Thomas A. Teodosio enjoying new role as 9th District judge
Legal News Reporter
Published: April 14, 2017
Thomas A. Teodosio literally grew up with the law.
His father, Alexander, was a prominent attorney and former chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party.
The younger Teodosio was inspired by his father to embark on a distinguished legal career of his own.
“When I was a kid, I’d go see trials and really had an interest in the law,” he said. “I knew a lot of the attorneys and a lot of judges. My dad was one of the smartest attorneys. “
He started his current role Feb. 9 as a 9th District Court of Appeals judge, replacing retired appellate Judge Carla Moore.
Judge Teodosio previously was a judge on Summit County Common Pleas Court, where he had served since 2006.
“Being a common pleas judge was a great job. It really was,” the 60-year-old Munroe Falls resident said from his new downtown Akron office. “It was a difficult decision to leave there, but I always think change is good. With common pleas, you’re always busy directly impacting people’s lives. I enjoyed all of that. After 10 years though, I thought, what a good time to try something new.
“I’m really enjoying myself at the court of appeals. It’s a nice working atmosphere. The days go by quick here. There are so many interesting issues and the research is interesting. On my very first day, they had me on a panel. You have to stay on top of the opinions, you really do.”
Judge Teodosio’s favorite part of being a common pleas judge was the drug court he presided over.
“It was the most rewarding part of my job,” he said. “I got to help people through what eventually became pretty much a heroin court. When I was campaigning for this seat, I can’t tell you how many people would come up to me on the street and give me a big hug with their kids and say, `Thank you for saving my life. I’m doing great.’ Most of those people were at rock bottom. That drug will take everything from you. I loved getting families back together and seeing people live healthy lives. You really can’t beat it. Most of them were wonderful people who started off with heroin by getting too many opiates prescribed to them.”
Always active in the community, the judge said he is now better able to tweak his schedule for causes he believes in.
“As a common pleas judge, you’re always on the bench,” he said. “I’m on the Akron Zoo Board of Trustees. Their meetings are on Mondays and I never used to be able to go to them. Now, I’m able to make those meetings because I can take a break from research.”
The judge grew up in the Akron neighborhood of North Hill with two younger brothers, a younger sister and an older sister. His homemaker mother “had her hands full,” he said.
His now-deceased father later built a house in Silver Lake for the family, where the judge’s 89-year-old mother lives to this day.
Judge Teodosio graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, and graduated from The University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree.
He then went to Akron Law, where he met his wife, Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.
“We met in our first year of law school, and started going out our second year,” he said. “We decided we couldn’t work together. People think we talk about our cases and the law at home, but absolutely not! That’s the last thing we talk about. We don’t watch law shows. We don’t talk about the law. After doing it all day, we want to relax and do something else.”
After law school, Judge Teodosio went into private practice for 25 years. He was a partner in the law firm of Teodosio, Manos & Ward.
In 2000, he was elected to Summit County Council and won re-election in 2004. While on council, he chaired the Finance, Public Works and Public Safety committees. He also chaired the Summit County Predatory Lending Task Force and sponsored legislation to create the Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs.
“The Consumer Affairs Office is still operating today,” he added. “It’s there to help all county residents who feel like they haven’t been treated fairly. My father at one point bought a hearing aid and the company went out of business after taking like three grand from him. They were giving him the runaround. The Consumer Affairs Office was able to get his money back. My experience on council was great to take to the bench.”
The Teodosisos have a son, Christopher, who is a practicing attorney. Their 22-year-old daughter, Andrea, died in a skiing accident in West Virginia in 2011. They remember her through the Andrea Rose Foundation.
The couple’s young granddaughter, Charlotte Andrea, lives with their son and his wife within walking distance.
Ninth District Court of Appeals Administrator C. Michael Walsh said he has been grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Judge Teodosio to help him in the transition.
“Judge Teodosio was a role model for me when I was a young attorney,” said Walsh. “He has always exhibited the characteristics that lawyers should aspire to.”
Ninth District Judge Lynne S. Callahan, another former Summit County Common Pleas Court judge, joined the appellate court four days after Judge Teodosio.
Judge Callahan said she has enjoyed learning the ropes of appellate court along with her new colleague. “We both have the Italian background. I just masquerade as an Irishman,” Judge Callahan quipped. “Judge Teodosio is highly respected, he’s a pleasure to work with, and he always brings donuts.”
Judge Teodosio said he looks forward to all the challenges of the 9th District.
“I’ve been blessed between being in a small firm that was like a family, to becoming a common pleas judge and now this position with the court of appeals,” he said. “It’s just been a wonderful career.”