Eric Marks, originally from Toledo, became interested in the legal profession and the plight of the disenfranchised while on a missionary trip to high school.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine named Toledo-born defense attorney Eric Marks to a vacant seat in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court this week.
The seat was vacated by outgoing Judge Myron Duhart, who was elected to a position in the 6th District Court of Appeals.
In making the appointment, Marks reflects on how he got to this point in his career.
The trip began after spending two years of his life on a missionary tour with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was barely out of high school and hadn’t realized a desire to practice law.
Marks taught English to locals in central Italy and coached seasonal sports for elementary school children.
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The newly appointed defense attorney got his first impression of the profession when he witnessed the plight of two Albanian brothers in Italy who had stayed outside of their visa.
One of them needed a kidney transplant and the other was a perfect match for giving his brother his kidney.
The problem was, none of the brothers had papers.
The brothers were trapped in a refugee camp when Marks met them.
Eventually, both brothers saved enough money for the papers needed to afford a kidney transplant.
The experience convinced Marks to become a lawyer.
“I saw real poverty and real plight of disenfranchised people, and that people without money and power had no voice,” said Marks.
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When he returned from Italy and completed his undergraduate degree, Marks landed on a well-known land for law school – the University of Toledo.
Marks was born in the Toledo area and graduated from Perrysburg High School.
He said he paid a lot of attention to people who couldn’t hire their own lawyers when he started his career as a lawyer in 2005.
That endorsement ultimately led to Marks assuming the position of Defense Counsel for the Toledo Legal Aid Society.
“I saw it as a way to give back to the people in the underserved community,” said Marks.
His experience in fighting for the outsider prompted him to apply for the position vacated by Judge Duhart.
Governor DeWine selected Marks over two other candidates.
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Marks must win an election in November 2022 to complete the term, which is expected to end in late 2024.
He says he’s up for the challenge.
“I look forward to bringing 15 years of litigation experience to the bank to represent Lucas County,” said Marks.
The brands will be sworn in on March 1, 2021.
The race for the seat in 2022 is considered impartial.
This means that the political party will not appear next to the candidate’s name on the ballot.