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UC Law Alum Jim Hunt Carries on the Mission of the Weaver Institute

On Oct. 25, 2007, Glenn M. Weaver, an adjunct professor and friend of the College of Law, passed away at the age of 86. It was nine years earlier that the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry was established at the College of Law. Today, Dr. Weaver’s friend and fellow adjunct professor, Jim Hunt, is helping to carry on his vision.

“Dr. Weaver was a longtime friend of mine,” said Hunt, an adjunct professor and the Weaver Institute’s new administrative director. “He and I taught a class that I still teach:  Law & Psychiatry. I’ve been teaching Law & Psychiatry since about 1986.”

Hunt taught alongside Dr. Weaver up until a few weeks before his death five years ago, although Hunt said he had not been directly affiliated with the Weaver Institute at that point. Prior to this school year, however, Hunt and former University of Cincinnati McMicken College of Arts & Sciences dean Valerie Hardcastle were asked to lead the program.

Community Involvement an Integral Part of the Institute

The Clermont County-based attorney said his role with the Weaver Institute is new, and he is using his position to promote the values Dr. Weaver brought to the College of Law. “My job with the Institute, at this point, is to try to get the Weaver Fellows involved in some community activities,” Hunt said. “It was one of the things that Glenn Weaver was very interested in doing and promoting.”

Hunt has been setting up opportunities for the six Fellows to partake in activities off campus, which will include working with the mental health court at the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas next semester, as well as involvement with the Hamilton County Probate Court (which has jurisdiction over involuntary hospitalization proceedings, Hunt said).

On Nov. 7, the Weaver Institute hosted a lunchtime panel discussion on psychiatric malpractice, focusing on the Littleton v. Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center case from the Supreme Court of Ohio, which established the professional judgment standard of care for psychiatrists. 

Who is Jim Hunt?

Hunt, a native Cincinnatian, graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1963 before graduating summa cum laude from UC in 1967 with an American Intellectual History degree. After a year of graduate school, Hunt taught at the Hillsdale School (now Seven Hills), where Dr. Weaver’s daughter and current Weaver Institute trustee, Ellen, was a student of his.

Following three years of teaching, Hunt began at the College of Law, where he became a member of the Law Review and Order of the Coif.

“When I went to college and studied history at the University I became very interested in that and thought I might pursue an academic career. After doing a year’s worth of graduate work, it just didn’t seem like it was going to sit well with me,” Hunt said. “I felt like I could do more in terms of actually solving people’s problems and helping people in the legal arena.”

Hunt, who first considered law school when he was in high school, “thoroughly enjoyed” himself at the College of Law and said he is still good friends with some of his classmates.

“The one thing, unfortunately, that law school does not do, it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for an actual practice law. You read about it and hear about it and talk about it but sometimes the actual practice is a little different from what you read in law school,” Hunt said. “That’s one of the reasons that we wanted to, and Glenn Weaver wanted to, get the Weaver Fellows out into the community – to see just exactly how mental health law is practiced in this area, as well as having the background from taking my class and the other classes.”

After graduating from the College of Law in 1974, Hunt worked downtown at Kohnen, Patton & Hunt, specializing in litigation and healthcare issues. After more than 20 years there, Hunt began working near his home in Clermont County, going from defending doctors and hospitals to, instead, representing patients who sue them.

After working with Rosenhoffer, Nichols & Schwartz and then Hunt, Nichols & Schwartz between 1995 and 2002, Hunt has been in general practice outside of domestic relations work. He has been involved with commercial litigation, healthcare litigation, personal injury litigation and criminal law. Since 2005, he has also been an assistant Clermont County public defender, a part-time position.

Outside of the law, Hunt has always had a passion for music. In addition to playing the guitar, he is the treasurer of Play it Forward, a charity started by former radio personality Gary Burbank to help local musicians in need.

Hunt also co-authored a book published in 2009, Warrior: Frank Sturgis The CIA's # 1 Assassin Who Nearly Killed Castro But Was Ambushed By Watergate. Sturgis happened to be Hunt’s uncle.

For the last 10 or more years, he has been involved with the College of Law Alumni Association, serving as its president from 2008 – 2009, while also recently being on the Board of Visitors.

Hunt and his wife, Laura, live on a farm (with horses, dogs, cats and birds). They have three children: Noah, Sarah and Emily.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13