HONORABLE JAMES M. PORTER, retired judge, age 86, passed away on November 11, 2017. Judge Porter is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Helen M. (nee Adams). Dear father of James E. (Heidi), Thomas W. (Anne), William M. (Marie), and Daniel J. (Molly). Dear father-in-law of Gail McKenna Porter. Loving grandfather of thirteen: Jaime Porter (Nick Gottlieb), Kathleen, Thomas, Sean, Devin (Kathleen), Clare Park (Hyeuo), Keith, Jacqueline, Nicole, Michelle, Danielle, Annabel, and Emaline. Loving great-grandfather of three: Brennan, Sullivan, and Hae-Jin. Dear brother of Thomas (deceased) (Laurin), John (deceased) (Loretta, deceased), Robert (Mary Clare), and Gerald (Miriam). Dear brother-in-law of William Adams (Joan, deceased). Judge Porter was a loving and fun father and grandfather. He will be much missed by his family, who loved him deeply and will proudly carry on his memory and legacy.
Judge Porter grew up in the Nottingham neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side. His father, Emmett, was a Fire Captain for the City of Cleveland. His mother, Mary (nee Connell), was a teacher in the Cleveland Public Schools. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School (1949), John Carroll University (1953), and the University of Michigan Law School (JD 1957), where he was senior editor for the Law Review. Judge Porter excelled at football, baseball, and boxing and was an avid lifelong golfer. He proudly served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army for two years, stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and Thule, Greenland.
Judge Porter had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer and then as a judge. He began at the law firm of M.B. & H.H. Johnson in Cleveland, which merged with McAfee Hanning, which later merged with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. He served as a partner in and eventually headed the Trial Department at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. His work included mergers and acquisitions as well as civil trials and appellate litigation in federal and state courts. He specialized in complex business cases, successfully representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He served on the boards of several corporations, including White Consolidated and Austin Powder, and was a founding board member for the Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society Ltd. In 1992 Judge Porter was appointed by Governor George Voinovich to the Ohio Court of Appeals and was later elected to a six-year term. In 2000 he was appointed to the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, where he served as a Visiting Judge for ten years before retiring. In 2004 the Cleveland Plain Dealer recognized Judge Porter as “one of the finest legal minds in the state courts.”
Judge Porter’s many honors include Judicial Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, Best Trial Lawyers in America (Business Litigation), and President of the Inns of Court. In 1993, Judge Porter received the Bellarmine Award from St. Ignatius High School, which recognizes graduates who achieve exemplary standards in their personal and professional life.
The family would appreciate contributions in memory of Judge Porter to St. Ignatius High School, 1911 W. 30th St., Cleveland, OH 44113 or John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Hts., OH 44118.
Funeral Mass Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., in Our Lady Chapel of Gilmour Academy, 34001 Cedar Rd, Gates Mills. Interment All Souls Cemetery, 10366 Chardon Rd., Chardon. The family will receive friends at the SCHULTE & MAHON-MURPHY FUNERAL HOME, 5252 MAYFIELD RD., LYNDHURST (BETWEEN RICHMOND AND BRAINARD) FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 FROM 3 TO 7 P.M.
Both of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
All of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
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