Statement issued after Chief Justice Moyer's Death

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CMBA released the following statement following the death of Ohio Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer on Friday, April 2, 2010

In the death of Chief Justice Moyer we have lost an exceptional judge who understood not just the rule of law, but the quality of mercy.  Chief Justice Moyer deplored the influence of money in the law whenever it tipped the scales of justice.  He was a tireless advocate for equal access to justice regardless of a person’s financial ability to pay.  He believed that every lawyer should participate in pro bono legal services for the poor, and he used the strong voice of the Ohio Supreme Court to populate Ohio’s army of volunteer pro bono lawyers.  His actions carried great weight because his endorsement served as a powerful statement about the value of contributing pro bono legal service.  Every lawyer in Ohio knew he believed it is the mission of bench and bar to assist the poor with legal services.  Many thousands of persons who would have been unable to afford legal services have been helped because of his efforts on their behalf.

He also believed in an independent judiciary.  He wanted to take the money out of the elections of judges, and he worked unceasingly against great odds to put in place a political system which would bring to the bench judges who were unbiased by the influence money has in our political process.  He pressed on when many told him his goal could be fruitless.  He did what he felt in his heart was right.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association wishes to express its sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Chief Justice Moyer who feel his unexpected passing keenly.  Our legal community has suffered the loss of a wise and brave lion of our profession.  His example will forever inspire those who follow in his shoes.

Mary K. Whitmer
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Statement issued by the chair of the Judicial Candidate Rating Coalition (JCRC)

Chief Justice Moyer worked for years to improve the process for selecting judges, and his 2009 call for reform signaled his intention to make this project a focus of his attention after his planned retirement at the end of this year. Those of us who care about the quality of judges and justice feel keenly the loss of his leadership and energy on that issue.

Deborah Coleman, Chair