Pureval Takes His Passion for Social Justice Wherever He Goes
Aftab Pureval ’08, a proud alum of the College of Law, has maintained a deep interest in social justice—not only here but in whatever city he has worked. Originally from Beavercreek, Ohio, he attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in political science and was the president of the student body his senior year. Having always made service a priority in his life, Pureval’s experiences as the student body president furthered his passion for social justice. After graduating, he moved down the I-71 corridor to join the College of Law.
“The College was really a breath of fresh air,” he said, referring to not only the small class sizes and great classmates, but also to the faculty, staff, and the city of Cincinnati. While at UC Law, working at the Warren County Domestic Relations Court and with the Domestic Violence Clinic were particularly impactful experiences for him. “I saw firsthand the devastation that domestic violence does to our community,” he explained, “and I have since sought to prioritize this work in my professional career.”
Since graduating in 2008, Pureval has had a varying and successful career. As an associate with White & Case LLP in Washington D.C., he practiced in the area of anti-trust litigation. The Queen City, however, called him back, and he worked as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio, prosecuting federal felonies involving guns, drugs, and white collar violations. Now, he is counsel for The Procter & Gamble Company. These experiences truly involve vastly different subject matter, but one thing that has remained consistent throughout it all is his commitment to serving his community.
Social Justice as a Life-Long Commitment
While in Washington D.C., Pureval worked with female immigrants, filing U-Visa applications on their behalf. U-Visas are a way for women who are victims of or witnesses to abuse to gain residency in the country in exchange for testifying against the perpetrator(s). Further, he worked on a team of attorneys who drafted a memorandum that aided the Nepalese government in drafting their constitution. For this work, Pureval was honored with the White & Case Pro-Bono Award.
Now back in Cincinnati, he is working within the community to promote social justice. He serves on the board of trustees of Cincinnati Union Bethel, an organization that works to shelter, support, and educate Cincinnati’s urban women, children, families, and communities to help them to realize their potential. Additionally, he sits on the Leadership Council of the Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. As Pureval explained, “Both organizations address the overwhelming issue of poverty in Cincinnati.” While he is truly dedicated to working toward a better future for Cincinnati’s impoverished women, Pureval still has energy to spearhead initiatives to better the city on the broadest of scales. He is now co-chairing the Grand City Experiment – turning the 31 days in October of this year into 31 days of random acts of kindness in an effort to make Cincinnati a more welcoming place.
When asked what advice he would give to someone looking to follow a similar career path promoting social justice and service to the community, Pureval was big on the opportunities available right here in the tri-state area:
“One of the things I love about Cincinnati is the opportunity here -- big enough to rely on and leverage the resources available, but not so big that you will get lost in the crowd. You can have a real ripple effect. I would challenge anyone who is interested in social justice to join organizations that are working on it, and become a leader in that organization. It’s not that hard -- you have to have energy, ideas, and the ability to work hard. But, if you really commit yourself to working on these issues, you will surprise yourself how much you can accomplish and how many lives you can touch.”
2014 Harris Distinguished Practitioner Paula Boggs Muething
Date: October 7, 2014
Time: 12:10 p.m.
Location: College of Law, Room. 118
Food will be provided
About the speaker:
Paula Boggs Muething joined the Port Authority in March 2012 to assist in redevelopment initiatives, including operating the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (“Landbank”) on behalf of the Landbank Board. The Hamilton County Treasurer incorporated the Landbank in 2011 as a tool to assist the County in addressing the problems associated with the increasing number of vacant and abandoned properties.
Paula was previously employed by the City of Cincinnati Law Department, most recently as senior assistant city solicitor. While at the City of Cincinnati, she demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in the areas of blight and nuisance abatement solutions and was active in the effort to expand landbank-enabling legislation to include Hamilton County. Prior to joining the City, Paula was an associate at Keating, Muething and Klekamp, PLL, and a law clerk for the Honorable James E. Keller of the Kentucky Supreme Court. Paula earned a juris doctor from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law in 2003, where she was a Human Rights Fellow and a member of the Editorial Board of the Law Review. She studied Community Land Reform Initiatives at the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education.
She serves on the boards of Talbert House, Cincinnati Development Fund, Legal Aid and Greater Ohio Policy Center, as well as organizations and task forces directly contributing to regional quality of life. She is a frequent speaker on community revitalization strategies and land bank legislation, delivering programs to the UC Real Estate Roundtable, Ohio Land Bank Conference, National Vacant Properties Conference, Revitalizing Ohio’s Vacant Properties Conference, the Cincinnati Bar Association and 2013 Covington Neighborhood Summit. Paula was named one of Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 in 2013, and was named the 2014 Most Outstanding Government Staffer by the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati.
Update on Homecoming Tailgate
Homecoming 2014 will be celebrated on September 20, 2014 when the Bearcats play Miami (OH) University. Because of Nippert Stadium renovations this year’s Bearcat home football games will be played at Paul Brown Stadium. So, homecoming will be hosted at Paul Brown Stadium and The Banks.
With that in mind, the College of Law has decided to not host a separate tailgate this year. With so many activities and events that highlight both our great football team and Cincinnati’s heritage (Okotoberfest and the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run that weekend), we encourage you to immerse yourself in these great activities. There will be a Bearcat Fanzone around the Paul Brown Stadium concourse and The Holy Grail Tavern & Grille is the official UC Headquarters for all home games. Take part in the Hudepohl 14K and you will receive a mini-history of Cincinnati’s former breweries along the way or visit Oktoberfest if the Chicken Dance is more your speed.
For more information about homecoming and the weekend’s events, check www.uc.edu/homecoming and www.bearcatsfootball.com. For information about Oktoberfest visit www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com and for information about the Hudepohl race details, check out www.hudepohl14kbreweryrun.com.
Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) Lawyer, Sophia P. Paul Recognized as 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
PITTSBURGH, PA - Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) is pleased to announce that lawyer Sophia P. Paul was recently named a 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine.
Sophia P. Paul has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for a fifth year. Sophia has over 20 years of experience in matrimonial law, and served as former counsel to the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, where she was actively involved in extensive revisions to the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines. She formerly clerked for the Honorable Lawrence W. Kaplan of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. An active member of the Family Law Sections of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations, Sophia is also a Fellow of AAML and a frequent lecturer on family law matters.
Attorneys selected as Super Lawyers are among the top five percent of Pennsylvania's licensed attorneys. Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine recognizes outstanding attorneys in more than 70 areas of practice using a rigorous, multiphase selection process that considers 12 separate indicators of peer recognition, professional achievement and high ethical standards.
"It is an honor to have Sophia recognized among the top lawyers in the state in the area of family law," stated Robb D. Bunde, a partner of BGMS.
"Our attorneys possess a wealth of experience in a breadth of family law matters and we are thrilled to have a great team providing outstanding service, value and a wealth of expertise to our clients every day."
Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) is a law firm dedicated to the representation of individuals in family law cases. The attorneys of BGMS deal exclusively with family law issues including divorce, custody, child support, equitable distribution of assets, exclusive possession, alimony, spousal support, pre and post-nuptial agreements, paternity, grandparents' rights and protection from abuse (PFA) matters. All of the attorneys at BGMS have spent the majority of their careers practicing in the area of family law and have extensive experience in handling family law matters. The attorneys of BGMS are also able to assist clients with alternative dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation and collaborative law. BGMS is one of the only law firms in Western Pennsylvania in which three attorneys are fellows in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. For more information about BGMS, please call 412.391.4330 or visit www.bgms-law.com.
Randall D. Larramore '97 to serve as the President of Paty, Rymer & Ulin, P.C.
Paty, Rymer & Ulin, P.C., announces the election of Randall D. Larramore to serve as the President of the corporation. The firm also announces that its name has been changed to Paty, Rymer, Ulin & Larramore, P.C. Mr. Larramore received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chattanooga in 1989, and received a Masters in Public Administration from the University in 1993. Thereafter, Mr. Larramore was awarded the Benwood Foundation’s prestigious Chapin-Thomas Scholarship to attend the University of Cincinnati College of Law. While at the College of Law, Mr. Larramore was a member of the Moot Court Board and an Edward Morill Constitutional Law Scholar. Mr. Larramore received a Masters in Business Administration from U.C.’s Carl H. Linder College of Business in 1995, and in 1997, received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Mr. Larramore began practice at Paty, Rymer & Ulin, P.C. in 1997, and in 2004 was announced as a member of the firm. Mr. Larramore practices primarily in the area of employment and civil rights litigation, but also practices in the areas of domestic law, personal injury, and general business litigation. Mr. Larramore is admitted to practice before all Courts in Tennessee, all regional Federal courts, and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Larramore has argued employment cases before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Paty, Rymer & Ulin, P.C. is a small law firm which began operations under its recent name of Paty, Rymer & Ulin, P.C., in 1979. The Paty family, with which the firm is associated, has practiced together on Patten Parkway in Chattanooga, Tennessee as early as 1975, preceding the formation of the law firm as it is currently configured. Following the lead of senior partner, Selma Cash Paty; Paty, Rymer & Ulin has a specialty practice in domestic law, including all aspects of juvenile, divorce and custody litigation. Within the context of that firm specialty, each of the attorneys at Paty, Rymer, Ulin & Larramore, P.C., has a particular area of the law on which they concentrate, including: Railroad litigation, FELA litigation, personal injury, collections, and construction law.
Tad LeVan, '95 Opens LeVan Law Group
LeVan Law Group Takes Boutique Approach In Making the Billable Hour Obsolete
(Philadelphia, PA) – A new Philadelphia law firm has opened based on an innovative industry model that eschews the billable hour in favor of flat fee and contingency arrangements: LeVan Law Group LLC is located on the 27th floor of One Logan Square at 18th & Cherry Streets, and can be reached at (215) 561-1500.
“The billable hour has long been the industry standard for high-stakes litigation matters,” noted founder Peter H. “Tad” LeVan, Jr. “But the billable hour model is broken. It rewards delay and inefficiency, rather than the contrary, and it causes massive financial unpredictability for the client.
More troublingly, it places the economic interests of the attorney above the client, which is detrimental to creating a relationship that works best as a partnership.”
LeVan has launched the firm that bears his name on the premise that clients are entitled to high-quality litigation and appellate services provided under predictable fee arrangements.The firm offers flat-fees and other alternative fee structures (including partial and full contingency fees, collared arrangements, and other non-traditional fees).
A trial and appellate attorney well known in the area of high-stakes litigation, LeVan was formerly a partner with Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check in Radnor, Pennsylvania, where he acted as lead counsel for the firm’s "class of plans" securities lending litigation cases, representing some of the largest pension and retirement plans in the country against J.P. Morgan Chase and the Bank of New York Mellon. LeVan also acted as lead counsel in dozens of ERISA class actions brought against such Fortune 500 corporations as Ford, Merck, Schering-Plough, Bear Stearns, Lincoln Financial and Fifth-Third Bancorp, and was lead counsel for a class of upstate New York Taft-Hartley pension plans that suffered losses in connection with the Bernard Madoff fraud.
In 2012, LeVan settled a handful of novel ERISA matters for nearly $700 million, including: Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Retirement Fund, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (S.D.N.Y.) -- $150 million settlement (court-appointed lead counsel); CompSource Oklahoma, et al. v. BNY Mellon, N.A., et al. (W.D. Ok.) -- $280 million settlement (court-appointed co-lead counsel); and In re Beacon Associates Litigation (S.D.N.Y.) -- $219 million settlement (court-appointed ERISA lead counsel). In addition to trial work, LeVan acted as lead appellate counsel for the firm's highest-profile ERISA matters, arguing important cases before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third and Sixth Circuits.
Prior to his work with Kessler Topaz, LeVan spent more than 10 years with Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, where he was a shareholder and an elected member of the firm’s Board of Directors. While at Hangley, he first-chaired numerous jury and non-jury complex commercial litigation matters involving alleged breach of contract, patent infringement, non-compete agreements, theft of trade secrets, and breach of fiduciary duty, among others. He also represented then-Governor Rendell, Pennsylvania executive agencies, and the City of Philadelphia in several high-profile litigation matters involving alleged First Amendment retaliation, separation of power, constitutional authority, and agency rule-making.
LeVan has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, is an Academy of Advocacy Fellow, and is a recipient of the Equal Justice Award given by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia in recognition of his commitment to public interest law. LeVan is a former federal law clerk and holds a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
LeVan is admitted to the bars of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth and Federal Circuits; U.S. District Courts throughout the country and the Supreme Court of the United States.
For more information, visit www.levanlawgroup.com.
Celebrating the Legacy of UC Law Graduate and Former Dean Samuel S. Wilson
The City of Cincinnati and the College of Law community lost a legend on June 25, 2014, when Dean Emeritus Samuel S. Wilson passed away at the age of 89.
A native Cincinnatian, Dean Wilson received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1947. He returned to Cincinnati to work as a reporter for the Cincinnati Times-Star newspaper, and went on to serve as its Washington correspondent and associate editor of the editorial page. When the Times-Star was acquired by the Cincinnati Post in 1958, Dean Wilson enrolled in the University of Cincinnati College of Law and served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. Graduating in 1961, he worked in private practice before returning to the law school as a member of the faculty in 1965.
Dean Wilson twice served as acting dean before serving a full term as dean (1974-1978). Among his accomplishments were the securing of the funding for the major renovation and expansion of the College’s building and the development of clinical programs that provided practical experience for students while assisting people in need in the Cincinnati community. After his deanship, he returned to teaching and studying law until his retirement in 1993.
Dean Wilson was very active in a number of Cincinnati civic organizations, including serving on the board of the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati. He and his wife Anne have been long-time supporters of the College of Law and particularly dedicated to its Law Review and the Domestic Violence Clinic. In recognition of his accomplishments at the law school and in the community, Dean Wilson received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994.
For many alumni of the College of Law, Dean Wilson is remembered as the personification of the lawyer, the professor, the professional, the law school – and even the law itself. Many also affectionately remember him as “Judge Paul Trevor” on WCPO’s “Juvenile Court” – a television show that ran from 1975 to 1983 . While Dean Wilson had no prior acting experience, the program quickly established itself as the top-rated show in its time slot for nearly five years. Due to concerns over lawyer advertising, Dean Wilson’s name never appeared in the credits and most fans thought he was a real judge.
The memorial service will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. For more information about the service, as well as memorials, please review the obituary.
A View from the Other Side: Hilly McGahan’12 Talks About Working With Victims
An often-overlooked side of criminal law is that of the victims. The defendant hires or is appointed counsel, and the prosecution represents the state throughout the process, but the victims of crimes can find themselves left to their own devices on how to seek redress for the wrongs done to them. Hilly McGahan ’12 is working to bolster the voice of victims in her work with victims of domestic violence.
McGahan grew up in Arlee, a small, picturesque town in western Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Growing up, her parents were in the beekeeping business, and McGahan lived a rural, farming-style childhood. During the summers she and her family worked on the farm, but when the long, cold winters came they travelled south – not just to Arizona or California, but to Mexico, and sometimes further south into South America.
Inspired by her travels, McGahan studied political science and Spanish in her undergraduate years at the University of Montana. After graduating she spent a year working in northern Guatemala. There she worked to support persons who had witnessed the military massacres that took place there, as they were to soon testify against the government. McGahan’s experiences in her travels sparked her interest in human rights law. As she looked at law schools, Cincinnati stood out because of the Urban Morgan Institute.
Having grown up in a rural lifestyle, Cincinnati was quite a change when she moved here for law school. “I really grew to love Cincinnati,” she explained, though she admitted it took a while to adjust. Findlay Market was one of her favorite Queen City destinations, and she said that she and her (then) boyfriend (now husband) took advantage of the “Enjoy the Arts” program that included numerous shows and cultural events that take place around the City.
Today, McGahan works at SAFE Harbor back home in Montana. Formerly called DOVES, SAFE Harbor has a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (part of the Department of Justice) to provide holistic legal services to victims of domestic violence on the Flathead Reservation and Lake County, Montana. “The grant allows us to provide legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” she explained. Her work takes her to both state court and tribal court, and deals with tribal law, family law, and immigration law, as well as international law in some situations. While she is the only staff attorney, SAFE Harbor contracts with a supervising attorney, and the organization also has a domestic violence shelter and a “Men’s Accountability Program” which provides court ordered services to men convicted of domestic violence related offences.
McGahan’s background and experiences travelling inspired her to do the work she’s doing today, but she also received inspiration from her time at the College of Law. She largely came to Cincinnati for the Urban Morgan Institute, and she was impressed with the program while she was there. “I really enjoyed the group of people I worked with on Human Rights Quarterly,” she said. Further, she was impressed with the speakers that the Urban Morgan Institute brought in, noting that she was particularly impacted by Professor Michelle Alexander’s (OSU’s Moritz law school) lecture on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. McGahan also valued her experience with UC Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic, which allowed her to represent clients in civil protection order hearings and to gain practical experience that prepared her for her current position.
When asked if she had any advice for students who may want to do similar work, she shared the following: “Get lots of practical experience in law school (as much as you can), working with clients, dealing with people from different backgrounds – these experiences are really invaluable. I think that focusing on what you are passionate about and on what sorts of communities you are interested in working with is important. Ultimately passion will take you where you want to go, and employers can see that when they interview you.”
Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Carrie Wood Shares why she is a Public Defender
Formerly an Assistant Academic Director at the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) here with UC College of Law, Carrie Wood ’95 now works with the Ohio Public Defender in Columbus, Ohio.
Originally from Cincinnati, Wood studied engineering at Cornell University. Before coming to UC for her legal studies, she spent three years as a professional equestrian, training horses, teaching students, and helping to run a 60 horse farm. She had an interest in law school, however, and decided to return to Cincinnati to pursue her JD. Before starting school, though, she worked at Graydon Head for a year, giving her a birds-eye view of the profession she was about to enter.
Wood worked on several of the primary wrongful conviction cases in her three years at OIP. Some of the issues involved were mistaken eyewitness identification, “un-validated” or improper forensic science, and informants. “Although post-conviction DNA testing played a role in all of these cases, the causes of wrongful conviction do not go away if the case does not have evidence where DNA testing can help shed light on the identity of the perpetrator,” she explained while noting that the demonstration of innocence without DNA can be more difficult. She said that the law students involved at OIP often work even harder in such cases, sharing that “it was a great experience for [her] as their supervisor to see the energy, drive, passion, and compassion the law students bring to their work on these cases.”
Now working with the Ohio Public Defender, Wood is returning to the type work she did before joining the OIP. (She has prior experience as a public defender from her time working in the Bronx doing trial work.) She learned a lot from OIP regarding DNA, false confessions, “junk science,” and some of the major flaws in the criminal justice system. “It has always been important to me to work to correct flaws in our criminal justice system,” explained Wood, “and I saw the position at the Ohio Public Defender as an opportunity to continue and expand upon that work.”
“In order to work as a public defender, you have to have a passion for it,” she reflected, noting that the money is not much of an incentive. She explained that, the way she sees it, criminal defense attorneys and public defenders are not quite one in the same. “Some people do both – and do them well. However, my primary purpose in going to law school was to work on behalf of people who didn’t have a voice or access to legal counsel.” And this is what Carrie is able to do as a public defender. “It can be difficult and draining work, but it was always helpful for me to have supporters and mentors to turn to when I had a difficult case or a difficult week in court.”
In her spare time, Wood still rides horses, and also hopes to run a marathon this year. Further, she has always had a passion for music, and admits she will miss the local music scene. “Cincinnati’s larger music festivals are doing a great job of putting the city on the national music map; I will definitely be back in September to see the Afghan Whigs at Mid-point!”
Donnie Warner is Committed to Social Justice and Community Building
Graduate, community worker, and marathoner Donnie Warner has a strong commitment to social justice and community and personal transformation. With experiences that range from living on a Navajo reservation to training non-profit leaders through Public Allies Cincinnati to externing with the Indigent Defense Clinic, he will bring a distinctive viewpoint to the law.
Originally from Plymouth, Michigan, Donnie Warner is a member of the Class of 2014. He attended DePaul University in Chicago for his undergraduate studies, graduating with a degree in English. There he ran on the cross-country and track teams, captaining them both his senior year.
Following undergrad, Warner moved to Gallup, New Mexico to teach elementary school as a Teach For America Corps member. There he would meet his wife, Kayla; they then lived on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico for two years. When Warner learned that he had secured funding to pursue a master's degree, he moved to Cincinnati to study for a master's degree in creative writing (while teaching freshman English classes at the university). He then spent two years with Public Allies Cincinnati, a leadership development program committed to developing diverse leaders for leadership positions in nonprofits and communities. Warner explained his role there: “As a program manager with Public Allies Cincinnati, I provided one-on-one coaching to individuals in the program and developed tracking tools to chart our impact throughout the Cincinnati community.” By the time he decided to pursue a law degree, he had become committed to his work and the community. Thus, UC was a logical choice for the school to attend.
“As someone who is committed to social justice work and community-building, what I like about Cincinnati is that it is the ideal size for developing new ideas and models for transformation,” Warner explained about his affinity for the Queen City. He continued, “At the same time, the city is large enough to bring unique perspectives together to develop ideas.” He added that he also has an appreciation for Skyline, Graeter’s, the Reds, and other such things that are uniquely Cincinnati.
At the College of Law, Warner has been involved in several student organizations and programs, most notably the Freedom Center Journal (which he worked on for the past two years) and the Indigent Defense Clinic. “Through the Indigent Defense Clinic, I received fantastic training through the office of the Hamilton County Public Defender,” said Warner of his experience. With the clinic, his work affirmed his desire to focus on legal work that ultimately helps low income people achieve their desired outcomes. “I came to learn these outcomes are not restricted to a single case, but extend to many areas of people’s lives,” he said in reflection.
Warner plans to stay in Cincinnati after graduation. He commented on his legal studies and experiences: “You have to stay humble. There is so much to learn, and I believe that new lawyers should spend a lot of time taking it all in, and then working incredibly hard to answer any questions that remain. Additionally, regarding criminal law, I am struck by what an honor it is to give a voice to a client who would otherwise be voiceless. With such an honor you must have a commitment to work as hard as you possibly can.”
Warner shared that he has kept up with his running hobby, recently focusing on marathons. In fact, he finished second overall in the 2014 Flying Pig Marathon. And, he and his wife have created a blog called Run52, which tells their story of running through each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods.