Growing up, Jeremy Tor already had regular exposure to the local legal community through watching his father practice.
Now, a partner at Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP in Cleveland, Tor said his father’s work clearly left an impression on him. Watching his father focus on personal injury law, Tor said the cases interested him, “which is probably why I ended up in that area of law.”
“His cases always intrigued me,” he noted. “I also participated in mock trial in high school and college – with some success – so I got a good taste of the courtroom. I was, by then, more or less hooked.”
CJN: What made you to want to represent injured clients and wrongful death victims?
Tor: I represent people who are often at their lowest point, either because they’ve been catastrophically injured or because their loved one has been killed. That is both a privilege and a great responsibility, which can, at times, feel daunting. But, it is extremely motivating and always gives me a deep sense of purpose.
CJN: What makes you a good advocate for your clients?
Tor: I am constantly thinking about my cases, which keeps my mind sharp and focused, and helps me outthink my adversary. And, I always keep my eye on the end game: trial. All the work I do on a case is geared toward trial.
CJN: Looking back at your cases, what would you say was your biggest win?
Tor: Probably the most significant case I’ve worked on involved the death of a 43-year-old utility lineman in southwest Ohio, who left behind a wife and three children. I think I came into my own as a trial lawyer working that case. I worked on every aspect of the case, from discovery to jury trial to arguing the case in the court of appeals – all the way up to the (Ohio) Supreme Court.
CJN: What would you consider a major turning point in your career?
Tor: During my last semester of law school, I tried (under the supervision of a practicing lawyer) a wrongful eviction case to a jury. Shortly after I finished cross examining the defendant, and while we were awaiting the verdict, my supervisor turned to me and said, “I think you chose the right profession.” Another major turning point happened (recently) when I was chosen to become a partner at my law firm.
CJN: What legacy do you hope to leave, both in your personal life and as a lawyer?
Tor: I hope I can look back and know I made a meaningful difference in the lives of my clients while also making our community safer. And I hope to lead a life my daughters will find honorable and be proud of.
With all of his experiences in mind, Tor said his guiding principle is his connection to religion.
“I’m guided in my personal and professional lives by the overarching question, rooted in the Jewish mandate tikkun olam,” he noted. “How can I make our community a better, safer and more just place?”