2014 annual meeting news

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CMBA Announces New Officers, Bestows Awards at Annual Meeting 

CLEVELAND – June 11, 2014 – On Friday, June 13, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) will host its seventh annual meeting and inaugural luncheon at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center. The sold-out luncheon will include the introduction of new CMBA leaders and presentation of the Bar Association’s annual awards.

The 2014-2015 officers will be: President Bruce G. Hearey (Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.); President-Elect Anne Owings Ford (McDonald Hopkins LLC); Vice President Richard D. Manoloff (Squire Patton Boggs); Treasurer Joseph N. Gross (Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP); Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion Sonali B. Wilson (Cleveland State University), Vice President of Membership Darrell A. Clay (Walter | Haverfield LLP); and Secretary David R. Watson (CMBA).

In addition, six new CMBA Board Trustees will be introduced and will each serve a three-year term, ending at the 2017 CMBA Annual Meeting. The new trustees are: Caitlin A. Bell (Jones Day); Ann M. Caresani (Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP); Ashley M. Edwards (URS Corporation); Brian M. McDonough (Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office); Jonathan D. Mester (Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., L.P.A.); and Hon. Melody J. Stewart (Eighth District Court of Appeals).

“What an honor it will be to lead this organization, deeply rooted in such a strong legal community here in Northeast Ohio,” said Bruce Hearey, soon-to-be president of the CMBA. “The CMBA is poised to continue its growth as we welcome more legal professionals in and look ahead to the great opportunities for this organization to serve our entire community and to be a hub for all the legal professionals in Greater Cleveland.”

At this year’s event, the CMBA will recognize the following 2014 CMBA award 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 given to a lawyer or judge who has significantly contributed to the enhancement of professionalism in the Greater Cleveland legal community. This year, the selection committee for the award, honored two recipients.

Jacqueline Johnson is First Assistant in the Office of the Federal Public Defender where she works day after day defending the Constitutional rights of both the innocent and the guilty without personal judgment.  Jackie’s commitment to justice through her career and her involvement in the community as a volunteer speak to the essence of Judge Thomas.

Hugh Stanley has inspired a generation of lawyers in his 45 years of practice.  As a partner at Tucker Ellis, he has been described as “a lawyer’s lawyer” and a “gentleman litigator” because he treats everyone, including his adversaries, with respect and dignity.  Hugh’s encouragement and enhancement of professionalism have forever positively shaped our legal community

Justice for All Volunteer of the Year Award

The Justice for All (JFA) Committee serves as the oversight committee to coordinate and support the CMBA’s pro bono and public service programs. It annually recognizes a volunteer for his/her outstanding service to the profession and community. This year, the JFA is honored to present Pamela Daiker-Middaugh, a professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, as this year’s JFA Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. She is being recognized for her dedication as a volunteer for many of the CMBA’s pro bono and community programs, her leadership at the Bar, and for her invaluable assistance in encouraging volunteer service among law students and graduates.

The Liberty Bell Award

The Liberty Bell Award is presented to non-lawyers for their contributions to promote a better understanding of our legal system and individual rights and responsibilities. This year the CMBA will honor two individuals:  Elizabeth (Liz) Niehaus and Sergeant John Smiddy.

Niehaus has volunteered at the CMBA to help ensure the success of the annual Cuyahoga District and Regional Competitions of the Ohio Mock Trial Competition for high school students in Northeast Ohio for more than a decade. Each winter, she dedicates many hours of her time to help prepare for the competitions, making excellent and invaluable use of her organizational skills and great knowledge of the program. Niehaus has been a passionate advocate for the Ohio Mock Trial Program and its positive impact on participating students. She has helped the CMBA inspire and recruit more schools to become engaged in the program.

Sergeant Smiddy, of the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority K9 Unit, is committed to creating positive relationships in the community and in helping educate Cleveland’s youth about their rights and responsibilities. Over the past three years, he has participated in the CMBA’s 3Rs Program in Cleveland high schools, providing practical insight and first hand knowledge to help the students understand the Fourth Amendment and the laws regarding search and seizure. Smiddy also includes a canine demonstration in his presentation at the schools, introducing his canine partner to the students. He sparks discussion, answers questions and engages the students in a true dialogue about the law and its impact on their daily lives.

Community Partner Award

This award is given to honor and thank an organization, business or individual that has provided exceptional support for the values of the CMBA. In appreciation for the continued support of Judge4Yourself.com and the pursuit of judicial excellence, the CMBA presents its Community Partner Award to the Plain Dealer Publishing Co., the Northeast Ohio Media Group, The Call & Post, the Cleveland Jewish News and former Plain Dealer editorial writer Joseph Frolik.

Electing qualified candidates to judicial office is an important civic effort. Each of these community partners has helped to educate the voting public so that they can cast better-informed votes. This award thanks them for their ongoing and unflagging support for Judge4Yourself.com and their help in ensuring the coalition’s judicial ratings reach the largest possible audience.

Roger S. Aaron Award

Created in 2013, this award recognizes Cleveland natives who have made great contributions in the legal profession beyond Cleveland’s borders – all with the idea of connecting Cleveland’s lawyers to the larger Cleveland community around the world. The CMBA is proud to announce Deborah P. Majoras, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary of Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as the 2014 Roger S. Aaron Award recipient.

Majoras was a partner at Jones Day, a Senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission before joining P&G in 2008. In addition to her direct legal work, she is active in the community through various board positions, including the Cincinnati Legal Aid Society, U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Competition Policy Working Group, and Association of General Counsel.

President’s Award

Each year, the outgoing president bestows this award to one individual for exceptional service to the Bar and our community. This year, Jonathan Leiken of Diebold Inc. – the CMBA outgoing president – has chosen to give the award to nearly 200 new lawyers who joined the CMBA this year and who have chosen to make their lives and careers in Northeast Ohio. 

“This award is typically given to someone for their past accomplishments, but I have chosen to recognize this group of lawyers for the great things they will accomplish, right here in the CLE,” said Leiken. “Cleveland’s legal community is deeply interwoven into the fabric of this town, and we look forward to these future leaders continuing the efforts to work together to make Cleveland and our profession better.”

The Annual Meeting program begins at 11:45 a.m. For questions or additional details, please contact the CMBA at (216) 696-3525.

The CMBA thanks the sponsors supporting this year’s sold-out annual meeting. Platinum: All Covered Inc. a Division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc.; Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.; Oswald Companies; Gold: Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP; Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association; Hattie Larlham; Maloney & Novotny; McDonald Hopkins LLC; Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP; Squire Patton Boggs; Tucker Ellis LLP; Ulmer & Berne LLP; Silver: Cady Reporting Services, Inc.; FirstMerit Wealth PrivateBank; Gallagher Sharp; Parker Hannifin Corporation; Thompson Hine LLP; Walter | Haverfield LLP; Supporters: BakerHostetler; Brouse McDowell; Buckley King; Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP; Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co., LPA; Diebold Inc.; Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio; Jones Day; McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA; Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., L.P.A.; Reminger Co., L.P.A.; and Thrasher Dinsmore & Dolan LPA.

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 nearly 6,000 members. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org.