Contact:
2036 County Road F
Swanton, Ohio 43558
Office: (419) 265-1107
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Richard B. McQuade, Jr., a former United States District Court Judge, currently works in dispute resolution and, occasionally as an expert witness.
McQuade was born April 7, 1940 in Toledo, Ohio, the first of six children of Richard B. McQuade, Sr. and Mildred McQuade. Their other children were, in order, Daniel, Timothy, Matthew, Kevin and Colin. All survived their parents except Timothy who was killed at age 11 in a car-bicycle accident in 1956. His father practiced law in Swanton, Ohio and his mother was a housewife. His father, Richard, Sr., was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and graduated from St. John’s High School and College. He obtained his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy first as a communications officer, and later as the executive officer on the U.S.S. Burleigh. He held a state rank in the Knights of Columbus and was National Coordinator of the Catholic War Veterans. He was one of nine children of Daniel and Rosina McQuade. Daniel was a foreman at Bowling Green Rubber in Toledo and Rosina was a housewife who also took in washing. Their other children were, in order, Honora, Bernard, Rose Marie (Chmiel), Rita (Tomasello), Donald, Jeanne, Donna Mae (Boyer) and Marilyn (Voyles). The children were raised on Parkside Boulevard in Toledo.
Richard, Jr. was the eldest of 34 grandchildren. His grandfather knew them all as either “Pete” or “Jake” regardless of sex. His grandparents’ home is remembered as one of jokes, hilarity and laughter. His grandmother is remembered for her chicken dinners, incomparable apple pies and molasses cookies. She is also remembered as being the first to show up when adversity struck a family member. After Richard, Sr. left for World War II service, grandfather Dan was constantly at the Swanton home stoking the furnace and otherwise caring for Mildred and her sons.
Richard, Jr.’s mother, Mildred McQuade, was the fourth of six children of Leo and Eleanor Sendelbach (nee Longmeyer). Her early years were spent in Delphos, Ohio. After her mother’s death in 1922, the family moved to Toledo, Ohio. Her father, Leo, was a butcher and ran a small business at the south side of Dorr Street, just east of Parkside Boulevard. The family lived on Waverly Avenue in Toledo. Mildred’s siblings are Valeta (Leasor), Loretta (Ehret), Luvilla (Kasmier), Richard and Louis Sendelbach and Eleanora (Kill). The Sendelbach household was very loving and caring but much more subdued than the McQuade household. Mildred and her boys lived in this home on many occasions during World War II.
Richard, Jr. attended Swanton Elementary and High School graduating in 1958. In 1958, McQuade was the leading basketball scorer in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. (His brother, Dan, was the leading scorer in 1959 and 1960.) He received his B.A. from the University of Toledo in 1962 and his J.D. in 1965. In 1960, he married Mary Jane Gries of Metamora, Ohio. They had met three years earlier at a Swanton High School dance. She was valedictorian of her high school class at Assumption, Ohio St. Mary’s. She was also active in student government, the band and played third base on the softball team. She was the second of five children of Walter and Marie Gries. Her father was a factory foreman and farmer and her mother was a housewife. All of their children were valedictorians of their high school classes. In order they are Carol (Kreuz), Ellie (Cookson), Gary Gries and Laurie (Winters).
During his high school and early college years, Richard, Jr. worked for the United States Post Office and in the yard-gang and the shipping department of the Pilliod Cabinet Company. He also was sports editor of a weekly newspaper, The Swanton Enterprise, and authored a sports column called “Skullsession”. Upon marriage, he began work at the Toledo Trust Company (now Key Bank) as editor of a house magazine called “The Toledo Trust News”. Eventually his immediate boss, Jim Albright, moved to an outside advertising agency and Richard, Jr. took his spot as advertising and public relations director reporting to the Marketing Vice President, Al Wilson. In 1964 McQuade was named a bank assistant treasurer.
Richard, Jr. and Mary Jane rented a one room Murphy bed flat on Islington St. in Toledo, a few blocks from Rosary Cathedral. A few months later they moved to a quaint apartment on North Cove Boulevard, but when a married student apartment became available at UT for $40.00 per month (including utilities), the couple moved to the tin buildings on the UT campus called Nashville. The Nashville apartments were about 25 feet square and consisted of two bedrooms, one bath and a kitchen living area all heated by a quaker stove located in the center of the apartment. Jane and Dick tried to dress the apartment up by putting used tile on the ceiling, papering the walls and tiling the bathroom. They stayed there for several years until they moved to a spacious upper apartment on North Haven Boulevard in Toledo.
Life was busy during the college years. Richard’s life was working at the bank and classes. Weekends involved study usually with classmates, Ken Mickel and Jim Jeffery. The three would review and analyze cases and because Richard could type, he would prepare the case briefs. The couple’s children, Jennifer, Richard and Sarah, kept Jane very busy. A fourth child, Rachel, was born in 1970.
During law school, Richard was elected president of Delta Theta Phi law fraternity and he and Jeffery brought the fraternity back from near extinction and attracted new members by producing student seminars on legal subjects like cross-examination and by inviting legal luminaries like Melvin Belli to speak to the law students (Belli was in Toledo trying a defamation case against The Blade.) McQuade was also a member of student senate. His freshman law school year was very ordinary primarily because he regurgitated the entire course on his exams instead of answering the questions specifically. Beginning the first summer his grades began to improve and later he “won the book” in Constitutional Law and Conflicts. He found the bar exam to be fairly easy.
Upon graduation from law school, Richard, Jr. resigned his position with the bank and returned to Swanton and practiced law with his father. His income was $600.00 per month plus one-half of the litigation fees. He almost immediately took a part-time job as Assistant County Prosecutor at $200.00 per month. As a further incentive, the County Prosecutor represented to McQuade that this was his last term. The Prosecutor’s Office was then located in a small second story office immediately east of the Judge’s chambers in the Fulton County Courthouse.
About this time, Toledo Trust’s vice president of marketing died and Sam Carson, then the Toledo Trust President, offered McQuade the job. After much thought, he declined.
As election time rolled around the County Prosecutor reconsidered his decision not to run again and McQuade then resigned his office and declared his candidacy and defeated the incumbent in the Republican primary which was tantamount to election because there was no Democratic opposition. Later he was reelected for an additional term.
He continued to practice law with his father and brother, Daniel. Theirs was a “country” practice, drawing wills, trusts, deeds and mortgages, doing title work, and some litigation primarily personal injury (both plaintiff and defense) and divorce. The firm known as The McQuades, Lawyers, represented The Farmer & Merchants Deposit Company, Swanton Savings and Loan Association and served as Village Solicitors to Swanton and, from time to time, the Villages of Delta and Metamora. Originally, the firm was located on the second floor of the F & M Bank building. In about 1972, the firm built an office at the corner of Lincoln and Broadway, and expanded the office a few years later.
While in office, McQuade became active in the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association. He served on the Board for many years and was elected president in 1975. His presidency was marked by the passage of legislation in the Ohio Legislature that raised prosecutor’s income to a respectable wage. In 1976, McQuade received the Association’s highest award, the “Leadership Award”.
In 1976, McQuade was the subject of a front page Wall Street Journal article which dealt with the lives of rural prosecutors. According to McQuade the Prosecuting Attorney’s job “was the best job he ever had.” He enjoyed dealing with the police, the county, township and school officials, and the public.
In 1977, McQuade successfully tried a several week conspiracy to commit murder which involved a mentally unstable woman hiring three men to kill her. After two and one-half hours of deliberation, the jury convicted the defendants.
Shortly thereafter, feeling pressure to bring more income in the family law firm, McQuade resigned the Prosecutor’s office.
In May, 1978, Fulton County’s Common Pleas Judge drowned in Canada. The Republican Party convened to select a successor where McQuade's father’s candidacy was defeated by a Wauseon, Ohio lawyer. The County Commissioners immediately requested that McQuade, Jr. enter the competition which he did and soundly defeated the Wauseon lawyer. In July, 1978, McQuade, Jr. was sworn in by his father as a Common Pleas Judge having been appointed by Governor James Rhodes.
He was elected the following Fall and re-elected once thereafter. He became active in the Ohio Common Pleas Judge’s Association, spent several years on the Board and was elected president in 1985. During these years McQuade worked often as a visiting judge, particularly in Lucas County, because other judges were brought into Fulton County to handle his old law firm’s cases. McQuade presided over several important cases including a six week legal malpractice case and several notorious murder cases.
McQuade was often assigned to the Sixth District Court of Appeals where he authored many opinions.
In 1984 McQuade was one of three finalists for a position on the United States District Court vacated by Judge Don Young. Judge John Potter was ultimately nominated and appointed.
In 1986, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Walinski took Senior status and McQuade was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate. The nomination process took over a year and consisted of interviews with Republican Central Committees in the 22 county jurisdiction of the Federal Court, interviews with all of the Ohio Republican Congressman (both of Ohio’s Senators were Democrats), and interviews with all of the Department of Justice section heads.
Ultimately President Reagan personally called McQuade from Camp David to tell him the job was his. McQuade said that talking to the President was like talking to your best friend. Among several topics, they discussed the First Lady’s attendance at Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah Ferguson about which the President commented that “he wasn’t much for going to weddings”. The President brought up the Federal Judge appointment by saying “I’ve just signed a very important document and I wonder whether you approve.” What followed was a wide ranging F.B.I. check and an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ultimately the United States Senate confirmed his nomination. McQuade’s father swore him in before the entire family on Thanksgiving, 1986.
While on the Federal bench, McQuade served by assignment on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals authoring several opinions. That Court provided a sharp contrast to the slow pace of the District Court. McQuade enjoyed the collegiality and the stimulation of the Circuit Court. When he explored a nomination to the Circuit he was told that the probability was not good for political reasons.
McQuade had been a member of the Board of Trustees of Blue Cross Blue Shield since the mid-1970’s. He was vice chairman in 1985. In 1989 he was offered and accepted the presidency of that organization and resigned from the Federal bench to President George H. W. Bush.
During McQuade’s Blue Cross experience, the Plan’s financial and performance success increased markedly due to many reasons. He obtained additional business education at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
McQuade departed Blue Cross into retirement in 1992. After a few weeks and after he woke up one morning not knowing what day of the week it was, he called Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, an old friend, whose first comment was “I wondered how long it would be before you called.”
McQuade was the chairman of the Chief Justice’s second inaugural event.
Moyer set McQuade to work as a visiting judge in many counties throughout the state.
About the same time, mediation and arbitration were gaining ground as an alternate to the traditional court system. Because McQuade had a reputation as a judge who encouraged settlement he started to acquire a significant arbitration and mediation business. The alternate dispute business forced him to abandon his visiting judge assignments. There was another reason. In 2000 he was appointed a member of the Board of Trustee’s at The University of Toledo. The Ohio Constitution provides that a judge may not hold any other office by public appointment so he had to make a choice between UT and judging.
During his retirement McQuade chaired two significant statewide committees. The Chief Justice named him chairman of a Committee to Reexamine the Canon of Ethics. The Ohio legislature and the Supreme Court named him as chair of a Committee to Reexamine Appellate Court Jurisdiction.
McQuade has served on several other boards of directors including St. John’s Jesuit High School, The Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, the Toledo Automobile Club, the Catholic Better Community Development Commission, the Ohio Judicial Council. He enjoys the company of his wife, his children, his in-laws and his grandchildren, Anderson, Emily and Abigail Plummer, Bruno and Liam McQuade and Gabriel, Brendan and Aidan Oliss.
The McQuade’s daughter, Jennifer (Plummer), is an executive of a marketing firm with offices in Toledo and Torrence, California; son, Richard, is a construction manager in water and sewer projects; daughter, Sarah (Meirzwiak), teaches statistics at the University of Toledo and Rachel (Oliss) is a lawyer.
Richard, Jr. and Jane have been involved in civic activities. They have sponsored a soccer field for the Catholic Youth Organization, a moot courtroom at the University of Toledo, and a theater at St. John’s Jesuit High School. Jane McQuade is an officer of the Women and Philanthropy committee of the University of Toledo.



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