Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Ohio

Member Spotlight

John C. Merchant

Peck, Shaffer & Williams LLP
201 E. Fifth Street, Suite 900
Cincinnati, OH 45202


Fields of Practice:

Cultural Institutions and Other Nonprofits, Health Care, Infrastructure, Leasing, Public Schools, SWAPs and Other Derivative Products, Sports and Convention Facilities, Student Housing, Traditional Governmental, Transportation, Underwriter's Counsel, Water and Sewer

1. The number of public spectators allowed to watch the trial in the courtroom will be limited because the courtroom’s max. capacity (per the fire code) is 81 people and most of these slots will be taken up by the people involved in the trial i.e., the judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, the Dubose family, Ray Tensing’s family, etc.… Final numbers are not out yet but we anticipate there being approximately only 20 seats, on a first come, first served basis.
2. All persons wishing to watch the trial in person in the courtroom will be required to show identification and background checks will be conducted before you are allowed to enter the courtroom. We’ve been told that this is standard in high profile murder cases.
3. The Hamilton County Sheriff has provided an overflow viewing option at the Hamilton County Justice Center Court in Room B. There will be two TV monitors in this room for the public to watch the trial via live stream. No identification and/or background checks are required to watch the trial in this room.
4. All of the major news channels will cover the trial and you will be able to watch it live stream on their website.
5. Jury selection is expected to begin on Monday October 31, 2016.
6. The judge has ordered that no spectator may wear a shirt, or buttons or anything that demonstrates their affiliation with groups like Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, etc., so that they don't improperly influence the jury. So people should come to the courthouse without wearing those things, or be prepared to remove them in order to enter the courtroom or turn their shirts inside out.

Ray Tensing Jury Questionnaire

Update: More Public Access to Ray Tensing Trial

Message from the President...

BLAC Continues Its Mission

BLAC is a professional organization that is rich in history and is committed to seeing that all lawyers in the Cincinnati area, regardless of race, color, creed, or sex are given the opportunity to share equally in the legal profession. While we strive to improve the administration of justice in our community, we also seek to work with national, state and local bar associations in solving problems which are peculiar to all Black lawyers.

Our current membership includes judges, lawyers, law students and many others who are committed to the diversification and progression of our legal community. As we embark on the BLAC's present and future work, we want to sincerely thank you for your interest in the BLAC. Your help is what makes our continued success possible. We invite you to explore our new website and we look forward to working with you.

BLAC, an affiliate of the National Bar Association, is a not-for-profit corporation whose goals are:

Download BLAC's new regulations