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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.


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