Judge Larry A. Jones served northeastern Ohio citizens in multiple roles across four decades.
Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Larry Jones Sr. died in October of 2021. He had been on the appellate bench since 2009.
“Judge Jones lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. I will always remember his good nature and his kind and gentle spirit,” said Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart, who sat on the appeals court from 2006 to 2019. “To say that he will be missed is an understatement.”
Prior to service on the Eighth District bench, Judge Jones spent 21 years on the Cleveland Municipal Court, including 14 years as its administrative judge. At the trial-court level, he established the county’s first drug court – the Greater Cleveland Drug Court.
The Case Western Reserve University Law School graduate began his legal career as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor in 1978. After three years, he opted for another avenue of service as a Cleveland City Council member. He represented the city’s 10th Ward for six years until his first judgeship.
“Larry Jones was the quintessential public servant – dedicated to making the judiciary and the community better,” said the Eighth District’s Administrative and Presiding Judge Mary Boyle at the time of his passing. “Apart from being a pioneer and legend in the legal community, he was a friend to everyone and made everyone feel that they were his favorite.”
According to the court, Judge Jones would regularly quote another influential jurist, Thurgood Marshall – the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice. Both men exhibited their intuitions in the pursuit of justice, be it civil rights or treatment-based rehabilitation.
Judge Jones was known to quote a particular phrase the late Justice Marshall used to explain his judicial philosophy: “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”