Posted July 12, 201811:51 am
Click here for full article.
Lawyer to spend free time jamming for justice
by Ryan Dentscheff
MORELAND HILLS — Local attorney and village resident Paul Grieco is honing his outside-thecourtroom talents as a musician and applying them to help raise funds for underprivileged individuals inside of the courtroom.
When not working as a partner at Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC in Cleveland, Mr. Grieco can often be found slapping the bass guitar with his band SIX sometimes SEVEN. Next week, his band will be performing at the Jam for Justice, an event to raise money for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. The fundraising goal is $100,000.
Legal Aid Society is an organization that provides legal services for individuals in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and Lorain counties who otherwise wouldn’t have access for various reasons, the most common being poverty. There are about 40 staff attorneys employed by the nonprofit, and Mr. Grieco is one of about 3,000 volunteer lawyers who provide their services pro bono.
Mr. Grieco, 54, wanted to get involved in the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland after first working early in his career at the New York Legal Aid Society.
“That experience exposed me to what it all is that Legal Aid provides and what a vital resource it is,” he said.
After graduating from the Case Western Reserve University law school, Mr. Grieco moved to New York to work as a public defender in Brooklyn. He worked there for about six years before moving back to Cleveland, where he formed his own practice in 1995 with his partner Jack Landskroner. The firm specializes in the area of civil litigation on the plaintiff’s side, he said. They focus on issues including wrongful death, medical negligence, product liability and class action litigation, he added.
Over the past several years, Mr. Grieco said he began getting more involved with the Legal Aid Society. Last year, he and his band SIX sometimes SEVEN were invited to perform at the annual fundraiser event.
Jam for Justice will be held July 19 in the courtyard between the Aloft Hotel and the Ernst and Young building at 1111 W. 10th St. in downtown Cleveland. There will be six bands and a DJ, with each performance involving someone within the local legal community, such as lawyers, judges and prosecutors.
“I guess word got out to Legal Aid that I was involved and had a band,” Mr. Grieco said. “Then they were kind enough to reach out and ask if we were interested. And of course when I brought it up with my bandmates they loved the idea. Obviously we love performing, but even more than that, we love the idea of being able to give back to the community as well.”
A decade ago, however, Mr. Grieco could never have predicted that he would be performing in a band to raise funds to help individuals gain access to legal services. That’s because it wasn’t until about seven years ago that he ever picked up and played a bass guitar.
“Growing up I was always a big rock and roll fan, but I never learned an instrument,” he said. “Because of my love for music, about six or seven years ago my family bought me a bass guitar as a Christmas gift and I fell in love with it immediately.”
After receiving the gift, Mr. Grieco began taking lessons at the School of Rock in Highland Heights. In the adult program at the school, musicians are grouped to form a band that practices together about once a week. The “final exam” for the class, as Mr. Grieco described it, is to have performances as a group out in the Cleveland area, at places like the Beachland Ballroom or the Happy Dog.
After learning together at the School of Rock, Mr. Grieco and his bandmates decided to branch out on their own and continue playing as SIX sometimes SEVEN.
The band plays classic rock cover songs from bands such as Tom Petty, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Talking Heads and The Marshall Tucker Band. It will perform a 40-minute set at Jam for Justice.
“It’s been great. And one of the greatest parts of it is just meeting different types of individuals and forming friendships,” Mr. Grieco said. “The band, we’re very tight now and really enjoy getting together. I think we did a pretty good show last year and we’re looking forward to July 19.”
Mr. Grieco lived in Orange Village for 12 years before moving to Moreland Hills in 2010. He and his wife, Sigrid, have two daughters, Olivia and Sara, who attended the Orange City School District. Olivia is a rising junior at the University of Vermont and Sara just graduated from Orange High School and will be attending Miami University in the fall.
For more information about Jam for Justice, visit lasclev.org/event/2018jam.