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Law Firm Strauss Troy Adds Attorney Christopher "Kit" Houston


CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwired - October 27, 2015) - Strauss Troy, a leading law firm with offices in Ohio and Kentucky, announces that Attorney Christopher Houston has joined the firm. Houston has significant first-chair trial experience and strives to obtain fast and efficient results for his clients, whether at trial, through motions practice, mediation, arbitration -- or even avoiding the judicial process all together.

Christopher S. Houston"Kit brings valuable expertise to our Litigation Practice Group," said Marshall Dosker, Strauss Troy president. "His diverse experience in aviation; construction; financial services; healthcare; natural resources, and oil and gas makes him an excellent addition to our firm."

Houston focuses his practice in federal and state court, primarily in the areas of business, real estate and commercial litigation. He has represented clients in a vast-range of legal disputes including: breach of contract; collections; construction; personal injury; prosecuting and defending consumer claims, and many other areas where his clients encounter legal challenges in either their personal lives or business activities. He has spent substantial time working with local banks to protect their interests in distressed loans, both in state court and bankruptcy court.

Houston's experience isn't limited to the courtroom. He also serves many clients in the acquisition and sale of real estate. This work has included representing a commercial developer responsible for the purchase and development of more than 100 parcels throughout an eight-state region. Additionally, he has advised oil and gas exploration companies on issues related to development of the Utica Shale.

An experienced pilot, Houston holds his multi-engine commercial certificate, as well as various flight instructor ratings. His Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 121 certificate gives him significant experience in the operating requirements for domestic, flag and supplemental operations. This makes him the ideal attorney for any aviation issue.

Houston is licensed to practice in Ohio; Kentucky; U.S. District Court - Southern District of Ohio; U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Kentucky, and U.S. District Court -- Western District of Kentucky. He holds a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, Taft College of Law and a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee.

About Strauss Troy
As a full-service law firm founded in 1953, Strauss Troy has diverse expertise and a history of proven success. No matter what issue you face, the firm has the right professionals, working together as a team, to get you the answers you need quickly and affordably. Strauss Troy's Practice Groups include: Corporate | Business, Criminal | White Collar Defense, Domestic Relations | Family Law, Labor | Employment, Litigation, Municipal | Government, Real Estate | Finance, Tax Planning | Compliance and Trust | Estate Planning.

Strauss Troy, a leading law firm in the Greater Cincinnati | Northern Kentucky region, is a Martindale-Hubbell Top Ranked Law Firm™ in Fortune Magazine and a U.S. News & World Report Best® Law Firm. Many of its attorneys are honored as peer-rated Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Attorneys, Best Lawyers® in America, Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars.

Jennifer S. Gutmore '03 joins Knott Ebelini Hart


Jennifer S. Gutmore has joined the law firm of Knott Ebelini Hart as an associate. She will concentrate her practice in the areas of business and civil law. Previously, she served as an assistant state attorney in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. She worked as a judicial law clerk for Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell and as an assistant prosecuting attorney prior to moving to Florida in 2007. Ms. Gutmore received her law degree from University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Jennifer S. Gutmore '03 joins Knott Ebelini Hart


Jennifer S. Gutmore has joined the law firm of Knott Ebelini Hart as an associate. She will concentrate her practice in the areas of business and civil law. Previously, she served as an assistant state attorney in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. She worked as a judicial law clerk for Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell and as an assistant prosecuting attorney prior to moving to Florida in 2007. Ms. Gutmore received her law degree from University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Mark Stall '88 and Maria Rodell '96 hired at Escort, Inc. and Corporate Electronics


Maria Rodell – Hired as Director of Human Resources of Escort , Inc. and Cobra Electronics – Maria has her JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and her BS from St. Mary’s College. Maria was most recently with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Mark Stall – Hired as General Counsel of Escort , Inc. and Cobra Electronics – Mark has his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and his BS from Miami University. Mark most recently served as General Counsel of Toyota Industries North America based in Columbus, IN.

About Escort Inc. - ESCORT is the leading manufacturer of high-performance radar and laser detectors and the patented ESCORT Live™ real-time ticket protection network. ESCORT manufactures products under the ESCORT, PASSPORT, Max, REDLINE, SOLO, Pro and BELTRONICS brands. The company is headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, with its principal manufacturing facility located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Additional information about Escort, Inc. is available at Escortradar.com. For more information about ESCORT, visit ESCORT Inc. on Youtube, our website ESCORTinc.com or call the company direct at 800-964-3138

About Cobra Electronics - Cobra Electronics is a leading global designer and marketer of communication and navigation products, with a track record of delivering innovative and award-winning products. Building upon its leadership position in the GMRS/FRS two-way radio, radar detector and Citizens Band radio industries, Cobra identified new growth opportunities and has aggressively expanded into the marine market and has expanded its European operations. To learn more about Cobra Electronics, please visit the Cobra site at www.cobra.com. Follow Cobra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CobraElectronic and Like Us at www.facebook.com/CobraElectronics.

Escort Inc. and Cobra Electronics are portfolio companies of Monomoy Capital Partners based in New York City.

2016 Robert S. Marx Lecture to feature Professor Catherine M. Sharkey


Thursday, February 11, 2016
12:15 - 1:15 pm - Room 114
University of Cincinnati College of Law

CLE: 1 hr./general

View the webcast of the lecture2016 Marx Lecture

 

Catherine Sharkey is the Crystal Eastman Professor of Law at New York University and a Faculty Director of the Civil Jury Project at NYU. She is one of the nation’s leading authorities on punitive damages and federal preemption. She has published more than 40 articles, essays, and book chapters in the fields of torts, products liability, administrative law, remedies, and class actions. Sharkey is co-author with Richard Epstein of Cases and Materials on Torts (11th ed., 2016) and co-editor with Saul Levmore of Foundations of Tort Law (2nd ed., 2009). She is a founding member of the World Tort Law Society, established in 2012, and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Sharkey is an appointed public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and an adviser to the ALI Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. She was a 2011-12 Guggenheim Fellow.
 
In her lecture, Professor Sharkey will discuss the judicially created “economic loss rule,” which bars tort liability where a plaintiff has suffered strictly financial losses without accompanying personal injury or property damage. The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm provides two justifications for tort’s limited (or lack of) protection against purely economic losses: (1) the “floodgates” rationale, i.e., concern about potentially limitless liability; and (2) deference to contract. Courts’ reliance on these twin rationales, however, has bred confusion. Courts often intermingle the rationales or employ them inconsistently in different contexts. Professor Sharkey’s lecture will be an effort to map a clear path through the confusion and to provide a more robust theoretical justification for the economic loss rule, one grounded in the concept of the “cheapest cost avoider”. 
 
About the Marx Lecture
The Robert S. Marx Lecture was established by Judge Robert S. Marx to enrich the curriculum of the College of Law by bringing eminent scholars from various fields of law to lecture and interact with faculty and students. Judge Marx was a graduate of the College of Law and an outstanding member of the Cincinnati Bar for 51 years. The Lecture was endowed in 1989 through the generosity of the Robert S. Marx Testamentary Trustees.

Weaver Institute Celebrates Contributions of Founder, Dr. Glenn Weaver


The 2015-2016 Weaver Fellows; Jim Hunt and Valerie Hardcastle, co-directors of the Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry; and Dean Jennifer S. Bard joined the Glenn M. Weaver Foundation Trustees, headed by Ellen Weaver, for their annual dinner on November 19th.  Honoring the life and contributions of Dr. Glenn Weaver, the event also celebrated the on-going legacy of Dr. Weaver in the Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry and the activities of the Weaver fellows, both in the community and on campus.

 

 

LLM Program Is Opening Doors for Attorneys from China


“Law is the art about justice and kindness. It has depth and complexity; every court has two sides, and society is driven by multiple different forces,” states Ying (Nancy) Zhang, an LL.M. student from China.

The LL.M. program provides students who have studied law in a foreign country the opportunity to receive up to two years of exposure to the U.S. legal system. Each student has, at minimum, a bachelor’s in law and earns a masters in law for foreign-trained lawyers. The program is currently in its fourth year, and has so far graduated 30 students from 18 different countries. This year’s class features 18 students from 10 countries, and includes Qing Lyu, also from China, in addition to Zhang.

Before starting the LL.M. program, Zhang completed a bachelor’s degree at Zhengzhou University, where she received training to “think like a lawyer”, and a master’s degree at China University of Political Science and Law. She also had field experience, practicing corporate law at a local firm in Singapore for nearly four years.

When her husband relocated to the U.S. for work, it opened the door for Zhang to participate in the program.

Fellow student Lyu also left China to pursue education in America when her husband came to the States for work as well. “If you have a law degree in your country, and you know a little bit about American institutions, when you come back to my country, it’s very competitive for you to find a good job.” Although Lyu is not yet sure if they will return to China at some point, she does know that she wants to get work experience in America under her belt before they do.

Lyu also attended China University of Political Science and Law, but for her undergraduate education, where she studied both law and economics. For her graduate program, she went to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, focusing on maritime law. 

Similar to other LL.M. students, these women have noticed disparities between teaching styles here and in their home country, and both point to talking during class being the biggest one.

Lyu explained that professors will lecture, and although you can ask questions, it typically doesn’t happen. In the third year, students take classes that do allow them to talk a little bit, but note taking is still the major point of class. During her studies here, however, “We are asked to engage a lot. To ask questions, discuss with each other, or debate with professors-that’s very different.” Professors, and other students, are more open to questions here as well, and she feels that there is not such a stigma of asking a “dumb question.” 

Zhang partially credited the factor of age for this phenomenon. While American law students hold some other type of degree, those in China do not necessarily have that. Law is open to younger students, meaning that they need to be told more of what the law is, and how it works, before they can reasonably be expected to make judgements about it.

This degree has also served as a reminder that looks can be deceiving. Although she researched what law school in America entailed, Zhang came to find out that actually doing it is different than imagining it. As taking class everyday in China was no problem, she didn’t understand why everyone said 17 credit hours would be too much. After delving into her classes, however, she realized that they were right. “When I’m really going through it, it’s like, Oh, okay, I really have a lot of homework. I actually need to read a lot before I come to school, I’m expected to talk in class, and I have to write a lot. I knew I would probably go through this, but actually doing it is a little bit different.” 

Lyu felt similarly, originally deceived by social media posts. “I feel like it’s more challenging than I thought. A lot of my classmates came to the U.S. to study law, and they always post pictures of a lot of interesting things, like parties, and they travel a lot...I feel like I don’t have time for that. Basically, I study in the library, I prepare for class, I go home to sleep, and that’s my life.”

Although there are not as many international students, specifically those from China, at UC as opposed to many other law schools, Lyu views this as a benefit. “It forces you to talk with Americans or people from different countries, which also helps you improve your english skills. It’s kind of common if you have a lot of Chinese here that you just talk with them. You discuss with them about the class, or anything, so I think it’s beneficial for me not to have that.”

After LL.M. graduation, Zhang hopes to continue practicing corporate law, similar to what she was doing before, but to stay in the U.S.

Lyu isn’t sure where she will end up. If she remains stateside, she wishes to become a lawyer. However, upon return to China, her goal is to become a judge. Although that’s often one’s final job in America, it is not the same in her home country. After graduation, many of her classmates became clerks, in pursuit of eventually becoming a judge, saying, “In our country, we want to work for the government.”

Wherever they end up, both women are extremely happy to be a part of the program, and grateful for the opportunity to learn from skilled professors who care. As Zhang put it, “It is a privilege to be back to school at this time of my life.”

Author: Michelle Flanagan '18, UC Honors Student

Saying Goodbye: Professor Marianna Brown Bettman Retires from College of Law


After 15 years of pushing University of Cincinnati Law Students to be better than they knew they could be, Professor Marianna Bettman is retiring this fall.

Since starting her professional career, she has been recognized at many levels—for teaching excellence, for her contributions to the legal profession, and for her advocacy.  Surprisingly, however, law was not always Professor Bettman’s goal when she graduated from the University of Cincinnati with honors 1966.

Allowing the idea of law school to take root was not an immediate process even after graduation. “My mother always thought that I should be a lawyer, but of course - and mothers are always right - it took me a while longer to realize it,” said Bettman.

Though for many people the decision to go to law school and applying is a momentous one, not so for Bettman. Professor Bettman decided to pick up an application while horseback riding through Glen Woods, she walked into the law school wearing a pair of blue jeans and an old pair of cowboy boots! She admits that, after being out of school for 10 years, taking the LSAT was difficult, but she received her admission offer on her 30th birthday.

“I almost didn’t go, because I thought I was too old at the time,” she laughed. “But then, I thought, you know, I know a lot of lawyers in their 80s who are still practicing, so maybe I’m not too old!”

Professor Bettman excelled while at law school, graduating in 1977. Here she was a winner of the Constitutional law Prize and was the first woman at the College to take first prize in Trial Advocacy. “There were truly, virtually no women trial lawyers then….there were almost no role models who were women, it was very difficult. Women really got a hard time from a lot of judges, it was like double duty, proving yourself, having to be better than the best.”

Legal Education Then and Now

Educating students today is different from when Bettman was in school in the 70s. Back then, clinical experiences weren’t offered. Now, there’s a greater focus on experiential, hands-on learning, which—she believes—today’s students benefit from.

Although Bettman is a “double Bearcat”, holding both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University, she doesn’t think a student’s undergraduate major influences his or her success as a law student. While she herself held a degree in history, what helped her most was the logical disciplined style she honed along the way, a skill that can be gained from any field of study.

After spending 15 years as a trial lawyer, Professor Bettman was elected to the Ohio First District Court of Appeals in 1992, a court which, at that time, was over 100 years old. She has the distinction of being the first woman elected to this Court.

“There were times when I was on that Court where we’d have certain subjects, like domestic relations cases come up. All of my colleagues would look at me and go, ‘Well?’ So some of those ways of  thinking got carried over. But once they got used to me, it was absolutely fine.”

She acknowledged that in the beginning there were rough patches, and some colleagues didn’t know how to deal with a woman being on the court, but that they came around and everything worked out.

Bettman says her favorite part about this Court was being involved in a wide variety of subject areas. She would kid people that being on the Court of Appeals was like being back in law school, but actually understanding what you were doing. Because of the broad interest scope, she was never bored.

After spending six years on the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, she returned to the University for a third time, but as a teacher rather than a student.

Educating Generations of Attorneys

When asked what’s the best part of teaching, Professor Bettman gave an interesting response “Teaching first year, first semester torts, but for two reasons,” she said. She loves seeing pieces fall into place for students who are just starting law school. And because torts has a lot of societal issues wrapped into it, the story behind them is usually interesting, giving students a way to enjoy the class even if they don’t love the subject.

“Just to see that light go on is so much fun for me. And in that semester, they’re just like sponges, they want to absorb everything,” she explained. 

In spite of her passion for teaching, or perhaps because of it, she’s also heard tell that students call her a highly demanding teacher, a rumor she won’t deny or dispute. She will, however, make clear the distinction between demanding and mean. She remarked that she was recently paid a huge compliment from a coworker, who told her “You made it okay to be demanding.”

“I’m very demanding of myself, so why would I expect anything less of anyone else? And as a result, I get tremendous effort from students,” she said.

In addition to teaching, Professor Bettman directed the College’s Judge-in-Residence Program as well as the Judicial Extern Program.

Celebrating the Professor

To mark her retirement, as is tradition at the College of Law, Bettman was celebrated during her last class. The day, December 3, 2015, was officially proclaimed “Marianna Brown Bettman Day” via a proclamation by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. In addition, she has been awarded Professor Emeritus status by the University’s Board of Trustees, cementing her lifelong relationship with the College and the University.

Although she’s retiring, no one should expect Professor Bettman to simply disappear, she says. She’s looking forward to having greater control over her time, but still plans to dedicate part of it to the law school. She wants students to know they can still keep in touch or ask her for help if needed.

Students can also keep up with her through her blog, Legally Speaking Ohio, and monthly newspaper column, Legally Speaking, which is featured in the American Israelite and the Cincinnati Herald.

She shared some parting words of wisdom, encouraging students to get outside their comfort zones and explore before settling into one area.

“Be open to trying as many different things as you can...You never know, something may spark your fancy that you knew absolutely nothing about or thought you would’ve had no interest in whatsoever,” she urged. “Engage in as broad a set of activities as you can before you settle down into the area you think you’re really interested in because it could be something very different from what you think when you arrive here.” 

Here’s What Others Are Saying About Professor Bettman

Judge Karen Nelson Moore, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Marianna is an accomplished advocate, preeminent practitioner, judicious jurist, praised professor and talented teacher.

Judge Nathaniel Jones, Of Counsel, Blank Rome LLP: There’s no way I can adequately characterize Marianna. She is a civil rights advocate. She was for civil rights before civil rights were cool! And she never abandoned her commitment to that.

Professor Ronna Greff Schneider: She showed us that being a lawyer also means being a leader.

Samantha Rheingold, SBA President: Thanks Professor Bettman for being an integral part of all the students’ experience at UC Law.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Ohio Supreme Court: Marianna Bettman is a ceiling ‘shatterer.’ 

Check out photos from her Last Class on Dec. 3, 2015!  Bettman's Last Class

 

Author: Michelle Flanagan'18, UC Honors Student

Conference on Predatory Lending Noted in National Newsletter


“Dodging the Debt Trap,” the conference hosted recently by the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, was mentioned in a newsletter from Americans for Financial Reform, a nonpartisan and nonprofit coalition of 200+n civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and civic and community groups. AFR has been called “the leading voice for Wall Street accountability in Washington (Huffington Post). 

OIP Attorney Jennifer Bergeron on WOSU Radio


On November 16, 2015, “All Sides with Ann Fisher” on WOSU, discussing the Plight of the Wrongfully Convicted, featured an interview of OIP staff attorney Jennifer Bergeron. You can listen to the podcast online.