Jamille G. Jamra, 1917-2013: Trial lawyer got Ohio Bar honor


Jamille G. Jamra, 95, a trial lawyer with a career that spanned six decades and a partner in the firm Eastman & Smith who was a leader in local and state bar associations, died Monday in Ebeid Residence, Sylvania.

He had kidney failure, his daughter, Ellen Linkey, said.

Mr. Jamra of Sylvania was with what became Eastman & Smith from 1946 until he retired in 1992. He was admitted to full partnership in the firm in 1952.

Mr. Jamra’s reputation was well-known when he interviewed young lawyer Morton Bobowick for a position with the firm more than 45 years ago.

“He was a gentleman. I liked him from Day One,” said Mr. Bobowick, who was hired. “He was forthright, honest, direct.

“He was a trial lawyer from the old school,” Mr. Bobowick said. “He was thorough in his preparation. He treated the person he was examining or cross-examining with great respect.”

Mr. Jamra was primarily a defense lawyer in civil cases.

“He normally was a mellow, low-key, never-raised-his-voice type of person,” his daughter said. “He went in the courtroom and that was his theater, that was his stage.

“He was a very intelligent person and very compassionate,” she said. “He sometimes felt he was on the wrong side of the case, but he always served his client 110 percent.”

Mr. Jamra was a president of the Lucas County Bar Association in 1955 and was elected in 1961 as president of the Toledo Bar Association, which honored him in December, 2012, for 70 years of membership. He started a year’s term as president of the Ohio Bar Association in July, 1976. He also served on the state bar’s executive committee representing Lucas, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties. In 1981, he received the state bar’s highest honor, the Ohio Bar Medal, in recognition of “unusually meritorious service to the profession, community, and humanity.”

He’d been a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

Mr. Jamra and his family were Ottawa Hills residents for more than 35 years, and he served as village clerk-treasurer.

In the mid-1980s, after it appeared the city of Toledo had lost more than $19 million through investments with a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., securities firm, Mr. Jamra was appointed to a team investigating the matter.

He was a former trus-tee of what is now the Tole-do Regional Chamber of Commerce. He was a trustee of the former Riverside Hospital and of the Medical College of Ohio Foundation.

He was born Sept. 24, 1917, in Toledo to Elizabeth and Albert Jamra. He was a graduate of DeVilbiss High School and years later was inducted into its hall of fame. He received a journalism scholarship to Northwestern University. Instead, he received a bachelor’s degree in political science and went on to study at the University of Michigan, from which he received his law degree. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in August, 1941.

He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. He was assigned to the 868th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) within the 13th Army Air Force. His duty was administrative and he served on several South Pacific islands.

He’d been a senior warden of Trinity Episcopal Church downtown.

He married the former Betty Gene Chapman in 1943. She died July 11, 2002.

Surviving are his daughter, Ellen Linkey; sons, James and Mark Jamra; sister, Jeanette Habib; brother, Albert Jamra, Jr., and four grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Foth-Dorfmeyer Mortuary. The family suggests tributes to Trinity Episcopal Church; Toledo Museum of Art, or the Toledo Community Foundation.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.