2012 annual meeting news

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CMBA Announces Officers and Trustees, Launches Two New Initiatives, Bestows Awards at Fifth Annual Meeting 

CLEVELAND – June 12, 2012 – The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) will install its elected officers and new trustees for the 2012-2013 fiscal year at its Annual Meeting on Friday, June 15. Other highlights of the luncheon include the presentation of the Bar Association’s annual awards and the introduction of two new programs serving the profession and community.

Held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, the CMBA is pleased to welcome special guests Congressman Louis Stokes, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon, and Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor to this year's event.

The incoming officers will be: President Carter E. Strang (Tucker Ellis LLP); President-Elect Jonathan B. Leiken (Jones Day); and Vice President Bruce G. Hearey (Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.).

In addition, six new CMBA Board Trustees will be sworn in and will each serve a three-year term, ending at the 2015 CMBA Annual Meeting. The new trustees are: Karl A. Bekeny (Tucker Ellis LLP), Hon. Michael P. Donnelly (Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas), Gregory G. Guice (Reminger Co., L.P.A.), Marlon A. Primes (United States Attorney's Office), Hon. Joan C. Synenberg (Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas), and Phyllis A. Ulrich (Carlisle McNellie Rini Kramer & Ulrich Co., LPA).

During his inaugural address, Strang will announce the creation of The Louis Stokes Scholars Program and the launch of a Citizens Legal Academy.

“I am proud to continue the CMBA’s strong tradition of service to our profession and community through creation of The Louis Stokes Scholars Program and the Citizens Legal Academy,” said Carter Strang, soon-to-be president of the CMBA. “Through both initiatives, we will increase participation in and appreciation of our legal system while enriching the lives of those that participate.”

The Louis Stokes Scholars Program provides paid summer legal internships for college students who are graduates of the Cleveland and East Cleveland school districts and have an interest in law. The students, called Stokes Scholars, will begin internships the week of June 18 at area law firms, courts and legal nonprofits. At each place of employment, they will work with an attorney – called a Stokes Mentor – who will mentor the intern during the summer and continue to do so during college.

The Stokes Scholars program is co-chaired by Anne Owings Ford of McDonald Hopkins LLC and Ayesha Bell Hardaway of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Funding was provided by a broad spectrum of individuals, firms, foundations and entities. Assistance with locating applicants was provided by College Now and the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education.

The program is named after Louis Stokes, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District graduate, who will be present at the annual meeting and provide remarks about the program bearing his name.

The Citizens Legal Academy is a civics education program to inform and engage the voting public in Greater Cleveland through free public forums conducted by local attorneys and judges who will address “hot button” legal topics such as consumer protection, immigration, domestic relations, foreclosure, criminal law, and others. A goal is to increase voter knowledge of and appreciation for the judicial system and the role attorneys and judges play in it. The Academy is co-chaired by Carole Rendon, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Judge John J. Russo of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

The CMBA’s annual awards presentation will recognize six recipients:

The Honorable William K. Thomas Professionalism Award
Established in 2001 and named for the late Judge William K. Thomas, the Professionalism Award is annually awarded to a lawyer or judge who has significantly contributed to the enhancement of professionalism in the Greater Cleveland legal community by exemplifying the goals of the Ohio Supreme Court's 'A Lawyer's Creed' and 'A Lawyer's Aspirational Ideals'. The winner need not be a member of the CMBA.

This year marks the first time the CMBA will grant this honor to two recipients. One recipient is Ann C. Rowland of the United States Attorney’s Office, who is being recognized for the outstanding and professional manner in which she handled the sensitive matters surrounding the Cuyahoga County Corruption investigation and prosecution. The second award goes posthumously to Michael M. Hughes, Sr. who passed away in February of this year. Hughes, whose actions exhibited the highest standards of courtesy and professionalism, is being honored for his many contributions and years of service to the profession, especially his mentoring of younger lawyers and tireless work on behalf of the CMBA’s Certified Grievance Committee.

Justice for All Volunteer of the Year Awards
The Justice for All (JFA) Committee serves as the oversight committee to coordinate and support the CMBA’s pro bono and public service programs. In this capacity, the committee annually recognizes a volunteer for his/her outstanding service to the community of Greater Cleveland. This year, JFA is honoring two volunteers: G. Christopher Meyer (Squire Sanders (US) LLP) and Marlon A. Primes (United States Attorney’s Office) for exemplary service to the community through programs of the CMBA as well as many other organizations in Greater Cleveland, both in and out of the legal industry.

The Liberty Bell Award
The Liberty Bell Award is presented to a non-lawyer for contributions made to the fair and impartial administration of justice. This year’s recipient is Duane Olderman of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for his continued engagement with and support of the civics education programs in the school district.

President’s Award
Each year, the outgoing president bestows this award to one individual for exceptional service to the Bar and our community. Barbara K. Roman of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis, will present this award to Louise Dempsey for her many years of service through her work with the CMBA, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board and more.

“She has touched the lives of so many in our legal community and it is my pleasure to be able to highlight her contributions with this award,” said Roman. “Louise has been a reliable volunteer, admirable leader, and tireless advocate. She is someone I admire and thank for all the outstanding service and guidance she continues to give to the CMBA.”

The Annual Meeting will include musical entertainment by the Bridge Street Trio starting at 11:30 a.m. and the program will start at 11:45 a.m. For questions or additional details about the Annual Meeting, please contact Rita Klein at (216) 696-3525, ext. 5000.

About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. Serving the largest legal community in the state, the CMBA has more than 5,500 members. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org.