I had the privilege and honor of meeting the Chief on several occasions over the last fifteen years. We were not close personal friends, but we knew each other and a mutual respect was in place. Mine for him much, much greater in scope. When I was sworn in as an attorney in 2002, I had the fortune to shake hands with the Chief (the new lawyers would only personally greet 1 of 3 Justices participating in the ceremony). He pulled me close and whispered into my ear “Glad to see you made it, Jerry.” Believe me, I was too.
The last time I saw the Chief was in the Charlotte, NC airport about two years ago. We were both waiting for a connection back home to Columbus. We chatted about his trip and mine, swapping stories and the casual smalltalk of the importance of family and hard work. Had I known that I wasn’t going to see him again, I would have had a lot more to say and even more to ask. I always presumed I would get to argue a case before him one day. Now, when I enter the Supreme Court to argue, I will feel like there is one chair missing.
From day one of law school and now here, 11 years later, I always felt secure knowing Tom Moyer was at the helm of Ohio’s courts. It always seemed that the Ohio community just felt good about the law, just felt good about its administration, and felt secure in knowing that the Rule of Law would prevail in Ohio with Chief Justice Moyer as Captain.
He had a grand presence about him without ego. He was academic, certain, and steadfast in his logic. He cared very deeply for the State of Ohio and it cared for him as well. He has left the Court much better than he found it and my deepest concern is whether his successor will do the same.
I will miss Tom Moyer and whether consciously or not, so will the State of Ohio.
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