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Professionalism Commission marks 20 years of service

A group of 50 lawyers and judges gathered at the Ohio Judicial Center Sept. 27 for a luncheon commemorating the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism’s 20th year of service.

Founded by court rule in 1992, the 15-member commission works to enhance professionalism among legal practitioners and coordinates a statewide mentoring program.

Participants in the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program attended the event, as well as several current and past commission members and secretaries, and four members of the 18-member Supreme Court Committee to Study Creeds of Professionalism, whose work led to the creation of the commission.

Appointed by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in 1989, the committee was charged with the feasibility of adopting a statewide creed of professionalism. The committee’s December 1990 report to the court included a number of recommendations, one of which called for the formation of a Professionalism Commission.

In remarks to the audience, Ohio State Bar Association member and Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell credited the leadership of the late chief justice for the establishment of Ohio’s professionalism programs.

“It’s difficult to talk about this subject without mentioning Tom Moyer,” he said.

Justice O’Donnell commended the audience members for their work on the commission and as mentors. “I’m so proud of the contributions that you’ve made and the contributions that you will make,” he said.

“Your talents and the efforts you make change the lives of people,” he added, calling their work a gift to the legal profession.

The luncheon included recognition of those who have completed five terms as a mentor in the Lawyer to Lawyer program. Launched as a pilot in 2006, the program pairs newly admitted lawyers with experienced practitioners to boost development of the fundamental skills and core values of professionalism essential to the practice of law.

OSBA member and Commission Chair Michael P. Donnelly of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas also gave remarks, noting the many programs and publications the commission has made available to both members of the profession and the public over the past two decades.

“There is much to be proud of. Thank you very much to all in this room who have made it a reality,” he said.

Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.

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