Honorable Melody J. Stewart

Elected to the Ohio Court of Appeals – Eighth Appellate District in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, Judge Melody Stewart has over 25 years of combined administrative, legal, and academic experience.  She has been an administrator for a healthcare management company, a music teacher, a civil defense litigator, and a law school administrator and professor. In 2013 she served as the court's Administrative Judge.

Judge Stewart earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, obtained her law degree as a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, and completed her Ph.D. as a Mandel Leadership Fellow at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

After practicing law as an assistant law director for the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, Judge Stewart worked as a lecturer, an adjunct instructor, and an assistant dean at Cleveland-Marshall before joining the faculty. Her primary teaching areas were ethics and professional responsibility, criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal research, writing and advocacy. Additionally, she taught at the University of Toledo College of Law, at Ursuline College, and was Director of Student Services at Case Western Reserve’s School of Law.

Judge Stewart has served on many boards of trustees and been a member of various professional, civic, and community organizations. She also served as a Volunteer Magistrate Judge for the Cuyahoga County juvenile diversion program and was a commissioner and chair of the Board of Planning and Zoning for the City of Euclid. Currently, she serves on the board of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Judicial College and on several committees of the Judicial College and the Ohio Judicial Conference. Judge Stewart is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Ohio, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.

Save the dates!

December 14, 2014

"C.O.P." - Community Orientation Program

Mark your calendars for the 1st Wednesday of every other month in 2015, starting with:

February 4, 2015

6:00p.m.- 8:00p.m.

Community Forums on City of Cleveland Law Enforcement

Cleveland City Council "Listening Tours" Series:

Ward 1, December 18, 2014 6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.

Ward 15, December 30, 2-14 6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m. 

Cleveland City councilman TJ Dow to host community forum on police use of force: Council "listening tours" begin:

Upcoming Events

FEBRUARY 4, 2015
"C.O.P." - Community Orientation Program
View full calendar >

The U.S. Department of Justice Finds a pattern and practice of unreasonable and unnecessary force by Cleveland Police

The Norman S. Minor Bar Association is currently participating in discussions with the DOJ and other community leaders to ensure that the communty's voice is heard in terms of the necessary substance of the anticipated consent decree.  Please stay tuned for the scheduling of a meeting over the next couple of weeks. We will be inviting members of the African-American legal community to attend this meeting in order to provide suggestions and input to be relayed directly to the DOJ. In the meantime, we welcome your input via email at: 

Feel free to browse through the posted links below for more detailed information about the investigations, the findings and the process going forward. Please note that the articles are posted as reference only and none of the statements or opinions expressed in the articles are necessarily those of the Bar Association, nor have they been adopted given their posting on this website.

Attorney General Holder Delivers Remarks at Press Conference on Investigation into Cleveland Division of Police, December 4, 2014:

Justice Department and City of Cleveland Agree to Reform Division of Police After Finding a Pattern or Practice of Excessive Force, December 4, 2014:

Justice Department wants sweeping changes in Cleveland Police Department: report finds "systemic deficiencies":

What is a consent decree? One local source took a shot at summarizing it:

New York Times: "Cleveland Police Cited for Abuse by Department of Justice":

50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Has America Moved Beyond Race?

On November 21st, the popular and provocative NSMBA "Pursuing Full Rights of Citizenship" CLE series continued with the seminar, "50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Has America Moved Beyond Race?" The program opened with a historical perspective of events that led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and, subsequently, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. NSMBA's exceptional faculty examined how these laws impacted America's culture, raised racial consciousness and transformed the country.