JEFFERSON – Clerks, lawyers, judges and county officials turned out in force to celebrate Joseph Humpolick, who on April 10 went into retirement after nearly 38 years arguing cases for the poor and accused with the Ashtabula County Public Defender’s Office.
“It’s been a great experience,” Humpolick said. “I’ve enjoyed it and enjoyed working with the people, I’ve enjoyed getting into the fights that I have on behalf of my clients – it’s been fun.”
Humpolick began his career in June of 1979, a time when the economy and population were still growing in Ashtabula County.
“I’ve been practicing law for almost 38 years,” Humpolick said. “I’m a founding member of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I’ve enjoyed representing the less fortunate. There’s nothing nobler than doing what we’ve done.”
A native of Lake County, Humpolick said his upbringing, both at home and school, led him to a career in the law.
“When you have a handicapped brother, when your hero is JFK, when a teacher gives you a book about Abraham Lincoln, you say, ‘I want to become a lawyer’ – that was in the fourth grade,” Humpolick said. “This is where it all led to, this is why I’m here.”
Humpolick has recently moved to Euclid, where he plans to keep active in the law, as well as to expand his participation in his second-greatest passion: long-distance running.
“I want to stay involved,” Humpolick said. “I may do some writing. I plan to stay involved with the legal profession, the bar association and basically to live a full life with what years I’ve got left. I can run some marathons and half marathons now – I did a half marathon just yesterday.”
Pictured are criminal defense attorney Joseph Humpolick (left) and his wife Doris Putney (right) at Mr. Humpolick’s retirement party after nearly 38 years providing counsel and defense for the poor and underprivileged with the Ashtabula County Public Defender’s Office.