps best known for his work on the Sam Sheppard murder case and the Cleveland Torso murders. A founding member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, he modernized the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s office during his 50-year tenure as coroner. Gerber, also an assistant clinical professor of legal medicine at Case Western Reserve University, presided over the investigation into the tragic 1944 East Ohio Gas explosion, did extensive research on sudden infant death syndrome, and was the first coroner to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and traffic accidents. A prolific author on forensic matters, Gerber frequently presented papers at national and international conferences and was even summoned to assist Scotland Yard.

M. Colette Gibbons, Class of 1976
Of Counsel, McDonald Hopkins

Colette’s practice has focused on insolvency work at the state and federal level: foreclosures, bankruptcies, receiverships and out of court workouts. She has served as a receiver, a Chapter 11 Trustee and was recently appointed by the Office of the U.S. Trustee as a Sub Chapter V Trustee for small businesses. Colette has also served as a board member for the Cleveland Bar Association, the Foundation of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Seeds of Literacy, West Side Catholic Center, the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors and the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. She is volunteer lawyer for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Other honors include Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers, Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Bankruptcy and Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights. 

Michael E. Gibbons, Class of 1982

Michael Gibbons is founder of Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL), a middle market investment bank with offices around the globe. Prior to forming BGL, he was a Senior Vice President of McDonald & Company Securities and President and CEO of Underwood, Neuhaus & Company. In 2015, Gibbons co-founded Luna Living, a startup that provides treatment and recovery options for opioid addiction. He currently is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He is an active member of the Executive Committee of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors.

Karen L. Giffen, Class of 1989

Karen Giffen co-founded the women-owned firm Giffen & Kaminski in 2004 with fellow Hall of Fame honoree Kerin Lyn Kaminski (1985). She serves as Treasurer of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and is a former Board Member of the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms. Giffen has assisted first-year Cleveland-Marshall students with Moot Court and is a member of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors.

Terry H. Gilbert, Class of 1973
Partner, Friedman & Gilbert

Terry Gilbert has dedicated his legal career to promoting justice and civil rights. As an activist involved in efforts to serve the interests of the disadvantaged, oppressed minorities, and those targeted for political dissent, he sees law as an instrument of social change where human rights take precedence over property and corporate interests. These principles have guided his work as a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer for over four decades. He spent his early years as a lawyer for the American Indian Movement in defense of native sovereign rights. In the 1990s he worked pro bono for years exposing police, forensic, and prosecutorial bias in the notorious Sam Sheppard murder case, paving the way for his work in freeing victims of wrongful imprisonment while obtaining them rightful compensation. As a pioneer in challenging law enforcement abuses, he has achieved the highest police misconduct verdicts in the State of Ohio. Terry is proud to have received the 2014 Alumni of the Year Award and establishing The Terry and Robin Gilbert Social Justice Fellowship Program, providing summer internships for students seeking experience in public interest law.

Thomas O. Gorman, Class of 1973
Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Thomas O. Gorman served for seven years in positions of increasing responsibility at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Those positions included Senior Counsel, Division of Enforcement, and Special Trial Counsel, Office of the General Counsel. In those positions, Gorman was responsible for the investigation and litigation of securities enforcement actions, accounting and auditing cases, and defending suits brought against the Commission and its staff. His current practice focuses on Federal law enforcement investigations and enforcement actions, business litigation and compliance, and internal investigations. Gorman is the founder of the firm’s annual Federal Enforcement Forum, a program that reports on and analyzes current trends in government enforcement investigations and actions. He is also the Creator and Author of SEC ACTIONS, a widely-followed blog, which is published each business day and reports on and analyzes trends in securities enforcement litigation. Furthermore, Gorman is the Principal Editor of the firm’s Anti-Corruption Digest, a monthly publication that reports on anti-corruption issues around the globe. Before joining the staff of the SEC, Gorman served for two years on the staff of the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at CSU College of Law. Gorman is a long-time member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Professor David B. Goshien (1937-2010)

David Goshien began his legal career as an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was briefly a professor at Oklahoma University before teaching tax law and contracts at Cleveland-Marshall from 1968-2008. He frequently served as a government consultant with agencies including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He made many contributions to Cleveland-Marshall, including the establishment of the Cleveland-Marshall Fund Enrichment Program, also known as the Visiting Scholar Program. Under his direction, the program attracted over 70 accomplished scholars to the law school.

Judge Thomas W. Gray, SR., Class of 1963 (DECEASED)
Administrative Law Judge (Retired), Social Security Administration

Thomas Gray established himself as a civil rights leader by joining Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other black leaders to organize the historic 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Later, blocked by segregation from pursuing law in Alabama, he moved his family to Cleveland. He enrolled at Western Reserve University Law School and graduated from Cleveland-Marshall. A substitute teacher and postal clerk by day, he attended evening classes at C|M|LAW. During an extraordinary, decades-long career, he was recognized for practicing civil rights, fair housing, and poverty law. He used the law to attack pervasive discrimination and to promote better housing opportunities for poor people. He directed an office of the Legal Aid Society and headed up other legal programs, including Lawyers for Housing, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Cleveland Bar Association’s Law in Urban Affairs. Next, there were 12 years with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority as assistant general counsel and chief assistant general counsel. In 1991, he returned to Montgomery, Alabama as a Federal Administrative Law Judge in the Social Security Administration. Over the years, he was a trustee of the Cleveland Bar Association, president of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, and president of the CSU College of Law Alumni Association.

Tom Green, Class of 2002
Shareholder, Kastner Westman & Wilkins, LLC.

Tom Green is a Shareholder of Akron boutique labor and employment law firm Kastner Westman & Wilkins. An Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law, he represents a range of clients in comprehensive workplace law matters from locally owned small businesses to large, multi-state employers. Tom grew up in McDonald, a small, Northeast Ohio steel mill town and began his graduate career as a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier before pursuing a career in law as a non-traditional student. The first-generation lawyer (and college graduate) regularly gives back to his law school, at which he met his wife, Manju Gupta (JD ’03, MBA ’03). Tom serves on the Board of Visitors, as a 1L Student Mentor, as a Dean’s Leadership Fellow Coach, and in other roles where he can make a positive impact on the career paths of law students and new lawyers. Outside of the law school, he’s served in multiple community leadership positions, including as the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, an organization with which he’s volunteered for many years. 

Bell Greve, Class of 1918 (1894-1957)

Bell Greve, an international pioneer in rehabilitative and reform services, left behind a legacy of compassionate concern for disabled children and adults and zealous advocacy for those whose lives were devastated by war or natural disasters. Following the carnage of World War I, the Red Cross sent Greve to Czechoslovakia to establish child health agencies and to Armenia to lead an orphanage sheltering 2,000 homeless children. During the Great Depression, she headed Cleveland’s Rehabilitative Center, where she initiated a workshop for disabled citizens, the Curative Playroom for disabled children, and the city’s first nursing home for the elderly. Later, she helped establish rehabilitative and relief agencies in Mexico, Greece and the West Indies.

Judge Mary Grossman, Class of 1912 (1879-1977)

Mary Grossman left her job as a stenographer to study law at Cleveland Law School, graduating in 1912. She maintained a private Cleveland practice from 1912-1923. An ardent member of the League of Women’s Suffrage, in 1918 she became one of only two women admitted to membership in the ABA. Three years after the passage of the Twentieth Amendment, she was determined to exercise her right to vote and in 1923 voted for herself as she became the first woman in America elected to a municipal court bench. Criminals and critics called her “Hardboiled Mary,” but voters called her “Your Honor,” electing her for the next 41 years. She also served as a leader in numerous social welfare organizations.

David H. Gunning, II, Class of 1994
Partner, McDonald Hopkins

David H. Gunning, II is co-chair of the national real estate practice at McDonald Hopkins. David’s experience spans the areas of real estate, commercial finance, construction, public finance, economic incentives, and general corporate law and includes real estate acquisition and dispositions, joint venture agreements, complex loan and finance documentation, negotiations/contracts, economic incentive transactions, and fund development. David has represented national lenders and other financial institutions; borrowers; national, regional and local developers; institutional and corporate owners; national retailers, and privately held businesses. David is the former president and chief executive officer of APM Management, LLC, one of the leading multifamily real estate acquisition and management companies in the Midwest.

Michael J. Haas, Class of 1994
Partner & Co-Chair of Real Estate Practice, Latham & Watkins LLP

Michael Haas, Co-Chair of the Real Estate Practice at Latham & Watkins LLP, is a recognized market leader in real estate private equity and finance. Haas represents private equity firms, asset managers, and real estate companies on sophisticated, market-defining transactions. He represents clients on complex real estate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financings, workouts, and restructurings. Haas serves on the board of the Basser Leadership Council for the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. He is former President of the Board of Trustees for the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School and a former Board Member for The Cleveland Jewish Community Foundation, B’nai Jeshurun, the United Jewish Community’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, and the Historic Warehouse District Board. He is a current member of the American Bar Association (Real Property Section) and member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

James L. Hardiman, Class of 1968

James Hardiman fought racial injustice as an attorney in private practice and as an assistant city prosecutor before becoming legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, a position he has held until 2014. In private practice, his career is celebrated for his successful advocacy and defense of the rights of minorities and the city’s neediest citizens. During the city’s violent 1970s struggle for equal educational opportunities for African-American children, Hardiman was one of the attorneys who argued Reed v. Rhodes before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which involved the desegregation of Cleveland Public Schools. As recently as the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, he represented protestors executing their First Amendment Rights to Assembly and Freedom of Expression. He has held a leadership role in Citizens for a Safe and Fair Cleveland and currently serves as the president of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP. In addition to his legal career, Hardiman serves as an adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at Baldwin-Wallace University.

Deborah Lewis Hiller, Class of 1975 (1947-2014)

Deborah Hiller, a past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, made a lasting impact on the aging services industry through her work as president and CEO of Eliza Jennings, a nonprofit organization providing a range of services to older adults. Under her leadership, Eliza Jennings was among the first organizations in Northeast Ohio to offer specialized memory support services and establish clinics in HUD-affordable housing communities. In 2015, Eliza Jennings dedicated the Deborah Lewis Hiller SAIDO Learning® Institute at its Cleveland Health Campus, a national center for training and operations for SAIDO Learning®, a noninvasive, non-pharmacological treatment for dementia.

Joseph C. Hostetler (1885-1958)

Joseph Hostetler, a founding member of the BakerHostetler firm, was an enthusiastic supporter of Cleveland Law School, where he taught for many years. Born near Canal Fulton, Hostetler worked at various jobs—including police beat reporter—to afford his undergraduate and law degrees at Western Reserve University. As a new lawyer, he worked in private practice and as assistant city law director under Mayor Newton D. Baker. In 1916, he joined with Baker and Thomas L. Sidlo to form Baker, Hosteler & Sidlo (now BakerHostetler), a multi-disciplinary law firm with offices throughout America. All three founding partners taught at Cleveland-Marshall’s predecessor schools. In 1938 he succeeded Baker as director of Cleveland Trust Co. He was elected president of the Cleveland Bar Association in 1947, and Cleveland-Marshall Law School awarded him an Honorary Master of Law degree in 1948.

Jane Edna Hunter, Class of 1925 (1882-1971)

Jane Edna Hunter established the Phyllis Wheatley Association of Cleveland, which provided safe living quarters and educational support for African-American girls and women. Beginning as a rented home that accommodated 22 women, the Association eventually became a nine-story building with 135 rooms. Hunter founded the Women’s Civic League, was a member of the NAACP and served as vice-president and executive committee member of the National Association of Colored Women. The principal building of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services Agency is named for Jane Edna Harris Hunter in honor of her work with children and families.

Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Class of 1983

Frank Jackson, the 57th Mayor of Cleveland, grew up in the city’s Kinsman and Central neighborhoods and attended local schools. Following his high school graduation he served in the U.S. Navy. Returning home, he earned an associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College and an undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Cleveland State University before obtaining his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall in 1983. Jackson was elected to City Council in 1989 and won his first mayoral election in 2005. Currently seeking a third term in office, he has been proven an able and conscientious steward of the public trust, fighting for safer neighborhoods, economic stability, police reform, educational opportunity, and a revitalized downtown Cleveland.

Judge Leo A. Jackson, Class of 1950 (Deceased)
Chief Judge, Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals

Judge Leo A. Jackson (BA, Morehouse College; MBA, Atlanta University; World War II veteran) pursued his J.D. at Cleveland-Marshall while working full-time at the Veteran’s Administration, graduating as the top student in Trusts. He declined admittance to Harvard Law when he discovered he could not live on campus. When he applied to transfer to University of Georgia Law, they instead gave him a scholarship to study in Cleveland to avoid admitting him to the all-white school. Judge Jackson became Ward 24’s (Glenville) first black City Council member (1957). He received extensive media attention due to his frequent condemnation of inadequate police response and poor city services in this ward. During his second term, Governor Michael DiSalle offered him appointment to Cleveland Municipal Court. His commitment to unresolved community issues led him to turn down the appointment, prompting a 1961 cover story in Ebony Magazine. He remained Councilman for 14 years. When Judge Jackson finally left Council and ran for the Eighth District Court of Appeals (1970), he was elected by a wide margin countywide, becoming the first African-American to serve in this court. Throughout his years of public service, he was known as a passionate champion of equal justice under the law. Upon retirement in 1987, he was honored by the Norman Minor Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association. Among his many lifetime honors was appointment by President Lyndon Johnson to membership on the Planning Committee for the White House Conference, “To Fulfill These Rights,”(1966). He also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, Morehouse College (1977). Judge Jackson’s professional papers are housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society. The life and legacy of Judge Jackson is also chronicled in the book, “American National Biography,” (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Aaron Jacobson, Class of 1959 (1922-2010)

Aaron Jacobson earned a purple heart for his service as an Army combat medic in World War II before pursuing a career in journalism, covering legal news—including the early parts of the Sam Sheppard trial—for The Cleveland News. As a result, he developed an interest in law, joining Abe H. Dudnik’s (1927) law firm soon after graduating from night school at Cleveland-Marshall. A leader in malpractice law, Jacobson cofounded one of the nation’s largest malpractice insurance carriers in 1975, first called Physicians Insuring Exchange, then PIE Mutual Insurance Co. In 1984 he founded the law firm of Jacobson, Maynard, Tuschman & Kalur, a firm that mainly defended PIE clients. Jacobson served as a CSU College of Law Alumni Association president and was named its outstanding alumnus in 1992.

Professor Sidney B. Jacoby (1908-1990)

Professor Sidney Jacoby joined the faculty of Cleveland-Marshall after teaching at Georgetown and Case Western Reserve Law Schools. Prior to teaching, he served as an attorney with the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board and with the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., during which time he was an assistant to Justice Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg war crimes trial. He was also a prolific author whose published works include Ohio Civil Practice, Litigation with the Federal Government, and parts of West’s Federal Practice Manual. Upon his retirement in 1981, U.S. Court of Claims judge Oscar H. Davis wrote that Jacoby “is truly one of the founders and creators of this new legal specialty [federal government litigation] in our nation.”

Clarence L. James, Jr. , Class of 1962 (1934-2012)

Clarence ‘Buddy’ James worked as an investigator for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court while attending Cleveland-Marshall’s night program. He started his career at Legal Aid of Cleveland, first running its west side office before becoming chief of the civil division. In 1967, Mayor Carl Stokes asked him to become the city’s law director. After serving as law director for four years, he practiced law privately in Cleveland until 1976 when he returned to his home state of California to serve as deputy campaign manager for presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. He later joined Keefe Co., an international firm for public and governmental relations in Washington, D.C. and finished his legal career working with his son’s securities company in Florida.

Larry H. James, Class of 1977
Managing Partner, Crabbe, Brown & James LLP

Larry James has been at the heart of the Columbus business, legal, civic, and political scene for the last thirty years. He is a respected litigator, as well as an advisor to local and national leaders. In recognition of his many achievements, the law firm changed its name from Crabbe, Brown, Jones, Potts & Schmidt to Crabbe, Brown & James in January 2001. In 2011, The Ohio State University selected Mr. James as lead counsel to represent student athletes in NCAA investigations. In 2013, Armen Keteyian published his book The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, a chapter of which is dedicated to Larry’s work in representing the OSU football players. In 2012, James and his wife Donna were awarded the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus’ Humanitarians of the Year Award. In 2015, noted journalist Wil Haygood published his award-winning book Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America, which he dedicated to James. James is a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference and has served as General Counsel of the National Fraternal Order of Police since 2001. He is also co-founder of the African-American Leadership Academy.

Judge Lindsay Jenkins, Class of 2002
United States District Judge, Northern District of Illinois

Lindsay C. Jenkins became a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago in February 2023. President Joseph R. Biden nominated Judge Jenkins to a seat on the bench in July 2022, and her nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 14, 2023.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Judge Jenkins graduated from Miami of Ohio with a BS in Business Administration and is a summa cum laude graduate of CSU College of Law. Judge Jenkins started her legal career in Cleveland, first as a law clerk to the Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr. and later as an Associate at Jones Day in Cleveland. She moved to Chicago in 2006 and spent 15 years as a Federal Prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. While a Federal Prosecutor, Judge Jenkins held a number of supervisory roles and by the end of her tenure, she was the Chief of the Criminal Division, supervising the work of approximately 150 prosecutors in nine criminal prosecution sections. Prior to taking the bench, she was a partner with the Law Firm Cooley, LLP in Chicago.

Joseph B. Jerome, Class of 1975 (DECEASED)
Principal, Jerome, Grauer and Associates Ltd.

Joseph B. Jerome graduated cum laude in 1975 from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and from Bowling Green State University in 1972. During his 46 years practicing law, he was regarded in the legal community as exhibiting the highest level of integrity. He was a renowned mediator and arbitrator for complex construction cases with the American Arbitration Association. He was also a devoted board member and former officer of the West Shore Bar Association and past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, where a memorial scholarship was created in his name in 2022. To many, he was truly larger than life. His humor and wit will forever be missed, especially by his family whom he loved so dearly. The law firm of Jerome, Grauer and Associates Ltd. carries on his name and legacy.

Ferdinand Jirsa, Class of 1921 (1893-1971)

Ferdinand Jirsa was awarded the Order of the White Lion, the highest order of the Czech Republic, for his contributions to Czechoslovakia and the promotion of its cultural ties to the United States. After graduating from John Marshall School of Law, he began private practice in both law and real estate. In 1946, he joined the Cleveland Law Department where he battled slum landlords over building code violations. He served as assistant police prosecutor and assistant law director for over 20 years. He was active in the Sokol movement, a form of gymnastics that includes components of physical, moral, and intellectual training, once serving as president of the Northeast District of the American Sokol Organization. Inducted 2017.

C. Lyonel Jones, Class of 1963 (1933-2006)

C. Lyonel Jones, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, dedicated his life to assuring that no resident of the city would be denied the right to legal protection, no matter the financial circumstances. Following his graduation from Baldwin-Wallace College, Jones worked as a probation officer in the Cleveland Municipal Court, an experience that would lead him to study law at CSU College of Law. In 1966, Jones was hired by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland as attorney-in-charge of the Society’s office in Hough. In 1968, he was named the Society’s Executive Director, a job he held until his retirement in 2005. During his 39 years of service, he guided Legal Aid through racial turbulence, rising crime rates, and declining sources of revenue—yet the organization survived, expanded, and remained steadfast in its dedication to the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Judge Nathaniel R. Jones (Deceased)
Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Former Adjunct Professor, CSU College of Law

Judge Jones served with the United States Army Air Corps near the end of World War II. He used is GI Bill to enter Youngstown College. He studied law at night while serving as Director, Fair Employment Practices Commission in Youngstown. With his Bachelor of Laws degree, he entered private practice. In 1962, after Attorney General Robert Kennedy appointed him, Judge Jones because the first African-American Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Five years later, he was appointed as Assistant General Counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission). Judge Jones then served as the General Counsel to the NAACP, where he directed all NAACP litigation for nine years, arguing some of the most important civil rights cases in the United States. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Jones to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He served as a Judge until 1995, then as a Senior Judge until his retirement in 2002. During his tenure on the Sixth Circuit, he also taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He was one of the observers of the first democratic elections in South Africa and participated in the drafting of the South African constitution. After retirement, he continued to practice law as senior counsel at Blank Rome LLP until 2018 and wrote his memoir, Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America. The Federal Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio is named in his honor.

Kerin Lyn Kaminski, Class of 1985

Kerin Lyn Kaminski co-founded the women-owned firm Giffen & Kaminski in 2004 with fellow Hall of Fame honoree Karen Giffen (1989). Kaminski has served as president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and currently is a board member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. She is a founding member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. Giffen & Kaminski received the Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Hon. Diane Karpinski, Class of 1980
Former Judge, Eighth District Court of Appeals of Ohio (Deceased)

Judge Diane J. Karpinski was devoted to CSU and CSU|LAW. She taught English courses at CSU before graduating from CSU|LAW, becoming an attorney and eventually being elected to the Eighth District Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County. Prior to being elected as a Judge, she was an Assistant Attorney General in the office of the Ohio Attorney General from 1982-1995, which included the administration of Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher (1991-1995). Judge Karpinski then went on to teach legal writing at CSU|LAW. In honor of her Polish heritage and interest in Films, she arranged for Educators from Poland to come to CSU and offer courses in Polish film making and to teach the Polish language.

Michael V. Kelley, Class of 1981 (1951-2006)

Michael Kelley, passionate advocate for blue-collar workers, met his wife, former Cleveland Heights Municipal Court Judge Lynn Arko Kelley (1980), while attending night classes at Cleveland-Marshall. Kelley, nicknamed “Cleveland’s King of Torts” by Inside Business magazine, was a founding partner of the Cleveland-based firm Kelley & Ferraro, LLP, one of the largest plaintiffs’ firms in the country. Specializing in civil cases involving asbestos and other workplace health hazards, he took many personal injury and wrongful death cases to verdict and also negotiated generous settlements for workers against large corporations such as Honeywell Corp. and Halliburton. Passing away at 54 years of age, the program at his funeral service included a quote he used as his life mantra: “It’s important that we don’t lose sight of where we came from and the people who gave us that opportunity.”

Betty Klaric, Class of 1984 (1931-2011)

Betty Klaric was one of the first women to enter the predominantly all-male field of investigative environmental reporting. A graduate of Ohio State University, she joined the staff of the Cleveland Press as a ‘copy boy’ in 1955. By the early 1960s, she was a full-fledged reporter focusing on the environment. Her nationally-reported coverage of a fire that erupted on the Cuyahoga River in 1969 is generally credited with alerting the nation to the environmental dangers of chemical waste products polluting the air and water. When the Press closed in 1982, she reinvented herself as a lawyer working for the State Employment Relations Board and as a trial lawyer in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor. The Audubon Society, the EPA, Governor Rhodes, and President Richard Nixon commended her contributions. She was elected to the Press Club Hall of Fame and was the first female president of the Cleveland Newspaper Guild.

Max I. Kohrman, Class of 1918 (Deceased)
Founder, Kohrman & Kohrman (predecessor to Kohrman Jackson & Krantz)

Max I. Kohrman was a 1918 graduate of the Cleveland Law School of Baldwin-Wallace College, a predecessor to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law when the school merged with the John Marshall School of Law. Following graduation, Max partnered with his brother Joseph to establish Kohrman & Kohrman during the final months of World War I in 1918. Kohrman & Kohrman focused on serving the local small businesses of Cleveland’s Central neighborhood. Max Kohrman had immigrated from Russian-controlled Poland and his perspective on the tenuous concept of justice under Russian empire left him a major believer in the American system of justice. Max was a life-long supporter of socially responsible public institutions which relied heavily on the skill and devotion of lawyers and always attempted to support those who are integral to the American judicial system. In 2012, S. Lee Kohrman established the Max I. Kohrman Public Interest Fellowship at C|M|LAW in honor of his late father. 

Judge Thomas D. Lambros, Class of 1952 (DECEASED)
Judge (Retired), United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Judge Thomas D. Lambros served on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for more than twenty-eight years. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 and served as Chief Judge from 1990 until his retirement in 1995. In 1960, he was elected to the Court of Common Pleas for the State of Ohio in Ashtabula County where he served until his appointment to the federal bench. Of all his federal court duties, Judge Lambros most cherished naturalizing new American citizens. He administered the oath of citizenship to more than 40,000 immigrants from all over the world in ceremonies not only in the courtroom, but also at schools, public squares, and even in the living rooms of the disabled and elderly. For this, he earned the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awarded to outstanding sons and daughters of immigrants. In 1985, Judge Lambros was commended for the creation and development of the Summary Jury Trial by U.S. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger; the procedure received formal statutory recognition by Congress in the Civil Judicial Reform Act. Judge Lambros received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments including the American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award and the Center for Public Resources’ award for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Professor Emeritus Arthur R. Landever (Deceased)
Professor Emeritus, Cleveland State University College of Law

Professor Emeritus Arthur R. Landever joined the faculty at Cleveland-Marshall in 1972 after teaching political science and history at Brooklyn College, Long Island University and the University of Minnesota, and completing a stint in private law practice. He was a graduate of New York University, where he earned AB, JD, and PhD degrees. Prof. Landever was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at NYU, and he received the Elihu Root-Samuel J. Tilden Scholarship for three years of study at the NYU School of Law, for his distinguished scholastic record and unusual capacity for public leadership. Known for his signature bowties and perpetually welcoming demeanor, Prof. Landever taught and wrote on constitutional law and the Supreme Court until his retirement in 2007. He was passionate about racial equality and the “rule of law,” protecting those who have been persecuted against the most in our country. He was a beloved professor and member of the Cleveland-Marshall family. After retiring, Prof. Landever remained a frequent presence in the Law Building and continued as director of the twice-annual Great Stories Program, focusing on the great works of literature and their interaction with the law.

Dennis R. Lansdowne, Class of 1981
Partner, Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP

Dennis Lansdowne graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland-Marshall in 1981 and was a member of the Cleveland State Law Review. Following graduation he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert B. Krupansky at both the Northern District of Ohio and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. After his clerkships he worked at an international law firm before associating with the firm currently known as Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, LLP. Lansdowne has remained at the law firm since 1985. During that time he has represented individuals in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases as well as large corporations. His trial skills have earned him numerous recognitions, including induction into the International Society of Barristers and American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent lecturer on all aspects of trial practice. Lansdowne has served as an adjunct professor at C|M|LAW, teaching legal writing and a course he created on medical malpractice. He is a past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association and a member of the Health Law Advisory Committee at the school.

Brent W. Larkin, Class of 1986
Editorial Director, The Plain Dealer (Retired)

When he retired as editorial page editor of The Plain Dealer in 2009, Cleveland Magazine wrote that Brent Larkin “will go down in history as Cleveland’s last big power-broker journalist, the last guy who single-handedly pens the town’s conventional wisdom.” Larkin is a lifelong Greater Cleveland resident. He graduated from Brush High School in 1965, and in 1969 received a degree in journalism from Ohio University. He attended Cleveland-Marshall at night, while a columnist at the Plain Dealer. Larkin joined the Cleveland Press as a reporter in 1970. A year later he began covering Cleveland city government and in 1976 was named the newspaper’s politics editor. Larkin moved to the Plain Dealer in 1981, covering politics and later writing the column for the paper’s Metro section. In 1991, Larkin was named to head the Plain Dealer’s opinion pages. In 2002, he was inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame. Since retiring, Larkin has written a weekly column for Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer. He and his wife, Mary Ann, live in Sagamore Hills. He has one son, Keven, a vice president of PNC Bank, and three grandchildren, William, Katherine and Emmett.

Congressman Steven C. LaTourette, Class of 1979 (1954-2016)

Steve LaTourette began his career as a public defender before becoming Lake County Prosecutor in 1989, where he made his name prosecuting the Kirtland mass murders that were organized by self-proclaimed prophet Jeffrey Lundgren. He then served as a U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 19th (and then 14th) congressional district from 1995 to 2013. He was on several subcommittees under the Committee on Appropriations and used his committee seats to: channel highway dollars to Northeast Ohio and protect the interests of credit unions, help establish an arbitration process that saved hundreds of auto dealers that were scheduled to close after the federal government bailed out several large auto companies, and fight PNC Bank’s takeover of National City Corporation during the bank bailout in 2008. He was called a ‘skilled parliamentarian’ who was often sent to arbitrate contentious debates. Inducted 2017.

U.S. Senator Frank J. Lausche, Class of 1921 (1895-1990)

Frank Lausche played amateur baseball and served in the U.S. Army during World War I before earning his law degree, graduating second in his class from John Marshall School of Law in 1921. After several years in private practice, he was appointed a judge on Cleveland Municipal Court in 1932 and re-elected through 1937. He served as a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge from 1936-1941, when he was elected Mayor of Cleveland. Lausche was elected Governor of Ohio in 1944, lost the 1946 election, but was elected again in 1948 where he served until 1956. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1956, serving until 1968, before returning to the practice of law in Washington, D.C. Throughout his career, Lausche had a bipartisan political approach and is credited with paving the way for ethnic Democratic political leaders in Cuyahoga County.

Erica Lazzaro, Class of 2004
Executive Vice President of Publisher Services & General Counsel, OverDrive, Inc.

Erica Lazzaro joined OverDrive in 2003, and is the company’s Executive Vice President, Publisher Services & General Counsel.  She oversees the Legal, Publisher Services, and Content Services teams. In her role she leads the teams working with OverDrive’s content suppliers, including the operational/sales relationships and the licensing of OverDrive’s products and services. Erica received a BS in Mass Communications from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio and graduated cum laude with a JD from CSU|LAW. She is admitted to practice law in Ohio, and in front of the United States Supreme Court. Erica has been a member and officer of the Gross Schechter Day School Board of Trustees since 2013, and is currently serving as its President. She is also on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.  She lives in Moreland Hills, Ohio with her husband Anthony, a fellow CSU|LAW alum, and her son and daughter. 

Steven B. Lesser, Class of 1979
Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Steven B. Lesser is a Shareholder and Chair of Becker’s national Construction Law and Litigation Practice based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For over thirty years, he has dedicated his practice exclusively to construction law and litigation, representing a variety of clients in large-scale, high-profile commercial, multifamily, and specialty projects such as museums, country club communities, health care facilities, and sports complexes. Mr. Lesser is Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar and is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. He is Past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, the largest construction lawyer group in the world, and currently serves as Chair of The Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. Highly accomplished in his field, he has received a number of distinguished awards. Among these include a Band 1 ranking by the esteemed legal publication, Chambers USA, as well as the Cornerstone Award, the most prestigious honor presented by the Forum on Construction Law. He is the recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award from the Construction Law Committee of the Florida Bar Real Property and Trust Law Section. He serves on the Board of Visitors of C|M|LAW and is an honorary trustee of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association.

Kenneth B. Liffman, Class of 1979
President and Chairman of the Board, McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA

Kenneth B. Liffman is Chairman of the Board and President of McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., L.P.A. He joined the firm in 1979 and was Managing Principal from 1993 until December 2017. The majority of his practice focuses on transactions, banking matters, and real estate law. Since 2004, Liffman has been recognized by his peers as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Real Estate Attorneys, as an Ohio Super Lawyer®, and as a Best Lawyer in America. Liffman has maintained a strong presence in the community, including 12 years as a Trustee for Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 17 years as a board member (three years as Vice-Chair) of United Jewish Cemeteries, nine years as a Cleveland Trustee for the Jewish National Fund, 10 years as a Trustee for the Cleveland Chapter of American ORT, and 10 years as a board member (three years as Chair) for the United States Committee Sports for Israel. Liffman has been President of the Firm’s Charitable Foundation since it was formed in 1993, is on the Board of Visitors of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and has assisted in the coordination and implementation of funds and programs for both the College of Law and (reading programs) for the City of Cleveland School District. He is the recipient of the 2012 ORT Jurisprudence Award, a past recipient of the Sadie and Maurice Friedman Cleveland ORT Leadership Award, and the 2000 Chapter Supporter of the Year for American ORT. In 1996, he created the American ORT Jurisprudence Dinner for the Cleveland Chapter and served as its Chairman for 10 years. He was Co-Chair of the 2018 Jurisprudence dinner. In 2017, Liffman was named one of the 18 Difference Makers in our community by the Cleveland Jewish News. He sits on the Board of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and is the Chair of the Holocaust Memory Survivor Project, as well as being recently elected to the Board of InMotion to aid those with Parkinson’s disease.

Vincent T. Lombardo, Class of 1981
Attorney (Retired), Ohio Attorney General’s Office

The son of Sicilian immigrants, Vincent T. Lombardo was the first in his family to go to college and the only one to go to law school.  Vince began his career in private practice. Then, in 1984, he was appointed an Assistant Ohio Attorney General. He served for 27 years, representing the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the State Employment Relations Board, and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and received the Ohio Attorney General Professionalism Award for exemplifying the professional standards that the OAG seeks for all employees. He chaired the Cleveland Bar Association Certified Grievance Committee, judged practice rounds for the Cleveland-Marshall Moot Court Program, and mentored over 60 law students through the Cleveland State University Law Alumni Association (CSULAA). He is a Past President, Honorary Trustee, and Life Member of CSULAA, and has received the CSULAA President’s Award three times, the CSULAA Greatest Mentor Award, the Cleveland-Marshall Moot Court Alumnus of the Year Award, and the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee Award for Public Servant, State of Ohio.

James A. Lowe, Class of 1972
Partner, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA

James Lowe is a nationally recognized trial lawyer in product liability, automobile product safety, and other complex cases. He is the author of multiple texts and treatises, and frequent national and international lecturer on products liability and motor vehicle defect cases. James has successfully tried cases in state and federal courts throughout the country, resulting in numerous million-dollar verdicts, and has recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients. With his great expertise and experience, he has helped educate students as an adjunct faculty member at both the Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law and Cleveland-Marshall. James has been honored by being listed in the Best Lawyers in America — every edition since 1993 — and has been honored as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, the International Academy of Trial Attorneys, and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Master Bencher Emeritus, American Inns of Court, President’s Club, Association of Trial Lawyers of American Board Certified – Civil Trial Advocacy – National Board of Trial Advocacy. He was Past President, Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys and Past Chair, ATLA Products Liability Section.

Lori A. Luka, Class of 2000
Managing Attorney/Owner, Lazzaro Luka Law Offices, LLC

Lori Ann Luka graduated from Youngstown State University, summa cum laude, in 1997 with a degree in Political Science. Attorney Luka then graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2000. Lori is currently the managing attorney/owner at Lazzaro Luka Law Offices, LLC, where she has worked since 2008 and focuses exclusively on personal injury litigation. Attorney Luka has taken over 40 cases in her litigation career to trial in various venues in the State of Ohio. Lori is currently a Trustee for the Ohio Association for Justice (OAJ), a group of Ohio trial lawyers dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured Ohioans. Lori has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics Magazine, Cleveland Edition, on numerous occasions for her work in plaintiff’s personal injury litigation and was recently recognized by this publication as one of the Top 25 Female Attorneys – Cleveland and Top 100 Female Attorneys – Ohio. Lori is dedicated to hiring law clerks from C|M|LAW and passionate about teaching them the requisite skills to become successful practicing attorneys.

State Senator Margaret A. Mahoney, Class of 1929 (1895-1981)

Margaret Mahoney repeatedly broke through gender barriers to establish herself as an exceptional legislator and community leader. During her lifetime, she served in both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly. She was the first woman Democrat elected to the Ohio Senate, the first female chair of the Senate Rules Committee, and the first female majority leader, president pro tem, of the Senate. During her legislative career, she focused on education, health, welfare, and industrial and community programs. She was a presidential elector in 1948 and delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1956, 1960 and 1964. She was the only woman on the State Council of Defense during World War II and was selected by Governor Frank Lausche to be the State Securities Chief in 1951, the first woman to hold this position. In 1983, she was named the first female director of the State Department of Industrial Relations.

Judge John M. Manos, Class of 1950 (1922-2006)

John Manos served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1945 before returning to Cleveland and attending Cleveland Law School. He spent several years in private practice before becoming law director for the city of Bay Village in 1954. From 1956-1959, he served as an Industries Representative for the Cleveland Regional Board of Review. He was a judge in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and then Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals from 1963-1976. He was appointed Federal Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, where he achieved senior status in 1991 and served until his death in 2006. During his tenure, he made several landmark rulings. Robert Ducatman, Jones Day attorney and former Manos clerk said, “He demonstrated the most remarkable pursuit of excellence by a jurist that I’ve ever seen. He is what every judge should aspire to be.”

Judge Richard M. Markus
Judge, Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals (Retired)
Former Adjunct Professor, CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Judge Markus served as an appellate attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a litigation partner at three Cleveland law firms prior to his distinguished career as a judge. He served as a Judge in both the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas and Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals and a visiting judge for the Ohio Supreme Court, six Ohio appellate courts, and forty common pleas courts in Ohio. He authored over 1,000 appellate court opinions. Judge Markus also worked in academia; in addition to his twenty-plus years of service to C|M|LAW, he was a visiting or adjunct professor at Harvard, Case Western Reserve, and Akron law schools, an instructor and Director of Forensics at M.I.T., and faculty for the National Judicial College and Institute for Judicial Administration at New York University. He is the Co-Founder and Trustee of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Judge Markus was a leader in professional associations including National President of the American Trial Lawyer Association, President of the Ohio State Bar Association and Trustee of the Cleveland Bar Association and Cuyahoga County Bar Associations. He is the author of Ohio Trial Practice (including updates for 45 years) and more than fifty published articles in law reviews and professional journals. He created the Judge Richard M. Markus Adjunct Faculty Award to award outstanding CSU Cleveland-Marshall adjunct professors’ work.

Daniel R. McCarthy, Sr., Class of 1954 (1924-2011)

Dan McCarthy’s journey traces a path taken by so many C|M|LAW graduates: emergence from a working-class background to a life of great accomplishment. His father was an electrician with an 8th grade education; his mother, an immigrant, was a secretary. WWII dramatically interrupted his undergraduate education. He received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantrymen’s badge, two battle stars for the European Theater, and the Victory Medal. He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and, following hospitalization, he returned to combat. While attending C|M|LAW, he served as Class President and inaugurated and edited the Cleveland-Marshall Law Review. His entry into the practice of law is a familiar C|M|LAW narrative of generational bonding: an older alumnus hiring a newer one. William Minshall (1938) hired McCarthy. When Minshall was elected to the U.S. Congress, McCarthy acquired his practice in 1959, which grew into the firm of McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Haiman (now Liffman). Kenneth Liffman (1979) is Managing Principal of the firm. McCarthy was also a certified public accountant and used his legal and financial skills in the desegregation of Cleveland schools as the first Special Master of School Desegregation in 1976. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor after being nominated by his friend and client, George Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees, of which McCarthy was a part owner. McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman generously established an Endowed Scholarship Fund at C|M|LAW, which has helped law school students for nearly 20 years.

Grace Doering McCord, Class of 1925 (1890-1983)

Grace Doering McCord, a Phi Beta Kappa alumna of Western Reserve University, graduated from Cleveland Law School with the highest GPA ever achieved in the school’s history at the time and two years later earned an LL.M. from John Marshall School of Law. In 1933 she joined the faculty of her law alma mater, becoming the first female professor of law in Ohio. She worked as a City of Cleveland assistant law director and served as a regional attorney for the Price Administration during World War II. Eventually she joined her brothers Roy Doering (1918) and Milan Doering (1925) as a member of Doering, Doering and Doering. She was the first woman elected to the ABA’s House of Delegates and President of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Stacey L. McKinley, Class of 1997
Director of Gift Planning, Cleveland Clinic

After graduating with a degree in journalism and spending 12 years as a broadcast journalist, Stacey McKinley earned her law degree at Cleveland-Marshall. Upon graduation, she practiced corporate law before embarking on a career in philanthropy. She is currently a Director of Gift Planning at Cleveland Clinic’s Philanthropy Institute, where she assists donors with major and legacy gifts. McKinley has also held fundraising positions at Cleveland State University and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. She has served on several nonprofit boards in the Cleveland area and is a volunteer attorney for Business Volunteers Unlimited. McKinley is a Past President of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association and a 2008 recipient of the President’s Award for board service. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Alumni Association’s Continuing Legal Education committee and as an Adjunct Professor teaching nonprofit corporations.

Judge Joseph F. McManamon, Class of 1950 (1919-2014)

Joseph ‘Joe’ McManamon served as a lieutenant in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II and after returning from deployment, worked for the Cleveland Police Department as a homicide detective and an instructor at the Police Academy while also attending Cleveland-Marshall Law School. He worked in private practice with his wife, the Honorable Ann McManamon (1950), for almost 20 years before serving as the civilian head of the police and fire departments as Cleveland’s safety director from 1968-1970. He was active in the civil rights movement during the 1960s and worked to elect Carl Stokes as Mayor of Cleveland in the face of extreme bigotry, including death threats. He began his career on the bench in 1977, serving first on the Cleveland Municipal Court and then on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas until retiring in 1993.

Judge George J. McMonagle, Class of 1930 (1906-2002)

George McMonagle served the judiciary of Ohio for over 30 years as an elected and visiting Common Pleas Court Judge. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School and worked in his uncle’s construction company before entering law school. In 1964, Governor Rhodes appointed him to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. In 1966 he won his first election, and the citizens of Cuyahoga County returned the revered jurist to the bench repeatedly until his retirement in 1985. McMonagle was the head of a family of judges that included his brother, the late Richard J. McMonagle (1938), his sons Richard J. McMonagle and James J. McMonagle (1970), and his nephew Timothy McMonagle (1974), all former Common Pleas Court Judges. In the Plain Dealer, Brent Larkin (1987) hailed George McMonagle as “one of the greatest judges ever to serve in the county court system—perhaps the greatest.”

Judge James J. McMonagle, Class of 1970
Judge (Retired), Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

In his 52-year legal career, Jim McMonagle has distinguished himself through his reputation for professionalism and integrity. Jim is of counsel at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, where he is a member of the corporate and litigation practice groups. His mediation and arbitration practice is recognized as one of the best in the nation. Among his many career highlights, Jim was a judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas; general counsel, senior vice president, and secretary of University Hospitals; board member of a Fortune 500 Company and chairman of the board of a Mutual Fund Complex; and a United States District Court Judicial Nominee.

Dean David C. Meck, Sr., Class of 1913 (1863-1939)

In 1916, David Meck Sr., along with several other attorneys, founded John Marshall School of Law. He served as a member of the faculty, teaching Contracts and Bailments & Carriers, and as dean, until his death in 1939 when he was succeeded by his son, David Meck, Jr. He was known as a leader who understood and supported his students’ endeavors to obtain a professional education. In 1924, the Governor of Ohio appointed him to the Municipal Bench of Cleveland. He was elected to a six-year term in 1925 and retired from the bench in 1931. During his tenure, he took a firm stand against admitting evidence that had been illegally obtained, as demonstrated when he punished two officers who had testified that they had search warrants when evidence showed that they had not.

Dean David C. Meck, Jr. (1906-1955)

David Meck Jr. began practicing law in 1935, embarking upon an outstanding record of public service. He served as assistant police prosecutor for the city of Cleveland from 1935-1938, assistant city law director from 1938-1941, and regional supervisor of the Federal Security Agency from 1942-1944. He was elected to the Municipal Court of Cleveland in 1943. During his early tenure as a municipal judge, he was called to service and performed as a consultant to the American Economic Mission in the Middle East. After performing his mission, he returned to the court and was reelected to another six-year term. Meck served on the faculty of John Marshall School of Law from 1930-1939, when he became dean, guiding the growth and progress of the school until it merged with Cleveland Law School in 1946. His longtime involvement with the law school included serving as director of education, a member of the executive committee, and a trustee of the successor school.

Dr. Bernice G. Miller, Class of 1951 (1917-2015)

Bernice Miller was one of the first women to be a member of the Ohio Bar Association and the first woman to be elected to public office in Seven Hills. She earned an LL.M. in 1963 and an LL.D., Doctor of Legal Letters, in 1968. In 1969, first lady Pat Nixon invited her to an event at the White House marking the centennial of women in law practice in the United States. She was instrumental as the first female attorney to initiate spousal abuse laws in Ohio, practicing law out of her Seven Hills office into her mid-80s. When she passed away, donations in her memory were made to the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Annual Fund.

Norman S. Minor, Class of 1927 (1901-1968)

Norman Minor was a legendary African-American trial lawyer whose mentoring of a generation of black civil rights attorneys helped transform the justice system. As a member of the firm Payne, Green, Minor & Perry, he won the acclaim of his peers for his successful defense of the rights of impoverished clients accused of criminal activity. The state took note, and in 1930, he was appointed Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, the first African-American to be accorded that honor. Over the years, he prosecuted 5,000 felony cases and won convictions in 13 capital murder cases. He returned to private practice in 1948, specializing in criminal defense. In 1980, in celebration of his contributions to the bench and bar, local lawyers formed the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the Cleveland affiliate of the National Bar Association.

Congressman William Edwin Minshall, Jr., Class of 1938 (1911-1990)

William Minshall served two years in the Ohio Legislature prior to World War II. He enlisted in 1940, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and received a Bronze Star and four battle stars for his service in Europe. After graduating from returning from the war, the Cleveland Law School graduate began practicing law in Cleveland. He was an assistant state attorney general and general counsel for the Federal Maritime Administration before being elected to the U.S. Congress as a representative of the former 23rd District. After serving 20 years in Congress, Minshall maintained a law office in Cleveland and operated a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

Howard D. Mishkind, Class of 1980
Partner, Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., LPA

Howard Mishkind is the founding shareholder of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. His practice is concentrated primarily in the area of personal injury litigation, consisting of the representation of injured patients and their families in medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and catastrophic injuries arising out of motor vehicle and truck collisions. Mishkind is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where he taught Medical Malpractice to upper level students. He continues to be invited to provide guest lectures in the area of evidence and personal injury at the law school. He is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Ohio Academy of Justice (OAJ), and the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys (CATA). He has received an AV Preeminent rating, the Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale-Hubbell through a rigorous peer review process since 1994. He serves on various committees of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, including the Court Rules Committee and Certified Grievance Committee. He has chaired or co-chaired the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Annual Recognition Luncheon from 1992 through 2012 and was honored as Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2003.

Dean Lizabeth A. Moody
Dean Emerita, Stetson University College of Law
Former Professor of Law and Interim Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law

Liz Moody was one of only seven women in her class of 160 Yale Law graduates. Despite the historic glass ceiling, Moody became a partner at a prominent Cleveland law firm and was one of the first women rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. She rose to leadership positions in state, local, and national bar associations. In 1971, she joined the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty, later serving as interim dean, the first woman to hold that position. As President and CEO of Law School Admissions Services, Moody founded the Access Loan Program, which provides billions of dollars in student loans. From 1994 to 1999, Moody served as Vice president and Dean of Stetson University College of Law. Under her direction, Stetson opened a new library and laid the foundation for part-time and international programs. Moody has remained heavily involved in the American Bar Association, America Law Institute, and American Association of Law Schools throughout her career. Her professional recognitions include the Ohio State Bar Medal, Josephine Irwin Award, ABA Glass Cutter, and the Author’s Award by the ABA Business Law Section.

Louise Mooney
Communications Coordinator (Retired), Cleveland State University College of Law

Louise Frazer Mooney, a graduate of Converse College, joined the law school administrative staff in 1986 as a Grant Writer and Assistant to Associate Dean Jan Murray. She subsequently became the law school’s Communications Coordinator, working alongside both Assistant Dean Louise Dempsey in fundraising and C|M|LAW Alumni Association Executive Director Mary McKenna in organizing reunions locally and nationally. She was Editor of Law Notes, the Law Alumni Association magazine, and created numerous law school publications as well. By 2010 when she retired, she had composed a seven-decade history of the law school and worked for four deans, two interim deans, and generations of faculty and students. Mooney has been a member of the boards of the CSU Poetry Center, the Ohio Humanities Council, the Poets and Writers League of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Artists Foundation (now ARTneo). She was instrumental in bringing SEIU to the University. For several years, she partnered with the late Professor Emeritus Arthur Landever (CSU|LAW HOF 2019) in creating and facilitating a series of Great Stories and the Law seminars. She is presently involved in a free GED-tutoring program, primarily serving immigrants, the poor, and persons recovering from addiction.

Joseph J. Morford
Managing Partner, Tucker Ellis LLP

Joe Morford is the Managing Partner of Tucker Ellis LLP, a law firm of more than 400 lawyers and other professionals collaborating to represent the top companies in America in trials, litigation, business transactions, and intellectual property law. In addition to his responsibilities as Managing Partner – a role he has held since 2010 – Joe maintains an active practice focused on the representation of major corporations in complex mass tort, business litigation, and product liability matters in courtrooms throughout the United States. Active in the community, Joe has served on numerous boards of directors, including currently the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Board of Visitors, College Now of Greater Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the West Side Catholic Center. For 18 years, Joe served as a volunteer magistrate judge for the City of Shaker Heights Juvenile Court Diversion Program. He is named among Cleveland Magazine’s “Cleveland 500” as a leader who is shaping the city in the area of law. Most recently, Joe joined the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) Leaders at the Front Movement in pledging specific, meaningful, and measurable commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion both personally and within Tucker Ellis.

Jennifer Mountcastle, Class of 2000
Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Corporate Insurance Director, The Huntington National Bank

Jennifer Mountcastle currently is in-house counsel at Huntington Bank, where she manages litigation, corporate insurance, and legal operations out of its Columbus, Ohio headquarters.  She previously practiced law from 2000-2015 at Thompson Hine in both Cleveland and Columbus, where she was a litigation partner, was active with the firm’s pro bono program, and chaired the firm’s Lawyer Personnel Committee that managed professional development and compensation for the firm’s non-partner lawyers.  Jen was a member of the Leadership Columbus Class of 2013, and was recognized by Law360 in 2012 as one of five product liability “Rising Star” lawyers nationwide. Jen was a co-recipient of a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing in 2008.  She has been active on several non-profit boards in Cleveland and Columbus during her career and regularly volunteers with People In Need of Delaware County and with West Broad Elementary in Columbus.  Jen is a founding Co-Chair of the litigation section of the Columbus chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, has been an active mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program, and is also active with the Huntington Legal Department’s summer internship program.  A summa cum laude graduate of CSU|LAW, Jen was Executive Editor of the Law Review and Vice Chair of the Moot Court team.  

Sandra M. Natran
Administrative Coordinator (Retired), Cleveland State University College of Law

Sandra Natran joined the law school administrative staff in 1980. During the next 34 years, there were few aspects of law school life to which she did not make valuable contributions. As the College of Law’s Coordinator for External Affairs, she helped coordinate and facilitate the BakerHosteler Visiting Scholar programs, faculty-organized distinguished lecture series, seminars, receptions, and all special and traditional external events, including visits by United States Supreme Court Justices and distinguished national and international scholars. She served as a valuable liaison with students from their first days in August until their graduation day. She coordinated The American Bar Association-American Law Institute nationwide televised CLE program and, on behalf of the alumni, assisted the Law Alumni Association with its CLE programs, celebrations, and special events. Natran was an indispensable component of a well-organized and smoothly functioning law school. In 1999, CSU acknowledged those contributions to the University by giving her its Distinguished Staff Award.

Judge Clifton Newman, Class of 1976
Judge, South Carolina Circuit Court

Judge Clifton Newman is a two-time Cleveland State alumnus. He has served as a South Carolina Circuit Court Judge for 23 years. Prior to returning to South Carolina where he practiced civil and criminal prosecution, his legal career began in Ohio, where he formed Belcher and Newman, PA. He has presided over numerous high-profile civil and criminal cases including The State v. Michael Slager, a police shooting case; The State v. Nathaniel Rowland, the “Fake Uber” case; and most recently, The State v. Richard Alexander Murdaugh. He is a Business Court Judge and has served as Presiding Judge over a specialized docket of complex construction defect cases. He is a member of the SC Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession, the SC Commission on Judicial Conduct, and the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court. He is the past President of the American College of Business Court Judges and Co-Chair of the Judges Initiative Committee of the Business Law Section of the ABA. He has served as a Program Faculty Member of the National Judicial College and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Judge Donald C. Nugent, Class of 1974
Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Donald C. Nugent served as a combat infantryman in the United States Marine Corps before attending Cleveland-Marshall. Upon graduation, he joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where he successfully tried many high-profile criminal cases as a member of the Major Trial Division. He was elected judge in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in 1984, was re-elected in 1990, and was elected to the 8th District Court of Appeals in 1992. Judge Nugent was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 1995 by President William J. Clinton, where he continues to serve as a Senior Judge.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Class of 1980

Maureen O’Connor is the 10th Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and the first woman to lead the Ohio judicial branch. Justice O’Connor’s distinguished career in public service and the law includes service as a private lawyer, Magistrate, Common Pleas Court Judge, County Prosecutor, and Ohio Lt. Governor. She serves as president of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the National Center for State Courts. She is a member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Dean Howard L. Oleck (1911-1995)

Howard Oleck served as a widely respected professor of law, assistant dean, and twice as interim dean at Cleveland State University College of Law from 1956-1974. During his tenure, he was faculty advisor for the CSU Law Review, chair of the ABA Legal Education Standards Committee, and president of the League of Ohio Law Schools. He was a prolific writer and scholar, authoring 21 nonprofit treatises and several law books. He drafted several state nonprofit statutes while serving as a member of the Legislative Commission on Nonprofit Corporations. He also authored three published novels, one of which became the basis for a television miniseries. He taught at Wake Forest and Stetson before retiring in 1981; the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus was bestowed upon him at both CSU College of Law and Stetson.

Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr.

Solomon Oliver served as professor and associate dean at Cleveland-Marshall, where he taught and published in the areas of civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, and trial advocacy. Oliver had been a lawyer for 19 years, clerked for the late Judge William H. Hastie for the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, worked as an attorney and supervisor with the U.S. Justice Department, and was a member of the Cleveland-Marshall law faculty for nine years before being appointed to the College’s Associate Deanship for Faculty and Administration in 1991. Oliver previously served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 1994 by President William J. Clinton and served as the court’s chief judge from 2010-2017.

Colleen M. O’Neil, Class of 1996
Litigation Co-Chair, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Colleen O’Neil is a Partner with Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, where she serves as the Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation practice group, helping clients resolve complex business disputes. Colleen has extensive experience in federal and state courts nationwide representing clients in matters involving commercial contract disputes, shareholder and corporate disputes, estate and probate matters, trade secret claims, real property disputes, municipal and public law issues, and Title VII claims. Colleen is a member of Calfee Women LEAD, the firm’s women’s affinity group. She is also a member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Board of Visitors, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section. In addition, Colleen is a member of the Board of Directors for Magnificat High School, Board Member for the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, and a graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2016. Colleen has received the following awards and recognitions: The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation; Ohio Super Lawyers: Top 50 Women Attorneys in Ohio, Top 25 Women Attorneys in Cleveland, Top 100 Attorneys in Ohio; and the YWCA of Greater Cleveland’s Woman of Professional Excellence Award.

David M. Paris, Class of 1978

David Paris is Managing Partner of Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, starting with the firm as a law clerk in the mid-1970s while attending Cleveland-Marshall. He is a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an exclusive group limited to only 500 American lawyers. His wife, Bedford Municipal Court Judge Michelle L. Paris (1984) and daughter Dana M. Paris (2013), attorney at Nurenberg Paris, are also Cleveland-Marshall graduates. He was the 2011 C|M|LAW Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year and serves on the Executive Committee of the Cleveland-Marshall Board of Visitors. Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy generously established an Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Judge Michelle L. Paris, Class of 1984
Judge, Bedford Municipal Court

Michelle L. Paris was elected Judge of Bedford Municipal Court in November 2015. Prior to that, she served as a magistrate and chief magistrate in Cleveland Municipal Court from January, 1988 until her retirement in May, 2008. Thereafter, Judge Paris served as a visiting magistrate at Cleveland Municipal Court. Judge Paris is a regular presenter for the Ohio Judicial College and Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association. She also served as an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Case Western Reserve School of Law, teaching Debtor-Creditor Rights. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in education and from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Judge Paris is the President of the Cleveland State University Law Alumni Association. She is also on the Board of Trustees for the Association of Municipal and County Court Judges.

Lawrence O. Payne, Class of 1923 (1892-1956)

Lawrence Payne left an indelible mark on the city of Cleveland and the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. Born in Columbus, Payne came to Cleveland after serving in France during World War I and enrolled in John Marshall School of Law. Shortly after graduation, he was named the city’s first African-American assistant police prosecutor. In 1929 he was elected to the Cleveland City Council, where he was successful in maneuvering African-Americans into the School of Nursing, internships in the City Hospital and offices of local governments. Payne is credited with reforms in the police force and corrections system. In 1949 he joined with William Otis Walker in forming the city’s most influential African-American newspaper, the Call and Post. From 1938-1945 he served as a member of the State Parole Board.

Reuben M. Payne, Class of 1953 (1922-2013)

Reuben ‘Bear’ Payne worked as a Cuyahoga County prosecutor from 1953-1959 and 1961-1969 and is best known for serving as lead prosecutor in the 1968 U.S. Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, the landmark Fourth Amendment case that established the “stop and frisk” doctrine. Opposing Payne was defense attorney and future Congressman Louis Stokes (1953). With Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall on the bench, it was the first time in U.S. history African-Americans both argued and heard a case at the Supreme Court before the Court’s first African-American justice. After leaving the Prosecutor’s Office, Payne was a defense attorney in Cleveland until he moved to Arizona where he retired from the Arizona Corporation Commission in 1987.

Judge Benita Y. Pearson, Class of 1995

Benita Pearson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio is the first African-American woman to hold a seat on a federal court in Ohio. Born and raised in Cleveland and a graduate of Georgetown University, she worked as an accountant before becoming a lawyer. From 1996-1998, Pearson served as a law clerk for venerated U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Manos (1950). Subsequently, she was associated with two Cleveland law firms before being appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney. In 2008, she was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court, and in 2009, Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown nominated her for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She was confirmed by the Senate and appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010.

Steven W. Percy, Class of 1979

Steven Percy spent 23 years with BP America Inc. (previously Standard Oil Company) in various capacities before retiring as chairman and CEO in 1999. He served on President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. He is a past chair of the CSU Foundation Board of Directors and served as interim dean of CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business. Percy is a member of the Executive Committee of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors and is the law school’s first Leader-in-Residence. In 2014 he generously established the Steven W. Percy Endowed Professorship to recognize exceptional work in environmental or energy law. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Cleveland-Marshall in 2017.

Patrick J. Perotti, Class of 1982
Partner, Dworken & Bernstein Co., LPA

Patrick J. Perotti has been recognized both locally and nationally for outstanding achievements in consumer class actions and employment discrimination. He is the architect of the firm’s Ohio Lawyers Give Back initiative to distribute unclaimed class action funds to charities. Perotti is an award-winning national leader in the fields of consumer class actions, employment discrimination, and wage and hour litigation. With verdicts and settlements exceeding $1 billion, Perotti is regularly selected to lead class suits in Ohio and around the country. His reputation developed from a demand for outcomes that not only offered compensation to class members, but also stopped unlawful government and corporate practices. Using the class action device to achieve deterrence, he has directed more than $32 million in unclaimed class funds from his settlements to charities and non-profits around the country. The bench, bar, and community have recognized Perotti’s legal and community accomplishments with the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Award, the defense bar’s Top 75 Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in the United States, the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor, the Ritter Award, and Cleveland Marshall College of Law’s highest honor, the Alumnae of the Year Award. As a frequent lecturer at state and national conferences on class actions, employment law, and the cy pres doctrine, Perotti is regularly consulted by the bench, bar, and media on those subjects.

Susan Petersen, Class of 1997
Partner, Petersen & Petersen

Susan Petersen’s career has always been based on telling people’s stories – first, as a broadcast journalist at several Ohio television news stations, and then, as an esteemed civil trial lawyer in Ohio’s courtrooms.  She worked in the trenches as a reporter at WEWS-TV5 in Cleveland while attending law school, developing a knack for digging deep to uncover the truth behind every story.  It was these journalistic and investigative skills that launched a legal career in which she has always represented everyday people in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.  Since starting her own law firm in 2004, she has recovered over $50 million in verdicts and settlements for her clients in courtrooms across Ohio. From the very beginning, Susan has been an advocate for women in law, writing and producing CSU|LAW’s 2000 Documentary “’Remember the Ladies’ – A Salute to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s First Female Graduates,” and working her way up the ranks to President of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association in 2007.  In 2008, Crain’s Cleveland Business selected her to its class of “Forty under 40” – a salute to Northeast Ohio’s most influential people under the age of 40.  Since then, she has continued to lead, serving for more than a decade on the boards of the Ohio Association for Justice, the Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors, now a member of its Executive Committee.  Her trial skills have earned her numerous recognitions, including induction as a member of both the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2013, and the International Society of Barristers in London, England in 2019.  During 2019, the International Barristers Society elected Susan to serve on its Foundation Board, and to its Board of Governors in 2022.  Susan has been honored as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Magazine in every edition since 2013.  She continues to tirelessly advocate for her clients and to pay it forward to the practice as a frequent lecturer on trial practice in Ohio.

Judge Raymond L. Pianka, Class of 1977 (1951-2017)

Raymond Pianka was first elected to the Cleveland Housing Court in 1995. While on the bench, he implemented several innovative programs to achieve compliance with the city of Cleveland’s building, housing, and health codes. The programs included requiring negligent landowners to pay neighbors for the blight their properties cause and imposing fines on landowners who did not appear in his courtroom for housing code violations. Before serving as Housing Court judge, Pianka served for 10 years in Ward 17 on the Cleveland City Council. While on City Council, he was chairman of the Community and Economic Development Committee. A friend and former Cleveland city councilman said that Pianka was “amazingly creative” in the solutions he formed to deal with housing issues throughout the city and was widely viewed as one of the best housing court judges in the country.

Professor Emerita Jane M. Picker

Jane Picker joined the Cleveland-Marshall faculty in 1972 and almost immediately began to make the working world a better place for both men and women. She joined forces with fellow Yale alumna professor Lizabeth Moody in founding the Women’s Law Fund, the first law firm in America to specialize in sex-discrimination cases, and then successfully upheld the employment rights of women to compete for jobs in traditionally male professions. The law school’s Employment Law Clinic emerged from the Women’s Law Fund with an expanded focus on teaching and preparing law students to represent employees from discriminatory practices in a variety of settings. Picker and her husband, CWRU emeritus professor Sydney Picker Jr., are the recipients of honorary degrees from St. Petersburg University (Russia) in appreciation of their work creating educational exchanges between American and Russian law students, which includes establishing The Russian United States Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF).

Jon J. Pinney, Class of 2000
Managing Partner, Kohrman Jackson Krantz

Jon has been managing partner of KJK since 2015, leading the firm through a period of extraordinary growth and demonstrating commitment to bringing innovation to the practice of law—including launching a new legal technology platform, Connective Counsel, which allows companies to store and access critical legal documents securely using their mobile devices. Jon has emerged as an outspoken civic voice for the creation of a true innovation economy in Northeast Ohio. He’s become an integral part of the Blockland movement, which is seeking to make our region an epicenter of blockchain technology. Jon is driving the creation of an innovation hub in Cleveland, which would create a physical space where start-ups and the organizations that support them can work side by side. Jon was the primary author of Cleveland’s winning 345-page bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, and served as the General Counsel, Secretary, and Treasurer for the Host Committee. He currently serves on the board of Destination Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, FRONT Exhibition Company, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Jon was a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2018, and has been named to Cleveland Magazine’s “Power 100” list of the 100 most influential people in Northeast Ohio and to “Who’s Who in Northeast Ohio” by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

William T. Plesec, Class of 1971
Partner (retired), Jones Day

William “Bill” T. Plesec, began his legal career in 1971 as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. He held that position until 1976, when he joined Jones Day and became a Partner in 1981. He concluded his career at Jones Day in 2011, when he retired from the practice. Throughout his career, Bill’s practice was primarily centered on major case litigation and trials involving alleged violations of the antitrust, consumer protection, contract, export, intellectual property, product liability, RICO, and tax laws. Bill also had extensive experience in a wide variety of federal grand jury investigations and internal corporate investigations. He was licensed to practice in Ohio, the District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, several U.S., State, and District Courts. Bill is a past recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award and is a Life Member of the Alumni Association of the Law School. Over the years, he has donated his time and resources to a large number of civic and community organizations, provided pro bono legal services to those in need, mentored new lawyers and served on several non-profit boards, including the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Leon M. Plevin, Class of 1957 (1932-2008)

Leon Plevin worked with legendary personal injury attorney and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Abe H. Dudnik (1927) as a law student at Cleveland-Marshall. Following graduation he joined the Dudnik firm, which was the predecessor of Nurenberg, Plevin (now Paris), Heller & McCarthy. In 2005, he joined with Frank L. Gallucci III (2000) to form the Plevin & Gallucci firm. He and his wife Gloria built one of the city’s finest private collections of local artists. Much of Gloria Plevin’s acclaimed artwork is exhibited throughout our law school. He served as president of the Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association, and the Plevins generously endowed the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professorship.

Richard W. Pogue
Senior Advisor & Former Managing Partner, Jones Day

Richard W. (“Dick”) Pogue is Senior Advisor and former Managing Partner (1984-1992) of Jones Day, one of the largest integrated law firms in the world. After graduating from Cornell and Michigan Law, he spent three years in the Pentagon as an Officer in the Patents Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army. He practiced antitrust and corporate takeover law at Jones Day from 1957-1994, worked at Dix & Eaton (a regional public relations firm) from 1994-2003, and then returned to Jones Day on January 1, 2004, where his work has involved client development, special projects, and civic engagement. During his stint as Managing Partner, Jones Day grew from 335 to 1,250 lawyers and from five to 20 offices, and it entered international markets. Once named by Cleveland Magazine as the most powerful man in Cleveland (1988), he has chaired or served on many nonprofit Boards and has been Director of a number of for-profit Boards. In the nonprofit arena, he has had a special interest in the field of higher education. He continues to be active in the community today at age 90.

Franklin A. Polk, Class of 1939 (1911-1991)

Franklin Polk was the youngest member elected to the Cleveland School Board, the youngest president of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, and the latter’s first delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, where he served for 12 years. He held the longest tenure in the history of the Ohio Bar House of Delegates, serving 20 two-year terms. He founded and presided over the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys and issued a standing invitation to new attorneys to get experience in his office rent-free; these lawyers formed an ‘alumni association’ with 116 members. Each year, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation bestows the Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Award to honor outstanding service to the legal profession, general public and justice system.

Judge Dan Aaron Polster

Dan Aaron Polster of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and received commission in 1998. Prior to serving as judge, he worked as a federal prosecutor in Cleveland for 22 years, first as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and then for 16 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, handling fraud and corruption cases. In addition to regular speaking engagements, Polster has taught at Cleveland-Marshall since 2002, currently co-teaching a mediation course with Matthew T. Fitzsimmons. He has received many honors throughout his distinguished career, including Special Achievement Awards from the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Commendation from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General. He actively serves a member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Steven Potash, Class of 1978

Steven Potash, President and CEO of OverDrive, formed the idea for his company while attending CSU|LAW. OverDrive is now the leading worldwide digital platform for eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital media for libraries, schools, government agencies, corporate learning centers, and colleges and universities. In 2016, he was honored by the UJA-Federation of New York Publishing Division and in 2011 he received the first Ambassador Award from the publishing industry at BookExpo America. His wife Loree Potash (1979), daughter Erica Potash (2004) and son-in-law Anthony Lazzaro (2004) are graduates of C|M|LAW. Potash serves on the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors and in 2017, was honored with CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Louise Johnson Pridgeon, Class of 1922 (1891-1932)

Louise Pridgeon, one of Cleveland’s first African-American woman lawyers, studied social science at Western Reserve University, Northwestern University and Ohio University. In Cleveland, she worked for two community organizations: the Goodrich-Gannett Settlement and Karamu House. During World War I, she served as a field worker on the U.S. Interdepartmental Social Hygiene Board. Following her graduation from Cleveland Law School, she joined civil rights activist Thomas Frey in a federal practice that became the law firm of Frey and Pridgeon. According to one writer, Pridgeon always “stood high in the respect of the Bench and Bar.” She was president of the Harlan Law Club—the predecessor of the Norman Minor Bar Association—a member of the Cleveland Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, and a supporter of the Phyllis Wheatley Association.

Elizabeth Pugh, Class of 1978

Elizabeth Pugh has served for the past 19 years as General Counsel for the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Pugh began her legal career as an attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education. She continued with the executive branch as a litigator and manager with the Department of Justice. Later, she served as general counsel to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), where she played a key role in the resolution of the case that resulted in the opening of tape recordings made by former President Richard Nixon. Pugh received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from CSU College of Law in 2008 and serves on the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Linn J. Raney, Class of 1968
Intellectual Property Attorney (Retired), Watts Hoffman Co.

Linn Raney majored in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida, participating in its engineering co-op program and graduating with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree, with honors, in 1963. Having worked in engineering positions during college, he concluded that he should obtain a graduate degree of some sort before joining the work force. Encouraged by his Patent Lawyer father, he joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. as a Patent Examiner. He enrolled in American University’s evening law school program while working in Washington. He moved to Cleveland in 1965, enrolled in CSU College of Law’s evening law school program, and became licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent Office. He supported his family by working as a patent agent while attending Cleveland-Marshall’s evening program. While at Cleveland-Marshall, he was a Law Review editorial board member, authored a Law Review article that was re-printed, with attribution, in a commercial legal publication, and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. He graduated summa cum laude in 1968. In 1967, he joined the predecessor to Watts, Hoffmann Co. LPA, where he practiced all phases of Intellectual Property Law, representing numerous local and international industrial corporations, for 35 years. He eventually became Managing Partner before retiring in 2003. Raney is a long-time financial supporter of Cleveland-Marshall, member of the Board of Visitors, and has become particularly interested in CSU College of Law’s Solo Practice Incubator. In conjunction with his membership in Business Advisors of Cleveland (BAC), he has been instrumental in establishing an ongoing business consulting and mentoring relationship between BAC and lawyer-residents in the Incubator.

Max Ratner, Class of 1929 (1907-1995)

Max Ratner was a legendary businessman and community leader whose family emigrated from Poland in 1920 and settled in Cleveland. He went to law school at night and worked in the family lumber business during the day. He practiced law briefly and then decided to focus on his family’s lumber business, which grew into Forest City Enterprises (now Forest City), where he served as president and later as chairman of the Board. In service to Cleveland, he was president of Park Synagogue, president of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, and generous donor to many local organizations, including Cleveland State University College of Law, where one of its largest scholarship funds bears his name.

Judy and Robert H. Rawson, Jr.

Robert Rawson attended Princeton University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He started practice in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day and returned to Cleveland in 1973 as a partner, serving as Partner-in-Charge for 15 years. He has served on Princeton’s Board of Trustees for 20 years and on the Cleveland State University Board for 10 years, including five years as chair. Rawson was interim dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law from 2008-11 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Princeton in 2011 and by CSU College of Law in 2016.

Judy Rawson attended Mount Holyoke College and earned her law degree from CWRU School of Law. She served the City of Shaker Heights for 21 years, first as a City Council member, then as a two-term mayor.

The Rawsons were honored by CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs as the recipients of the In Tribute to the Public Service Award in 2009. In 2016, they expressed their ongoing commitment to CSU and its academic mission with a $500,000 gift to CSU|LAW, which funded the construction of the Rawson Learning Commons in the Law Library.

Edwin C. Reminger, Class of 1922 (1895-1977)

Edwin Reminger was a World War I veteran, transportation law expert, and senior member of the Reminger & Reminger law firm. During World War II, Reminger was office manager of the joint information office of common, contract, and private carriers and served on a Selective Services Advisory Committee. During his career, he served as president of the Motor Carrier Lawyers Association, Delta Nu Alpha transportation fraternity, the local chapter of the Association of Interstate Commerce Practitioners, and the Transportation Lawyers Association. He was a founding member of the American Society of Traffic and Transportation.

Richard T. Reminger, Sr., Class of 1957
Founder & Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Reminger Co., LPA

Dick Reminger founded the law firm of Reminger Co., L.P.A. in 1958. The firm he founded is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Since first opening its doors, Reminger has grown from one individual to a full-service firm employing several hundred attorneys, paralegals, and staff in fourteen offices across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. He was Reminger’s Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer until retiring in 1991. Reminger spent his entire career in the courtroom locally and nationally, specializing in the defense of civil matters before juries in a broad spectrum of liability lawsuits. As a successful lawyer, he was the recipient of Cleveland State University Law Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award in 1989 and is listed in both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

In 1988, the American Bar Association ranked the firm’s defense verdict in Audi, the alleged sudden unintended accelerator wrongful death case, as one of the five outstanding jury verdicts of the year — especially since the case was featured by CBS’s 60 Minutes prior to the trial. As such, the firm is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 firm in transportation law nationally and preeminent medical malpractice firm in Ohio.

Reminger served as President and Trustee of the Cleveland State University Law Alumni Association and is a Life Member. He has membership in many clubs, including the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, Hermit Club in Cleveland, and Mayfield Country Club of Cleveland, where he served as President of each. He was elected to membership as a representational oil painter in Oil Painters of America and Salmagundi Club of New York City and is also a signature member of the International Society of Marine Painters.

Reminger was a member of the Naval Air Corps Reserve during the Korean War. During his law studies, he was Personnel and Safety Director of Motor Express Inc. of Cleveland, a large common carrier serving many states. He was also co-founder of Cardinal Casualty Co. and served on many boards of directors, public and private. Reminger received his B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.

Kenneth C. Ricci, Class of 1986
Principal, Directional Aviation Capital

Kenneth C. Ricci is a principal of Directional Aviation Capital, which owns a number of enterprises, including Flexjet and Constant Aviation. A 35-year aviation industry veteran and pilot, he flew Bill Clinton when he ran for president in 1992. Ricci was honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year and received the Harvard Business School’s Dively Entrepreneurship Award. He also was the youngest recipient of the prestigious William Ong Award for extraordinary achievement in the general aviation industry and named one the most influential people in aviation by Aviation International News. In 2015, he received the Aviation Week Laureate Award, a benchmark of industry excellence, recognizing his innovation in aircraft remanufacturing. In 2016, Ricci was honored with Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. An Arizona resident, he serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Notre Dame, the Smithsonian Institution, and University Hospitals, as well as on the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors.

Renee Trimble Richard, Class of 1988
President/CEO, Corporate College, and Vice President, Legal Services & Risk Management, General Counsel, Cuyahoga Community College

Renee Tramble Richard is the President & CEO of Corporate College and Vice President—Legal Services and Risk Management , and General Counsel at Cuyahoga Community College. Cuyahoga Community College is one of the nation’s largest community colleges, a 300-million-dollar enterprise, serving over 40,000 students and 3,000 employees.  In these roles, Renee is a member of executive leadership, serving in the President’s Cabinet and the President’s Council. She represents the College Board of Trustees at its Audit Committee, Investment Committee, Management Committee (procurement and compensation), and Executive Committee (governance) meetings. As the CEO of Corporate College, she leads the division responsible for corporate training and providing workforce training solutions. As the Chief Legal Officer of the College, the Internal Audit, Risk Management, Compliance, and Institutional Equity departments are four of her five reporting units. In her 25+ years working with capital markets, Ms. Richard led numerous financing teams in the issuance of billions in tax-exempt bonds, requiring compliance with IRS and SEC regulations. While employed by four of Cleveland’s largest corporate law firms, Renee worked across a broad spectrum of organizations and industry sectors, including banks, port authorities, healthcare organizations and housing finance agencies. She worked on complex transactions including letter of credit financings and layered real estate financings. Renee began her career as a bank examiner for the State of Ohio. She transitioned into the realm of public accounting by becoming a certified public accountant, advancing from Staff Auditor to Principal. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University, an MBA with a concentration in Management from Cleveland State University and a JD from Cleveland State University College of Law. Renee completed Data-Driven Decision Making for Business Leaders at Harvard University Extension School and is a member of the Deloitte Board Ready Women 2021 Cohort and In Counsel with Corporate Women. Her Board portfolio includes Care Alliance Health Center, the YWCA of Cleveland, and AES Management Dba Louisiana Popeye’s Chicken. 

Alan Jay Rom, Class of 1972
Founder, Rom Law P.C.
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Alan Jay Rom is a 1967 graduate of Ohio University, where he studied economics. He served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia as an economic advisor to a rural savings and loan cooperative. His legal career took him from representing migrant farm workers in Southern New Jersey and the Connecticut-Massachusetts “tobacco valley” for five years to becoming staff counsel to the Boston Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for 18 years, where he specialized in voting rights, employment law, and education. He worked in a small law firm handling wage and overtime claims for seven years, became Executive Director of Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice for six years, joined the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office for three years, and then established his own law firm, Rom Law P.C. in 2011 and also serves as a volunteer attorney for Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy (META). Alan is a member of the Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts Bars, the Bars of the Supreme Court, First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Federal Districts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. He is the author of the chapter on overtime law for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and has been an adjunct at Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University. He has lectured at several Boston law schools and published two law review articles on public school finance and authored other articles. He has judged moot court competitions at Harvard Law School and Boston University Law School since 1980.

Barbara K. Roman, Class of 1977
Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis

Barbara K. Roman has been a partner in the law firm of Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis for the past 23 years serving as Chair of the Family Law Department. She is a Past President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (2011-2012) having served on the committee to unite the CMBA and the Cuyahoga County Bar Association. She serves on several Bar committees including the Professionalism Conciliation Panel. Barbara serves on the Board of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and chairs the Pro Bono Committee for Legal Aid. She also serves on the Ursuline College Advisory Board for Legal Studies. Barbara is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Social Sciences. Upon graduation from CSU|LAW, she served as an Ohio Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Section Chief in Consumer Protection and Managing Attorney for the UAW Legal Services Plan. Barbara has received numerous honors in her legal career including Crain’s 2011 Women of Note. She is a founding member of the Cleveland Academy of Collaborative Lawyers and has committed herself to mentoring young CSU|LAW students and graduates and has been a guest instructor at CSU|LAW Mediation classes.

Professor Emeritus Alan Miles Ruben
Professor of Law (Retired), Cleveland State University College of Law

Alan Miles Ruben is an Emeritus Professor of Law at CSU College of Law, where he taught courses on Corporate Law and business-related subjects along with Legal Ethics starting in 1973. He was conferred the title of ‘Advisory Professor of Law’ by Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC, only the fourth person so honored in Fudan’s 100-year history. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Labor and Employment Lawyer’s Association. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1993-1994. He was Editor-in-Chief of How Arbitration Works ( 6th ed., 2003). A champion fencer, he captained the United States Fencing Team for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Karen E. Rubin, Class of 1985
Counsel, Thompson Hine LLP

Karen E. Rubin is Counsel at Thompson Hine LLP, where she is a member of the business litigation group and the firm’s Office of General Counsel. In addition, she practices, teaches, and writes in the area of professional responsibility, including malpractice and legal ethics. Rubin graduated from Cleveland-Marshall’s part-time program. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review and the founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law and Health. She is an Adjunct Professor at Cleveland-Marshall, teaching legal ethics, and was honored in 2018 with the Judge Richard M. Markus Adjunct Faculty Award. Rubin has served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Task Force on the Disciplinary System and is a past Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Certified Grievance Committee. She is Vice-Chair of the CMBA’s Ethics Committee and also served as Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Ethics Committee. Rubin is a member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association’s Judicial Selection Committee and is on the executive committee of the Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition. Rubin is a Co-Editor of Thompson Hine’s legal ethics blog, The Law for Lawyers Today, which was named by the ABA Journal in 2016 and 2018 as one of the year’s best law blogs.

Timothy J. Russert, Class of 1976 (1950-2008)

Tim Russert was a television journalist who moderated NBC’s Meet the Press for more than 16 years, the longest-running stint in the show’s history. He was a senior vice president at NBC News, served as the Washington bureau chief, and hosted a CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program. His coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections was well respected, as he correctly predicted that the Electoral College outcome would hinge on the states of Florida and Ohio, respectively. Prior to hosting Meet the Press, he worked as special counsel and chief of staff to U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan from New York and later became the counsel to New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Time magazine included Russert in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.

Honorable Basil M. Russo, Class of 1972
Former Judge, Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals

Basil M. Russo was a founder, and served as managing partner of the law firm of Russo, Rosalina & Co., L.P.A. until his retirement in 2014. He has served as Judge of the Ohio Court of Appeals, Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas (for which he received an Excellent Judicial Service Award from the Ohio Supreme Court ), and Majority Leader of the Cleveland City Council. He currently serves as National President of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, one of the largest Italian American Fraternal Associations in America, and serves on the executive committee of the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C. He is President of the Justinian Forum Bar Association, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Bishop Anthony Pilla Italian American Studies Program at his alma mater John Carroll University. The numerous awards and recognitions he has received include induction into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame, the Freedom Award from the American Nationalities Movement, and the Columbian Award from the Federation of Italian American Societies.

Judge John J. Russo, Class of 1992
Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

John J. Russo is the Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the Court every year since November 2013, Judge Russo has chaired or participated in numerous justice system boards and committees since beginning his judicial career on the Common Pleas Court in 2005. In 2016, Judge Russo served as president of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO) and brought the inaugural annual NAPCO conference to Cleveland. Judge Russo has taught at numerous court conclaves, judges’ conferences, community programs, and bar association forums. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association, Westshore Bar Association, and the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association. Prior to the bench, Judge Russo was a civil and criminal litigator for 12 years in his private practice. Judge Russo earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree at John Carroll University and his Juris Doctor degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Judge Russo is an Honorary Trustee of the Cleveland State University Law Alumni Association and an Adjunct Faculty member at Cleveland State University College of Law.

Hon. Michael J. Ryan, Class of 1996
Judge, Eighth District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio

Judge Michael John Ryan is a 1989 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School. He is also a product of Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). Judge Ryan has been serving as a judicial officer for more than 20 years: four and half years as a Magistrate for Cleveland Municipal Court, seven years as an elected Judge for Cleveland Municipal Court, 10 years as an elected Judge for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division, and now as a judge on Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals. He graduated from Allegheny College in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English then subsequently received his Juris Doctorate in 1996 from Cleveland State University College of Law. Judge Ryan has volunteered as a facilitator with Teen Domestic Violence Workshops, judge and coach for CMSD Mock Trial Competitions, instructor for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 3 R’s Programs, tutor and mentor for CMSD students, member of Cleveland Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee, baseball and basketball youth coach, and countless other initiatives. Judge Ryan serves as a trustee with St. Edward High School, Step Forward, and was recently the chairman of Sisters of Charity Foundation. He has received several awards for his service and his professional contributions: Allegheny College Gold Citation, Omega Psi Phi Citizen and Civic Leader of the Year, National Association of Social Workers Elected Official of the Year, Cleveland State Alumni Association Resiliency Award Recipient and more. Judge Ryan is married, has two children, is a Deacon and Trustee for the Pentecostal Church of Christ and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. 

Isam Salah, Class of 1976
Senior Partner (Retired), King & Spalding LLP

Isam Salah served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and after graduation was awarded a two-year fellowship at Georgetown University’s International Law Institute at where he received an LL.M. degree.  He began his legal practice at Shearman & Sterling in New York City before moving to Schlumberger Ltd., a world-leading oilfield services company as Middle East and Asia Counsel for, during which he was based in Dubai and Jakarta. He returned to NYC in 1986 and helped establish a boutique finance law firm which later merged with King & Spalding. During his 30-year career at K&S, he became a senior partner and established and led the firm’s Middle East practice group, including the establishment of the firm’s offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. He developed a market-leading expertise in the structuring of finance and investments transactions for Middle East clients to comply with Islamic financial principles. He handled the first commercial Islamic finance and investment transactions executed in the U.S. The firm became the first major law firm to focus on Islamic finance as a practice specialty and he spoke and wrote frequently on the topic of Islamic finance. The Islamic finance and investment structures and documentation that he and his colleagues developed are now widely used in the United States.  He retired from King & Spalding in 2017 and now serves as Chairman of United Palestinian Appeal, and as a director of two other non-profits: Education for Employment and the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

James Sammon, Class of 1994
Corporate Counsel, Jenne, Inc.

Jim Sammon comes from a proud CSU|LAW legacy family.  His father Marty ’61, brother Al ’84, Uncle Tom O’Malley ’57, cousins Hon. Kathy O’Malley ’89, Joe O’Malley ’92 and Kohl Schneider ’92 are all CSU|LAW grads.  But none are more important than the “best thing Jim ever got out of law school” – his amazing wife, classmate (and life-coach/partner), Jennifer (nee Vinciguerra) Sammon ’94.  Jim further followed his father Marty — one of the original Founders of the CSULAA — in his alumni involvement and has been an active and vocal Alumni member – serving as the President of the CSULAA in 2014-15 and acting as chair and emcee of the Annual Recognition Luncheon for several years.  Jim began his legal career as a Judicial Clerk for Judge Donald Nugent (also a HOF Inductee), first on the Eighth District Court of Appeals and then Federal District Court.  For 30 years Jim has been a strident advocate for his clients and always maintained an eclectic practice.  Jim litigated and tried matters for individuals including wrongful death, medical malpractice, wrongful discharge and injury matters.  At the same time, Jim defended small and large corporations in complex civil litigation, judges and lawyers against legal malpractice claims, and many others in both Court and arbitrations.  Jim has been a partner at several Cleveland firms and recently took the position as Corporate Counsel at Jenne, Inc., a leading cloud services brokerage and value-added technology distributor.  Jim is a proud member of the Cleveland Irish community. He is one of the original founders of the Irish American Law Society of Cleveland and was recognized by The Irish Legal 100 Attorneys in America in 2021. Jim serves on the Parade Committee, President of the Irish Civic Association, and is currently active in assisting with the development of the historic Irishtown Bend Project.  Jim’s civic involvement includes serving as a citizen member of Shaker’s Public Works & Safety Committee and St. Dominic Parish Finance Committee.  Jim is committed to the Cleveland Autism Speaks chapter for which Jen, Jim, and his lifelong friend Chef Michael Symon have helped raise over $1 million through the Chef’s Gala for Autism Speaks.  Jim is a proud graduate of St. Edward High School and a Past Recipient of the Legal Eagles Man of the Year Award.  Jim received a bachelor’s degree from Miami University.  But more than anything, Jim and Jen’s greatest achievement are their three sons Joe (23), Jimmy Jr. (20), and Sean (19).

Thomas J. Scanlon, Class of 1963

Thomas Scanlon worked full-time at a manufacturing plant while attending C|M|LAW, also working at the law library and serving as Law Review editor. In 1979, he joined forces with Charles Donahue II (1967) to form Donahue & Scanlon; when Donahue retired, Scanlon partnered with Tim Collins (1985) to form Collins & Scanlon. Scanlon was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court as a Bar Examiner. He is a past honoree of the C|M|LAW Alumni Association and serves as a Life Member. He serves as a member of the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors, and he and Collins generously established the Collins & Scanlon Enrichment Fund at C|M|LAW to provide funds for the enrichment of the law school’s curriculum and programs.

Michael Schwartz
President Emeritus, Cleveland State University and Kent State University 

Michael Schwartz is a native of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. He earned the baccalaureate in psychology in 1958, the Master of Arts in labor and industrial relations in 1959, and the Ph.D. in sociology in 1962. He then conducted academic research, taught at Wayne State University, later and moved to Indiana University, Bloomington. He became Chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at Florida Atlantic University and then Dean of the College of Social Science there. He then moved to Kent State University to become the Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research. He later served there as Interim-President, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and was given the additional title of Provost. He became President of Kent State University in 1982 and served in that role until 1991 when he became President Emeritus and Trustees Professor. He taught courses in higher education administration and organization, the history of higher education in the U.S., and statistical methods in social research. A decade later, he became the President of Cleveland State University and served in that capacity until 2009, when he again returned to teaching and writing as President Emeritus and Trustees Professor. He is the author of more than 50 papers and books. Now retired, he has served as a member of and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Edna C. Shalala, Class of 1952 (1911-2014)

Edna Shalala was the first woman of Syrian-Lebanese descent to practice law in Cleveland. She was a nationally-ranked tennis player in the 1930s and ‘40s who competed on the senior circuit into her 80s, a teacher who pioneered in creating the first physical education program for disabled children, and a mother raising twin daughters when she graduated from Cleveland-Marshall in 1952. Downtown law firms were not hiring women at the time, so she established a small but successful probate practice on Cleveland’s west side. She obtained an LLM degree in 1960 and later partnered with her niece Susan Batal (1983), specializing in estate and probate law. She practiced law for over 50 years—until the age of 90—and was inducted into the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. She also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Cleveland-Marshall in 2011.

Judge Brendan J. Sheehan, Class of 1993
Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Sheehan has served on the Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court since January 2008. He was elected to serve as the Administrative and Presiding Judge effective January 2020. Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Sheehan practiced as a civil and criminal litigator for 14 years. As a prosecutor in the Major Trial Division of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, he served as the Chairman of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce and the Chairman of the Legal Committee for the National Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. He instructed law enforcement officials across the country on investigation and prosecution of internet crimes. He currently serves as a member of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, as a trustee of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges’ Association, as a Committee Chairperson for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case Flow Committee, and as a member of the Ohio Jury Instructions Committee. Judge Sheehan has also received the Child Safety Award for protecting children from Moms for Ohio. Judge Sheehan is an active member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association. 

Judge Michelle J. Sheehan, Class of 1993
Judge, Eighth District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio

Judge Michelle J. Sheehan has extensive experience as both a trial lawyer and appellate advocate. She began her tenure as Judge in January 2018. Judge Sheehan was a Partner at Reminger Co., LPA for over 20 years and has been an active leader in the firm. She was a founding member of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Council and was one of the first women at the firm to rise from the ranks of law clerk to being hired as an associate and ultimately promoted to partner. She has litigated cases in both state and federal court on behalf of a diverse group of clients for over 25 years. She is one of only 28 attorneys throughout the state who is certified as an appellate specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association. She has served as President of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and in various leadership roles in local organizations, including the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, YWCA, and civil service commission. She has been a pro bono advocate for many individuals in the community through all types of civil and criminal cases and was featured in Crain’s Cleveland Magazine for her pro bono work with El Barrio Workforce at The Centers. Judge Sheehan has been repeatedly recognized as one of the Top 25 Female Attorneys in Cleveland by Ohio Super Lawyer Magazine. She has served as a mentor to many law students at Cleveland-Marshall and remains a strong supporter of the law school.

Associate Dean Carroll H. Sierk (1931-2007)

Carroll Sierk began his professional career as a CPA. He earned an LLB from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a Master of Laws Degree from Southern Methodist University. He was a faculty member—and briefly Acting Dean—at St. Mary’s and taught at Mercer College of Law before joining the faculty of Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1968. Sierk was instrumental in the successful merger of the law school with Cleveland State University in 1969. Specializing in tax law, he was appointed assistant dean in 1972 and associate dean in 1988, holding the latter position until his retirement in 1996.

Judge Samuel H. Silbert, Class of 1907 (1884-1976)

Samuel Silbert was appointed assistant police prosecutor by Mayor Newton D. Baker in 1911, four years after graduating with honors from night school at Cleveland Law School. Silbert then served 54 years on the bench in Cleveland: 10 years as a municipal judge and 44 in Common Pleas Court, where he was Chief Justice from 1955-63. Specializing in domestic relations law, he taught for 35 years at Cleveland Law School and its successor, Cleveland-Marshall Law School. He also served as a trustee of the school and received an honorary Master of Laws degree from John Marshall Law School as well as a Doctor of Laws from Cleveland-Marshall.

Dean Lee E. Skeel, Class of 1912 (1888-1968)

Lee Skeel immediately began practicing law upon his graduation from Cleveland Law School in 1912, but his practice was interrupted by a period of service with the 322nd Machine Gun Battalion in France during World War I. Upon his return, he served successively as chief police prosecutor of the City of Cleveland, Judge of the Municipal Court of Cleveland, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County and Judge of the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals. He taught at Cleveland-Marshall Law School and its predecessor, Cleveland Law School, beginning in 1926. Skeel served as dean of Cleveland Law School for nearly a decade before taking on the role of president for almost 20 years after the school merged. Following his tenure as president, he served as chief administrative officer and as a trustee for several more years prior to his death. Skeel authored, edited and revised several volumes on criminal and appellate law.

J. Helen Slough, Class of 1929 (1908-1999)

J. Helen Slough, one of the first women to join the Cleveland Bar Association, was an international patent lawyer who served as president of the National Association of Woman Lawyers and Cleveland Patent Lawyers Association. Graduating from law school at a young age, she was the only female patent attorney in Cleveland for a time, practicing for many years with her father Frank M. Slough (1930), who had followed her path to law school. She moved to Squire, Sanders & Dempsey when Slough & Slough was absorbed by the firm in its patent department. Slough received CSU’s International Women’s Year Distinguished Service Award in 1975 and practiced law in most U.S. appellate courts, as well as at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the King’s Court in Sweden, and the federal courts in Germany and South Africa.

Dean Steven R. Smith
Former Dean, CSU College of Law
Dean Emeritus, California Western School of Law

Dean Steven R. Smith (1988-1996) came to Cleveland-Marshall from having served as the first Deputy Director of the Association of American Law Schools. During his deanship the faculty expanded, curricular offerings increased, and several innovative programs created. Of particular interest to Dean Smith was health law, and the C|M|LAW health law program grew in quality with specialty programs including the Medical Institute for Law Faculty (in cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic). During this time the funding was secured, and construction began for the major law school building expansion. Dean Smith served on many boards of bar and nonprofit organizations, including chair of the City Club of Cleveland. He was on several committees of the ABA and Association of American Law Schools, and was the public member of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee. He has written widely in health law, mental health law, and legal education. He has received many awards for teaching, research, and community service. In 1996 he became dean and president of the California Western School of Law in San Diego, serving in that position until 2012. He served as chair of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and chair of the San Diego Foundation. He and wife Lera, now reside in San Diego.

Mark A. Smolik, Class of 1987

Mark Smolik is general counsel and chief compliance officer of DHL’s supply chain operations throughout the Americas. He also serves as global chair of DHL’s supply chain legal practice group and is responsible for leading the legal, commercial contract management, government incentives, and compliance teams throughout the Americas. Smolik serves as the chairman and founder of Qualmet LLC, a platform for in-house counsel and legal operations professionals to measure the value of services provided by external counsel and other legal service providers. Before DHL, Smolik was senior vice president, general counsel, and chief ethics officer of Safelite Group, Inc. Before Safelite, he served as Sherwin-Williams’ senior corporate counsel. He serves on the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors and has lectured twice in the past two years at the law school about the rapidly changing legal market and its implications for legal education.

Stephen G. Sozio, Class of 1983

Stephen Sozio is a Jones Day partner who serves as both co-leader of the firm’s global health care practice and head of litigation for the Cleveland office. Prior to joining Jones Day, he worked as a prosecutor for the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. He has taught as a C|M|LAW adjunct professor, and serves on the law school’s Health Law Advisory Council and the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors.

Maria Spangler, Class of 2006
Director, Community Engagement, The Sherwin-Williams Company; Director, The Sherwin-Williams Foundation

Maria Spangler leads The Sherwin-Williams Company’s enterprise strategy, which drives corporate social responsibility initiatives and programs, building alignment and synergies with shareholders, customers and employees. With a particular focus and passion around inclusion and talent attraction and development, she works strategically with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders to build relationships and drive excellence. In addition, Maria directs the programs and investments of the Sherwin-Williams Foundation, supporting brand-aligned causes and organizations most important to the more than 62,000 committed and generous Sherwin-Williams employees across their global footprint.  A proud two-time Viking, Maria was honored in 2006 to have been the first in her family to earn a Dual Law and Public Administration Master’s Degree. She is grateful for the experience at Cleveland State, which proved to be critical in building a firm foundation for a career rooted in service to others and her adopted home of Northeast Ohio.  Maria’s board memberships include: the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County Public Library, University Circle Incorporated, Cleveland Development Advisors, and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. 

Dean Wilson G. Stapleton, Class of 1934 (1901-1979)

Wilson Stapleton was born in Maine, grew up in Nova Scotia, and served in both the Royal Canadian Army and the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1929 he moved to Cleveland, where he earned a law degree from the Cleveland Law School and an M.A. from Western Reserve University. He joined the law school faculty shortly after his graduation. Appointed dean of the newly merged Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1946, he proved an exceptional administrator: increasing the school’s financial resources, enlarging its faculty, and expanding its library. He was instrumental in obtaining vital AALS accreditation. While simultaneously serving as teacher and dean, he was elected to three separate terms as Mayor of Shaker Heights. But it is not for his skills as administrator and politician that he is best remembered: those who studied law during the Stapleton years remember him as a big-hearted man, always ready to dispatch kindnesses and encouragement and, quite often, to bend the rules. After his retirement in 1967, he moved to Florida, passed the Florida bar, opened a law office, and stayed close to his former students until his death.

Dean Emeritus Steven H. Steinglass
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Emeritus, CSU College of Law

Steven H. Steinglass, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School, is Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He joined the faculty in 1980 after practicing as a legal aid lawyer in Wisconsin, and he served as dean of the law school from 1996 to 2005. His areas of teaching included Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Clinical Education, Section 1983 (Civil Rights) Litigation, and Ohio Constitutional History. From 2013 to 2017, he served as the Senior Policy Advisor of the bi-partisan Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. He is the co-author of The Ohio Constitution: A Reference Guide, which has been described as an “essential research tool for lawyers, judges, and scholars,” and the author of a two-volume treatise on Section 1983 Litigation in State Courts. He has argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court Practice and made presentations at continuing legal education and other programs in more than 20 states.

Carl L. Stern, Class of 1966

Carl Stern is professor emeritus of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University and former Office of Public Affairs director for the Department of Justice under Attorney General Janet Reno. Prior to his career at the DOJ, he was NBC News law correspondent for 26 years. A member of the Ohio and Washington, D.C. bars for almost 50 years, Stern was a founding member of the Forum Committee on Communications Law of the American Bar Association. In 1975, the ABA honored him as the first full-time broadcast network reporter covering legal affairs. He is the recipient of the Justice Department’s highest honor, the Edmund J. Randolph Award, and broadcasting’s Peabody Award for his Watergate coverage. In 2014, the American University Washington College of Law’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy presented him with its Freedom of Information Act Legends Award. Stern received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Cleveland-Marshall in 1995 and serves on the C|M|LAW Board of Visitors.

Justice Leonard Stern, Class of 1926 (1904-1988)

Leonard Stern managed his father’s grocery store as he attended Cleveland Law School. He graduated in 1926 and went into private practice before serving as a bailiff for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He moved to Columbus in 1939 and was appointed corporate counsel in the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, then later served as executive secretary to the Ohio Board of Public Works from 1940-1946. He was appointed Judge to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in 1965, and appointed Judge to the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals in 1969. He was appointed a Justice to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1970, serving until 1977 when Ohio’s 70-year old age limit for judges required his retirement. Stern served as the first Disciplinary Counsel to the Ohio Supreme Court from 1977-1982 and consultant to the Disciplinary Counsel from 1982-1984. He was a visiting Judge to the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals in 1985.

Justice Melody J. Stewart, Class of 1988

Melody Stewart became the first black woman elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2018. Justice Stewart is distinguished for both her career in academia and in law. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and as a law student, she was awarded a prestigious Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship. Following graduation, she served as an assistant law director for the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, eventually returning to the law school in various capacities—as a lecturer, adjunct instructor, assistant dean and full-time faculty member. She also taught at the University of Toledo College of Law and Ursuline College and was director of student services at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She earned her doctorate as a Mandel Leadership Fellow at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at CWRU. She was elected to the Eighth District Court of Appeals in 2006 and has been re-elected twice.

Mayor Carl B. Stokes, Class of 1956 (1927-1996)

Carl Stokes was the first African-American member of the Democratic Party elected to the Ohio House. In 1967, Stokes was elected Mayor of Cleveland, the first African-American mayor of a major U.S. city. He was reelected in 1969. Stokes later became the first African-American television news anchor in New York City. From 1983-1984, he served as a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. President Bill Clinton appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the Seychelles.

Congressman Louis Stokes, Class of 1953 (1925-2015)

Louis Stokes began practicing law in Cleveland in 1953 and argued the “stop and frisk” case of Terry v. Ohio before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968 against fellow Hall of Fame honoree Reuben M. Payne (1953). He was the first African-American in Ohio elected to the U.S. House, where he served 15 terms. While in Congress, he was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, headed the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the first African-American on the House Appropriations Committee. Stokes retired as senior counsel from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in 2012.

Richard P. Stovsky, Class of 1983

Richard Stovsky is PricewaterhouseCooper’s vice chairman for the Midwest region, where he oversees all services to clients in the region. He has served as co-chair of Cleveland-Marshall’s Annual Fund several times, and he currently serves on the C|M|LAW Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors. In 2011, he received CSU’s George B. Davis Award for Service, which recognizes a graduate’s generous dedication to the growth and advancement of the University. Stovsky previously served as chair of CSU|LAW’s National Advisory Committee.

Carter E. Strang, Class of 1984
Partner, Tucker Ellis LLP & Leader-in-Residence, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Carter E. Strang is a Tucker Ellis LLP Founding Partner and environmental law, product liability and mass tort litigator. He has lost only one trial in his 35 year career. A frequent lecturer and author, Strang has been published over 50 times on a wide variety of legal topics. He is a Master Bencher in the Judge John M. Manos Inn of Court. Strang is the only person to serve as President the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and the Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio Chapter. He is the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation President-Elect and will become Foundation President in 2020. Strang created two award-winning pipeline diversity and inclusion initiatives: the CMBA Louis Stokes Scholars and Tucker Ellis Pipeline Programs. A high school teacher while attending law school at night, he used his teaching expertise in drafting the curriculum of the nationally acclaimed CMBA 3Rs program. A Cleveland-Marshall Leader-in-Residence and member of its Visiting Committee, Strang created the Professor Joel J. Finer Award in honor of his former Cleveland-Marshall professor. He is a long time Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association Trustee and a recipient of its Alumnus of the Year Award. Other honors include the CMBA Justice for All and Green Sustainability Awards, the Kent State University and Honors College Distinguished Alumni Awards, and the Federal Bar Association Elaine “Boots” Fisher Awards. A two-sport college athlete, Strang is a Cleveland Triathlon Gold Medalist who twice bicycled from Cincinnati to Cleveland to raise money to fight cancer.

Mary Strassmeyer, Class of 1981 (1929-1988)

Mary Strassmeyer was an award-winning journalist before pursuing her law degree and entering private practice,. She wrote an internationally-syndicated cartoon before finding fame with her coverage of Cleveland’s high society in her Plain Dealer column ‘Today,’ later called ‘Mary, Mary,’ which was praised by The New York Times and Town & Country. In 1976, she was honored by The Intown Club of Cleveland for her contribution to civic and cultural projects and in 1979, she started a weekly radio show that ran for 10 years. WomenSpace, a local nonprofit coalition that addressed “issues affecting women and families,” honored her in 1986, making her the first recipient of the WomenSpace media award for her support of women’s issues and organizations. In 1994 she was posthumously inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame.

Justice Francis E. Sweeney, Sr., Class of 1963 (1934-2011)

Francis Sweeney fought for injured workers, underprivileged students and other disenfranchised citizens. After graduating from Cleveland-Marshall, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County. From 1970-1988, he was a judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He moved to the Eighth Appellate District Court of Appeals where he served until 1992. He was then appointed to the Supreme Court of Ohio, where he remained until his retirement in 2004. Prior to his judicial career, he played professional football for the Ottawa Rough Riders and served in the Army at Fort Knox. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including 14 Outstanding Judicial Service Awards from the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Joan Synenberg, Class of 1987
Judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

Judge Joan Synenberg has served on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas bench for nine years. She served as a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge for two years prior. In addition to her civil and criminal docket, Judge Synenberg presides over Recovery Court, a specialized docket supervising people with drug addiction and trauma. This dual-diagnosis docket is the first of its kind in the State of Ohio and is certified by the Ohio Supreme Court. Under Judge Synenberg’s leadership, hundreds of lawyers have participated in complimentary continuing legal education courses in exchange for donating their legal services to persons in need. Judge Synenberg spearheaded numerous pro bono initiatives, including active involvement in expungement education, conducting dozens of community forums on the topic since 2005. Before assuming the bench, Judge Synenberg engaged in an active criminal and civil trial practice for 16 years. In 2009, she was honored with the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Outstanding Alumna Award. Raised in Cleveland, Judge Synenberg is a graduate of Mayfield High School and in 2010 was inducted into their Hall of Fame. She and her husband Roger live in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Elsie Tarcai, Class of 1942 (1909-1997) & Violet Tarcai, 1943 (1916-2000)

The Tarcai sisters were the daughters of Hungarian immigrants who met on a citizens’ rights protest line in their native country. Settling in Cleveland, the Tarcais embraced the ideals of their new homeland and instilled in their daughters an abiding respect for the rule of law. Elsie and Violet both attended Ohio State University and both worked factory jobs to afford law school and, later, to support their new careers. The women hoped to practice criminal law but were discouraged by the courts, which deemed women unsuited for the more unsavory aspects of criminal law. Graduating in 1942, Elsie was an early female attorney practicing in Cleveland and became the second woman ever to argue a case in the state Court of Appeals. Violet, a union advocate, practiced labor law. The sisters shared an office and a home until their deaths.

Frances Tetlak, Class of 1921 (1895-1976)

Frances Tetlak, the daughter of Polish immigrants, lived her entire life in the Tremont area of Cleveland. Ambitious for a woman in her time and inspired by her father’s embrace of his new country, she worked with him in helping other Polish families immigrate to Cleveland. Before earning her law degree, she earned a degree in library science from the Flora Stone Mather College and opened the Frances Tetlak Insurance Company. As a young woman, she worked in the Scranton-Clark Branch of the Cleveland Public Library and practiced law in an office on Tremont’s Professor Street. Though born in America, she was fluent in Polish and much of her law practice was concerned with the business and legal challenges confronting immigrants. Eventually, she concentrated her practice on wills and estates. She left an estate of $240,000 to Marymount Hospital, which was operated by a Polish order of nuns.

Donna Zapis Thomas, Class of 1987
Co-Founder & Managing General Partner, Rockport Retirement Community

Donna Zapis Thomas serves as the co-founder and Managing General Partner of Rockport Senior Living. She has spent 31 years in the senior living field. Her mission is to improve the quality of life for seniors. Thomas has served on the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors. Donna and the Zapis Charitable Foundation have been enthusiastic supporters of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Scholarship Fund. Her father Xenophon Zapis was a graduate of CSU College of Law’s class of 1954. Her nephew Matthew Wymer graduated from Cleveland-Marshall in 2014, making her family a proud three-generation CSU|LAW legacy. Thomas also serves as a Trustee for Baldwin Wallace University and her family has established a scholarship fund at Baldwin Wallace. The Thomas Family is a proud supporter of the Cleveland Zoological Foundation.

James A. Thomas, Class of 1963
Chairman and CEO, Thomas Properties Group, LLC

James A. Thomas is Chairman and CEO of Thomas Properties Group and past Chairman of Parkway Properties, Inc. (PKY), a real estate investment trust listed on the NYSE. Previously, Thomas was the founder of Thomas Properties Group (TPG), a firm that he led as Chairman and CEO for a decade, guiding its growth as both a public and private company. The company’s national portfolio comprised 12 million square feet of office and mixed-use properties. Prior to founding TPG, Thomas served as co-managing partner of Maguire Thomas Partners, a national development company that he founded with Robert F. Maguire III. Maguire Thomas Partners is largely responsible for the skyline of downtown Los Angeles, having developed Library Tower (now US Bank Tower), Wells Fargo Center, and Gas Company Tower. He started his professional career as an attorney and practiced law for 20 years. He was a partner in two prominent Los Angeles law firms and previously served as a trial attorney in the Regional Counsel’s Office of the US Treasury in Los Angeles. Born in Pembroke, North Carolina, Thomas is a Lumbee Indian, the largest Indian tribe in the southeast United States. He moved to Cleveland in high school, receiving his B.A. in economics with honors from Baldwin-Wallace University in 1959. He attended Case Western Reserve University before transferring to CSU College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor in 1963. He was editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Marshall Law Review. Thomas and his wife Sally of 60 years live in Brentwood Park and have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Marilyn Tobocman, Class of 1983 (1934-2018)
Principal Attorney/Senior Litigator, Ohio Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Section

Marilyn Tobocman served as Principal Attorney/Senior Litigator for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, where she led some of its most complex civil rights cases. Prior to that, she was a partner in the civil rights law firm of Kramer & Tobocman and associate director of The Housing Advocates, Inc. for over a decade. A frequent lecturer on fair housing and civil rights laws, Tobocman co-authored articles on predatory lending, employment class actions, accessibility, landlord/tenant law, and human trafficking. She served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ohio General Assembly and its Joint Select Committee on School Desegregation, Ohio Department of Development, Lake County Planning Commission, Columbiana County Development Department, and City of Lorain. Tobocman was dedicated to improving the legal profession. She served on the Cleveland Bar Association Judicial Selection Committee and Government Attorneys Section and was actively engaged with CSU|LAW as a clinic instructor, adjunct professor, mentor for students, and Alumni Association Board member. She received numerous awards, including the 2002 Attorney General’s Professionalism Award, Crain’s 2013 General & In-House Counsel Award, Crain’s 2016 Class of “8 over 80,” and 2017 Tri-C Stokes Initiative tribute highlighting her journey as a fierce advocate of standing up for others.

Stanley E. Tolliver, Sr., Class of 1953 (1926-2011)

Stanley Tolliver was involved in numerous significant social reform campaigns from the middle of the 20th century until his death. In 1965, he traveled to Mississippi to represent civil rights protestors. Locally, he accused police and prosecutors of misconduct while representing the Glenville riot defendants, college students involved in the fatal 1970 Kent State demonstration, and the organizers of a McDonalds boycott protesting the absence of black franchise owners. A member of the Cleveland Board of Education for 12 years, he participated in efforts to desegregate the schools and introduce Black Studies into the curriculum. Tolliver was a trustee of the Antioch Baptist Church, president of the Norman Minor Bar Association, president of the local chapter of the National Council of Black Lawyers and a recipient of the Cleveland NAACP’s Freedom Award.

P. Kelly Tompkins, Class of 1981

Kelly Tompkins serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Cleveland-Cliffs. Previously, he served as chief counsel and later chief financial officer at RPM International Inc. Kelly has served on the board of directors of the CSU Foundation, the CSU External Engagement Committee, and is a past recipient of the CSU George B. Davis Award for Distinguished Service to the University. He chaired the CSU|LAW Visiting Committee for six years and co-launched the law school’s Fund for Excellence in 2009. He delivered the law school’s commencement address in 2005 and received the CSU|LAW Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. He currently serves as vice-chair of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors with current Board Chair Brent Buckley (1982).

Legal Writing Professor Emerita Barbara J. Tyler, Class of 1989
Legal Writing Professor Emerita & Director of Legal Writing (Retired), CSU College of Law

Prof. Barbara J. Tyler was a mother of six, working weekends and nights as an RN in MetroHealth’s Emergency Room when she entered law school. She worked until graduation and often attended classes with her son Thomas Tyler ’88, who was a year ahead of her. After graduating magna cum laudeshe clerked for the Honorable Blanche Krupansky of the 8th District Court of Appeals. Feeling the irresistible pull of teaching, she returned to Cleveland-Marshall in 1991 to teach Legal Writing and Research. In 2001, she became Director of the seven-person department. Under her leadership, department members moved from staff employees to professors who earned long-term appointments. She developed and implemented a mandatory third semester writing requirement. Prof. Tyler published in many prestigious law reviews, her work often focusing on medical issues. She aided scores of law students in publishing their notes nationally. She earned the Stapleton Award for Teaching Excellence (2005) and Delta Theta Phi “Most Outstanding Law Professor in the Nation” (2005-2006). Prof. Tyler served as Advisor to the Journal of Law and Health for seven years and upon retirement was honored with a yearly Journal award in her name given for the best student note. Since retiring, she has taught in CMBA 3Rs program for ten years, worked for Legal Aid, and co-chaired a non-profit Board.

Dean Willis Vickery (1857-1932)

Willis Vickery was influential in the founding of Cleveland Law School and became dean upon Charles Bentley’s passing in 1914. He practiced law with his brother in Bellevue, Ohio, before moving to Cleveland in 1896, where he was associated with two local law firms. In 1909, he was elected to the bench of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas of the fourth subdivision of the third judicial district, and in 1918 he won a seat on the Ohio Court of Appeals, where he rendered decisions in many important cases that affected the welfare of the city of Cleveland. He remained on the court and served as dean until his death in 1932; his son Melville Willis Vickery became dean.

Hazel Mountain Walker, Class of 1919 (1889-1980)

Hazel Mountain Walker was Cleveland’s first African-American female school principal and one of the first black women admitted to the bar. She pursued her law degree not, she said, to practice law, but to “prove that black women could earn law degrees.” She later earned a teacher’s certificate and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Reserve University. Her true calling was in education, especially teaching the children of non-English-speaking parents and African-American children newly arrived from the South. In 1936, she was appointed principal of the Rutherford B. Hayes School and in 1954, she was chosen to head the George Washington Carver School. Active in the Cuyahoga County Republican Party and a member of its executive committee, she was one of the first black women admitted into the Women’s City Club.

Stephen E. Walters, Class of 1983
President and Managing Partner, Reminger Co., LPA

Steve is the President and Managing Partner of Reminger Co., L.P.A., and has served in this position since 2005. While serving in this capacity, Reminger has grown nine new offices for a total of 16 in four states. Steve has over 35 years of legal experience in a wide variety of areas. His legal practice remains focused on the representation of medical professionals and facilities. Steve continues to be a recognized thought leader in the legal community and is featured in the media outlining his thoughts on successful leadership.  He has been recognized and listed in the Best Lawyers in America since 1999.  He has been recognized in Ohio Super Lawyers since 2006.  He has also been named one of the Top 50 Attorneys in Cleveland. Steve is President of the Reminger Foundation, a philanthropic organization which was founded in 2009 under his leadership.  The Foundation supports worthy causes throughout the geographical reach of Reminger’s practice.

Judge Lesley Brooks Wells, Class of 1974
Senior Judge (Retired), United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Judge Lesley Brooks Wells earned a Bachelor of Arts from Chatham College (now Chatham University), and her J.D. from CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She worked as a federal court intern through the Women’s Law Fund while completing her law degree. After graduation, Judge Brooks Wells maintained a private law practice, served as both director of the ABAR III Civil Rights Litigation Support Center and an adjunct professor at C|M|LAW, and as an adjunct assistant professor at CSU’s College of Urban Affairs. After serving more than a decade as a judge for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Brooks Wells for a judgeship in 1993. She was confirmed by the Senate in February of 1994, receiving her commission the following day to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Twelve years later, she became a senior judge. Judge Brooks Wells retired from service in October of 2015.

David C. Weiner
Weiner Law, LLC
Member, C|M|LAW Board of Visitors

After attending Georgetown University Law Center and clerking for Senior Circuit Judge E. Barrett Prettyman on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Dave came to Cleveland in 1969, joining Hahn, Loeser, Freedheim, Dean and Wellman, where he practiced large case litigation for over 30 years. Some of his cases were noteworthy and ground breaking. He served as the firm’s Manager Partner until joining Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 2003, where he continued his litigation practice until retiring in 2010. Since then he was of-counsel to several firms, hanging up his active career in 2019. His professional activities have included chairing the ABA Young Lawyers Division and its Litigation Section, serving as a delegate to the ABA House of Delegates for over 30 years, and being the Sixth Circuit Representative on the Federal Judiciary Committee. He served as President of the Cleveland Legal Association and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation. For the past ten years, he has been an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall, teaching trial advocacy. He is a board member of both the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and of Our Lady of the Wayside. Dave is an avid golfer, and he has sponsored and served on golf fund raisers for the American Cancer Society and the Hunger Network. Most proudly, he has three wonderful children who are excellent citizens and three adorable grandchildren. He feels blessed to have been a lawyer in this community and is proud of the profession.

Maurice M. Weltman, Class of 1926 (1905-1992)

Maurice Weltman was a key partner in the firm now known as Weltman, Weinberg & Reis (WWR). WWR is a nationally-recognized, full-service collections firm with more than 65 attorneys and 650 total employees representing nearly every type of creditor, including some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., in bankruptcy, consumer and commercial collections, litigation, and real estate default matters. Weltman joined the firm of Gardner & Spilka and became a partner in the mid-1950s. His son Robert joined the growing practice in the mid-1960s and his grandson, Scott, currently serves as the firm’s Managing Partner. Weltman served as an officer for both the Commercial Law League of America and Cleveland Retail Credit Stores Association, and was a founding member of the Menorah Federal Credit Union. In 2005, Robert Weltman established the WWR Endowed Scholarship Fund at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in honor of his father.

Professor Emeritus Stephen J. Werber
Professor Emeritus, CSU College of Law

Stephen J. Werber is a graduate of Cornell Law School (JD, 1964), New York University (LLM, 1970), and the Siegal College of Jewish Studies (MA, 2003), where he earned the Polster Award for Academic Excellence. Prior to joining the faculty in 1970 he was an FCC Staff Attorney and later became an Associate at a New York law firm with a focus on products liability litigation. At Cleveland-Marshall, he served as Assistant Dean (1973-74), Faculty Advisor to the Moot Court of Governors (1981-2001), Faculty Advisor to the Journal of Law and Health (1993-1999), and was active in many aspects of faculty and overall school governance. He took emeritus status in 2006, but continued to teach through Spring 2013. Prof. Werber is widely published in two of his three primary teaching areas, Products Liability including Tort Reform and Judaic Law, but more students will remember him teaching almost four decades of Contracts classes. He was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Law Institute; the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where he served on the Bar Admissions Committee and the Sub-Committee on Professionalism; and the William K. Thomas Chapter, American Inns of Court, where he is a founding member and Past President. He is an Honorary Member of the CSULAA. Professor Werber was the first recipient of the Dean Wilson Stapleton Award for Faculty Excellence and a recipient of the Alumni Association’s President’s Award.

Judge Lillian M. Westropp, Class of 1915 (1884-1968)

Lillian Westropp, together with her sister Clara, founded this country’s first savings bank run by and for women in 1922, which was later reorganized as the Women’s Federal Savings and Loan Association. She served as its president and board chairman until her death. As a lawyer, she specialized in real estate and finance law. In 1931, she accepted an appointment to fill a seat on the Cleveland Municipal Court. Subsequently elected and reelected, she retired from the bench in 1957. She was one of the early female members of the Cleveland Bar Association and the first woman to serve on its executive committee. She helped organize the Women’s Lawyers Club of Cleveland, the League of Women Voters, the Women’s City Club, and many other political, business, and charitable organizations active in the cause of women’s rights.

Dean Frederic P. White, Jr.
Dean Emeritus, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law
Former Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Frederic White served as Professor of Law and Associate Dean at Cleveland-Marshall for 26 years, teaching property, wills and trusts, land use control administrative law, local government law, and criminal law. Prior to his CSU|LAW service, he was an Associate Attorney with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs). After CSU|LAW, he became Dean and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law and at Texas Wesleyan School of Law, located in California and Texas, respectively. He retired as a Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law. Besides being a practicing attorney, he also is an experienced arbitrator and mediator. He was an Inaugural Member of 100 Black Men of Cleveland and served as President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association (NSMBA), as a member of the ABA Law School Accreditation Committee, on the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and as a member of the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Selection Board. In addition, he has served as a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury Forman and on Merit Selection Panels for U.S. Magistrate Judges in Ohio and Texas. He received the NSMBA Trail Blazer Award, the Stapleton Award for Faculty Excellence, the Wiley Manuel Law Foundation Legal Pioneer Award, and the Distinguished Columbian in Teaching Award from the Columbia University School of Law. He is the author of four books, including Ohio Landlord Tenant Law, first published in 1984, now updated and published annually for 23 consecutive years. Upon his departure from CSU|LAW, he was honored to have the law faculty establish the Frederic P. White, Jr. Scholarship in his name.

Judge George W. White, Class of 1955 (1911-2011)

George White was the first African-American appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College, he worked his way through law school on the G.I. Bill. Following graduation, he went into practice with Charles W. Fleming (1955). In the 1960s, he served as a referee and investigator in Domestic Relations Court and for five years on one of Cleveland’s most contentious City Councils. He was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 1968 and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the District Court. In 1995, he was named the District Court’s Chief Judge, making him the district’s first African-American Chief Judge. Among many acclaimed judgments, he is credited with ending Cleveland’s 25-year desegregation case. After his 1999 retirement, he headed the Cleveland Browns Foundation and helped create the United Black Fund of Cleveland.

Elizabeth Williams, Class of 1908 (1871-1920)

Elizabeth Williams graduated from Cleveland Law School in 1908 and is believed to be the school’s first female graduate. She was admitted to the bar in the state of Ohio that same year, first practicing with the firm of Lozier & Lozier. In 1913, along with Mary Grossman (1912), Williams applied for membership in the Cleveland Bar Association; both were elected members at a 1914 meeting. She was also a member of the Ohio State Bar Association. She joined the firm of Smith, Taft, and Arter, and in 1915 married John A. Smith, the firm’s senior partner. Active in the women’s suffrage movement, she served as a delegate on behalf of the Woman’s (City) Club of Cleveland at its national convention in Atlantic City in 1916.

Assistant Dean Gary R. Williams, Class of 1984
Assistant Dean and Bar Exam Preparation Director (Retired), CSU College of Law

Gary Williams, a name familiar to those who attended Cleveland-Marshall during the late 1990s and early 2000s, taught as an adjunct professor and later served as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Bar Passage. With the help of faculty and staff, he developed programs to help students succeed in law school and pass the Ohio Bar, including developing and teaching CSU|LAW’s first for-credit bar preparation course. He regularly drove to Columbus to give aid and comfort to graduates taking the bar exam. As a result of his course and its progeny, Cleveland-Marshall’s bar passage rate improved significantly. The College’s bar assistance fund established at his retirement, bears his name. Gary has lived a life of public service. After law school, he served as assistant prosecutor, then as assistant law director for the City of Cleveland, and as a trial lawyer for the United States Solicitor’s Office. He was the first African American to serve as chief prosecutor, then chief counsel, for the City of Shaker Heights, Ohio. After retiring from Cleveland-Marshall, Williams served on the Board of ACLU of Ohio and as executive director of Sankofa Fine Art Plus, a small non-profit whose mission is to revitalize distressed communities with public art. He currently serves on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.

F. Scott Wilson, Class of 1981
Principal, Uplands Consulting LLC
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Scott Wilson’s career was devoted almost entirely to aviation, particularly aircraft finance, working in the corporate legal departments of British Aerospace and then Pratt & Whitney for 36 years before retiring in 2017 and founding his own consulting company. He was involved in several legal reform efforts, especially as an advisor to the US delegation in the development of the Cape Town Convention, which sought to standardize aircraft financing worldwide and which came into force in 2006. As a member of the International Registry Advisory Board, he was intimately involved in the creation of the International Registry, one of the earliest entirely electronic mortgage registries, based in Ireland. He also participated in the numerous post-9/11 US airline bankruptcies of the large US airlines, serving on creditors committees in the United and Delta bankruptcies, among others. Scott remains active in non-profit pro bono legal efforts, was a member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors for many years, and has been a member of the Board of Governors of the ABA Air and Space Law Forum.

Sonali B. Wilson
VP, General Counsel and Board Secretary, Cleveland State University

Sonali serves as CSU vice president, general counsel and board secretary, joining CSU in 1996 as a lecturer at C|M|LAW and moved in-house in 1997. She served as board secretary from 2000-2011 and became general counsel in 2004. She was reappointed board secretary in 2020 and is a C|M|Law Leader-in-Residence. She was an associate at Arter and Hadden prior to coming to CSU. Sonali holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She received The Norman S. Minor Bar Association’s 2013 Trailblazer Award; 2014 Women of Color Foundation’s Professional Woman of the Year award; and named a 2015 YWCA Woman of Achievement.  In June 2020, Sonali received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and named among Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 2021 Notable General Counsels. Sonali is active on several community and education-related boards, including The United Way of Greater Cleveland, serving as its Public Policy and Advocacy Chair, and member of the UWGC Philanthropic Fund; the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation Board; Trustee emerita of the Cleveland Institute of Music; and the Cuyahoga Community College Board of Visitors.

Marie Remington Wing, Class of 1926 (1885-1982)

Marie Remington Wing, the daughter of Cleveland Law School founding faculty member Judge F.J. Wing of the District Court, Northern District of Ohio, was involved in fighting for gender equality all of her adult life, first in her work for the Cleveland YWCA and then as director of all branches of New York’s YWCA. Returning to Cleveland in 1922, she enrolled in Cleveland Law School and, while still a student, became the second woman ever elected to the Cleveland City Council. Following her graduation, she continued her advocacy for women and children as Executive Secretary of the Consumers’ League of Ohio, an organization promoting minimum wage guarantees and workplace rights of women and children in industry. From 1937-1953, she served as the first regional attorney for the Cleveland Social Security office and maintained a private practice until 1956.

Sonia Winner, Class of 1990
President and CEO, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Vice-Chair, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Sonia Winner became the tenth Director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in July 2018. Prior to this appointment, Sonia served as Acting Director of the Museum beginning in December 2017 after serving as the Chief Development Officer. From 2011 until 2016, Sonia served as the VP for University Development at Columbia University. Sonia also served as Deputy VP for Professional Schools and Programs and Interim VP for University Development. She was part of the senior team that achieved $6.1 billion for the Columbia Campaign, which set an Ivy League record for largest funds raised in a single campaign. Sonia came to Columbia from Case Western Reserve University, where she spent more than a decade serving in key development leadership roles at the Weatherhead School of Management, as well as the Law School. She has worked with high-level philanthropists in East Asia, South Asia, Europe, and South America, as well as in the United States. Before entering the development field, Winner spent many years in law career services, becoming one of the first lawyers in the country to work in this capacity. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Bar Association. She is the past chair of the Young Lawyers’ Section and past president of the Law Placement Association of Cleveland. She also volunteered as guardian ad litem on behalf of abused and neglected children. She served on the state board of the American Civil Liberties Union, attending two national conventions regarding free speech and individual liberties. Sonia currently serves Vice-Chair of the Board of Visitors for CSU|LAW.

Bertram L. Wolstein, Class of 1953 (1927-2004)

Bert Wolstein was a real estate developer, sports team owner and philanthropist who supported numerous charities and nonprofit organizations throughout greater Cleveland over the course of his life. He founded Heritage Development Company and Developers Diversified Realty Corporation, the latter of which became one of the largest developers of shopping centers in the United States. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was majority owner of the Cleveland Force, a Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) team. Along with his wife Iris, he made several extraordinary donations to CSU College of Law, whose building bears the Wolstein name as Bert L. Wolstein Hall. The Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Endowed Scholarship Fund continues to help Cleveland-Marshall students in perpetuity.

Iris S. Wolstein
CEO, Heritage Development Company LLC

Iris S. Wolstein has dedicated six decades to improving and helping future student leaders achieve their full potential as a passionate and transformational philanthropist. Along with her late husband, Bart, Class of ’53, CSU|LAW HOF ’17, Iris has been a steadfast patron of higher-learning institutions across Ohio, including Cleveland State University’s CSU College of Law. In 2004, her gift of $6.25 million created the Bert L. Wolstein Fund and the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Endowed Scholarship Fund at the Cleveland State University Foundation. The funds supported the CSU College of Law Building renovation project and an endowed scholarship fund for students at the College of Law. She has been awarded an Honorary Dr. of Law at Cleveland State University, President’s Award for Visionary Achievement at Case Western Reserve University, and the Distinguished Service Award at The Ohio State University. Other transformational gifts include the Iris S. & Bert L. Wolstein Research Center, United Cerebral Palsy, Kids Kicking Cancer at University Hospitals, Hebrew University, Case Western Reserve University, and The Ohio State University Athletics, and Fisher College of Business. Today, she continues to serve as CEO of Heritage Development Company, a real estate firm founded by Bart.

Margaret W. Wong
Founder and Managing Partner, Margaret W. Wong & Assoc., LLC
Member, CSU|LAW Board of Visitors

Margaret W. Wong, an award-winning immigration attorney, came to America in 1969, with two suitcases and her sister, Cecilia. She worked in various jobs while pursuing her education. After graduating from law school, and being fired 3 or 4 times, she started her own law firm in 1977, with one desk and no secretary. In 40 years, she has built her immigration law practice into one of the top immigration law firms in the United States, with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, New York City, Nashville, Chicago, Memphis, Raleigh, Atlanta and Minneapolis. She is rated in US News Best Law Firms, is rated AV Preeminent, has three honorary Ph.D. degrees, is listed in Best Lawyers in US and Super Lawyers, and was an adjunct professor in Immigration Law.

Leonard D. Young, Class of 1974
Founder & President, Leonard D. Young Co., LLC

Leonard D. Young is a retired corporate lawyer and currently advises not-for-profit corporations on legal issues, board governance, strategic planning, and new employee orientation. Prior to retiring in 2012, Mr. Young served as Director of the Technology Transfer Office and Associate General Counsel for Cleveland State University. Leonard has practiced corporate and international business law in Northeast Ohio for more than 40 years. He was a partner with the law firms of Ulmer & Berne and Walter Haverfield where he chaired the General Counsel Practice Group for each firm. He was the first African American general counsel of a Fortune 500 publicly traded manufacturing company in the State of Ohio when he worked as General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for the Ferro Corporation. He has also served as Senior Corporate Counsel at Reliance Electric Company and Corporate Counsel at AmeriTrust. Leonard is currently a member of the Board of Directors of JumpStart Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit accelerating the success of diverse entrepreneurs, their high-growth companies, and the ecosystems supporting them. Leonard has also served on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Center for Arts inspired Learning, and MOCA Cleveland, and currently serves as Interim Executive Director of The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Education Foundation. Leonard served for six years on the CSU College of Law Visiting Committee and was Chair of the Visiting Committee for three years.

Xenophon “Xen” Zapis, Class of 1954 (Deceased)
Chairman and CEO, Zapis Capital Group

Xenophon (“Xen”) Zapis has lived the American dream. He was born in 1926 to Louis and Mary Hazapis, who had immigrated to Cleveland from Greece in the 1920s. Following high school, Xen was drafted into the Army and served until he received an honorable discharge in 1947. When he returned to Cleveland, Xen enrolled in Fenn College and soon after graduating, explored an opportunity to produce and host his own Greek Radio Program. As he continued to host and produce the Greek radio program, Xen attended night classes at CSU College of Law. Following graduation from CSU College of Law, Xen began to build his law practice and continued to co-host the Greek Radio Program on various stations in Cleveland. In 1963, Xen and three partners established WZAK as Cleveland’s second FM station. For the next 18 years, WZAK would serve as the radio voice of Cleveland’s many ethnic groups, with Xen and wife Lula hosting the Greek Radio Program from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Xen’s company, Zapis Communications, also owned and operated radio stations in Akron, Youngstown, Atlanta, and Boston. In addition to radio, Xen’s lifelong entrepreneurial spirit led to fulfilling business pursuits in real estate development and ownership and management of senior living communities in Rocky River. Throughout his life, Xen served on various boards, including the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, American Contemporary Music Center Development Corporation, Apartment and Home Owners Association, Exchange Club, Cleveland Chapter of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) and the Parish Council of St. Demetrios in Rocky River, Ohio and St. Katherine in Naples, Florida. Xen and Lula also established the Zapis Family Charitable Foundation in 1999 to support charitable organizations in Northeast Ohio.

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