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Firm News

Sanford E. Watson to Receive NSMBA 2019 Trailblazer Award

October 2019

Tucker Ellis LLP is proud to announce that partner Sanford E. Watson will receive a 2019 Trailblazer Award from the Norman S. Minor Bar Association (NSMBA). Each year, NSMBA recognizes Trailblazers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of diverse legal professionals and are committed to advancing diversity in the legal field. Mr. Watson will accept the award at the Trailblazer Luncheon on November 1.

A recognized leader in diversity and inclusion, Mr. Watson chairs the Tucker Ellis Equity & Inclusion Committee, which he helped launch more than a decade ago. Under his leadership, the firm’s diversity initiatives have earned both national and local awards, including the Defense Research Institute’s Law Firm Diversity Award, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Diversity Circle Trailblazer Award, and the NSMBA’s Community Partner of the Year Award. An active member of NSMBA, Mr. Watson has served the organization as vice president, president-elect, and president.

“The Norman S. Minor Bar Association has been an essential part of my legal career from the very beginning,” he said. “What we do for one another is pay forward what was done for us by ensuring that Black lawyers play an integral role in the advancement of our profession and our community – and that’s what NSMBA continues to do for me. I am truly grateful.”

Tucker Ellis Managing Partner Joe Morford said, “Sanford consistently volunteers his time and talents to shaping and advancing diversity initiatives both within the firm and in our legal community at large. We’re proud that NSMBA has selected him for this honor.”

A member of the firm’s Trial Department, Mr. Watson defends clients in product liability and business litigation in federal and state courts. Before joining Tucker Ellis, he served as Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland and later as Director of Public Safety.

Mr. Watson’s previous diversity awards include the Inclusion Innovation Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the Leading by Example Award from the National Black Law Students Association, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Chapter. Antioch Baptist Church selected him as Man of the Year in 2009, and Savoy Magazine named him among the Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2015.

Mr. Watson earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center and his undergraduate degree at Morehouse College.