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October 2012 CBA REPORT
feature article
I
I
nspired by his uncle and his late
brother’s study of law, Jerome S.
Teller took to law school naturally.
Graduating from the University of Cin-
cinnati College of Law in 1953, he clerked
for both Lindhorst & Dreidame and the
Federated Department Stores before
practicing with Samuel Chalfee.
Throughout his career, Teller was
recognized as a distinguished business
and real estate lawyer providing counsel
to some of the area’s largest businesses
and real estate companies. Uniquely, he
also became a specialist in complex fam-
ily law. His business law experience made
him skilled in handling complex divorces
involving businesses. In certain instanc-
es, he also was able to create new law on
the treatment of complex assets.
In 1980, he jumped at the opportu-
nity to start a firm with long-time friends
Reuven Katz, Joe Brant, and Guy Hild.
Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild has grown to
be an important part of Teller’s legacy.
“Building a fine firm is one of the
things I’m most proud of. It’s been very
By Laura M. Gaffin
Childhood:
Teller was born in Toledo, Ohio and moved shortly
thereafter to Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to Cincinnati
right before his senior year in high school.
Family:
He and Suzanne have been married for 60 years. In
total they have six children and twelve grandchildren.
Honors and associations:
• Former president of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
• Former president of Cedar Village
• Former board chair of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
• Hebrew Union College, Governor Emeritus
• Freedlander Award for OutstandingVolunteer Service to the
Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati
• Community Service Award of the National Conference for Christians and Jews
(now Bridges for a Just Community)
• Hebrew Union College Distinguished Service Award
• Robert V. GoldsteinVolunteer of theYear, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
What he’s reading:
Typically nonfiction, currently has a Russian novel in progress.
What he listens to:
The Cincinnati Symphony and other classical music, but you
may see him at the BlueWisp, since he’s also a fan of jazz.
His hero:
President John F. Kennedy
satisfying for me personally,” remarked
Teller.
Almost more importantly than his
work, Teller has been deeply involved
with a number of charities throughout
the Cincinnati area and nationally. He
was president of the national organiza-
tion HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid
Society, which had him travelling the
world to represent the organization
whose mission is to rescue people of all
faiths who are being deprived. Locally, he
was also president of the Jewish Federa-
tion of Cincinnati and Cedar Village,
both causes important to him.
“All people should take the time to
give back to causes that are important to
them. To really lead a fulfilling life, it’s
important to take on other tasks and put
good into the world,” said Teller.
Since his retirement in 2010, after
30 years with Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild,
Teller has continued to pursue his pas-
sions in volunteer work. Particularly,
fundraising for causes he believes in has
become an important part of his life.
When a 3 year-old girl from Israel was
coming to Cincinnati Shriners for treat-
ment of burns on 95 percent of her body,
Teller raised more than $100,000 to cover
the cost of her family’s stay for treatment.
For young associates looking to have
a long and storied career as well, he offers
this important piece of advice, “Always
be concerned for the client and the
outcome first. You really need to ache for
your client. Everything else will fall into
place if you can do that well.”
Gaffin is the communications director for the
Cincinnati Bar Association.
2012 John L. M uething Lifetime
Achievement in Law Award Winner
Jerome S. Teller
The Teller File
2012Senior Counselors’ Luncheon
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