February 4, 2011
Columbus Bar Mourns Federal Favorite
~ written by Sarah Daggett Morrison
When Columbus lost Judge John D. Holschuh last week, it lost more than its most senior judge at the federal courthouse. It lost a role model for professionalism and compassion.
Knowing where Judge Holschuh came from is integral to knowing him. Born in Ironton, Ohio, Judge Holschuh grew up thinking he would work in the iron mills like his father. But scholarships to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and the University of Cincinnati Law School gave him not only opportunity, but a particular interest in education and hard work.
Judge Holschuh's passion for justice and compassion for those less fortunate was obvious to everyone who sat in his courtroom. For example, jurors loved Judge Holschuh. After the conclusion of a jury trial, it was the Judge's practice to meet with the jurors to talk with them about the process and to personally thank them for the service. Many times the jurors' questions focused on the Judge -- including the juror who asked if she could adopt him as her grandfather.
Judge Holschuh also enjoyed a good laugh. As Kelly O'Reilly, a former law clerk said, "Judge Holschuh's secret weapon was his disarming wit. Behind his stately appearance, he had a fantastic sense of humor." In fact, he even liked to be on the receiving end of good-natured ribbing. This past Fall, his current clerks presented Judge Holschuh with a scrapbook made up of pictures that had been photo-shopped that showed the Judge at events in history - including at the signing of the Magna Charta and at the original Constitutional Convention standing near Ben Franklin.
Judge Holschuh was the kind of lawyer and judge that we should all strive to be: capable, kind, dedicated to justice, and able to see the humor in everyday life.