Helmer Receives UC College of Law 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Helmer, Martins, Rice, & Popham, Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that its President, James B. Helmer, Jr., was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Cincinnati College of Law Alumni Association, in a ceremony held May 12, 2017. Helmer follows in the footsteps of his mentor United States District Judge Timothy S. Hogan who received the same accolade in 1981. Also honored were Hon. Beth A. Myers, currently serving on the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, and attorney Gary P. Kreider.

A successful trial lawyer, author, philanthropist and president of Cincinnati law firm Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham Co., LPA, Jim Helmer has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of complex, high-stakes lawsuits. His clients have included insurance and Fortune 500 companies, the National Football League, school boards, franchisees and individuals.

His courtroom work has been recognized every year since 1987 in Best Lawyers in America and as an Ohio Super Lawyer for all years of its publication, and the National Law Journal ranks him as one of Ohio’s top ten civil litigators.

Helmer is noted for rediscovering Abraham Lincoln’s False Claims Act of 1863, a long-forgotten legal tool allowing citizens to prosecute in civil court government contractors who cheat on their contracts. His testimony helped convince Congress to modernize this dormant law in 1986 in amendments signed by President Reagan. And his testimony helped convince Congress to update it in 2009, in amendments signed by President Obama. As a result, $50 billion of stolen taxpayer money has been recovered and returned to the Treasury, including money from lawsuits brought by Helmer to correct major defects in our nation’s military helicopters, fighters, aircraft carriers, submarines and Air Force One. He has also pursued civil rights, employment discrimination, contract, environmental and personal injury lawsuits on behalf of individual and corporate clients, arguing before the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and recovering $1 billion.

A 25-year member of the College of Law Board of Visitors, Helmer has endowed the college’s top annual student prize for nearly 30 years while funding more than 50 scholarships and a chaired professorship.

His service to the University has previously been recognized. Jim Helmer was awarded the Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Service from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2001 as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Cincinnati Law Review in 2012. Helmer received the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award on behalf of its 275,000 members, the 1st College of Law graduate so honored. Volume 68, Issue No. 3 of the University of Cincinnati Law Review was dedicated to Helmer in 2000. See James B. Helmer profile for more information.

The University of Cincinnati College of Law has a storied history. Established in 1833, the University of Cincinnati College of Law is the 4th oldest continuously operating law school in the country. William Howard Taft, the only man to ever serve as both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is both a graduate of the College of Law and former Dean. Now the College is known around the world for its Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. And the work of its Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice and Ohio Innocence Project continues to make a tremendous impact by freeing unjustly convicted persons from Ohio prisons. You can learn more about the program at the University of Cincinnati College of Law website.

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