July 6, 2019
Attorney John M. Curphey, a founder of the firm that bears his name, passed away peacefully on July 3, 2019, in Miramar Beach, Fla., at age 92.
John's distinguished legal career began at Williams, Eversman & Black, Toledo, the predecessor firm to Robison, Curphey & O'Connell. He practiced law at these firms until his retirement in 1999. He was best known for his hard work, trial work, and mentoring lawyers.
He loved the practice of law and was greatly respected by his colleagues for sound judgment, command of the courtroom, and dedication to clients. He received many honors and accolades during his long career, including the American College of Trial Lawyers.
John was a veteran of World War ll serving as an Army Infantry Officer in the Phillipines. While in law school, he was called to duty again for the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1952, where he served with distinction earning both a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
He held both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from The Ohio State University.
John was a "lawyer's lawyer", according to RCO Partner Jim Brazeau, who worked closely with John when he joined the firm in 1984. "He was the person other lawyers - even lawyers from outside the firm - would go to for help. His soft-spoken and thoughtful demeanor made him universally approachable for any issue - legal or not - and for any person, which established him as a mentor to nearly everyone in the firm."
Jim explained that John approached problems thoughtfully and with conviction. "He encouraged other lawyers to stay true to themselves. And, he loved to tell stories that ended with a chuckle," he said.
According to The Honorable Jack Zouhary, Senior U.S. Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, John demonstrated that civility and greatness went hand-in-hand. Judge Zouhary worked at Robison, Curphey and O'Connell from 1976 to 2000 and John was his mentor. "He had much wisdom to share with his mentees. I learned from him that you could be a very good trial lawyer and be civil at the same time."
John will be remembered at a Memorial Service to be held at the Point Washington United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., on September 3, 2019.
Read John's obituary and a feature story on his career in The Blade :