Former Supreme Court of Ohio Justice receives state bar’s highest honor

Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who retired in 2012 after 16 years of service on the Supreme Court of Ohio bench, received the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor, the Ohio Bar Medal Award, during the OSBA Annual Convention in Columbus.

“The Ohio Bar Medal recognizes individuals whose service to the legal profession, the community and humanity is unusually exemplary,” OSBA President Jonathan Hollingsworth said. “Not only was Evelyn Lundberg Stratton the first elected woman judge of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, but during her years on the Supreme Court of Ohio, she formed the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts. Her list of accomplishments is long and we are truly grateful for her many contributions to the legal profession.”

Stratton, who practiced as a trial lawyer before her years of service on the bench, is currently of counsel in the Columbus office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP. Her practice areas include health care, litigation and appellate work.

She serves as co-chair of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness, and has also advocated for the development of veterans’ courts. She presently serves as president of the Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project, a nonprofit organization that connects veterans and military families to a statewide system of legal support.

In recognition of her dedication as a public servant, Stratton has received the Congressional Coalition on Adoption’s Angels Award, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Adoption Excellence Award and the Ohio State Association of Veterans’ Service Commissions Outstanding Service Award. In 2008, she also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards honoring American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world. In addition, two awards have been named in her honor: the Justice Stratton Award for Court Security, which has been awarded annually since 2004, and the Justice Evelyn Stratton CIT Champion of the Year, which has been awarded annually since 2012.

Stratton received her law degree from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, and her B.A. from the University of Akron. She has received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from both the University of Akron and Capital University Law School, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Community Leadership in 2013 from Franklin University. Following her years as a trial lawyer and then a common pleas court judge, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1996. Subsequently, Ohio voters elected her to three six-year terms.

“Evelyn Stratton well understands the meaning of service,” said Hollingsworth, “and her efforts have made a big difference to many Ohioans. For example, thanks to her vision and leadership, there are 38 mental health courts operating in Ohio, and she is now advocating for special courts to help returning veterans who struggle with post-traumatic stress and other issues.”

Stratton commented about the OSBA award, “I am deeply honored to receive the Bar Medal Award. It is truly a privilege to be recognized in this way, especially by my friends and colleagues in the profession.” 

Stratton is married to Jack Lundberg and has two sons, Luke and Tyler.

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