The original pit-bull, rottweiler, and junkyard dog of justice is now sleep. The voice that for years encouraged, “If you need me, call me”, is silent. This evening, Judge Leslie Isaiah Gaines has died at the age of 69, following an extended fight against cancer and heart disease.
For years, Greater Cincinnati and the nation would know Judge Leslie Isaiah Gaines as a pioneer in the legal profession. Judge Gaines is often credited as the first attorney in America to advertise legal services. The move drew criticism that advertising would ruin the integrity of the legal profession. Now, the path that Judge Gaines charted seems to have always been there.
Judge Gaines was celebrated across the legal profession, with a high successful record in court decisions. As a defense attorney, Gaines was legendary for courtroom theater. An imposing figure with a baritone voice, he was Cincinnati’s Johnnie Cochran before many knew of the latter. I was mesmerized during daily visits to the court in order to watch Gaines defend a childhood friend and schoolmate during a murder trial. He was thorough on matters of law, delivering his lines like Paul Robeson.
As a youth growing up in Silverton, Oh., I found Judge Gaines to be a gentle man. A rather quiet individual away from the spotlight of his profession. Someone we admired and one of the many interesting persons that made Silverton a great place to live.
On Oct. 27, 2014, Judge Gaines went home to be with the Lord. Many words will follow his passing as people throughout our nation will surely reflect on Gaines’ life. This, however, is dedicated to another side of a stalwart figure who moved from the courtroom to grace pulpits in Cincinnati and around the country. My first opportunity to share a pulpit with Judge Gaines, the Gospel Preacher, even deepened my respect for his humility and faith.
Reverend Leslie Isaiah Gaines left us words to live by, sometimes giving these words in the midst of serious health conditions. He will be missed as a legal practitioner. Humanitarian. Family man and community servant. And most of all, as a Man of God.[important]Please, share your thoughts about Judge Gaines in the Comments area below.[/important]
“Judge Leslie Isaiah Gaines: Message To Friends From Christ Hospital” – April 27, 2010
“The Will To Live Part I” – May 1, 2010
“The Will To Live Part II”, May 13, 2010
911 To God”, May 01, 2010
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