LETTER: The law, up close

What a unique opportunity 62 Bellevue High School seniors and their instructor, John Ochenduski, had April 21 when they witnessed o
Commentary
May 2, 2010

What a unique opportunity 62 Bellevue High School seniors and their instructor, John Ochenduski, had April 21 when they witnessed our system of justice in action. Not only did theyobserve the legal arguments of attorneys before the Ohio Supreme Court, when the Supreme Court made a visit to Huron County Common Pleas Court, but they were the only ones from the visiting schools who had a private question and answer session with the Justices. Not many attorneys have that opportunity.

I have had the privilege to argue a couple of cases before the Ohio Supreme Court when Thomas Moyer was the chief justice. I also had the privilege to know Moyer, who passed away on April 2, and I am certain he was looking forward to coming to Norwalk since he was a graduate of the nearby Sandusky High School.

When I was hired in 1975 as an assistant prosecutor by his brother John "Jack" Moyer, the Erie County prosecutor, Thomas Moyer was then counsel for the Ohio Governor and after that became a Franklin county Appellate Court Judge before he took on the powerful Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze for the chief justice job. I was pleasantly surprised when Tom Moyer was elected in 1986 and gave Ohio 24 years of judicial service as the longest-serving state chief justice in the country when he died. I concur with those who knew Chief Justice Thomas Moyer that his sincerity and integrity was above reproach. He was always easy to talk to and would listen to any problems concerning the judiciary.

In 1987, Moyer started the program which allowed the students see the highest court in Ohio hearing cases in a local venue. At the invitation of Huron County Common Pleas Judge James Conway, Huron County was chosen as the 59th venue and I am certain the high school students attending the April 21 session will never forget their experience.

Ronald R. Smith, attorney

Bellevue