Three African American Judges from Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals—the Honorable Patricia A. Blackmon, the Honorable Larry Jones and the Honorable Melody J. Stewart—will add yet another event to the city’s roster of Black History Month events when they preside together over a session of the court held at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law on Thursday, February 19.
The event marks the first time in the history of Ohio’s courts that an all-African American panel of judges has served together in an appellate hearing.
The judges will hear attorneys on both sides of three cases under appeal. The first case involves the appeal of a decision to classify a convicted juvenile sex offender as a Tier II offender subject to registration and address verification for 20 years. The second case appeals the reversal of an order of the Civil Service Commission terminating a firefighter’s employment for violating the city’s residency requirement. The third case involves a national car insurance company’s appeal of subrogated benefits awarded a health insurer.
The Cleveland-Marshall session begins at 9:00 a.m. in the law school’s Moot Court Room, 1801 Euclid Avenue, and concludes at 10:30 a.m. Each case will last 30 minutes with each side having 15 minutes to present opposing arguments.
The event is significant in the history of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law as well. There have been only six African American judges on the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals, and three are Cleveland-Marshall graduates, including two of the judges hearing the appeals on February 19: Judge Patricia Blackmon is a 1975 alumna, and Judge Melody Stewart is a 1988 alumna. The late Judge Leo Jackson (1920-96), a 1950 alumnus, is the third.
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Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, founded in 1897 as the Cleveland Law School, was the first law school in Ohio to admit women and one of the first to admit minorities. In 1946, the Cleveland Law School merged with the John Marshall School of Law, founded in 1916, to become the Cleveland-Marshall Law School. In 1969, the Law School joined Cleveland’s new public university as its sixth college and was renamed the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University. Early graduates of the College of Law laid the foundation for the legal profession in Northeast Ohio. Now in its 111th year, Cleveland-Marshall is preparing promising students to be America’s leaders in the 21st century in law, business, nonprofit agencies and government.
For more information on Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, visit www.law.csuohio.edu or call 216.687.6886.
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