Judicial Profile: Judge Thomas J. Grady
After nearly 24 years on the bench, Judge Thomas Grady is hanging up his robe this week.
Prior to his time on the bench, Judge Grady served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the civil rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as an advisor to the United States Attorney General.
“You sort of follow your opportunities,” Judge Grady said.
Judge Grady continued pursuing his own path and, with no prior bench experience, successfully ran for Ohio’s Second District Court of Appeals in 1988. He started his first term the next year.
“I had some interest in it before, so I filed and ran an election and won,” Judge Grady said.
Judge Grady has advice for any lawyer wanting to follow in his similar footsteps and become a good judge.
“You have to be neutral, obviously. You have to set yourself apart personally from the issues, and you also have to deal fairly with people,” Judge Grady said.
“Our role is, I think, first and last is resolve a controversy between people in a way that lets the parties and even the person who didn’t prevail walk away and say, ‘Well I may not agree with the outcome or like it, but I can accept it.’ And if you do that, then I think you’ve done your job,” he added.
Judge Grady said he’ll miss his colleagues the most, but they should still see him around as he plans to apply to sit by assignment on cases after he retires.
Judge Grady was born in Springfield in 1941. He graduated from Cleveland State University in 1963 and received his J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1968. Judge Grady served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission from 1968-1973, and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1973-1976. He also served as an advisor to the attorney general of the United States from 1976-1977. Prior to being elected to the Second District Court of Appeals, Judge Grady was in private practice from 1977 to 1988.
Judge Grady serves on the Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Civil Rules Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference. He previously served on the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline and the Commission on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court. Judge Grady has been an adjunct faculty member of the University of Dayton School of Law. He is also a member of the Board of Editors of Ohio Lawyer magazine.
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