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Hannah Brooks’14 Shares Her Experience at the Lavender Law Conference


I have so many wonderful things to say about the Lavender Law Conference and I'm honestly not too sure where to begin. I just want to thank you, as an office (the CPD), again for having sent out the information; and, I also want to thank you and everyone you worked with to help me get funds to ease the financial burden of the trip.  It was beyond worth it. There were so many opportunities for networking, lots of job opportunities, and opportunities for professional growth. I was beyond pleased with each moment.

Next year the conference will be in Chicago so I want to encourage as many people, students, and grads-to-be to head there after the bar exam. If they are able to come, I would like to ask to have my information kept on file so I can help them secure cheap/free accommodations and help them figure out how to navigate the city and ways to get the most out of the conference. I would love to be a resource to help others participate. I entirely intend on returning next year.

I am writing up several e-mails about different workshops and contacts that I made at the conference to e-mail to different professors regarding related work. If you have any questions or want to know more please let me know. I'm still gushing about it to everyone.

One more thing - The shorter man with white hair in the photo next to me is late civil rights' activist, most notably MLKs advisor, Bayard Rustin's partner. His name is Walter Naegle, and I took this picture shortly after wiping my tears. I couldn't believe he was there. They talked quite a bit about the Brother Outsider documentary so that's part of what I will be sending into other students, organizations, and professors. Definitely a highlight for me.

Doreen Canton elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers


Taft Attorney Elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers

CINCINNATI, OHIO (Sept. 25, 2014) – Doreen Canton, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, has been elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Canton, a partner and co-chair of the Labor & Employment practice group of Taft, graduated from Canisius College and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was Lead Articles Editor of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.Canton has advised and represented private and public employers in all areas of labor and employment law and has tried many Title VII, Title IX and state law claims, including age, sex, race, disability and national origin discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation and contract claims to defense verdicts. She also has substantial experience in traditional labor matters, including arbitrations, contract negotiations, elections and labor disputes. 

Canton is listed in Best Lawyers in America and was named a 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" for Cincinnati Labor Law - Management. She is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Sept. 25, 2014

Leading Lawyers for Business. Ohio Super Lawyers rated her one of the "Top 25 Women Attorneys in Ohio" and one of the "Top 50 Women Attorneys in Cincinnati."

About Taft

At Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, delivering outstanding legal performance to help clients succeed is what drives and motivates our more than 400 attorneys every day. Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Chicago; Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Covington, Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law, including Business and Finance; Litigation; Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property; Business Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights; Environmental; Health and Life Sciences; Private Client Services; Real Estate; and Tax. With a proven track record of experience since 1885, the firm offers breadth and depth of legal expertise coupled with a trusted business perspective to help our clients, big and small, regionally, nationally and internationally, reach their goals. For more information, please visit www.taftlaw.com.

Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, elected to serve as ECOS President


State Commissioners Elect Tennessee Commissioner Martineau President

Santa Fe, NM – Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, was elected by his peers to serve as ECOS President at the organization’s Fall Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joining Martineau at the helm of the national nonprofit, nonpartisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders are newly elected Vice President Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Secretary-Treasurer Henry Darwin, Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and Past President Dick Pedersen, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. 

“I am honored to lead ECOS at a time when the state-federal relationship is front and center in critical discussions on air, water, and natural resources in our nation,” said Martineau, who was appointed to his Commissioner post by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2011. “ECOS is leading conversations on how we collectively are going to deliver a clean and healthy environment to all Americans in a fiscally responsible, modern, and efficient manner.” 

Martineau’s priorities will include advancing the joint U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-state E-Enterpise for the Environment initiative, building an enhanced relationship between state environmental agency attorneys and EPA’s Office of General Counsel, and advocating for federal funding for state environmental agencies. “States implement 96 percent of the delegable environmental programs in our country. 

This means that the state voice has to be heard and considered, as we are co-regulators with EPA,” said Martineau. “At the same time, state primacy and autonomy must be respected.” 

He also plans to enhance the association’s relationships with the Departments of Defense and Energy. “Silos are breaking down between agencies and departments every day,” Martineau noted. “This opens up new partnerships and opportunities for ECOS to seize.” 

Martineau has spent more than 25 years as an attorney in the field of environmental law, including seven years of service in EPA’s Office of General Counsel and 16 years as a partner in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee.

Best Lawyers selects Edward Taber as the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year”


THREE TUCKER ELLIS PARTNERS NAMED 2015 “LAWYERS OF THE YEAR”

Tucker Ellis LLP is proud to announce that Best Lawyers has selected three of the firm’s partners as 2015 “Lawyers of the Year” in the Cleveland market. Only one lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.

The Tucker Ellis attorneys honored as 2015 “Lawyers of the Year” are:

  • Henry Billingsley—Admiralty and Maritime Law 
  • Matthew Moriarty—Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Edward Taber—Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Best Lawyers conducts exhaustive peer-review assessments with thousands of leading lawyers each year and bestows the “Lawyer of the Year” honor on those attorneys with particularly impressive voting averages. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

About Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP is a full-service law firm of more than 180 attorneys with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The firm is proud to service a Fortune 250 list of national litigation clients and sophisticated business clients for whom we individually tailor our client service teams. For more information, please visit tuckerellis.com.

Gregory M. Utter '81 Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates


KMK Law Partner Gregory M. Utter Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates

Cincinnati (Sept. 15, 2014) — Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law) is pleased to announce that Litigation Partner Gregory M. Utter has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  ABOTA’s mission is to “foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation.”  

Specifically, ABOTA serves to elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, to promote the efficient administration of justice, and to preserve the United States jury system. The ABOTA Foundation serves to preserve the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and preserve the civil justice system in the future.

For the past 33 years, Utter’s practice has been concentrated in the areas of class action, complex commercial litigation, and personal injury. He has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous commercial and class action matters involving employment, shareholder derivative, tort, antitrust and contract disputes.  Utter has significant experience in trial and appellate, state and federal courts in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. In 2012, Utter was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, and he is a Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America. He serves as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Utter earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1981, and his B.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, magna cum laude, in 1978.

About Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL

The law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a nationally-recognized law firm delivering sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 100 corporations to start-up companies. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers 2014 recognized KMK as a leading law firm in Ohio in Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Law, and General Commercial Litigation.  KMK earned three national rankings (Corporate Law, Commercial Litigation, and Venture Capital Law) and 36 metropolitan rankings in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” report by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.  Founded in 1954, KMK has approximately 110 lawyers and a support staff of 150 employees. Additional information is available at www.kmklaw.com. 

 

William Howard Taft Lecture Focuses on Federalism as a Constitutional Principle


Tuesday, October 28, 2014
12:15 pm
University of Cincinnati College of Law- Room 114

CLE: Application for 1 hour of general CLE has been submitted to Ohio and Kentucky, and approval is expected.

Webcast: (available on 10/28): 2014 Lecture

 

Federalism as a Constitutional Principle

Federalism may be the most distinctive aspect of American constitutionalism.  Unlike many constitutional principles, federalism is part of the everyday experience of all Americans.  Many people have never been prosecuted for a crime, had a desire to protest government action, or owned a gun, but virtually every one of us has lived in a state, voted in a state or local election, and noted the changes—sometimes subtle, sometimes not—that confront us when we cross state lines.  Yet federalism remains relatively unappreciated by most Americans and incompletely understood even by constitutional lawyers.  This lecture examines the reasons to value and enforce federalism as a constitutional principle, emphasizing the role of federalism in the constitutional system of checks and balances.  But federalism cannot survive unless people actually care about their states, and this lecture also explores whether, in fact, they still do.

 

About the Speaker

Ernest A. Young, the Alston & bird Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law, will present the 2014 William Howard Taft Lecture on Constitutional Law, October 28, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. This event will be held in Room 114; application for 1 hr/CLE has been submitted to Ohio and Kentucky; approval is expected. In this lecture Professor Young will examine the reasons to value and enforce federalism as a constitutional principle, emphasizing the role of federalism in the constitutional system of checks and balances. 

Welcome to A New Year


Dear friends,

A highpoint for me every year is welcoming our new students to the College of Law – sharing in their excitement, commemorating with them the start of their careers, and celebrating the good things about law and the legal profession that make both essential to a civil and prosperous society.

And Monday, August 18th  was as good as it gets.   We welcomed the Class of 2017 – a group of 75 students (a smaller class than usual, as is happening at law schools across the country).  Impressive, engaged, and rich with promise, they range in age from 21 to 50 and come from 13 states (and birthplaces in at least seven different nations).  Alumni of 43 different undergraduate institutions, they majored in 26 different undergraduate fields of study. 

We also welcomed five transfer students to the Class of 2016, as well as two exchange students from our New Zealand partner, the University of Canterbury School of Law.  And we welcomed 12 LL.M. students who hail from eight nations.  Our long-storied law school, now in its 182nd  year, is delighted to welcome all these new members into the fold.  We are now even stronger.

Going Forward

It’s an exciting year ahead.  There are victories to be won in moot courts, trial and negotiation competitions, and transactional meets.  Law reviews to publish and influential scholarship to produce.  Hundreds of clients to serve in our clinics.  Law to learn and skills to hone in our classes.  Major lectures and events – including a boundary-spanning program this October from the Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice – that you won’t want to miss.  Milestones to mark, including the Ohio Innocence Project’s 10th anniversary and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights’ 35th.   

We’ll continue to excel – and  get even better – at providing an outstanding legal education.  (Did you know the College was recognized nationally for the strength of its experiential learning and practical training?)  We’ll provide that outstanding legal education as affordably as possible.  (Did you know the College ranks 25th in lowest average graduate student debt, and recently was recognized nationally for value?)  We’ll continue to do it all with great spirit and an enviable sense of true community.  (Did you know that the College was the only college at UC to attain 100% participation in the recent Faculty/Staff fundraising campaign, and leads UC’s west campus colleges with the highest percentage of alumni fundraising participation?)

Speaking of spirit, community, and the exciting year we’ve begun: The SBA kicked off the year with a Day of Service on September 6, bringing together students, faculty, staff, and alumni in community service projects throughout our city.  A great time was had by all.  Let’s continue that trend they’ve started.

Best wishes for a great year,

Lou Bilionis, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law

 

Addressing Human Trafficking Problems Fuels Zemmelman


Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Rebecca Zemmelman ’16 became passionate about social justice and human rights becuase of her environment.  Her mother, the Hon. Connie F. Zemmelman, is a judge on the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division (Toledo, OH). As she learned more about her mother’s work, Zemmelman realized the seriousness of the human trafficking problem in Toledo, and became interested in taking steps to be in a position to affect change.

Before joining the College of Law, Zemmelman studied at Miami University in Oxford, pursuing journalism and political science.  It was during her time in Oxford that she first connected with UC Law.  As a leader in the Pre-Law Society there, Rebecca became acquainted with the College’s own Professor Christopher Bryant. It so happened that he was involved in a lot of the programming the student group organized that year. “Professor Bryant and I went to coffee the year I was applying,” she shared. “He was extremely nice and helpful.”  Not only did Professor Bryant make her confident that UC Law was the right choice,  but the entire Admissions team, faculty, and staff were very welcoming.  She also was drawn to the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) here at the College of Law of which she is a fellow.

Additionally, Zemmelman works in the College of Law’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice as a Program Assistant.  In this position, she does a bit of everything to help the Center and its programs run smoothly:  she attends meetings with the Center’s leadership, helps plan events, and assists with Center events and clinics (including this semester’s directed reading course at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center downtown and with the Domestic Violence Clinic).  To round things out, Zemmelman is also the vice-president of the American Constitution Society here at the law school.

Shining a Light on Human Trafficking

When she was a junior at Miami University, Zemmelman worked with Congressman Dennis Kucinich in Washington D.C.  “It was very interesting working with him,” she said, noting that the experience was very educational.  In her time in Washington, she began taking a closer look at the attention human trafficking was receiving on Capitol Hill, and saw that, while the problem was recognized, not a great deal of support was to be found for any bills that aimed to impact change.  “I did a lot of research going to seminars, and learned as much about the problem as I could,” she explained.  “Human trafficking seems to mostly avoid the media spotlight, as the issues are not overly political.  A common misperception is that the problem is not here in Ohio, or even the US.  But, in fact, human trafficking is a serious issue right here at home and it needs to be addressed.” 

Zemmelman’s experiences have inspired her to take steps in her own career towards effecting change in our communities.  After gaining her J.D., she aims to work with local government and policymakers.  “I’ve really been motivated through my work with the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, as well as my work with OIP.  There are some serious issues that have struggled to gain traction in our legal system, and I feel I am in a position to be able to make a difference.”

Walia’s Life Experiences Lead to Career in Social Justice


Second year law student Priya Walia ’16 finds strength and satisfaction working with those from disadvantaged communities.  Originally from the mountain state, she grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, and stayed there to attend West Virginia University.  There she studied philosophy and political science, and further involved herself in the world of social justice thorough her work at a nonprofit organization West Virginia Women Work.

West Virginia Women Work primarily focuses on assisting women to explore, train for, and secure employment opportunities with a focus on the skilled trades.  Walia spent four years there, doing the gamut of assignments including putting on construction training classes twice a year in different locations across the state.  She started as a receptionist and eventually became an office manager, taking on a lot of additional responsibilities.  “I really liked serving that community,” she shared, “and I knew that when I came to law school that I wanted to do similar work and stay in the realm of nonprofits.” 

Now, Walia works in the College of Law’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice as a Program Assistant.  In this position, she does a bit of everything to help the Center and its programs run smoothly, including attending meetings, developing and planning events, and assisting with program implementation.

The Appeal of Cincinnati, OJPC, and Social Justice

When deciding on law schools, Cincinnati appealed to Walia for several reasons:  the urban environment, the size of the city, the friendliness of the law school community, and the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice.  And Cincinnati has treated her exceptionally, as she expressed her interest in remaining in the Queen City after law school.  This past summer Walia worked at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) downtown.  This summer job fit perfectly with her desire to work with nonprofits, and she was able to work with disadvantaged communities here in Cincinnati.  OJPC’s stated mission is “to create fair, intelligent, redemptive criminal-justice systems through zealous client-centered advocacy, innovative policy reform, and cross-sector community education.”  Walia contributed with her research and blog writing regarding Ohio’s record sealing practices and her work with the Second Chance Project whereby former offenders receive assistance with re-entering the community after release from prison.

While she acknowledged that burnout is a common fear of people considering a career working in disadvantaged communities, she found encouragement from her experience at OJPC.  “Once I was able to see people in the field, doing great work, and not getting burnt out, it was inspiring to me.”  Now, she finds the work to be a way of recharging.

“There is an intimidation factor in coming to law school,” she shared.  “Be prepared to guard your goals.  You may have to look a good salary in the eye and turn it down, but if you stick to your guns you will find the work you do to be rewarding.”

Fellows Sherry Porter and Andrea Brown Discuss the Role of Social Justice


Fellows Sherry Porter and Andrea Brown Discuss the Role of Social Justice

Center for Race Gender, and Social Justice Fellows Sherry Porter and Andrea Brown shared their thoughts about the legal field, social justice, and how they hope to make an impact in the field.

Porter, from a small town in southern Indiana, attended Indiana University Southeast, receiving a B.A. in psychology. Prior to UC Law she worked as a probation officer for almost a decade. In her role as a fellow she supports the Center by helping with panel discussions, editing the Freedom Center Journal, and conducting social justice research. “My research interest on pregnant women in the U.S. prison system will fit well within the Center's mission as I strive to be an activist and advocate for the rights of prisoners and institutional change,” said Porter.  

Brown, from Hamilton, OH, is a graduate of the University of Chicago. There, she received a B.A. in English literature, minoring in gender studies. She worked for Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, both organizing communities around labor issues and managing the data collected. “In addition to taking courses, I will be able to participate in a Center sponsored research project,” said Brown. “I’ll also be helping out with the Center’s events, including the upcoming screening of Private Violence.

What drove your interest in the legal field?

Porter: I became interested in the legal field many years ago working as a corrections officer at a juvenile detention center. This is how I transitioned into working in probation. After spending many years working in the criminal justice system, law school seemed like the next logical step in my career. I received a master's degree with a focus on gender studies in 2012. This led me to UC Law and the dual degree program with the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. My thesis will focus on incarcerated mothers in the U.S. prison system.

Brown: I see law as the practical tool that, when combined with passion, can be a vehicle for social change.

Why are you interested in social justice?

Porter: I am interested in social justice feminism because I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of the disadvantaged. I am currently a volunteer advocate at Women Helping Women in downtown Cincinnati. This organization is designed to encourage and support survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault. 

Brown: I’ve always had a drive to work to enact change that will make our society more righteous and ethical. Seeing ‘up close’ the injustices the communities that I organized faced only solidified my desire to do work in this field.

What do you plan to do with your degree?

Porter: I hope to spend a long career in the law working to make positive changes in our legal system concerning female offenders, particularly incarcerated mothers.  

Brown: I plan to continue my work in the labor field, whether that be in a private firm that works on employment issues, an agency like the National Labor Relations Board or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or directly with a labor union.