Ronald W. Dougherty, Canton, received the OSBF’s highest honor, the Ritter Award. (Watch video interview)
As a partner in the Canton
firm of Krugliak Wilkins Griffiths & Dougherty Co. LPA, Dougherty
devotes substantial time and talent to many legal organizations.
Dougherty is a Distinguished Life Fellow and past president of the OSBF, and has served on the OSBF’s Audit and Finance
Committee since 2004. As a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, he
has served on the Council of Delegates and the Board of Governors. Most
recently, he served as the OSBA’s metro chair for the Moyer Legacy Fund
Committee in Canton. He is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar
Association. In 1961, Dougherty served on the committee that raised
funds to construct Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. He continued to
work on behalf of the Pro Football Hall of Fame over many years, serving
as general counsel for four decades and as chairman of its board of
directors from 2006 to 2008.
Merle F. Wilberding, Dayton, received the Award for Distinguished Community Service.
As a senior partner in the
Dayton firm of Coolidge Wall Co., LPA, Wilberding has made numerous
contributions to the justice system and to the community. Over the past
five years he has worked with Mary Lauterbach, mother of murdered Marine
Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, pushing for legislative and
administrative changes to protect victims of sexual assault in the
military. He testified with Lauterbach before the U.S.
House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign
Affairs. These efforts have helped to effect significant legislative
changes in the law and in the administrative directives of the
Department of Defense. In the local community,
Wilberding has participated in the Dayton Bar Association (DBA)
Volunteer Lawyer Program for many years, and has served on the DBA Oral
History Project. He serves as a member of the advisory council of the
University of Dayton School of Law and the advisory council of the
Wright State University College of Liberal Arts. He also serves on the
Montgomery County Board of Library Resources and the Dayton Sister
Cities Committee. He is an active member of Culture Works and a founding
trustee of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation.
Jason W. Given, Coshocton, received the Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under.
Between his work as partner
in the Coshocton law firm of Leech, Scherbel, Peddicord & Given Ltd
and his public service job as the prosecuting attorney for Coshocton
County, Given still finds time to give back to his community. Given
volunteers for the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and First Step
Violence Shelter, and is a member and past president of the Coshocton
Rotary. He serves Coshocton’s professional community as a founding
member of the Coshocton Business Development Foundation, an
organization that encourages investors to buy companies that could be
relocated to Coshocton County. He is also member of the OSBA and a
Fellow of the OSBF.
Denny L. Ramey, Columbus, was recognized as an Honorary Life Fellow of the Foundation.
Having served as the
executive director of the OSBA and treasurer of
the OSBF for 26 years, Ramey has guided both organizations through
numerous changes and expansions. Ramey has also donated his time to many
community and professional organizations. Over the years, Ramey has
served on the executive advisory board for Ohio University’s College of
Business Administration and as a member of the nominating council for
the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He also served on the advisory
board for the Greenbrier resort.
Court Community Service (CCS), Cleveland, received the Outstanding Program or Organization Award.
Originally, CCS began as a
clearinghouse for community service projects in northeast Ohio. Now it
is a place where people who have run afoul of the law can go for a
second chance. This program has led numerous courts to believe that
community service, as opposed to incarceration, is a better way to
rehabilitate someone who has been convicted of a crime. CCS connects
people with convictions from 13 greater Cleveland municipal courts for
anything from traffic tickets to domestic violence with more than 300
nonprofit community service work sites. Instead of being penalized
through incarceration, probation or fines, offenders can provide
restitution by addressing community needs. For example, offenders may
provide services such as feeding the hungry, painting over public
buildings defaced with graffiti or doing yard work for the elderly. In
the past month alone, CCS saved the community nearly a quarter of a
million dollars, conducted educational programs for court referrals, and
oversaw the planting of public gardens and collection of almost 6,000
bags of litter by CCS participants.
The Perry County Free Legal Clinic, New Lexington, received the Outstanding Program or Organization Award.
Judge Luann Cooperrider and
Judge Dean Wilson first brought the idea for a free legal clinic to the
Perry County Bar Association and Southeast Ohio Legal Services to
address the high volume of pro se litigants seeking advice on how to
proceed with foreclosures, divorces, child custody cases and criminal
cases. These two organizations collaborated to create the Perry County
Free Legal Clinic, which provides volunteers from the Perry County Bar
Association and the Southeast Ohio Legal Services to meet with, on
average, 10 to 15 people each month. The volunteers provide for the pro
se litigant information and advice about how the legal system works. This
program has helped those individuals who cannot afford to hire legal
counsel but do not qualify for court appointed counsel.
About the OSBF
As the charitable arm of the
OSBA, the Foundation advances the philanthropic
interest of the Ohio’s lawyers to recognize excellence, improve the
justice system and enhance public understanding of the law. For more
information about the OSBF, please visit www.osbf.net.