Two Judges Honored with the Thomas J. Moyer Award for Judicial Excellence
Judge Richard M. Markus
Judge Richard M. Markus
Former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard M. Markus and former Stark County Probate Court Judge R. R. Denny Clunk were honored today as recipients of the 2015 Thomas J. Moyer Award for Judicial Excellence at the Ohio Judicial Conference Annual Meeting in Columbus. Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) President John D. Holschuh Jr. presented the awards.
“Judge Markus and Judge Clunk exemplify the type of commitment to the administration of justice that Chief Justice Moyer exhibited. Judge Clunk’s efforts to modernize the Stark County Probate Court have made it one of the leading probate courts in the state, and Judge Markus, a nationally prominent litigator and accomplished judge, is known for his extraordinary leadership skills and interest in the lives of others. These two jurists are prime examples of judicial excellence in Ohio,” Holschuh said.
The OSBA established the Moyer Award in 2010 in honor of the late chief justice, who was posthumously given the inaugural award, to recognize a current or former Ohio state or federal judge who displays outstanding qualities of judicial excellence including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professionalism, ethics, creativity, sound judgment, courage, and decisiveness.
Judge Clunk has served 31 years on the bench. During his 18 years on the Stark County Probate Court, he brought technological innovation to the court while preserving historical records. Before mandatory continuing legal education, Judge Clunk initiated probate seminars in 1987. He served as president of the Ohio Association of Probate Judges in 1997-1998 and received the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Judge Clunk was also active in the National College of Probate Judges; he served as its president in 1998 and received its highest award, the Treat Award, in 2003. A frequent lecturer for the Ohio Judicial Conference and the National College of Probate Judges, he supported numerous legislative initiatives, including the Guardian Reform Bill, the Adoption Reform Bill, and the elimination of common-law marriage in Ohio. Since leaving the Stark County bench, Judge Clunk has served as a judge by assignment of the Ohio Supreme Court nearly full-time for 13 years.
After Judge Markus served on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and the Eighth District Court of Appeals, six chief justices assigned him as a visiting judge for 40 counties and five appellate courts. In addition to his service as a litigator and judge, Judge Markus is a prolific author with a number of books, including “Trial Handbook for Ohio Lawyers,”and numerous articles to his credit. Also an educator, he was a law professor at Akron, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, and Harvard universities, and presented many hundreds of seminar lectures to lawyers and judges in 42 states and four foreign countries. He has served on faculties for M.I.T., the National Judicial College, the Institute for Judicial Administration (New York University), and the Ohio Continuing Legal Education Institute, and is a co-founder of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
At the beginning of her State of the Judiciary Address during today’s meeting, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor added her congratulations to judges Clunk and Markus and thanked them for their continued service.