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Thomas Pitts - 2010 Professionalism Award

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Tom Pitts’ family moved to the Akron, Ohio area in 1952. Tom graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1964. After service in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 through 1969, Tom returned to the University of Akron. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976, majoring in Philosophy and Communications/Mass Media Studies. He immediately entered the University of Akron School of Law from which he obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1979. Since then he has been engaged in the private practice of law. For over 20 years he has limited his practice to the representation of injured workers in Ohio Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability claims.

Tom is an adjunct professor of law at The University of Akron School of Law since 1996 where he has taught a seminar in the Law of Workers’ Compensation. He is a past-President of the University of Akron Law Alumni Association, having served on the LAA Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2007. He has also served as a member of the National Board of Trustees of the University of Akron Alumni Association.

In August, 2008, Tom was honored to be appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Board of Directors. During his three year term, Tom will be representing the interests of all Ohio employees.

Serving the legal community, Tom is the immediate past-President of the Summit County Association for Justice (formerly the Summit County Trial Lawyers' Association). He is a member of the Ohio Association for Justice (formerly the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers) where he most recently served as Chairperson of the Workers’ Compensation Committee. He serves on the Workers’ Compensation and Lawyers’ Assistance Committees of the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association) and the Workers’ Compensation Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association. He also belongs to the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group.

Tom is a former Trustee of the Akron Bar Association and has participated on many of the Akron Bar’s Committees including Workers’ Compensation and Lawyers’ Assistance. Tom frequently speaks at Continuing Legal Education programs on the subjects of Workers’ Compensation law and assistance to persons impaired by alcoholism and drug addiction.

Tom’s active service in the Marine Corps resulted in him receiving the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnam Service Ribbon with multiple stars and the Vietnam Campaign medal with multiple stars. Tom has served as a Summit County, Ohio, Veterans’ Service Commissioner and became President of the Ohio State Association of Veterans’ Service Commissioners.

In his personal time, Tom enjoys being with his wife and grandchildren, reading mystery novels, playing golf, and building and maintaining computers.