“AMAZING!!! Congrats Judge Melody Stewart.” – tweet by LeBron James @KingJames
My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be ….with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought… that honor is to be earned but not bought.” -U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith
This past week was another great week in our law school’s proud history. (Note: Since Veteran’s Day fell on a Monday, today’s message is being sent Tuesday morning.)
Last Tuesday’s election was historic for our law school. Judge Melody Stewart ’88 and Judge Michael Donnelly ‘92, were elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. They join Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ’80 (the first woman to lead the Ohio judicial branch) as the third Cleveland-Marshall graduate on the Ohio Supreme Court (of 7 total Justices). No law school has as many graduates on the Ohio Supreme Court as Cleveland-Marshall.
Justice-elect Melody Stewart is the first African-American woman to be elected to the Ohio Supreme Court, which caught the attention of LeBron James. See LeBron James Congratulates Cleveland-Marshall Graduate Ohio Supreme Court Justice-Elect Melody Stewart!
Judges Stewart and Donnelly replace two other Cleveland-Marshall graduates – Ohio Supreme Court Justices Terrence O'Donnell '71 and William O'Neill ’80.
We have a long, proud history of Cleveland-Marshall graduates on the Ohio Supreme Court, including, but not limited to, Justice Leonard Stern ’26, Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze, Jr. ’56, Justice Francis Sweeney, Sr. ’63, and Justice James Celebrezze, ’67.
Justice-elect Melody Stewart has served for more than 11 years on the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eighth District. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and as a Cleveland-Marshall 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 Cleveland-Marshall as a lecturer, adjunct instructor, assistant dean, and full-time faculty member. She earned her Ph.D. as a Mandel Leadership Fellow at the Case Western Reserve University Mandel School of Applied Sciences.
Justice-elect Michael Donnelly has served since 2005 on the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas, Ohio’s largest common pleas court. He served as Chair of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, and served on the Ohio State Board of Bar Examiners, the Ohio Jury Instructions Committee, the Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force, and the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association Board of Trustees. He is the recipient of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Hon. William K. Thomas Professionalism Award. He served as an Assistant Cuyahoga Prosecutor and in private practice.
More than 60% of Cuyahoga County judges, as well as many other judges and other elected public servants throughout Ohio, are our distinguished graduates. No law school has as many Ohio elected public servants, both judicial and non-judicial, as Cleveland-Marshall.
It should be noted that many of our graduates throughout Ohio, such as Congresswoman Marcia Fudge ‘83, State Representative Michael Skindell ’87, and State Representative Jeff Crossman, were elected or re-elected to both judicial and non-judicial offices last week, but we have not completed our research, so I regret that I am not able to include a complete list this morning. Nonetheless, we are very proud of all them.
Below are the Cuyahoga County Cleveland-Marshall graduates who were elected or re-elected to the judiciary last Tuesday.
Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eighth District
- Michelle Sheehan ‘93
- Frank Celebrezze Jr. ‘83
- Eileen A. Gallagher ‘87
- Mary J. Boyle ‘89
Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas
- Kathleen Sutula ’76
- John Sutula ‘76
- William McGinty ’79
- Emily Hagan ‘06
- Shirley Strickland Saffold ’76
- John O'Donnell ’93
- Deborah Turner ’99
- Cassandra Collier-Williams ’90
Congratulations and thanks to all our graduates who are current and former leaders in public service. You epitomize our mission, Learn Law. Live Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.
My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our Law School or our University.