Our thoughts and prayers go out this morning to all those who have been affected by the tragic shootings in Las Vegas.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” —John Maxwell
Each Monday, between now and October 19, I will highlight some of the many extraordinary women and men who will be inducted in our Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (C|M|Law) Hall of Fame (“HOF”).
We hope that you will support our C|M|Law Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration, Thursday, October 19, 2017, 5:30-8pm. at C|M|Law, 1801 Euclid Ave, by purchasing and/or selling tickets, becoming an official sponsor of our inaugural event, and/or purchasing an ad in our Hall of Fame program. Please go to this link to support the event: C|M|Law Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration. I hope you can join us for a great event! It would mean a lot to us!
The below Legends are just a few of our many impressive Inductees. This message is much longer than usual because each of their stories is remarkable. Other Legends have been and will be highlighted in my Monday Morning Messages and our newsletters.
Commemorative Honorees (deceased Legends since 1946 when Cleveland Law School merged with John Marshall School of Law to become Cleveland-Marshall Law School)
· Judge Ann Aldrich –In 1968 Ann Aldrich joined the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty, 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 Judge Patricia Blackmon ’75 (another HOF Inductee). 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 Lillian W. Burke ’51 –Judge Lillian Burke, the granddaughter of a slave, was the first African-American woman to serve on the Ohio judiciary. Following her graduation from C|M|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, C|M|Law awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Law.
· John Deaver Drinko –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 C|M|Law to support the Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, to be held by the Dean. I am very honored to hold this position today.
· Charles R. Emrick, Jr. ’58 –Charles (“Chuck”) 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 C|M|Law Alumni Association and generously endowed the Charles R. Emrick-Calfee Halter & Griswold Professorship held by Professor Mark Sundahl.
· Dan McCarthy, Sr. ’54 – 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 ’38 hired Dan. When Minshall was elected to the U.S. Congress, Dan acquired his practice in 1959, which grew into the firm of McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Haiman (now Liffman). Kenneth Liffman ’79 is Managing Principal of the firm. Dan 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 Dan was a part owner. McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman generously established an Endowed Scholarship Fund at C|M|Law which has helped our students for nearly 20 years.
· Leon Plevin’57 - As a law student at C|M|Law, Leon Plevin worked with legendary personal injury attorney Abe H. Dudnik ’27 (also an HOF Inductee). Following graduation he joined the Dudnik firm, which was the predecessor of Nurenberg Plevin (now Paris) Heller & McCarthy. Following his retirement in 2005, he joined with Frank L. Gallucci III ‘00 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 C|M|Law Alumni Association, and the Plevins generously endowed the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professorship held by Professor Browne Lewis.
· Congressman Louis Stokes ’53 / Mayor Carl. B. Stokes’ 56 – The Stokes brothers perhaps are the best-known and most celebrated graduates of C|M|Law. 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 Reuben M. Payne ’53 (also a HOF Inductee). 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.
· 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.
· Judge Ronald Adrine ’73 – Judge Ron Adrine is a member of a proud C|M|Law legacy family. His uncle Herbert ‘53 and father Russell ’54 (also a HOF Inductee) were C|M|Law graduates. Ron 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 Congressman Louis Stokes. 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. He is the co-author of Ohio Domestic Violence Law and is a nationally-recognized expert on domestic violence issues. He will retire from the Court at the end of 2017.
· Michael Gibbons ’82 - Mike 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 Giffin ’89 / Kerin Lyn Kaminski ‘85 – Karen Giffin and Kerin Lyn Kaminski founded the women-owned firm Giffin & Kaminski in 2004. Karen Giffin serves as Treasurer of the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms and Treasurer of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Giffin has assisted first-year C|M|Law students with Moot Court and serves on the C|M|Law Board of Visitors. Kerin Lyn Kaminski served as President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and currently is a Board Member. She is a founding member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. Giffin & Kaminsky received the Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.
· Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ’80 – Justice 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.
· David Paris ’78 –David Paris is Managing Partner of Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, and started with the firm as a law clerk in the mid-1970s while attending C|M|Law. 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 ’84 and daughter Dana M. Paris ‘13, attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, are also C|M|Law graduates. David was the 2011 C|M|Law Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year and serves on the Executive Committee of the C|M|Law Board of Visitors. Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy generously established an Endowed Scholarship Fund.
· Steven Percy ’79 – Steve 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. Steve 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 theSteven W. Percy Endowed Professorship, held Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, to recognize exceptional work on environmental or energy law.
· Steve Potash ’78 - Steve Potash, President and CEO of OverDrive, formed the idea for his company while attending C|M|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 ’79, daughter Erica Potash ’04, and son-in-law, Anthony Lazzaro ‘04, are graduates of C|M|Law. Steve serves on the C|M|Law Board of Visitors and this Friday, October 6, he will be honored with CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
· Thomas Scanlon ’63 - While attending C|M|Law, Tom Scanlon worked full-time at a manufacturing plant while also working at the law library and serving as Law Review Editor. In 1979, he joined forces with Charles Donahue II ’67 to form Donahue & Scanlon; when Donahue retired, Scanlon partnered with Tim Collins ‘85 to form Collins & Scanlon. Tom 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 Tim 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.
· Mark Smolik ’87 - 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. Before DHL, Smolik was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer of Safelite Group, Inc. Before Safelite, he served as Sherwin-William’s 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 Sozio ’83 - Steve 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, Steve 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 C|M|Law Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors.
· Richard Stovsky ’83 - Rich 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.
· P. Kelly Tompkins ‘81 - Kelly Tomkins 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 C|M|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 C|M|Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the C|M|Law Board of Visitors with current Board Chair Brent Buckley ’82.
This year’s 120 honorees are listed at this link: The C|M|Law 120 - 2017 Inaugural Hall of Fame Class
Please go to this link to support the event: C|M|Law Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration. I hope you can join us!