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Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Jan 21, 2021

Thank you for joining us for the 81st Annual Joint Ceremony of the Toledo Bar Association, Lucas County Bar Association, Thurgood Marshall Law Association, Toledo Women’s Bar Association to pay tribute to the members of the Bar who have passed away during the last year. Due to the status of the health pandemic, the Memorial Committee has released a pre-recorded video below. 

John A. Coble
Pastor Elizabeth Rand of Monroe Street United Methodist Church

John A. Coble
Krysten E. Beech
William G. Meyer
John A. Coble




Walter J. Kosydar    
Memorial Start Time:  2:39
September 17, 1929 – March 27, 2019
Admission to bar:  May 5, 1973
    Gary McBride, Chair 
    Hon. Jack Puffenberger
    Jack Wanick

Charles J. Mira    
Memorial Start Time:  5:51
December 12, 1957 – May 23, 2019
Admission to bar:  November 1, 1983
    Jack Wanick, Chair
    Steve Serraino
    Christopher Parker

John M. Curphey    
Memorial Start Time: 8:10
June 8, 1927 – July 3, 2019
Admission to bar:  August 17, 1953
    James D. Curphey, Chair
    Hon. Jack Zouhary
    James E. Brazeau

Paul David Giha    
Memorial Start Time: 10:39
February 23, 1938 – August 9, 2019
Admission to bar: October 17, 1964
    Joseph Dawson, Chair
    Jude Aubry

Kenneth W. Phillips    
Memorial Start Time: 12:05
December 31, 1957 – August 17, 2019
Admission to bar:  November 6, 1989
    Patricia Horner, Chair
    William G. Meyer
    Christopher Parker

William Byrne    
Memorial Start Time: 14:00
July 31, 1948 –August 24, 2019
Admission to bar:  November 6, 1981
    Hon. David Lewandowski, Chair
    Ronald McCourt
    Alan D. Mutchler

George F. Runner    
Memorial Start Time: 16:54
November 18, 1946 – September 13, 2019
Admission to bar:  November 7, 1975
    Raymond A. Runner, Chair
    James Yavorcik
    Michael A. Bruno

Philip R. Joelson    
Memorial Start Time: 18:55
April 19, 1934 – December 3, 2019
Admission to bar: May 25, 1961
    H. Buswell Roberts, Jr., Chair
    Christopher Parker
    Catherine Garcia-Feehan

Peter L. Moran    
Memorial Start Time: 21:19
March 12, 1925 – December 12, 2019
Admission to bar:  March 25, 1953
    Mary Beth Moran, Chair

John Lyndal Hagemeyer    
Memorial Start Time: 23:06
April 9, 1926 – February 10, 2020
 Admission to bar:  August 21, 1952
    R. Jeffrey Lydy, Chair
    Carl N. White
    Michael A. Bruno

Earl N. Witzler    
Memorial Start Time: 25:15
March 5, 2929 – February 28, 2020
Admission to bar:  September 5, 1956
    Krysten Beech, Chair

Mark Duane Wagoner, Sr.    
Memorial Start Time: 27:02
April 4, 1943 – March 18, 2020
Admission to bar:  November 2, 1968
    Cathy Garcia-Feehan, Chair

Rabbi Alan Mayor Sokobin    
Memorial Start Time: 31:00
March 8, 1926 – April 3, 2020
    Cathy Garcia-Feehan, Chair
    Michael A. Bruno

Brandon Grey Schnorf    
Memorial Start Time: 36:14
August 19, 1931 – April 20, 2020
Admission to bar:  October 9, 1958
    Kevin Ferguson, Chair
    Michael A. Bruno
    Christopher Parker

Phillip S. Oberlin    
Memorial Start Time: 41:45
April 11, 1933 – April 29, 2020
Admission to bar:  October 7, 1959
    Krysten Beech, Chair

Richard J. Sullivan    
Memorial Start Time: 42:55
November 14, 1931 – April 14, 2020
Admission to bar:  October 9, 1958
    Jack Wanick, Chair
    Michael A. Bruno
    Christopher Parker

Keithley B. Sparrow    
Memorial Start Time: 45:07
June 11, 1946 – June 13, 2020
Admission to bar:  May 7, 1979
    Donna M. Engwert-Loyd, Chair
    Eric E. Marks

Dorothy B. McCrory    
Memorial Start Time: 49:07
April 19, 1938 – June 15, 2020
Admission to bar:  May 5, 1960
    Kurt M. Young, Chair
    Hon. June Galvin

James Porcello, Jr.    
Memorial Start Time: 52:16
October 3, 1951 – June 16, 2020
Admission to bar:  November 4, 1977
    Charles R. Schaub, Chair
    Christopher D. Marriott
    Patrick P. Pacella

Richard G. Farrar    
Memorial Start Time: 54:44
June 29, 1935 – June 26, 2020
Admission to bar:  October 19, 1966
    John Naayers, Chair
    William M. Connelly
    Michael A. Bruno

Scott Edward Spencer    
Memorial Start Time: 57:46
January 11, 1948 – July 2, 2020
Admission to bar:  November 2, 1979
    Lorin Zaner, Chair
    Richard Walinski
    Kenneth Mickel

John M. Carey    
Memorial Start Time: 1:00:00
March 4, 1951 – July 30, 2020
Admission to bar:  April 28, 1978
    Ann McCauley, Chair
    Hon. George Glasser (retired)
    John J. McHugh, III

Hon. James D. Jensen    
Memorial Start Time: 1:02:42
February 26, 1943 – August 6, 2020
Admission to bar:  May 2, 1970
    William G. Meyer, Chair
    Christopher Parker
    John Coble

Peter M. Zaums    
Memorial Start Time: 1:05:30
July 10, 1944 – August 9, 2020
Admission to bar:  May 5, 1973
    Joseph Dawson, Chair

Hon. Frederick H. McDonald    
Memorial Start Time: 1:07:48
August 8, 1943 – August 11, 2020
Admission to bar:  December 30, 1968
    Charles McDonald, Chair
    Guy Barone
    Joe Stancati

Hon. Peter M. Handwork    
Memorial Start Time: 1:11:18
December 2, 1941 – September 5, 2020
Admission to bar: October 19, 1966
   Tom Handwork, Chair
   All of Judge Handwork’s bailiffs, staff attorneys and law clerks in the Common Pleas and Appellate Division.
   The Judges and attorneys with whom Judge Handwork practiced, participated and mediated during his career.


Download Program



Posted by: Donna Williamson on May 11, 2021

We are experiencing a delay in the delivery of the May edition of TBA News due to the U.S. Postal Service.  The printed copies were dropped at the Detroit USPS Processing Center on May 3rd and should have arrived some time ago.  We apologize for this inconvenience.  To view a PDF of the newsletter immediately, click here.  We are hopeful the print version will arrive shortly. 

Posted by: Gina Scherzer on May 5, 2021


2021-2022 Nominations

First Vice President:
Sarah K. Skow
Second Vice President:
Cindy M. Kirby
Robert C. Tucker
Michael E. Bryant 
Jeremiah P. O’Brien
Krysten E. Beech
Tarik A. Kadri
Hon. Christine E. Mayle
Joseph W. Shinaver, Jr. 
Kyle A. Silvers
Carasusana B. Wall
LaTanya R. Wilson
Craig M. Witherell

The 2021 Annual Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Under the Toledo Bar Association Code of Regulations, First Vice President Hon. Myron C. Duhart, will become president for 2021-2022.  
Electronic Voting
In accordance with Article VIII, Section 2, a ballot and instructions for voting will be sent to the members by electronic means, on or about May 5, 2021.

  • All full members and retired members of the Toledo Bar Association will receive a ballot via the email address on file with the TBA. 
  • Biographies of each candidate will be posted on the Toledo Bar’s website, linked above. 
  • A personal link will be generated for each member to the ballot on the TBA’s polling site. Links are not transferable and may be used only once. 
  • Voting is completely anonymous and secure. 
  • Members who do not have an email address or who may be inconvenienced by electronic voting may request a paper ballot to be mailed. Please contact Gina Scherzer at 419-244-1044 or 
  • Questions may be directed to Toledo Bar Association Executive Director, Brad Lagusch, at 419-242-9363 or, or to Nominating Committee Chair Peter G. Rost at


Posted by: Joseph Dawson on Apr 6, 2021


Recent disciplinary cases have underscored and differentiated what seemed like a hyper-technical Advisory Opinion regarding how to treat “flat fees”. The opinion, 2016-1, and the Vagotis decision are attached.

A technical reading of these documents sets out that if your fee agreement references “flat fee”, the fee should be deposited in your trust account. If your fee agreement references “earned upon receipt”, the fee should be deposited in operations.

BOTH AGREEMENTS, require the language from 1.5(d)(3) that “if the lawyer does not complete the representation for any reason, the client may be entitled to a refund of all or part of the fee based upon the value of the representation pursuant to division (a) of this rule.” BOTH AGREEMENTS therefore must be in writing.

Note that the Advisory Opinion recognized that a flat fee can be deemed to be “earned upon receipt” - presumably for how it is deposited. However, another recent decision, Petracci, also attached, found that a flat fee of $75 – a one&done – that was not deposited in trust was a 1.15 violation, requiring deposit in the trust account. Given the caselaw, the Advisory Opinion will not be much of a defense to depositing a flat fee directly into operations.

The safest practice is to deposit the flat fee in trust, and pay yourself upon completion – which may be as soon as the next day after payment/completion of representation. Again, if you want to continue with the flat fee concept, deposit it in trust going forward. If you want to continue with direct deposit into operations, limit it to “earned upon receipt” fee agreements. DO NOT use “earned upon receipt” agreements for fees paid in payments.

Please note that the grievance in Vagotis was filed by the client because the attorney failed to communicate. Had Attorney Vagotis maintained communications, she could have learned of these distinctions in a CLE program. Just sayin’.



Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Mar 18, 2021

Pursuant to Article X, Section 6 of the Code of Regulations of the Toledo Bar Association, you are hereby notified that a vacancy exists on Lucas County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division.

The Judicial Candidates Committee of the Toledo Bar Association will interview those candidates seeking its recommendation to the Governor for appointment on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Interviews will be held remotely via Zoom.

Qualified applicants should contact Brad Lagusch, TBA Executive Director, at 419-418-5301 or via email no later than Monday, March 22, 2021 to arrange for an interview.

Candidates who wish to provide a resume/CV may do so in advance of the interview. The resume/CV may not exceed 2 pages.

Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Mar 9, 2021


The Employers’ Association and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the VProject, are excited to announce a new weekly series of free webinar presentations designed to provide the region’s business community with the latest information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. The Toledo Bar Association along with several TBA members have been actively involved in the VProject. The VProject is a community initiative to educate, motivate, and vaccinate the entire Northwest Ohio corridor to dramatically slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

In each weekly episode, a panel of experts from the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and the employment law and HR/business communities will answer your questions and share the most current information regarding the status of the vaccine rollout in our area. Each week, you will get to hear from a different panel of experts. The information presented each week will be updated as we progress into the vaccination process. The presentations will not be identical from week to week.

Presented in partnership with:

March 3, 2021

  • With Amy Luck, Labor & Employment Attorney, RCO Law;
  • Bob Bethel, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice-President of HR and Learning Services, The Employers’ Association

March 10, 2021

  •  Ray Arce, Labor & Employment Attorney, Marshall Melhorn;
  • Carl Habekost, Labor & Employment Attorney, Bugbee & Conkle, LLP;
  • Andrea Gurcsik, Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition, First Solar

March 24, 2021

  • Mechelle Zarou, Labor & Employment Attorney, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP;
  • Alicia DeCant, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP, Global HR Director, Libbey

March 31, 2021

  • Jim Yates, Labor & Employment Attorney, Eastman & Smith Ltd.;
  • Sarah Pawlicki Labor & Employment Attorney, Eastman & Smith Ltd.;
  • Michelle Leonard, VP of HR & Integration, NAMSA

REGISTER for one event or the entire series at:

T 419.243.8191
300 Madison Avenue, Suite 200, Toledo, OH 43604

Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Feb 8, 2021


Jon Balcerzak


Rena Laws


Zach DeSilvis


Hometown: Toledo, Ohio 
Undergrad:  Ohio University
Law School: University of Toledo

Areas of Interest: Estate Planning, Business, Criminal and Bankruptcy 

I hope to use this experience to create a solid practice for myself while working on interesting matters. I am looking forward to picking up new tips and tricks from the many experienced attorneys in the area. Finally, I hope to get to know more members of the Toledo legal community.

I am a sports junkie. I am a big Detroit Lions and Tigers fan. My goal is to see a Lions game at every single NFL stadium.










Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
Undergrad: Western Michigan University
Law School: University of Toledo

Areas of Interest: Family Law, Juvenile Law, Criminal Defense

I am hoping to gain skills to develop my own private practice, such as networking and firm management, to help serve the community of Toledo. Throughout my time in law school, I explored my interest in community advocacy with my legal education. I am hoping to continue this in my practice, so the TBA Fellowship seemed like the perfect fit. I am also doing the Toledo Legal Aid Society fellowship as well.

I spend the majority of my free time with my partner, Drew, and my cat, Lincoln. We plan on getting a kitten soon! I enjoy reading, playing video games, crafting, and watching TV. When it is safe (in non-COVID times), I also spend a lot of time with family and friends, and I enjoy attending museums.



Hometown: Newport, Michigan
Undergrad: University of Toledo
Law School: University of Toledo 

Areas of Interest: Real Estate, Contract Disputes, Commercial Business / Business Formation, Landlord Tenant, Personal Injury, and Probate

I hope to use this fellowship opportunity as a stepping stone into the rest of my career as a solo practitioner. I have already been given invaluable guidance on how to start and I am taking in as much information as possible on how to shape my practice in the future. Additionally, I hope to use this year to gain as many connections with the Toledo legal community as possible.

I won Outstanding Clinician of the Year my last semester of law school. I have a wife, Chelsea, and a 1-year-old son, Jax.




Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Jan 8, 2021


2021 TBA Diversity Luncheon - Friday, February 19th
Remember the smell of your grandmother’s cooking, or simply spending hours in the kitchen during family holidays as food is prepared and grabbing a taste before sitting down for dinner? A family recipe is a way to reminisce, to document timeless family traditions, and to bring family and friends together. We’re celebrating the Diversity Luncheon a bit differently this year. We invited members to submit a family recipe to the TBA and tell us why it’s a special recipe so that we can share family traditions with other members. The cookbook can be downloaded here.  

We also encourage members to order lunch or dinner on Friday February 19th from a local ethnic restaurant of your choosing to support our friends in the restaurant industry during this difficult time. Tag the TBA and the restaurant you choose on social media. The TBA will host a virtual happy hour on Friday, February 19th at 7:00pm. Click here to register

Restaurants are a labor of love and are often born through family traditions and recipes. Submit a photo of your receipt/dinner to by midnight on Sunday, February 21, 2021 for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant. A winner will be drawn at random. 

Below is a list of some of our favorite authentic restaurants:

Jamaican Spice
Caribbean Breeze

QQ Restaurant
Jing Chuan
Hot Sizzlin Wok
The China (In Bowling Green)
Bai Du (Perrysburg)
BM Chen
Little Asia
Flower Drum
Ya-Ya’s Kitchen
Balance Grill

Tony Packo’s

Tandoor of India
Star of India
Indian Jewel of Toledo
Bombay Kitchen

Sebatiatno’s Italiano
M Osteria Bar & Lounge
Calvino’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
Inky’s Italian
Mancy’s Italian
Basil Pizza & Wine Bar
Rosie’s Italian

Kengo Sushi & Yakitori
Rayoka Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi
Rice Blvd
Kyoto Ka
Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant
Domo Sushi
Kira Steakhouse
Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi
Tea Tree Asian Bistro

Georgio’s Café International 
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen
The Beirut
Lazeez Mediterranean Cuisine
Grape Leaf Express
Byblos Fine Lebanese
Poco Piatti
Mano’s Greek Restaurant
Sidon Lebanese
Damascene Grill
Tiger Bakery

Lowrider Café
El Tipico
San Marcos
Carlos Poco Loco (Cuban & Mexican)
Cucina de Carlos
El Vaquero
El Camino Real
Mi Hacienda
Cinco de Mayo
Latin Cravings Factory
Chosica Peruvian Restaurant

Josephine’s Soul Food
J Maes Home Cooking
HotBox Bistro
Ruby’s Kitchen
Ubn’s Soul Food

Rose Thai
Bangkok Kitchen
Toledo Thai
Bangkok Cafe

Pho Viet Nam
Pho Noodle
Kay's Table


Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Dec 30, 2020


The Robert A. Kelb Distinguished Service Award, the Toledo Bar Association’s highest award for service to the association and membership, was presented virtually to Thomas G. Pletz on December 30 by TBA president, William G. Meyer. To watch the complete presentation and acceptance of the award, click the video link below.

Thank you, Tom for your continued service and dedication to the legal community and seeing the importance of mentorship in the 'Toledo Way' of practicing law in NW Ohio. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!


Tom Pletz served on the TBA Board of Trustees from 1981-1994. Throughout his years of involvement in the TBA, Pletz has served on numerous committees and continues to volunteer annually at the High School District Mock Trial Competition. In 2003, he co-authored a “legal History of Lucas County” memorial book as TBA 125th anniversary project. 

He was President of the U.T. Law Alumni Board in 1979-1980 and was President of the Toledo Junior Bar Association (1982-83). In 1995 he received the Toledo Junior Bar Association Order of the Heel award as the senior bar member most helpful to young attorneys. Pletz has been admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and is a Life Member of the U. S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference. He served as a Member of the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners for 10 years, and as its Chair (1996-1999), when the Board raised the exam pass standard and added the Multi-State Performance Test. He served 26 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring as a Surface Warfare and Special Warfare Officer with the rank of Commander. Pletz continues to be an active leader in local church groups and area judicial campaigns and has served on several area boards in the community. 

As partner of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, where he has practiced since 1972, Pletz focuses in the areas of constitutional and statutory rights, and in defamation and education law, as well as complex product liability cases, special remedies, and religious organizations. Since 1990, he has been an Acting Judge in Sylvania Municipal Court, for which he has written numerous decisions on a wide variety of civil and criminal law issues. He has been trial counsel of record in more than 40 reported state and federal court appellate decisions.

The Kelb Award is presented by the Board of Directors of the Toledo Bar Association to a member of the TBA who has unselfishly served the Bar Association and its members. The award is named after Robert A. Kelb, who practiced law in Toledo for 58 years. Mr. Kelb’s dedication to service was demonstrated by his involvement with many organizations – fraternal, professional and charitable. In 1943, Robert Kelb was elected as President of the Lucas County Bar Association and in 1968 served as President of the Toledo Bar Association. The recipients are persons who consistently devote time and talents in service to the Toledo Bar Association through work on its various committees.

Posted by: Gina Scherzer on Dec 29, 2020


Board of Directors
Nominations for 2nd Vice President and Toledo Bar Association Board of Directors will be accepted through February 9, 2021. Nominations can be made via self-nomination or by a current TBA member. All nominees must be current TBA members.
TBA Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the Toledo Bar Association’s Trustees Award and Community Service Award, to be presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting in June. The deadline for nominations is March 23, 2021. 
The Trustees Award is given by the Board of Directors to a young member of the Association who exemplifies professionalism in the practice of law and who has demonstrated a commitment to improving the profession through active involvement in the TBA. For past recipients of the Trustees Award, click here
The Community Service Award is presented to a TBA member who demonstrates a commitment to service to community organizations or activities that are not law related. For past recipients of the Community Service Award, click here
Submit All Nominations To: 
TBA Nominations Committee
Peter G. Rost, Chair
311 N. Superior St. 
Toledo, Ohio 43604
Fax: 419-242-3614


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