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  • 23 Oct 2019 1:00 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Carolyn Kroupa
    Contributing Writer

    “The Supreme Dare in You!” event was held in KU Ballroom on Sept. 26 with Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart.

    Justice Stewart made history as the first African American woman elected to the state’s Supreme Court.

    The event was sponsored by the University of Dayton School of Law, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Women’s Center.  The event was also endorsed by several student organizations including Feminists United, UDayton Votes and the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center.

    Lisa Borello, director of the Women’s Center, introduced Stewart to share her story of “hope, strength and courage.”

    Stewart was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2018.  She has 30 years of experience in the legal field.

    Stewart did not always have an interest in law.  She studied music as an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati, and her first job out of college was in healthcare.

    Her first experience with the judicial system was when she was 21 years old and received a traffic ticket for running a red light. She challenged the ticket and won. This proved to her that the justice system worked.

    She received her law degree from Cleveland State University with a full scholarship.  Initially, she did not foresee becoming a judge.  She was a civil defense litigator, law school administrator and professor before being elected to the Court of Appeals in 2006.

    She has been on the Supreme Court for nine months now.  While running, she raised the least amount of money out of all her opponents. Stewart never lost hope and “had faith in the fact that if I was meant to be on the Supreme Court, that’s where I’d be.”

    Burnette Clingman, founder/CEO of Burnette Clingman Enterprises, interviewed Stewart and asked her what she brings to the court.

    “I make the court better by being there,” Stewart said. She also added that she brings “diversity of thought and background.”

    While speaking on what the public expects out of their justice system, she quoted Maya Angelou, “We are more alike than we are unlike.”

    Regardless of political party, “we want our officials to be fair and not biased,” Stewart said.

    Stewart also discussed the death penalty and jail sentencing.

    “Our system of corrections doesn’t necessarily deal with corrections,” she said. “I think we need more accountability in our judicial system. As good as our judicial system is, we can do better.”

    Stewart concluded the evening with some advice–“At each step of your life, look at what’s before you and conquer that.”

    Photos courtesy of Carolyn Kroupa


  • 21 Oct 2019 8:30 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)


    Click this photo to watch a short video on kids learning about state, local court connections during take your child to work day. 

    While many state buildings are closed on Columbus Day, the Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center remains not only operational, but also educational.

    On Monday, the Ohio Supreme Court held its annual “Take Your Child to Work Day” as 30 students gained a better understanding of what their relatives do, and what the state’s high court does.

    “My mom asked if I wanted to go, and I said yes, because I learned a lot last year, and I wanted to learn a lot this year,” said fifth-grader Mackenzie Kline.

    The theme of this year’s event, which dates back to 2007, focused on local courts across Ohio and how cases find their way to the court of last resort.

    The morning session illustrated how a previous case – Zacchini vs. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting – progressed from the trial court to the Ohio Supreme Court. Students participated in a mock trial of the case, followed by arguments before the appeals court. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor picked up the case at the Ohio Supreme Court and also discussed its journey to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the case was ultimately decided.

    “I’m in mock trial at school. So, I think following the trial today was sort of cool to learn more about that stuff,” said Ben Stiffler, an eighth-grader, who attended the event for the third time.

    After a group photo with the chief justice, the boys and girls learned how the Court helps local courts across the state by watching videos that highlighted the work of several departments, including Court Services, Attorney Services, and others. The students then put pencil to paper, using their imagination to create a state flag for Ohio’s court system.

    The day ended in the law library where the kids wandered in search of clues for a scavenger hunt with a “capture the flag” twist.

    The event centers on education, but with an added bonus: befriending others.

    “That’s probably my favorite part, meeting new people, making new friends,” Stiffler said.

  • 18 Oct 2019 9:30 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Throughout the country, a staggering number of individuals have legal problems but can’t afford to hire an attorney. They struggle with housing, employment, and family issues, among others. During this month's national celebration of pro bono, read how Ohio lawyers have stepped in to shepherd many people through difficult or confusing moments, free of charge, to ensure those without means have access to justice.

    By Kathleen Maloney


    Winds whipped up to 170 mph when 13 tornadoes tore through the Dayton area in May. Roofs were lifted from their homes and businesses. Walls crumbled. Trees were strewn across yards and roads. When the ferocious winds calmed, residents of Brookville, Dayton, Riverside, Trotwood, and surrounding areas took stock.

    In the wake of it all, people rallied to assist family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers. As first responders and local officials dealt with immediate necessities, such as medical care, shelter, and water, Kelly Henrici was one of those who jumped in to identify other essentials to help residents over time.

    Henrici, executive director of the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, and her team met with counterparts at Legal Aid of Western Ohio and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) the day after the Memorial Day tornadoes to brainstorm about how lawyers could help the community.

    After a quickly assembled, multiday gathering where immediate housing issues were handled, the legal groups organized another event within three weeks to tackle a primary legal need – replacing critical legal documents. Birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, property deeds, driver’s licenses, auto titles, and court paperwork were reproduced at no charge. The 10-hour, “one-stop, replace-all” clinic served 115 people that day.

    In addition to partnerships with local, county, and state agencies, the efforts had the assistance of 25 lawyers at the first event and more than 20 lawyers at the document replacement clinic – all of whom worked pro bono.

    “I’ve never had faster email responses from attorneys willing to help,” said Henrici, who referenced the #DaytonStrong Twitter hashtag that’s become symbolic of the community’s solidarity during difficult times. “Usually pro bono is woven into lawyers’ busy schedules. Here they said, ‘I need to do my share now.’”

    The attorneys did initial reviews assessing what individuals still had and what they needed. Attorneys guided each person to the workstation of the organization that could replace the document. Sometimes, Henrici said, the attorneys just listened.

    Demand for Lawyers Substantial for Ordinary Occurrences
    It’s not unusual to witness displays of sincere compassion and astounding contributions when tragedy strikes. At first glance, everyday concerns, such as evictions, foreclosures, employment, divorce, child custody, health care, and immigrant status – many of which are handled in the courts – may seem to pale in comparison to the urgency following catastrophic incidents.

    “But these are life-changing legal problems,” said Angela Lloyd, executive director of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation (OAJF), formerly the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.

    An eviction after someone loses a job can snowball into being unable to secure future housing. Taking the next step as an immigrant can open doors to better jobs. A woman who finds safe shelter away from an abusive spouse moves forward toward building a more stable life for herself and her children.

    Legal aid organizations are instrumental in helping low-income individuals with these and other legal issues. But their paid staffs are small, and the public’s need is large.

    In low-income households ($21,137 per year for a two-person family, and $32,187 annually for a family of four), 71 percent had one legal problem that was civil, not criminal, in the prior year, and one in four of those had six or more civil legal issues, according to a national study in 2017. Ohio has 2.1 million low-income households, meaning 1.49 million households will have at least one legal issue in a civil matter each year.

    With 281 attorneys employed by Ohio legal aid organizations, that amounts to one legal aid attorney for every 5,302 low-income households that need legal guidance – the equivalent of one attorney for all employees of Ohio University.

    “There’s a profound need that can’t be met by the paid staff of legal aid,” said lawyer Molly Crabtree. “They play a vital role, identifying needs and finding attorneys who can assist. Attorneys working pro bono take a little off their plates.”

    Assisting Those in Dire Circumstances
    Crabtree, a partner at Porter Wright in Columbus, represents companies on antitrust, trade secret, and environmental issues. Her time volunteering her legal skills goes to the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) at Franklin County Municipal Court, evening brief-advice clinics, and occasional appointments to federal civil cases.

    TAP is a daily clinic run by the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Crabtree said Porter Wright sends two attorneys twice a month to the clinic, and most large law firms in the city send attorneys on a designated day each month to help with evictions, which have escalated in the county.

    Recently at TAP, Crabtree talked with a man who fell into financial difficulties when his roommate moved out while he was recovering from two gunshot wounds and was unable to work consistently. After he didn’t pay rent, the man received an eviction notice just as he found out his girlfriend was pregnant.

    The legal aid team matched him with Crabtree. She said they “huddled in a corner” amid the chaos of housing court. Learning that the man was willing to leave his rental, Crabtree was able to initiate a dialogue with the landlord, who had an attorney. Their discussions led to a manageable move-out date and prevented the eviction from going on his record. All in one morning. Without that record, the man, who has a job, would likely find another place to live without difficulty.

    “Doing pro bono, I feel like I have a real impact on their lives,” Crabtree said. “I’ve never met a client who wasn’t thankful to have help.”

    Addressing Opioids, Helping Immigrants, Reaching out to Rural Communities
    Among areas of increasing legal concern is the opioid crisis. The Columbus legal aid society received a 2019 grant through the Ohio Supreme Court’s Civil Justice Program to offer telephone and video outreach to rural areas. Lawyers will advise the growing number of grandparents and other family members seeking custody of children affected by the crisis, notes Crabtree, who recently served as the legal aid group’s chair.

    Based on her experience, she sees the biggest needs for legal assistance in Ohio’s non-metropolitan areas and in immigrant communities.

    Cheri Budzynski decided to dive into immigration cases after the 2016 election. Budzynski, a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Toledo where she advises businesses on environmental compliance, had donated money for legal aid for a long time. But in 2016 she decided to contribute in a more personal way. She reached out to nonprofit law firm ABLE in her area.

    Her first pro bono case through ABLE was a young, English-speaking woman from Kenya who was abused by her husband. The woman wanted to obtain a green card, which would make her a permanent U.S. resident and would allow her to seek employment without federal authorization. Budzynski began working with her in 2017 to submit a petition under the Violence Against Women Act so the woman could seek a green card without notifying her husband.

    The petition was granted in August 2018, the woman’s divorce was final a few months ago, and she received her green card in September, Budzynski said. Today, the attorney is handling two other pro bono cases involving two more women who’ve suffered physical violence – one from Morocco and one from Mexico who’s been in the United States since she was 5 years old. Given the federal government’s backlog, Budzynski estimates the Moroccan woman’s case will take about four years to get through the system, with her ongoing assistance.

    “The processing time can get you down on some of these cases,” she said. “It takes time, but it gets easier to do. In immigration, it’s literally following directions. You can learn.”

    She said assisting with this “clear need” is deeply gratifying.

    “Despite their terrible circumstances, you’re giving them hope,” she said. “You know you’re helping.”

    Guidance Plentiful to Gain Knowledge of Unfamiliar Subjects
    Lloyd explains that when lawyers are reticent to do pro bono work, it’s rarely about time. More often they feel a lack of expertise in the areas where help is needed. However, she notes, most legal aid groups – which coordinate the vast majority of Ohio’s pro bono assistance – have pro bono coordinators. They prepare volunteer attorneys by screening clients, prepping files, providing computer access, offering training, and giving support along the way, she said.

    “Pro bono gives you another skill set,” Budzynski notes. “Even though it can be outside your comfort zone, it’s really satisfying.”

    William Dowling, a mediator and of counsel at Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs in Akron, agrees. In his pro bono time, Dowling represents detained immigrants asking for asylum and helps people get their drivers’ licenses reinstated.

    “Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s a new area of law or that you lack experience,” Dowling said. “There are great resources to help you.”

    As one of the myriad ways the Ohio Supreme Court fosters pro bono, the Court’s Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program encourages mentoring participants to volunteer their time. To make taking that step a little easier, “Give Back for Justice” events are organized locally for mentors and new lawyers to connect with pro bono providers in their community. New lawyers who partner with their mentor on a pro bono project help those in need while developing legal skills and building confidence in their abilities. This month, Give Back for Justice events will be held in Akron, Columbus, and Cleveland.

    Foundation Drives New Initiatives to Serve More
    Asked the type of cases with the most need, Lloyd points to divorce and custody matters. Complicated specialties – such as foreclosures and immigration – also are challenging when it comes to finding enough lawyers to assist, she said.

    But OAJF – along with local legal aid groups, bar associations, and courts – keep chipping away at the broader problem of providing legal guidance to those struggling with civil legal issues. This year alone, the foundation launched the “Ohio Justice Bus” and a website called “Ohio Legal Help.”

    The Ohio Justice Bus is a mobile legal aid office. The bus delivers pro bono legal guidance directly to people in underserved areas, which includes rural locations as well as other areas where legal help is needed. In late September, the bus visited Youngstown, Newbury, and Kent. The legal aid groups in these areas identified a focus, based on the public’s need, for each visit, said Sophia Chang, the foundation’s pro bono director. In Youngstown and Kent, the lawyer-volunteers offered direction on sealing and expungement of criminal records. The Newbury stop was a general brief-advice clinic. Chang said they received questions about everything from dog bites to wills.

    By dovetailing the bus stops with local meetings held by the Ohio State Bar Association, the initiative is tapping lawyers who already are gathered for the meeting and even is offering training, plus continuing legal education (CLE) credit, for the pro bono clinic. The first week of stops drew several local attorneys in each location, who each gave a few hours of their time to help residents.

    Attorneys in Ohio also can earn an hour of CLE credit for every six hours they spend doing pro bono service. Lloyd said the goals of the Ohio Justice Bus will be achieved only if local attorneys give time and expertise.

    “When we help our more vulnerable neighbors, we help everyone,” Lloyd said.

    Web Tool Offers Step-by-Step Direction for Legal Problems
    In the digital realm, Ohio Legal Help empowers Ohioans to navigate their civil legal issues through a simple, screen-by-screen guide. The answers generated from the site are tailored to a person’s distinct problem as well as their geographic area, Lloyd explains. Housing, family, and consumer issues are a few of the topics the site covers.

    Because there are people who don’t think of their problem as legal, OAJF invested in search-engine optimization so that Ohio Legal Help appears when someone Googles common problems, Lloyd adds. And the site was designed to function on mobile phones, which their research shows is how most people who need this information will access it.

    She notes that the site identifies action steps a person needs to take and, if appropriate, directs the person to a local lawyer referral service. If a form needs to be completed, the site walks through a guided interview and then produces a completed form like TurboTax does, she said.

    By delivering legal help to underserved communities with the Ohio Justice Bus and offering a website for those who wouldn’t, or don’t know to, reach out to an attorney, Lloyd believes these resources will curb Ohioans’ unmet legal needs.

    Many Varied Ways to Help
    While high-need areas of law are the focus of legal aid organizations feeling the weight of those daunting demands, there are countless other opportunities for attorneys to offer assistance where the help is no less necessary and no less appreciated.

    George Carr has devoted time to the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA), which is operated by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Carr has set up charitable entities for artists to receive grant money. He also has reviewed contracts and leases, resolved disputes, and ensured that artists get paid. The artists often start long-term professional relationships with the VLA lawyers, Carr said.

    “Having a lawyer on tap who they can call is extremely helpful,” Carr notes. “It creates a mental shift for the client. When the guidance is free, the person feels free to ask questions.”

    Carr even formed a foundation for a descendant of Tadd Dameron, a well-known Cleveland-born jazz composer and pianist who worked with Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, and other jazz legends. Carr said the contrast with his day job at Sikora Law, where he handles title claims and property development litigation, is “refreshing” and resonates with him because he started as an artist and has a college degree in music.

    “The private practice of law, and the focus on billable hours, can feel kind of mercenary,” he said. “The noneconomic focus of pro bono work is important to me, and many other lawyers, morally and spiritually.”

    He adds that the law is ultimately a service profession.

    “Doing pro bono, I help my client, help change how people see lawyers, and help the world,” he said.

    Even the small gestures lawyers make to steer people through legal problems are valued and fulfilling. Judge Margaret Quinn of the Oakwood Municipal Court must consider potential conflicts of interest when doing pro bono. Working within those boundaries, Judge Quinn has been able to write a letter for someone in an immigration case and assist periodically in non-contested divorces.

    “Pro bono is mostly listening, caring, and working through the issue with someone,” she said.

    Pro Bono a Win-Win for Public and Lawyers
    All across the state, the public’s need for legal guidance in civil cases is ongoing. And, even following one tragic night of tornadoes in Dayton, residents there continue to call on attorneys. Henrici said negotiations with insurance companies about damages is currently the area of greatest demand. Fortunately, as legal aid groups enlisted assistance, local law firms “really have risen to the challenge” in taking referrals, she said.

    Other issues are benefitting from attorney help as well, including dealing with contractors that scam people to steal insurance money, addressing child custody violations when a parent had to move from a destroyed or uninhabitable home, and appealing denials of aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Attorneys are tackling basic, yet essential, needs both during tragedies and other life crises by using their distinctive legal expertise. Lloyd of OAJF views lawyers as problem-solvers, and that’s a skill with positive payoffs for the public and each individual lawyer.

    “Pro bono clients are so appreciative that they’ve been valued and helped,” she said. “Lawyers will get more than they give.”

    CREDITS:

    Design and Photography: Ely MargolisWeb: Erika Lemke

  • 17 Oct 2019 7:50 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Reminger Co., LPA is proud to share that the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) has chosen Barbara Bellin Janovitz as an Accredited Estate Planner designee. The Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation is a graduate level, multi-disciplinary specialization in estate planning. It is awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils to recognize estate planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.

    Barbara has been the chair of Reminger's Estate Planning Group for more than twenty years and has been counseling clients on estate planning and probate and trust administration issue for more than thirty years. Barbara counsels clients on both simple and complex estate, charitable and retirement planning matters, and has experience dealing with the Internal Revenue Service to resolve estate and gift tax issues. Her notable accomplishments include: 2017 Recipient of Cleveland Jewish News "Difference Maker" Award, 2014 Recipient of YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, 2007 Recipient of the Cleveland Clinic Speaking Of Women's Health Award for Leadership and Community Service and she has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates since 2009.

    Barbara stays active in the community as a member of Beachwood City Council, and as a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Women’s Bar Association, The American Bar Association, and The Estate Planning Council of Greater Cleveland. Additionally, she is a board member of the Montefiore Foundation, the Benjamin Rose Institute, the Center for Community Solutions, and the Rose Centers.

    Barbara states, “I am proud of my ability to maintain close, long-term relationships with my clients and to educate and advise them about the personal, as well as tax, aspects of their estate plans. I strive to assist clients and their family members through the planning and probate administration process with compassion.” Join us in congratulating Barbara on her designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

    Barbara can be reached by emailing bjanovitz@reminger.com or by calling 216.430.2178.

    About Reminger, Attorneys at Law: Reminger Co., L.P.A. is a full-service law firm with fourteen offices throughout the Midwest: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Sandusky, Toledo, Fort Mitchell, Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Northwest Indiana and Evansville. With more than 150 attorneys collectively, Reminger's practice areas include all aspects of litigation, along with corporate, tax, real estate and probate matters. Our fundamental objective in all the legal services we provide is to obtain the best possible results for our clients in the most practical and efficient manner possible. For more information, visit Reminger at www.reminger.com.

  • 14 Oct 2019 1:30 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Marilyn McClure-Demers shares her top ten leadership strategies, which help drive change at Nationwide with kindness

    Marilyn McClure-Demers, VP and Associate General Counsel of Corporate and Class Action Litigation & Discovery, Nationwide Photo by Ryan Montgomery

    Marilyn McClure-Demers’s entire approach to leadership sits in a nearby drawer, ready to be pulled out when a team member comes in to vent or is frustrated. It’s a symbol that can be drawn anywhere, anytime, even by McClure-Demers herself, who admits that “artistic” is one of the last ways she would describe herself. It’s a heart in the middle of a piece of paper with larger concentric circles: essentially a hearted bull’s-eye target.

    McClure-Demers will pull out the piece of paper to disrupt her team’s negative thoughts or to encourage them that they’re doing the right thing. She calls it “Pure Heart Leadership,” a way to

    unburden her team of things they can’t control. As long as they’re doing their best, that’s all that matters. “It’s something that rallies us together to solve problems and make things better,” McClure-Demers says. “I think everyone could agree we could use a lot more of that.”

    The vice president and associate general counsel of corporate and class action litigation and discovery at Nationwide has seen her Pure Heart Leadership model employed by those she mentored and even papers written on the subject. But it’s a larger umbrella of top ten leadership strategies that she has developed over an extensive legal career both in the firm world and as in-house counsel. She has molded and built out each component of her list over a long period of time. Recently, she harmonized all ten at once and leveraged them during a legal transformation at Nationwide. This list has served as a model throughout her many leadership successes.

    “I was charged with taking over an operation that was in dire need of some turnaround,” McClure-Demers says. “We needed an upgrade in our talent and development in best legal practices as well as increasing engagement and inclusivity on our teams.” In short, a lot of moving parts with the potential for pushback, upheaval, and all of the growing pains that a turnaround can elicit. Here, in McClure-Demers’s own words, is a snapshot of her top ten strategies in action, practiced with the full realization that even when they are successful, “there is always something else to nurture.”

    1.  Lead at All Times

    “As we journeyed through this process, there was no downtime when you weren’t leading or influencing. This was about a renewed investment in talking about the concepts of First Team [that leaders should assist and advocate for their fellow leaders, prioritizing these ties over those with their direct reports] and how we collaborate and reach alignment.”

    2.  Authenticity

    “People know if you’re genuinely interested in helping them. This played out in a number of ways successfully. This brought several folks to a fork in the road where they were able to assess for themselves if this was where they wanted to be and if they possessed the skills to be able to be part of this transformation.”

    3.  Cultivate a Growth Mind-Set

    “Once we started to assemble the talent we needed, it was an opportunity to create new processes and efficiencies. It was a chance for our folks to really live into a growth mind-set.”

    4.  Listen

    “You need to come in and demonstrate your desire to learn from your team and listen to them. It’s important for insight, validation, and to ‘lean in’ to enable others to lead and grow, too.”

    5.  Be a Strategic Visionary

    “We need to be providing more enhanced efficiencies and corporate value. Some people can help create the vision; some cannot. But once you’ve come together as a leadership team on what the vision is, you have to create a strategy for executing on something that others can live into.”

    6.  Be Courageous

    “There were plenty of naysayers on the sidelines. Making this kind of cultural and organizational change is going to create some rough seas. That’s when you need courage and fortitude as a leader to stay the course and be steadfast.”

    7.  Be Resilient

    “It’s really hand in glove with courage. There were many late nights and early mornings where we had to work through a crisis. Resiliency and adaptability during these times is absolutely essential.”

    8.  Value People and Their Differences

    “When you have to go through change—and you do have to, to make the organization better—you can do it in a way that appreciates people and helps them achieve their own goals. You can empower people to make their own decisions, and you have to be OK with the fact that sometimes that means they will go their own direction with your full support.”

    9.  Remain Grateful

    “One of the biggest rewards was having those on my team who thanked me for giving them a chance. I could see personal growth in myself and growth in others, and I wanted to be sure to let those appreciate the accolades that came our way.”

    10.  Employ Grace and Kindness

    “In difficult times, when conflict resolution may be necessary, you have to have the grace to slow it down and have meaningful exchanges, giving people the opportunity to build deeper relationships. Doing that has given people the chance to really surprise me. Always be kind to others and acknowledge and appreciate when they are kind to you, too.”

    Marilyn-isms

    Marilyn McClure-Demers has a way with words, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The lawyer has had at least a couple informal volumes of her “Marilyn-isms” lightheartedly created by her teams and colleagues.

    Certain phrases from McClure-Demers are well loved. Her analogy of “enterprise as an octopus” landed a stuffed purple octopus in her office. And the VP’s assistant can easily rattle off one of her boss’s favorite standby phrases: “If we’re dealing with apples, let’s deal with apples and not make a fruit salad out of it.”

    This well-honed technique is a key part of her leadership style and an effective way to connect with others. Marilyn uses her Marilyn-isms to get others’ attention and to keep them focused, especially when encountering challenging scenarios.

    ***

    Dentons:

    “Marilyn draws strength and insight from challenges she has overcome and makes a difference for others. She appreciates the unique talents of each member of her teams and makes them feel valued, supported, and inspired.”

    –Sonia Martin, Partner

    • By Billy Yost
    • Photo by Ryan Montgomery


  • 11 Oct 2019 12:30 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Twenty-two high school teachers from Eastern Europe and Central Asia met with Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart recently to talk about the judiciary and openness in government.

    The scholars from 11 countries are studying media literacy at Kent State University as part of the Fullbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program. It’s a six-week professional development program where teachers take seminars and observe professors and their students.

    Justice Stewart walked the students through her career, starting with college.

    “I got my undergraduate degree in music. With a name like Melody, what else would I study? “Justice Stewart joked. “My primary instrument was piano. After graduation, I took a job in health care. I managed a small health care company in Cleveland and I got intellectually bored. The vice president of the company, who was also in law school at the time, brought his law books into the office and I’d peek at them. Then, I decided to go to law school.”

    From there, Justice Stewart practiced law, defending the city of Cleveland in lawsuits. She then became a law professor and assistant dean and spent 12 years on the Eighth District Court of Appeals. She was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in November 2018 and took office Jan. 2, 2019.

    “I’ve had a wonderful career practicing law, teaching law, and serving on the judiciary,” Justice Stewart said. “If I never do anything in law again in my life, it would be ok because it’s been a great ride.”

    Students asked questions about cases involving the press, social media, and the dangers of misinformation.

    “Media literacy is so important in the world today because of the threat of fake news, disinformation, and propaganda, “said Nadina Nicolici, a secondary teacher from Romania. “It was interesting to find out new things and have a clear idea of how things function here.”

    The teachers will take the skills they learn at Kent State and practice them in their schools and communities back home.

    By Anne Yeager | October 10, 2019


  • 09 Oct 2019 11:00 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – OhioHealth announced today that Tara Aschenbrand, Esq., has been promoted to vice president and Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment.

    In her new role, Aschenbrand is the primary counsel for the organization’s labor and employment representation.  Aschenbrand regularly partners with human resources and business leaders on management of associates and employment related compliance issues.

    She also oversees the organization’s responses before government agencies, manages employment litigation, and provides legal guidance for OhioHealth Protective Services and Human Resources Benefits portfolio.

    “During her tenure at OhioHealth, Tara has provided exceptional legal and strategic guidance to the organization and the senior leadership team, said Terri Meldrum, Esq., Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. “She is a poised and thoughtful leader who has quickly gained the trust and confidence of the organization and this new leadership role positions our organization and department to benefit even further from her dynamic skill set.”

    “I am beyond excited about this new challenge and the organization’s trust in me,” said Aschenbrand. “I’m grateful to be part of OhioHealth and proud to be part of such a talented and compassionate team.”

    Education and Employment History

    Prior to joining OhioHealth in 2015, Aschenbrand served as a Principal at the global law firm of Squire Patton Boggs in Columbus. During her nearly 15 years there, she focused on all matters related to labor and employment.

    Aschenbrand earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, Summa Cum Laude, in 1999.

    She received her J.D., with honors, from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2002. Upon graduation, she served as judicial clerk to Judge James L. Graham of the United States District Court. 

    Community and Professional activities

    Aschenbrand sits on the board of trustees and is past president of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. She has also served on the board of directors for Amethyst, Inc, providing services and housing to recovering addicts.

    Honors include being selected to Business First’s “40 under 40” list of up and comers, and also as an “Ohio Rising Star” by Super Lawyers.

    Personal

    Aschenbrand is married with three kids, lives in Dublin, practices yoga and loves camping with the family.

    About OhioHealth

    OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

    Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007-2019.

    Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

    OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.


  • 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

    KEITH ARNOLD
    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.

    ###NKU###

    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 nku.edu.

    Contact: Anna Wright | Director of Public Relations | 859-572-5808 | wrighta15@nku.edu


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