TOLEDO, OH – Shumaker lawyer, Thomas G. Pletz, has received the 2020 Robert A. Kelb Distinguished Service Award presented by the Toledo Bar Association (“TBA”). Tom received the award at the virtual presentation on December 30, 2020.
The Kelb Award is presented annually by the TBA Board of Directors to a member of the TBA who has unselfishly served the bar association and its members. The award is named after Robert A. Kelb, who practiced law in Toledo for 58 years. Mr. Kelb’s dedication to service was demonstrated by his involvement with many organizations – fraternal, professional, and charitable. In 1943, Robert Kelb was elected as President of the Lucas County Bar Association and in 1968 served as President of the TBA. The award recipients are persons who consistently devote time and talents in service to the TBA through work on its various committees
“I am humbled and privileged to know each of the prior recipients, including Bob Kelb, and it is a distinct honor to join them,” said Tom.
"One of the real pleasures in my tenure as President of the TBA was the opportunity to present the Kelb Award to my friend, Tom Pletz,” said William Meyer, TBA President. “Tom was one of the first lawyers I met in the Junior Bar and his volunteerism in the TBA has been inspiring and legendary. Tom's recognition with the Robert A. Kelb Award was richly deserved, and our hopes are that we're continued to be graced by his presence in TBA activities."
Tom practices in the Litigation practice group and has over 45 years of experience in state and federal court litigation. Tom focuses his practice in the areas of constitutional and statutory rights, and in defamation and education law, as well as complex product liability cases, special remedies, and religious organizations.
Tom served on the TBA board for 14 years and was active on many committees. He was actively involved in the TBA’s 1983 purchase and renovation of its own building headquarters. Tom co-authored the 76 page “Legal History of Lucas County” in 2003 and presented the TBA Media Relations continuing legal education seminar annually for many years. In recent years, Tom has supervised the minority high school students who participate in the Law & Leadership Institute. Tom served on the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners for years, three years as its Chair. Tom is admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and is a Life Member of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for 26 years, retiring as a Surface Warfare and Special Warfare Officer with the rank of Commander. Tom was Acting Judge in Sylvania Municipal Court, and retired in 2020 after serving 30 years.
Tom received his J.D. from The University of Toledo and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.