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  • 04 Oct 2019 11:30 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Thirty-seven new magistrates received a three-day crash course on what it’s like to transition from the bar to the bench during a second annual orientation at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. 

    Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor offers advice and guidance to new Ohio magistrates.

    “You didn’t get this job by accident,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor told the group. “You are in this position because a judge found you knowledgeable about the law and trustworthy in your decision-making ability. Both magistrates and judges have the same mission when they ascend to the bench every day.”

    “You must dispense justice faithfully and impartially. You must ensure that all litigants and interested parties know that you listened thoroughly to their cases,” she said.

    The event – organized by the Court’s Judicial College – is constructed to help attendees learn about their new role and also offers a chance to network with colleagues.

    “It’s been outstanding to meet the other magistrates and we talked about how it’s nice to realize you aren’t alone. There are so many people in the same boat,” said Jennifer Towell, a new magistrate in Akron’s Municipal Court.

    Before her appointment, she was an attorney in private practice and also served as a judge advocate general (JAG) lieutenant for the U.S. Navy based in Washington D.C.

    “I’ve learned judicial decorum,” Towell said. “(I’ve learned) how to manage my courtroom and navigate my relationships with court staff.”

    Unlike judges, magistrates are not elected. They’re appointed by a judge and operate under the supervision of that elected judge.

    Charmine Dose, a magistrate from Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, sees the training as extremely valuable.

    “I get to see it from all perspectives.” Dose said. “As a prosecutor, you have one angle. As a private practitioner, I had that angle. Now I get to make decisions and I know both angles.”

    These magistrates will continue their education throughout their tenure on the bench. Ohio magistrates must complete 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction offered by the Judicial College, every two years.

    By Anne Yeager, October 3, 2019

  • 02 Oct 2019 3:00 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Ahead of the Ohio State Bar Foundation's annual awards dinner next Friday, the organization has announced a slate of honorees to be recognized at the event.

    The 2019 celebrated class includes an attorney who has improved the lives of inmates, another who has given to more than a dozen non-profit agencies, an organization that fights for crime victims and an attorney who is on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic, according to the foundation's announcement of this year's winners.

    The event - a gathering of foundation fellow, board members and friends from across the state - also serves as an opportunity to review the efforts of organizations and individuals funded by foundation grants.

    "Our honorees this year have made extraordinary contributions in changing lives, while furthering the foundation's mission of improving access to justice and helping the public better understand the rule of law," foundation President Rob Ware said. "These honorees exemplify the best that Ohio has to offer in upholding the ideals of selfless public service for the greater good."

    The honors listed below are to be awarded to the following individuals:

    • Ritter Award: Richard Swope of Swope and Swope, Attorneys at Law in Reynoldsburg. The Ritter Award is the highest honor awarded by the Foundation, given to an attorney for a lifetime of service. Swope has spent six decades representing clients, advocating for inmate rights by helping to provide better access to Ohio's legal system.

    • Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service: Donald Messinger of Thompson Hine LLP in Cleveland. This award is given to an Ohio attorney whose career has been exemplified by dedication to public and community service, integrity, honor, courtesy and professionalism. Messinger has undertaken significant volunteer leadership roles with multiple charitable organizations in Northeast Ohio, including United Way of Greater Cleveland, Legal Aid, Gateway Economic Development Corporation, Circle Health Services and the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center.

    • Outstanding Program or Organization Award: Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center of Powell, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Given annually, this award highlights a program or organization that promotes improvement in the Ohio justice system. This year's recipient, the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center, is a state- wide non-profit organization that ensures that Ohio state and federal crime victims are treated fairly during the criminal justice process.

    Statewide Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under: Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James Stanley. Stanley has passionately combatted the opioid epidemic and addiction crisis in Meigs County and has taken proactive measures to prevent addiction and assist recovery before individuals enter the legal system.

    John and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award: Michele Sherrin of Medina. The John and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award recognizes a lawyer's exceptional pro bono legal work in the state of Ohio. Sherrin has been a long-standing Community Legal Aid volunteer. While maintaining a busy legal practice, she has provided pro bono services for the past 10 years to clients with a variety of legal issues.

    "We have an outstanding group of award recipients this year," foundation Executive Director Lori Keating said. "Each individual and organization has contributed their time, talents and expertise in helping so many Ohioans better their lives.

    "We are deeply honored to recognize them for their contributions."

    The Exchange at Bridge Park in Dublin is host to the dinner and awards ceremony.

    For reservations or to make a donation to the foundation, call Cynthia Kincaid at (614) 487-4477.

    The largest bar foundation in the United States, the Ohio State Bar Foundation works to advance the law and build a better justice system by awarding more than $750,000 in grants annually to non-profit organizations across the state of Ohio.

    Copyright © 2019 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved

    Special to the Legal News

  • 02 Oct 2019 11:16 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY- Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law honors Beatrice (Bea) E. Wolper with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Wolper will be featured as a distinguished graduate on October 11, at Chase’s Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes exemplary professional accomplishments and service to the legal profession and the community. Wolper is a practicing attorney in Columbus, Ohio, serving as president of Emens & Wolper Law Firm, in Columbus and St. Clairsville, Ohio. She is also a co-founder and an advisory board member of the Conway Center for Family Business, a nonprofit that offers educational resources and programs for familyowned businesses in central Ohio. In practice, she focuses on family-owned businesses, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, estate planning, oil and gas law, and contracts.

    As an educator, Wolper is a lead instructor for the Ohio State Bar Association continuing legal education course Family Business Succession, has taught family business courses at Ohio Dominican University and will be an adjunct estate planning profession in spring 2020 at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

    “I am deeply honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Chase,” said Wolper. “I hope to serve as a role model for current Chase students on how to achieve professional goals in the practice of law and service to the community.”

    Wolper is Ohio past-president of the International Women’s Forum, having served as president from 1993 through 2015. She is also a member of legal advisory boards for the Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Central Ohio Planned Giving. She previously served on executive committees of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Columbus Center of Science and Industry, Women’s Business Board, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Mount Carmel College of Nursing and Greater Columbus News Bureau. She was an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1995.

    Wolper received the Women Who Make a Difference Award of the International Women’s Forum in 1993, presented to only nine women leaders in the world. She has also been recognized with the Columbus YWCA Women of Achievement Award and the Women in Business Advocate Award of the United States Small Business Administration.

    Wolper holds a Juris Doctor from the Chase College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Northern Kentucky Law Review, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati. She is a frequent writer and lecturer and is co-author with her husband, Dick Emens, of the book Family Business Basics: The Guide to Family Business Financial Success (2nd Ed 2004).

    About Salmon P. Chase College of Law: Chase College of Law is located in Highland Heights, Kentucky, seven miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The law school was founded in Cincinnati in 1893 and merged with NKU in 1972. Chase offers full-time and part-time programs of study and has an enrollment of about 400 students on the NKU campus. In addition to traditional classes, students can participate in the college’s W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology. For more on Chase, visit its website.


    About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit

    Contact: Anna Wright | Director of Public Relations | 859-572-5808 |

  • 02 Oct 2019 9:26 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center has received an historic collection of items related to Ohio president William McKinley. Mary DeGenaro, a former Ohio Supreme Court Justice, donated the photographs and political ephemera, which were part of her family’s collection. 
    “I am thrilled to be donating these items to the Statehouse, where McKinley served as governor, for all Ohioans to enjoy,” DeGenaro said. “I have a personal connection to the Statehouse and its history. In the room where Abraham Lincoln learned he had been elected president in 1861, I was told by Governor John Kasich that he was appointing me to the Ohio Supreme Court.” 

    In addition to photographs and paper ephemera, the collection includes platters and dishes related to McKinley. One of the standout objects is a photograph of William McKinley in an open carriage in Niagara Falls, N.Y., taken just over an hour before his untimely assassination. Other excellent pieces include historic postcards of the Statehouse featuring the McKinley Monument.
    “The McKinley collection is a wonderful addition to the Ohio Statehouse Museum,” said Dayna Jalkanen, Deputy Director of Museum and Education for the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB). “The Ohio Statehouse is an appropriate place for the collection since McKinley spent so many years there serving in the Governor’s Office, and we recognize Red Carnation Day every year on January 29, the day McKinley was born.”
    The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center will preserve and maintain these historic artifacts for the people of Ohio. In the near future, items from the collection will be displayed for the public in Map Room exhibit cases or in the McKinley hearing room on the first floor of the Ohio Statehouse. 
    McKinley was one of eight U.S. presidents from Ohio. He was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and was noted for serving the troops under heavy enemy fire. McKinley was governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896. McKinley became president of the United States in 1897. He was killed by an anarchist assassin in 1901. McKinley is included in the Great Ohioans display at the Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center and memorialized with the McKinley Monument that stands in front of the Ohio Statehouse.   
    DeGenaro is a native of northeast Ohio and has been involved in public service on village council in Poland, Ohio; as a judge in the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals, and as an Ohio Supreme Court Justice. She is currently serving as Chief Legal Counsel to Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.
    DeGenaro’s collecting interests include historical items relating to Abraham Lincoln, Ohio political history, suffrage, and Judge Florence Allen, who was the first woman to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court. DeGenaro has always had a great personal interest in Ohio presidential politics and became particularly interested in McKinley items after moving to Poland, Ohio and learning about the president’s connection to the small Western Reserve town.

    “I thought it was amazing that part of the building where McKinley attended school was now a part of the library we took our sons to countless times, and the tavern where he enlisted to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War was still standing -- walking distance from our family home,” DeGenaro said.
    The DeGenaros live in Columbus and have another home in Poland, where McKinley was a schoolteacher. 

    Opened in 2009, the Ohio Statehouse Museum features high-tech, interactive exhibits that make learning about all three branches of state government immersive. The museum is packed with historical artifacts and images that detail how government works and who has come to serve their fellow citizens. 
    The Museum includes 5,000 square feet of exhibit space on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse that enriches the experience of schoolchildren and visitors. The Museum offers exhibits that encourage visitors to participate in the government process by making choices, expressing their opinions, comparing viewpoints and even becoming a part of an exhibit by giving a State of the State address. The museum’s “deep dive” approach to education enables visitors to better relate to the governing process.

  • 02 Oct 2019 9:24 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    No matter where you look around or inside the Ohio Statehouse, you’re surrounded by history, and those who shaped it. Recently, in the building’s atrium, a group of women shared tales from the darkest years of their lives about their escape from abuse and human trafficking to enlighten and inspire hundreds of other people.

    Nine women celebrated their graduation from Changing Actions that Change Habits (CATCH) Court. Started in 2009, the Franklin County Municipal Court specialized docket was the state’s first human trafficking court.

    “CATCH Court saved my life. I didn’t have a light until they shined theirs on me so I could find mine,” said Melissa Callaway, who graduated after her second attempt in the program.

    The two-year track involves intensive court supervision, addiction treatment, and trauma-focused therapy. Those who graduate – 67 people to date – get a clean slate, with the related charges erased from their record.

    Often separated from their families and isolated from society because of their addictions, members of the program’s ninth graduating class were once again with their loved ones. Among them were mothers, daughters, and sisters expressing their gratitude to Judge Paul Herbert and his staff for their patience, care, and compassion.

    “They’ve given me the greatest gift they could ever have given me in my life. They have given me my sister back, and I will be forever grateful to CATCH Court,” said Hollie Daniels, whose sister LaRose successfully completed the program.

    For a group of women who struggled to trust court staff and treatment teams with their emotions and vulnerabilities when they started in the specialized docket, the survivors are now a source of promise and happiness for those they’ve impacted.

    One such example is Barb Davis. Homeless for 37 years, much of that time was mired under the manipulation of abusers and substance use, which desensitized her despair.

    “I want you to know that I remember a time that we were too busy trying to numb out our pain and trauma to ever believe there was something better waiting on us,” Davis said. “To be part of such an amazing circle of strong and resilient women is an honor for me.”

    As the women transition to the next chapter of their lives, they’re pushing CATCH Court participants and others being exploited toward their own freedom.

    “Don’t ever give up and don’t ever discourage yourself, because great things happen here,” said graduate Tierramarie Lewis.

    Supreme Court
    Public Information Office

  • 25 Sep 2019 12:49 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, the largest funder of civil legal aid in Ohio, announced at its 25th anniversary celebration last night that it is changing its name to the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation. The name change reflects the Foundation’s broader commitment to access to justice initiatives.

    “The name Ohio Access to Justice Foundation allows us to emphasize not only our commitment to funding and supporting Ohio’s legal aids, but also to recognize all of our efforts to increase justice for Ohioans struggling to make ends meet,” said Angie Lloyd, executive director.

    With the name change comes a new domain name ( and a new logo.

    Close to 200 attendees gathered to celebrate the Foundation’s 25th anniversary. Since 1994, the Foundation has funded life-changing civil legal help for more than 4 million Ohioans including children, seniors, veterans and domestic violence survivors.

    Programs supported and funded by the Foundation include Ohio Legal Help, a new mobile-first website that will help all Ohioans access the civil justice system; and the Ohio Justice Bus, a mobile legal aid office that allows legal aid and pro bono attorneys to travel to rural areas of the state to provide legal services at no cost to clients.

    “We look forward to the next 25 years as the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation,” Lloyd said. “Our goal is to build on the successes of the past while remaining laser focused on supporting programs and partnerships that help more Ohioans access critically important legal services.”

    The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation improves fairness and access to justice for all Ohioans. Established in 1994 as the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, the Foundation funds Ohio’s legal aids through the IOLTA/IOTA program, a civil filing fee surcharge, and donations. Legal aid helps families, children, veterans, seniors, and other Ohioans struggling to make ends meet get back on their feet and on the road to self-sufficiency. Through the Foundation’s work, Ohioans have access to legal help, advice, and representation, which ensures fairness for all in the justice system.

  • 24 Sep 2019 3:05 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Gov. Mike DeWine recently appointed Elisa Murphy to serve as a judge on the Hamilton County Municipal Court.She is replacing Judge Fanon A. Rucker, who resigned.

    She assumes office today and must run in the November 2019 election for the remainder of the term ending in January 2024.

    Prior to the appointment, she served as a magistrate for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court and an adjunct professor teaching business ethics at Indiana Wesleyan University. She also has worked as an attorney with the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office and in private practice, focusing on criminal, family, and civil law.

    Judge Murphy is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association, the Ohio Association of Magistrates, and the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati.

    Judge Murphy received her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and law degree from the University of Akron School of Law.

  • 19 Sep 2019 4:46 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Every year, judges juggle more than just caseloads. As professionals, they must continue to learn about evolving trends. For the judiciary, there’s no bigger think tank than the Ohio Judicial Conference.


  • 19 Sep 2019 1:30 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Nita Hanson, a litigation associate in Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s Columbus office, has been announced among this year’s Pro Bono Award recipients from the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Columbus Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Foundation. She will receive the honor on Oct. 24, during the ABA National Pro Bono Celebration Week.

    The associations give out six pro bono awards annually to the people and law firms of Columbus who contribute most remarkably free of charge, and Hanson is being honored with the Pro Bono Service by an Individual award.

    “Nita is a remarkable example of someone who has woven pro bono work into her profession, always making it a priority, despite the many other obligations in her life,” Litigation Partner Bill Mattes wrote in his nomination of Hanson. “… She not only participates in advice clinics, but she has also taken on pro bono eviction cases, ensuring low-income tenants have a voice in the legal system. … Nita’s counseling can be life-altering for low-income individuals forced to navigate the court system by themselves.”

    Among Hanson’s greatest pro bono contributions is her participation in the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP), where she advises and represents people in eviction court toward finding adequate housing solutions.

    “Statistics show that having a private attorney present through TAP makes an indigent person 700 times more likely to reach an amicable resolution in court,” Hanson said. “That’s why I do this.”

    She views pro bono work not as something extra, but as a part of her work and an integral piece of her life.

    “My faith gives my life meaning, and serving others gives my life purpose,” she said. “I live a life of abundance, so I feel required to share with people who do not. If I can do that because I have special skills and training to give people free advice, and because I work at Dinsmore, which supports lawyers in giving back, then I will—especially when it means I can represent someone who would otherwise be cheated out of their home. It’s a privilege to serve people who would otherwise be denied justice.”

    Hanson also encourages pro bono participation throughout the office, and she brings Dinsmore summer associates along with her when she volunteers, to make clear that pro bono work is a necessary and rewarding part of being an attorney.

    “It is important for us to bring up the next generation,” she said. “We’re all busy. We all have more scheduled than we can make happen, so we have to make conscious decisions to set aside time to give back to others. It’s a habit that has to be developed early.”

    In addition to the pro bono award, Hanson was also nominated last month to participate in the Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Inn of Court, the nation’s oldest and fastest-growing legal mentoring association. In her everyday practice, Hanson focuses much of her work on fiduciary litigation, including disputes over improper use of powers of attorney, guardianships and challenges involving estates, wills and trusts. Prior to becoming an attorney, she spent 25 years as a paralegal.

    About Dinsmore & Shohl

    Dinsmore & Shohl is comprised of more than 650 attorneys with locations in 25 cities throughout California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. For more than a century, Dinsmore has provided a broad range of integrated services to meet the needs of both large and small businesses as well as institutions, associations, governments, professional firms and individuals. For more information, please visit

  • 17 Sep 2019 3:55 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    From trial court to the Ohio Supreme Court, a new curriculum explains the state’s justice system to high school students.


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