Partner W. Kelly Johnson '86 Selected to Serve as Interim Hamilton County Public Defender
CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 10, 2012) – The Hamilton County Public Defender Commission selected W. Kelly Johnson, of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur's Cincinnati office, to serve as the interim Hamilton County Public Defender. Johnson replaces Shelia Kyle-Reno, who resigned effective April 12, 2012 to pursue other opportunities.
Johnson brings more than 25 years of criminal law experience, in both the public and private sectors, to the role. He is a Partner and Chair of Porter Wright's White Collar and Government Investigations Practice Group. Johnson's private practice focuses on white collar crime and civil and criminal forfeiture; he has extensive experience in cases involving fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, environment, and internet crimes.
Prior to joining the Firm, Johnson spent more than a decade in public service as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. His Public Defender duties included representing indigent criminal defendants in the federal courts in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky and supervising the Cincinnati and Dayton Federal Public Defender offices. He is a past President of the Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Johnson's service to the Public Defender's Office is being provided on a pro bono basis from Porter Wright. The Commission has thanked Porter Wright for its contribution of Johnson's services to the Office, and Chairman John Issenmann said they are very pleased to have Johnson serve in the role of interim Hamilton County Public Defender.
“Kelly brings significant experience and knowledge to this role. Having previously walked in the shoes of a public defender and now serving as defense counsel in private practice, he brings a unique perspective to this challenging position. His presence will provide a smooth transition in the Public Defender Office and will assure that high-quality services will continue to be provided to criminal defendants in Hamilton County.”
Issenmann said that while Johnson serves in the interim, the Hamilton County Public Defender Commission will conduct a search to fill the Public Defender position.
Robert W. "Buzz" Trafford, Porter Wright's Managing Partner, noted "Kelly's unique combination of skill and experience will prove a steady guide to the Public Defender's Office during the transition process. He understands the needs of community, the importance of serving the underprivileged, and the necessity of a stable Public Defender's Office. Porter Wright takes seriously the obligation of all lawyers to provide pro bono service to the communities where they live and work. Kelly will play a key role in helping disadvantaged individuals in Hamilton County navigate an often intricate legal system."
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP is a large law firm that traces its roots to 1846 in Ohio. With offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Naples, Florida, Porter Wright provides counsel to a worldwide base of clients.
Christopher D. Cathey '99 Joins Roetzel’s Cincinnati Office as Partner
(Cincinnati, Ohio, March 19, 2012) – Roetzel is pleased to announce that Christopher D. Cathey has joined the firm’s Cincinnati office as a partner. Mr. Cathey is a trial attorney who has more than 12 years of litigation experience. He focuses his practice in business and commercial litigation, employment litigation and financial institution litigation.
Mr. Cathey regularly defends and prosecutes claims on behalf of banks, finance companies, equipment lessors, debt buyers and other financial services providers in consumer and commercial disputes. In addition, Mr. Cathey has substantial experience representing companies and individuals in a broad range of complex business litigation matters, including director and officer liability claims, commercial real estate and non-competition and trade secret litigation.
“The depth of knowledge and experience Chris brings to the firm will be a great asset to our clients,” said Eric Bruestle, Partner-in-Charge of Roetzel’s Cincinnati office. “I’m pleased to welcome him to the firm.”
Mr. Cathey has been consistently selected as an “Ohio Super Lawyers – Rising Star” by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, and he is a Fellow in both the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Mr. Cathey is a member of the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association and Cincinnati Bar Association, as well as the ACA International, Members’ Attorney Program (MAP). He is admitted to practice law in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida.
Founded in 1876, Roetzel is a law firm with 13 offices throughout Ohio, Florida, Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C. The firm has more than 200 attorneys who provide comprehensive, integrated legal counsel in more than 40 different areas of law, and practice both nationally and internationally.
Meet Campaign Donor Stephen Ewald '94 and Learn Why He Gives
For Stephen Ewald ’94, the law was his “destiny profession.” Giving back to UC Law allows him to help other students get the experience he did and find their true calling. That’s one of the reasons he recently made a significant donation toward the construction of the new law school building.
Ewald, who is also a University of Cincinnati political science graduate, had decided upon law school long before entering college. In fact, he even worked for the law school while still in college, documenting fundraising events for Counselor magazine.
When the time came to make a decision about which school to attend, Ewald notes that there wasn’t a real contest. “I looked all over and had many other opportunities, but given the information I had on UC, I really only had an interest in going there,” he said. Staying in Ohio made sense both financially and in terms of opportunities. Beyond that, however, “once UC came through I just couldn't find another school like it.”
Interestingly, since his professional career would cover the legal/financial industries, Ewald was “lucky” to begin his career at Fifth Third Bank—while still in law school. He began working there the summer after his 1L year and continued at the bank through law school and upon graduation. While at Fifth Third he concentrated his work on commercial litigation.
In 1997, Ewald made the move to Wall Street, joining the firm Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft as a finance attorney. While at the firm, he was a key figure in developing a Bank of America (BoA) program to cover the closing of distressed debt trades. The program was so successful that BoA decided to “bring it in-house.” This, in turn, provided an opportunity for him to leave the firm for BoA.
Ewald spent the next decade at the bank, “doing a little bit of everything” in both a legal capacity and as a senior business manager, but remaining focused on supporting global financial services businesses. Eventually he joined the leadership team, ultimately serving as business manager and co-chief operating officer for the CEO for Bank of America Securities. This position gave him oversight of every aspect of the bank's activities outside of investment banking.
When BoA acquired Merrill Lynch in 2009, Ewald decided it was time to make another move. “The place felt very much the opposite of when I joined, the leadership team had all turned over and while I was offered a role at the merged enterprise, I decided to it was time for a new challenge” he says. He left and joined Cantor Fitzgerald, a global financial services firm. (Though Cantor Fitzgerald lost two-thirds of its employees during the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, the company had managed to survive and undergo rapid growth.)
Ewald worked for Cantor Fitzgerald as a principal transactional attorney, manager and business developer until May 2011, when he joined Brevet Capital Management. Today he serves as the company's Chief Legal and Operations Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Managing Director. His work involves asset management, structuring, compliance, and special situations investing.
Ewald says he is very eager for UC Law to maintain its prowess among law schools, and he believes the new building is an integral part of the school's bright future. “I love the location of the law school,” he says, “but it is definitely in dire need of new facilities. I wanted to help facilitate getting that done in order to continue the rich tradition this school has. In order to do that, [the school's] alumni, who represent after all the core legacy of the law school, have to continue to give back.”
Apart from his own donation, Ewald, who is a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, works to raise funds with other alumni located in New York City. “For those of us who have graduated and had success since law school, it behooves us to give back,” he commented. “The law school is urban and tied to a major university, but it is enhanced by its small size and focus on creating truly great lawyers. I want to do what I can to help ensure that other students continue to get the experience and quality legal education offered by UC Law.”
Kevin L. Miller’98 Named COO and VP at Industrial Scientific
Industrial Scientific Corporation, the global leader in gas detection as a service, has announced that Kevin Miller has been promoted to chief operating officer and vice president. Miller joined Industrial Scientific in 2007 as the director of sales, Americas, and since then has served as the vice president and general manager of Americas sales & services, and most recently as vice president of global sales, services & marketing. In his new role, Miller will be responsible for sales, services, marketing, product development, and manufacturing for Industrial Scientific’s portable gas detection business.
Prior to joining the company, Miller was vice president of Argosy University Online Programs. He also held positions at FreeMarkets, Inc., now Ariba, Inc., including director of supplier solutions and global commercial operations, and director of North American sales operations.
In addition to his JD, Miller earned an MBA from the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary, and a BA from Davidson College. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association.
2004 Graduate Yvette Simpson’s Success Story Continues with City Council Election
Yvette Simpson ’04 flirted with the idea of running for Cincinnati City Council for a few years, but it was not until July 2010 that she decided to enter a race.
From October 2010 to the early days of November 2011, the proud Cincinnatian and West End resident poured countless hours into her 2011 campaign. But even after all the time and energy put forth, the end result was surprising to her.
“I never thought I’d win the first time out,” Simpson said.
On Nov. 8, Simpson was elected to City Council, one of four newcomers to the nine-member council. Since that day and since being sworn in on Dec. 1, “it’s been a whirlwind,” the 33-year-old said.
Simpson got quickly acclimated to her new role, first working with the rest of the council to pass the budget. Since those first two weeks, Simpson has been attending meetings, getting out in the community and familiarizing herself with “what’s happening and where the city is going to go” in the coming years.
More than three months in, Simpson says her goals have not changed. Now she is working hard with her fellow councilmembers to achieve them. “One of the overarching things that I was looking at was really kind of bringing a sense of efficiency, order (and) transparency to the way the government happens,” Simpson said. “I think that we have been successful in that already.”
Outside of supporting the initiatives of the other eight councilmembers, Simpson said her office is concerned with three areas in particular: small business development, neighborhood development and a focus on youth as the future of Cincinnati.
“I think for the first time in a long time you are seeing a council that’s really looking at how do we progress Cincinnati, how do we make Cincinnati a world-class city,” said Simpson, reflecting not only on her aspirations but also those of the other councilmembers. “We’re really in a position to be able to become competitive with cities that we would not typically compare ourselves to.”
Pursuing a Legal Career
When Simpson was eight years old, she decided she wanted to attend law school. While few children at that age have this aspiration, this is especially noteworthy considering no one in her family attended college, let alone pursued a graduate degree. “I looked at the law as an opportunity to make change. I don’t know why I saw that at eight, but I really did,” said Simpson, who grew up in Lincoln Heights. “There are, of course, always challenges when you’re the first at anything, particularly when you have very little resources. I was very fortunate to have lots of support.”
After graduating from Princeton High School, she attended Miami University, majoring in political science and mass communication, while minoring in business legal studies. Simpson was highly involved at Miami, which was a “wonderful” experience and helped her grow as an individual, she said.
“I feel like undergrad was an opportunity to become myself,” Simpson said. “I finally became a leader in law school. I started to realize I could be someone that could lead things and get things done.”
Simpson enrolled at the College of Law in the fall of 2001, and was very active on and off campus for all three years, which included working multiple part-time jobs, just as she had done while attending Miami.
At UC Law, Simpson co-chaired the Student Legal Education Committee (SLEC), was an executive member of the Moot Court board (and was inducted to the Order of the Barristers), served on the honor council, was a senior articles editor for the Human Rights Quarterly, and worked as an associate with both Baker & Hostetler LLP and Frost Brown Todd LLC.
“I got a taste of leadership and involvement, and I loved it,” said Simpson, who received the University of Cincinnati’s “Spirit of the Community” award while attending the College of Law.
Following law school, Simpson worked at Frost Brown Todd and then with Keating Muething & Klekamp PPL. Working in private practice helped Simpson build a strong foundation, but she soon found that she “gravitated more towards the community and the opportunity to help people,” she said.
In her third year in practice, Simpson had the opportunity to travel to Africa with a team of lawyers, doctors, teachers and engineers, where she conducted a non-profit education group.
After enjoying this experience, Simpson began to ask herself, ‘Could I make a living out of making change?’ Can I serve for a living, as opposed to it being the thing that I do after work?’
Simpson went on to develop Miami University’s first pre-law program after being approached by the university. Simpson, who called this a “phenomenal growth opportunity,” has led the Miami pre-law center for five years and is sad to be leaving the program at the end of the month.
Passion for the Past
In 2005, Simpson was named to the Business Courier’s “Forty under 40” list and she was also named a YWCA Rising Star. There are too many accomplishments to list them all, but there is one thing Simpson is particularly proud of: making it to and graduating from law school after setting that goal at age eight.
“That’s probably the most significant because it was the thing I always wanted to do. To have accomplished that is just phenomenal,” Simpson said. “When I look back at how far I’ve come and how many obstacles there were between me and that, and it feels like everything after my law degree really is ‘cake.’”
Not only is Simpson proud of her law degree, but she is specifically fond of her time at the College of Law. “I love my law school,” Simpson said. “I get as involved as I can. Of course, I have a great relationship with the law school through my work at Miami. I’m just really proud of my school.”
On Oct. 31, just more than a week before Election Day, Simpson was one of several City Council candidates who attended a lunchtime forum at the College of Law. This event, co-sponsored by the Law Republicans and Law Democrats, was a great opportunity for each of the candidates, especially Simpson.
“I was the only one, I think, there who actually attended UC law school, which was quite an honor for me to be able to get back to my alma mater,” Simpson said. “I was really inspired by the questions and comments of the folks that we met with.”
Outside of her work, Simpson has become “quite enamored” with golf and enjoys working out, listening to live music, singing and dancing. Despite being a people-person, she also likes the occasional peace and quiet to read biographies and autobiographies about great leaders.
By Jordan Cohen, ’13
Julie Janson ’88 Named 2012 Chair of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
2012-02-28: Julie Janson, president of Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky, will serve as the 2012 chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She was publicly installed into the position on Feb. 16 at the Chamber’s annual dinner.
In her role at Duke Energy, Janson leads Duke Energy’s Ohio and Kentucky operations, serving approximately 1.2 million gas and electric customers. In addition to her leadership at the Chamber, Janson serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 3CDC and Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and is a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee. She also chaired the 2010 campaign for the Fine Arts Fund, now known as ArtsWave.
Bryant and Shanahan Named One of the 2012 Women to Watch by the Cincinnati Enquirer
Christie Bryant ‘06, an attorney and small business owner, is chairperson of the African American Chamber. In this position she will monitor projects including minority hiring at the incoming Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which plans to fill 1,700 permanent jobs. In addition, she is founder of Records Request, a documents service. Finally, Bryant is a member of the Cincinnati City Planning Commission, new chair of the city Human Services Advisory Committee, and finance chairwoman of the Avondale Community Council.
Megan Shanahan ‘00 is a Municipal Court judge for Hamilton County. Elected November 2011, Shanahan has the distinction of being the youngest of 14 Hamilton County Municipal Court judges. She was elected to this position after 11 years as prosecutor in Butler and Hamilton Counties, where she won convictions of child abusers and murderers.
For the complete list of the Enquirer’s 2012 Women to Watch, visit the website. (Women to Watch list)
“Ten Key Skills for Building a Successful and Rewarding Legal Career over the Next 10 Years: An Insider’s Perspective”
When: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.mm
(a complimentary cocktail reception will follow the presentation)
Location: Graydon Head & Ritchey, 1900 Fifth Third Center, 511 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202, 20th floor
Cost: Complimentary for GCMCP members and UC Law Alums
CLE: GCMCP has requested one (1) hour of professionalism CLE credit in Ohio and one (1) hour of general credit in Kentucky
RSVP: Michelle Moeller, or 513-722- 4942. Pre-registration is now open. Reserve your seat early as space is limited.
So you think that you have what it takes to get promoted and make it to the top? Get an insider’s perspective from two of the top legal recruiters in the country, Michael Sachs and Sonja Olds Sam of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Chicago Office. The duo will share their “insider’s perspective” on the 10 soft and substantive skills most requested by today’s top corporations and firms when hiring their next lawyer.
Take an hour to invest in your career while gaining valuable, complimentary CLE credit. Sachs and Som will share how you can become a stronger candidate at your current or next employer. As the legal market place continues to evolve, you might be surprised at the skills and talents most highly prized by today’s employers. Please join us for a thought-provoking, practical look at personal development, followed by a complimentary cocktail reception.
About the Speakers:
Michael Sachs, Managing Director at Major, Lindsey & Africa-Chicago.
Mr. Sach’s national recruiting practice focuses on placing attorneys at all levels – from associate counsel to general counsels in corporate legal departments around the world, with a target on MLA’s Central Region.
Sonya Olds Som, Managing Director in Major Lindsey & Africa- Chicago.
Ms. Som’s practice focuses on developing and executing business development and strategic marketing initiatives for MLA’s In-House Practice Group, as well as MLA’s sister company, Inside Edge Legal, in the Central Region.
This event is presented by the University of Cincinnati Law Alumni Association and the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program.
Catching Up With Rob Lewis '97, Alumni Association President
Dear Alumni and Friends,
On behalf of the UC Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees, welcome to the New Year! I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for the great year that the UC Law Alumni Association had in 2011. With tremendous support from the alumni, the Association continued to work closely with the law school to provide our alumni and the Greater Cincinnati legal community a valuable array of CLE programs and activities – both social and professional.
- In May, we continued our 30 year tradition of honoring Distinguished Alumni when we presented Distinguished Alumnus Awards to George Fabe ’81, Louis F. Gilligan ’68, and Col. Levator Norsworth, Jr. ’73 at our annual Spring Luncheon. At this event, we also awarded our annual scholarships to James (Jimmy) Harrison ‘13 and Antwuan Williamson ‘13.
- In August, we hosted a summer social/happy hour at Via Vite Restaurant. Approximately 75 alumni and students attended, all of whom had a great time networking, catching up and enjoying appetizers, drinks, and views of Fountain Square.
- In November, we provided almost a full day of CLE at the Kingsgate Marriott to nearly 100 alumni and friends. This year’s speakers included Judge and Professor Marianna Brown Bettman (Ohio Supreme Court Update), Professor Sandra Sperino (Civil Procedure Update), Chuck Strain (Professionalism) and Patrick Garry (Substance Abuse). We also honored Mike Zavatsky with the Adjunct Faculty Award.
- We also held our first-ever joint Alumni Association/Student Bar Association Bearcat Tailgate. Helped along by some great grilling by SBA President (and Board Member) Jared Hess ‘12 and great weather, the tailgate attracted close to 200 attendees covering five decades of College of Law alumni as well as many current students from each class. Everyone managed to have a great time despite UC’s loss to WVU.
Of course, these are just some of the highlights. We also supported the law school and the SBA in many other activities, including the Barrister Speed Chats, a career discussion forum, and the charity golf tournament sponsored by the SBA.
In 2012, I would encourage you to take full advantage of these programs. Not only do they provide excellent opportunities for networking and professional growth, but they also are a lot of fun. This year I hope we can work together to expand both the size and the number of the Alumni Association’s events and activities so that we can include more alumni from more classes.
Rob Lewis ’97
Law Review Meant Opportunity to Learn and Contribute to Legal Scholarship for James Tate '09
It has been less than three years since James Tate ’09 took a position at Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham, but his experience thus far at the seven-lawyer firm has been “incredible.”
“I couldn’t ask for more diverse and challenging work, and have had endless opportunities to take on new tasks and develop new skills,” Tate said. “Your first year or two as a lawyer is daunting, and most of us don’t really know what we are doing. Being at a small firm with talented and experienced lawyers gives me the opportunity for structured growth and mentoring whenever I need it.”
Tate said the firm’s main focus is “qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act,” while they also do an array of litigation and appellate work. In his time at Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham, Tate has taken and participated in many depositions; briefed summary judgment multiple times; and written motions in limine, jury instructions, pretrial orders and discovery. He also traveled throughout the United States for a False Claims Act case – one he worked on for two years right out of law school – involving “bid rigging at a Navy supercomputer center in Mississippi.”
Like countless attorneys working in downtown Cincinnati, Tate received his legal education up the hill at the College of Law. It was there that he founded the College’s ACLU student chapter and also participated in Law Review. “I applied for Law Review because you had to apply to get on Law Review, and I wanted to see if I could,” said Tate, who was born in Louisville but moved to Cincinnati at age six. “I chose to be on Law Review because I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn and make a real contribution to legal scholarship.”
As a 2L associate editor, Tate found the writing to be challenging, but he also learned a lot, he said. He credited the 3L editors for helping “sharpen” his writing, and he ultimately had a comment published: “Eliminating the Nexus Obstacle to the Prosecution of International Drug Traffickers on the High Seas.”
“I grew a lot as a 2L and valued the Law Review as an institution,” he said. “The Law Review is an unparalleled opportunity for students to read, write, think and participate in legal debate. I wanted to help sustain and grow one of the prized assets of UC Law.”
And Tate did just that, becoming the Law Review’s editor-in-chief in 2008-09. His work on the Law Review not only earned him a prestigious award, but he eventually landed a job with the namesake of that accolade.
Tate and publications editor Kelley Brandstetter were 2009 recipients of the James B. Helmer, Jr. University of Cincinnati Law Review Prize. Based on Helmer’s continued involvement with the College of Law and the Law Review since graduating in 1975, he and Tate met a few times as a result. “He was looking for another lawyer, and I was looking for interesting work,” Tate said. “It was a good fit.”
Coming to the College of Law was also a good fit for Tate, who earned a bachelor of philosophy degree from Miami University in 2004. Between 2004 and enrolling in law school in 2006, Tate was a counselor, followed by a file clerk at Manley Burke.
Today, Tate is not only a busy attorney, but his family keeps him busy as well. “I have a two year old daughter (Julia), so I answer lots of questions, dig in the mud, sword fight, go to the zoo and museum, play with stickers and stuffed animals, have tea parties, and wrestle,” said Tate, who added that he and his wife are expecting another child this spring. The Mt. Washington resident also enjoys canoeing, fishing and bike riding. “I am very happy with the work I am doing right now, and with my present and future opportunities for growth,” he said. “When I’m not at work, I try to live simply, take time off, and enjoy my family.”
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13