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All Rise: An Afternoon with Judge Harry A. Hanna

Winter 2019 | Volume 13 | Issue No. 1 - OACTA Quarterly Review
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As lawyers, we hear jokes about our profession all the time. Most are funny because they are clever and often true. I read one recently that attempts to discredit lawyers, but actually outlines how a lawyer can go from good to great: "Good lawyers know the law. Great lawyers know the judge." Knowing the judge does make a great lawyer. Not because the judge will grant favors or ignore the law, but because knowing the judge is necessary to appreciate the full picture, including the needs of the court and the best means to meet those needs when practicing law. A great lawyer not only knows the law and applies it to the facts of the case, but she also knows and understands her audience. In the courtroom, the audience starts with the judge.

If you are lucky enough to practice in Cuyahoga County, Ohio then you know Judge Harry Hanna. Judge Hanna always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. Next month he will celebrate 30 years on the bench, 22 spent overseeing Cuyahoga County’s dedicated Asbestos Docket. Judge Hanna considers himself blessed to have an occupation he enjoys, finds challenging, and never boring. During his career he has seen changes to asbestos litigation and gained a valuable perspective into the unique docket he maintains. I recently visited Judge Hanna to talk about his life, career, observations from the bench, and plans for the future. We are all fortunate to learn from my conversation with him.

Read the article here.

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