Harland Marshall Britz, who practiced law in Toledo for 50 years, died on May 10, 2021 in Charlotte, NC. The son of attorney Morris J. Britz and Lillian Pintis Britz, he was born in Toledo on July 2, 1931. Mr. Britz graduated from DeVilbiss High School and the University of Michigan, where he received bachelor's, master's, and law degrees and served as editor of the Michigan Daily.
A pillar of the Toledo legal community, Mr. Britz was named Toledo's Distinguished Attorney by the University of Toledo Law Alumni Association in 2003. Among his many other honors were the Order of the Heel, presented by the Toledo Junior Bar Association to a lawyer who assisted young lawyers.
Early in his career, Mr. Britz served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo. He left the Justice Department after 3 years to form a firm with Charles (Bud) Fuhrman and Marc Gertner. Thereafter Mr. Britz partnered with Norman Zemmelman until Norman became a judge of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. Harland and Norm often boasted that they were together for 23 years without a single disagreement. Mr. Britz eventually formed a new partnership with Connie Zemmelman until she became a judge of the Juvenile Division.
Mr. Britz's practice was primarily in litigation, although he also had a general practice. He handled civil rights cases, employment law cases, as well as criminal cases. His sympathy for the underdog led him to activity with the ACLU of Northwest Ohio, where he served as chair and legal director. He was also active with the local Democratic Party, where he was a precinct committeeman and ward chairman. He served as Secretary of Central Committee of the Lucas County Democratic Party. In 1968 he served as an alternate delegate to the tumultuous Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He served on the Board of the Trustees of the Toledo Bar Association, the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (Executive Committee), and the Economic Opportunity Planning Association (President). In Toledo he belonged to Temple B'Nai Israel and Temple Shomer Eminim.
A lifelong music lover, Mr. Britz played the cello, and for 35 years he played with the Jewish Community Center Orchestra, which he co-chaired with Jimmy Fox. In 1970, he conducted two concerts of the Toledo Symphony. Throughout his life he was an ardent fan of University of Michigan athletics, enjoying tailgating with his family on the Ann Arbor Golf Course. He dearly loved his Tigers and Red Wings as well.
Mr. Britz is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judith Mehring Britz; his sister, Barbara Rosenberg of Atlanta, GA; his two sons, Tony Jabon (Andrea) of Charlotte, NC and Benjamin Britz (Sari) of Bethesda, MD; and grandchildren, Ian, Alexandra, and Mathias. In light of the pandemic, burial services will be private.
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