Samuel H. Porter, a long-time partner of the firm and a distinguished member of the Columbus legal community, passed away on May 5, 2013. Sam was an extraordinary colleague and a remarkable trial lawyer who was deeply respected and dearly loved by family and friends across the country.
Sam began his legal career on March 1, 1953 when — following graduation from The Ohio State University College of Law— he joined his father and 10 other lawyers in the firm that is today Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP. During his 60 years at Porter Wright, Sam served as chair of the firm's Executive Committee and led some of its largest clients in complex commercial and utility regulatory litigation. Sam served as the lead trial lawyer for the Columbus Board of Education in what is certainly one of the most important cases tried in the Southern District of Ohio, the Columbus Desegregation Case, which he eventually argued before the United States Supreme Court. More recently, his well-respected approach to the law often led to him being called upon to arbitrate large disputes involving public utilities.
In addition to his distinguished legal career, Sam became chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law, was a member of the ABA's House of Delegates, and was, later this summer, to have become a member of the ABA's Board of Governors. He was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and consistently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers. Over the past 15 years, Sam taught law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, just one of the ways he taught and mentored aspiring and young lawyers.
Sam's dedication to the profession and to the importance of providing pro bono legal service led to his appointment by the Governor to the Ohio Public Defender Commission, where he ultimately served as Chair, and to the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, where he remained active in an emeritus role. He spent many years serving on the boards of the Mt. Carmel and the Adena Health Systems. At the office, he loved to work with the firm's young lawyers, and always made time to serve as a mentor, often sharing his experiences and perspectives.
Our deepest sympathies are extended to Sam's wife, Lucy; his four children, 14 grandchildren and their families; and to all who had the opportunity to know Sam Porter. We have lost a true friend.