The University of Cincinnati Law Alumni Association Announces the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
Cincinnati, OH—For 180 years, University of Cincinnati College of Law graduates have made their mark on the world as leaders of the bench and bar, in senior governmental positions, in the public service community, and in business, academia, and countless other fields. Friday, May 17, 2013 brought an opportunity to acknowledge and applaud three of them. Congratulations to the most recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award: Daniel J. Buckley '74, Hon. Dennis S. Helmick '72, and James L. Johnson '80.
The Distinguished Alumni Award, voted by College of Law alumni, honors those graduated who exemplify excellence and achievement in their chosen field of practice or procession. Their achievements are a testament to the college’s tradition of distinction.
Meet the 2013 Award Recipients
Daniel J. Buckley '74
Daniel Buckley, a partner in the Cincinnati office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, practices in the area of civil litigation. His focus includes banking, complex business, probate, fiduciary, and medical privacy cases. After attending the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and the University of Exeter, U.K., he received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. He then went on to the College of Law, graduating in 1974. At the law school Buckley served as Case Note Editor on the University of Cincinnati Law Review. Buckley began his career as a law clerk for the Hon. Julius J. Hoffman, Senior US District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Throughout his professional life he has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Law, teaching in the area of trial skills. In fact, Buckley received the 2009 Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. He has served on the college’s Board of Visitors since 2001.
Buckley is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and currently serves as chair of its committee on Special Problems in the Administration of Justice. He was recognized as a founding member of The Best Lawyers in America “Bet the Company” category and remains a member. He is included in two additional categories: Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury. Buckley has been recognized in Chambers USA in General Commercial Litigation and as an Ohio Super Lawyer in Business Litigation since 2004. He was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2005. In 2007, he received the BTI Consulting Group award for superior client service. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati.
Buckley is married to the Hon. Ann Marie Tracey ‘75, a 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Honorable Dennis S. Helmick ‘72
The Honorable Dennis S. Helmick, a native of the tri-state, has a long, distinguished career in the legal field. A graduate of Xavier High School and Xavier University, he went on to receive his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1972. After being admitted to the bar, Helmick worked as an associate with the law firm Wood, Lamping, Slutz and Reckman (now known as Wood and Lamping LLP). From there, he went on to work for the city as assistant city of Cincinnati solicitor, assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Ten years later in 1983 Helmick became special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General, a position he held for seven years, after which he went into private practice. In 1990, he was elected to the Hamilton County Municipal Court. In 2001 Judge Helmick won election as Common Pleas Judge of Hamilton County, a position he held until 2012. (In 2011, he was recognized as presiding/administrative judge of the court.) Earlier this year Helmick was named a retiring visiting judge.
Throughout the years Judge Helmick served in many leadership positions, including as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Bar Association, president of the University of Cincinnati Law Alumni Association, a member of the Selective Service Board (appointed by President Ronald Reagan), a member of the college’s Board of Visitors, and vice president of the Potter Stewart American Inn of Court.
Helmick is married to Bertha Garcia Helmick ’95.
James L. Johnson '80
James "Jim" Johnson grew up in the public housing community of Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood where he attended Washburn and Hays elementary schools. A 1964 graduate of Walnut Hills High School, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1970 and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1980.
Johnson retired from a 25-year career with the City of Cincinnati in December 2005. He spent the majority of that time as a senior assistant city solicitor. His assignments in this role were varied. Johnson joined the Juvenile Court Division of the Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender in January 2008 where he is now a team leader supervising seven other attorneys.
Johnson created the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) in 1988 as a pilot program of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Bar Association Round Table. The program consisted of seven high school student interns that first year. As SWEL’s creator, Johnson has served as an inspiring role model and dedicated volunteer in the education and development of young African Americans.
Kathleen M. Brinkman recognized in Ohio as "Leaders in Their Field"
COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 2013) —For a decade, Porter Wright has been recognized as a leading law firm byChambers USA®, one of the most definitive referral guides of business law firms and lawyers in America. Ten of the firm's practice areas are ranked and 33 of its attorneys are named as leading lawyers in the 2013 edition released this month.
Three of the firm's attorneys in its Cincinnati office are recognized in Ohio as "Leaders in Their Field."
- · Kathleen M. Brinkman – Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations
- · David T. Croall – Labor and Employment
- · Holly D. Kozlowski – Intellectual Property
Chambers USA ranks leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout America. Rankings are based on lawyer and client interviews, among other things, and assess criteria such as technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness and astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities that clients consider relevant.
About Porter Wright
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP is a large law firm that traces its roots to1846 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. www.porterwright.com
Barbara Howard ’89 is Recipient of the Ohio Bar Medal Award
Barbara Howard ’89 received the Ohio Bar Medal Award, the highest honor of the Ohio State Bar Association, at the recently held OSBA Annual Convention. This annual award is given to honorees who exemplify unusually meritorious service to the legal profession, the community, and humanity.
Howard is principal of Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., a Cincinnati firm that focuses on family law.
Jean Geoppinger McCoy ’90 has been named the 122nd president of the Cincinnati Bar Association
Jean Geoppinger McCoy ’90 has been named the 122nd president of the Cincinnati Bar Association. McCoy is an attorney with the local firm White, Getger & Meyer Co., L.P.A. read the profile article in the May 2013 issue of CBA Report.
Mary Claire Mahaney ’79 Enjoying Career as an Author
As a child in Warren, Ohio, Mary Claire Mahaney ’79 envisioned a career as a small-town general practice lawyer, just like her father. She made the announcement to her parents in the car as an eighth grader, joking to her father that it was “something you can do without having to be good at anything.”
Today, she is a member of the District of Columbia bar, although she is retired from the practice of law and is actually an award-winning author.
Road to her J.D.
Mahaney came to Cincinnati to study at Mount Saint Joseph, where she graduated in 1976 with B.A. in sociology, with a concentration in social work. During the summers, she worked at the Trumbull County courthouse and the county prosecutor’s office in her hometown.
The summer following graduation, Mahaney married Cincinnati native Herb Walter. She planned to attend law school in town and decided on the College of Law, as it was in walking distance from their apartment.
Mahaney, the youngest of four children, called her first two years at the College of Law “miserable.” She said she dreaded classes and “made it a point never to make eye contact with the professor and try to sit behind someone tall.”
When grades came out, Mahaney had difficulty understanding why she earned what she did, whether good or not so good, she said. Following a year and a half of “grade anxiety,” her husband opened her grades and Mahaney never looked at her grades in her final three semesters.
3L year for Mahaney was “finally bearable,” she said, during which she took mostly “elective” classes. In that final year, Mahaney worked with a local finance company to fill out income tax returns in a working-class neighborhood. She also got the College of Law to approve an internship in which she taught an upper-level white collar crime course through UC’s College of Business Administration.
“I titled the course, worked out the syllabus, studied textbook options, led discussions, brought in speakers, assigned readings and papers, prepared and graded exams, and gave out grades,” Mahaney said. “I had total autonomy, and I loved it.”
An Alternative Career Path
Early on as a 1L, Mahaney realized her vision of being a small-town, general practice lawyer like her father – who had recently passed away in 1975 – would involve both civil and criminal work. But she was not interested in criminal law, in particular because of the prospect of representing people she believed were guilty.
In 1978, she and her husband moved to Madeira and, after passing the bar in the summer of 1979, Mahaney had three clients at her home office. Outside of her mini law practice, Mahaney was a business law instructor at UC’s business school.
“I taught three sections of basic business law – contracts, torts and so on, the subjects covered on the CPA exam,” she said. “I enjoyed the preparation and felt comfortable in the classroom.”
Mahaney eventually published a comment on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1981 in the American Business Law Journal. Before getting published, however, she became an Assistant Professor of Business Law at the University of Michigan. While up in Ann Arbor, Mahaney co-authored a piece that made the 1983 Administrative Law Review.
Despite a three-year contract to teach at Michigan, Mahaney’s first pregnancy put her on bed rest. After recovering she decided not to go back to a career for many years, she said.
Finding her Niche in Writing
When her sons, Ed and George, were young – today, they are both graduate students – a friend of Mahaney’s recommended that she be a writer. Mahaney began writing short fiction, and then took jobs writing performing arts columns for various newspapers. Soon after, she had columns published in Chicago’s Irish American News and then for the Herald in Sharon, Pa., where her parents grew up.
Today, she continues to write poems, essays and other fiction, including a short story to be published in an upcoming issue of an anthology called Defying Gravity. It was in 2007, however, when Mahaney published her most well-known work, Osaka Heat. The inspiration for this romance novel came from a trip she took, chaperoning her son’s high school group for a month-long stay in Japan.
“It was after I got back and had time to reflect that I realized living with two Japanese families during that month, and travelling within Japan to boot, had been the experience of a lifetime,” she said “My inspiration for Osaka Heat was Japanese culture and geography. It was the setting, so different from America – but similar in unexpected ways – that caught my attention, that caused me to think, ‘I could write a book-length story set in Japan.’”
It took six years for her to write the book, which won a Gold Medal in Romantic Fiction from Independent Publisher (for the e-version of the book), and two Silvers in Multicultural Fiction from the same organization (one for the paper edition, one for the e-version).
“Many readers have asked for a sequel, but I haven’t written it – yet,” Mahaney said.
Although Mahaney is not practicing law, her law degree has still been beneficial to her more recent writing career.
“I see the writing process as a persuasive process, whether I’m writing fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. The reader needs to empathize with my point of view, even if in the end he or she disagrees with it,” Mahaney said. “So as I write, I’m making a case, as an attorney would.”
She said her law degree also gives her credibility as a writer, editor, and speaker.
Today, Mahaney and her husband live in McLean, Va. Herb is now retired from a 32-year career with Price Waterhouse/PricewaterhouseCoopers. He does financial consulting from their home, where the couple has two orange tabby cats, Rusty and Julius.
In her spare time, Mahaney knits dishcloths, plays the piano, sends paper and email correspondence to family and friends, and enjoys scenic walks around the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, Mahaney reads “extensively.” She also has “500 flicks in my Netflix queue,” she said.
Mahaney said she has three professional fantasies: 1) having Osaka Heat picked up by Hollywood; 2) seeing college instructors assign her book as required reading, and ask her to speak to their classes; and 3) to have a home stay in Bavaria.
“I’m studying German, in part as preparation for setting a story in Germany; in part to be able to speak the language of my Bavarian cousins,” she said.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Mary Sullivan '80 Joins Observatory Board
CINCINNATI, Ohio, May 2013 – Peck Shaffer attorney Mary Sullivan has been elected to the board of the Cincinnati Observatory Center.
The Cincinnati Observatory Center maintains an observatory in Mount Lookout that has been designated a national historic landmark. Designed by the renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford in 1873, the observatory houses the world’s oldest professional telescope still in public use, manufactured by the German firm of Merz and Mahler in 1842. A second telescope, made by Alvan Clark and Sons in 1904, is also still in use. The Observatory also promotes the study and practice of astronomy and provides assistance to professional and amateur astronomers, schools and universities.
Ms. Sullivan has been with Peck Shaffer for more than 30 years and is currently Of Counsel to the firm. She has served as both bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel in transactions throughout the country, including serving as bond counsel to the Ohio Turnpike Commission for 16 years. Ms. Sullivan earned her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in 1977 and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1980.
Ms. Sullivan is active with civic groups in Cincinnati and Ohio. She is a member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Advisory Committee and served as a board member for Seton High School, the Seton High School Foundation, Catholic Social Services of Southwestern Ohio, and the Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, among other activities.
About Peck Shaffer
Peck Shaffer is a national leader in public finance law, with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Covington, Kentucky, Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado. Peck Shaffer is regularly ranked among the top bond counsel firms in the country (based on principal amount) by information intelligence company Thomson Reuters. More information can be found at www.peckshaffer.com.
Jon Lieberman '90 Appointed Co-Chair of the ABI Legislation Committee
Mr. Lieberman will serve as Co-Chair of the ABI Legislation Committee for the 2013-2015 term. The Legislation Committee analyzes proposed bills at the request of Congress and legislative staff. In addition to testifying before Congressional committees, the ABI prepares white papers on current bankruptcy topics and also conducts periodic briefings for Congressional staff members. As a part of his duties, beginning this April, Mr. Lieberman will preside over the full Committee’s semi-annual sessions in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Policy-makers on Capitol Hill have long relied on the expertise of the ABI in the evaluation of bankruptcy law and efforts to improve the system. Past Co-Chairs include Judge Jeffery Hopkins of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Chief Judge David Houston of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Karen Cordry, Esq. of the National Association of the Attorneys General.
“Jon will make an excellent contributor as Co-Chair of the ABI Legislation Committee,” said Alan C. Hochheiser, Managing Partner of the Bankruptcy Unit. “He has a focus and knowledge base that reflects his level of commitment and excellence to his profession.”
Jon J. Lieberman practices in Bankruptcy with a focus on the Consumer Bankruptcy Group and is based in the Cincinnati office. With more than 20 years of bankruptcy experience, Jon is extremely knowledgeable of the industry. He earned his B.A. Semple Classics Scholar summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Cincinnati in 1985 (Distinguished Military Graduate Air Force ROTC), and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1990. Jon is licensed in Ohio and Kentucky, and is admitted to practice before the Bankruptcy Courts of the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. He is also admitted to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Supreme Court.
The American Bankruptcy Institute is the largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, auctioneers, bankers, judges, lenders, professors, turnaround specialists, accountants and other bankruptcy professionals providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. In fulfillment of its mission to provide information to its members, journalists, Congress and the public, ABI is engaged in numerous educational and research activities, as well as the production of a number of publications both for the insolvency practitioner and the public.
Jesse Jenike-Godshalk '11 works at Dinsmore & Shohl
Columbus, OHIO (Feb. 4, 2013) –Cincinnati attorney Jesse Jenike-Godshalk is embracing the opportunity to give back by volunteering for the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati (SBCCincy) and his alma mater.
Jenike-Godshalk first became involved with SBCCincy at the urging of his wife Katie, a nurse practitioner who is a member of the SBCCincy board and works with teens and adults who have developmental disorders such as spina bifida. He attends board meetings and volunteers at fundraising events like the SBCCincy’s yearly Walk & Roll.
“Charitable organizations such as SBCCincy cannot afford to pay a large, full-time workforce, so volunteers are important for their continued operation,” Jenike-Godshalk said. “I believe in what the organization is doing, and I am happy to help meet the need it has for volunteer labor.”
In that same spirit of giving, Jenike-Godshalk volunteers as a mentor at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He advises current members of the University of Cincinnati Law Review on everything from how to write a good comment for the publication to how to find a job.
“I enjoy helping others repeat the successes that I have had—while helping them to avoid failures,” he said. “I feel satisfied and fulfilled knowing that I am helping others do well in law school.” One of his informal mentees is his sister-in-law Elizabeth Thoman, a U.C. law student who is expected to graduate in 2015.
Jenike-Godshalk became a member of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) in 2008 while attending law school, and he recently became a member of the OSBA Young Lawyers Section Council. He is an associate in the intellectual property department at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP in Cincinnati and focuses his practice on patent litigation—prosecuting infringers of his clients’ patents and also defending clients who have been accused of infringement. Identifying what he enjoys most about his career, Jenike-Godshalk said, “I enjoy the variability of the work. No one day is like another, and I’m constantly learning new skills and new areas of the law.”
It was through Dinsmore & Shohl that he became involved with United Way Emerging Leaders, a program that provides young professionals with opportunities to network, develop leadership skills and give back to the community. Jenike-Godshalk said that his firm encourages its associates to give to the United Way, and commented, “I felt this program was a great way to make a donation while developing my leadership skills to make me a better attorney and member of my community.”
The OSBA, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.
Kate Pongonis Escorts Supreme Court Justice Anthony Breyer During His Visit to South Africa
Justice Stephen Breyer, as part of the Pritzker Prize Jury, toured the Constitutional Court of South Africa on November 16. The group was hosted by Justice Johan van der Westhuizen and Justice Edwin Cameron. The tour of the court included an explanation of the history of the site, the architecture of the building, and the Court's art collection by Constitutional Court Trust Art Curator Stacey Vorster.Following the tour, the Court hosted an informal luncheon for the Jury and Jury members had a chance to meet Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Justice Breyer had a pull aside with Justices Mogoeng, van der Westhuizen, Cameron, and U.S. Ambassador Donald Gips.
Daniel G. Dutro named to Board of Directors with Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center
CINCINNATI, April 2, 2013
The law firm of Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer Co., L.P.A. (BPBS) is pleased to announce that Daniel G. Dutro has been named a board member for the a local non-profit organization, Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Center (Manifest). This appointment continues Dutro’s commitment to involvement with his community and supporting local non-profits.
Dan Dutro, a partner at BPBS, focuses his practice on commercial and residential real estate law, contract drafting and negotiation, and assisting not-for-profit and tax-exempt organizations. He has also assisted clients with issues involving employment law, bank financing documentation, and collections.
Dutro is a long-time resident of Cincinnati and, in addition to his volunteer work with Manifest, is involved in various community service activities. He volunteers as a reader at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a lector at the Community of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, a volunteer at Montgomery Community Church, and as a tutor at John P. Parker Elementary School through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. He also sits on the Board of his neighborhood's homeowners' association and coaches his son’s youth basketball team.
Manifest was founded in 2004 and is located in East Walnut Hills. Manifest stands for the quality presentation, experience, and documentation of the visual arts, engaging students, professionals, and the public from around the world through accessible world-class exhibits, studio programs, and publications.
About Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer Co., L.P.A.
With offices in Oakley, Over-the-Rhine and Northern Kentucky, BPBS provides comprehensive legal services for individual and commercial clients in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. For more information on BPBS’s attorneys, practice areas and specific services, visit www.bpbslaw.com or call 513-721-1350.