April 30, 2013

Bar Association Begins New Year with New Officers, Awards

Jean Geoppinger McCoy of Hebron began her term as the Cincinnati Bar Association’s 122nd president at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, April 26, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland plaza downtown. McCoy is an attorney with the firm White Getgey & Meyer. She will lead a board of trustees for the 2013-2014 Bar year that includes the following new members:

  • Alison A. De Villiers, the chair-elect of the Young Lawyers Section, is an attorney with Beckman Weil Shepardson LLC.
  • Jodie Drees Ganote, the chair of the Women Lawyers Section, is an attorney in private practice with Ganote Law.
  • William R. Graf is a partner with Graf Stiebel & Coyne Co., LPA.
  • Christopher Andrew Wagner, an assistant Ohio Attorney General in the Cincinnati office.

At the Annual Meeting, five attorneys were honored for their work in the Greater Cincinnati community. They include:

  • Jim Johnson was honored with the Themis Award, the Cincinnati Bar Association’s highest honor.  Johnson, a retired senior assistant city solicitor for the City of Cincinnati who now works in the Juvenile Court Division of the Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender, developed the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) program in 1988. This program gives African American high school and college students first-hand knowledge of the preparation needed for law careers by placing them in paid summer internships.
  • David K. Montgomery of Wyoming received the John. W. Warrington Community Service Award for dedicating countless hours to supporting the redevelopment of Oyler School in Lower Price Hill through weekly mentoring and tutoring. Montgomery is a partner at Jackson Lewis LLP.
  • Gerald J. Rapien received the John P. Kiely Professionalism Award for possessing outstanding trial skills and demonstrating the highest degree of professionalism as a litigator.  Rapien concentrated on personal injury, product liability, employer tort liability, pharmaceutical and medical device claims, and other civil litigation throughout his career at Taft Stettinius and Hollister. 
  • D’Anne Uhle and Richard Uhle, Jr. were honors as the recipients of the Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award for their extensive service to the Volunteer Lawyers Project.  Richard and D’Anne approach their pro bono work as a team and have worked a combined 45 years to provide quality legal assistance to many low income resident of their community. 

Founded in 1872, the Cincinnati Bar Association is one of the oldest and largest metro bar associations in the country. Its mission is to maintain the highest professional standards among attorneys, to enhance the professional competence of attorneys, to improve the administration of justice, to serve the needs of members, and to provide law-related service and education to the public.

Editor’s note: For photos or more information on specific individuals listed, please contact Laura Gaffin at 513-699-1391,

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