News & Events
Judge Graham Honored with Distinguished Jurist Award
Presentation was part of the college’s annual Judges’ Day
March 11, 2004
William Bodoh, the Honorable James L. Graham and Dean Nancy H. Rogers
Columbus native and long-time federal judge, James L. Graham ’62 received the William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award on Thursday, March 11, 2004 at the Moritz College of Law. The presentation was part of the college’s annual Judges’ Day, an educational program designed especially for judges and their clerks.
The award, presented by the college’s law alumni society, is given to a graduate whose personal integrity and commitment to fairness, freedom, and equality exemplify the highest ideals of the judicial system. It is named for the late William K. Thomas ’35, a former federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio and the first recipient of the award.
Graham is a double graduate of The Ohio State University, receiving both a bachelor of arts and a juris doctor degree. After graduating from the Moritz College, he spent 24 years as a trial lawyer, specializing in civil litigation, at the firm of Graham, Dutro & Nemeth. During that time, he wrote and lectured extensively on trial practice, tort law, and civil procedure. He also served as a member and as chair of the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners.
He was nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan for appointment to the federal judiciary and was confirmed as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio in November of 1986. Last October, he was elevated to Chief Judge.
Previous recipients of the award, which was established in 2000, in addition to Judge Thomas, include: David A. Katz ’57, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and William T. Bodoh ’64, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio.
Since 1891, the Moritz College of Law has played a leading role in the legal profession through countless contributions made by alumni and faculty. Graduates of the school reside in all 50 states and 20 other countries and include justices of the Ohio Supreme Court, current and former U.S. Senators and Representatives, managing partners in law firms of all sizes, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 corporations, and attorneys with non-profit organizations and public interest law firms.