Arthur Steinmetz, who served as Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner from 1989-1991, died on June 23, 2019.  He was 93 years old. A recipient of a Purple Heart, Steinmetz survived sniper fire in Germany while serving in World War II. Germany is also where the lifelong Cleveland-area resident met his wife of 67 years, Thea Steinmetz.

Steinmetz attended John Marshall High School where he was valedictorian and a champion sprinter. He later attended law school at Case Western Reserve University and began his career at Walter | Haverfield in 1951.

For the next 63 years, Steinmetz practiced law at Walter | Haverfield, where he pleaded cases all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Business owners, executives and professionals turned to Steinmetz for counsel on a broad range of personal, financial and tax matters. He also acted as corporate counsel to a wide range of companies and prepared comprehensive estate plans and related trusts.

“Art was such a fixture here at Walter | Haverfield, and his counsel and leadership are ingrained in the history of our firm,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner at Walter | Haverfield. “He was an invaluable resource to his clients and loved by everyone here.”

Steinmetz’s time in the U.S. Army was the start of a lifelong passion for military history. He also enjoyed golf, stayed active in the Presbyterian Church of Rocky River and loved the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Steinmetz is survived by his wife; sons, Art Jr. and Greg; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Committed to its mission of offering personalized service to our growing number of clients, Walter | Haverfield has hired Nicholas Buzzy to its Litigation team and Gail Bisesi to its Real Estate team.

Buzzy is a dedicated, dynamic attorney with experience in wide-ranging complex litigation. The Northeast Ohio native has successfully defended multiple cases at trial, valued at more than six figures. That includes personal injury as well as business interruption cases.

“I’m passionate about my work as a litigator and proud of the success I’ve had thus far in defending big cases,” said Buzzy. “I now have the opportunity to continue to do what I love on an even bigger scale with a strong, hard-working team, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Buzzy has also defended a variety of corporations in products liability cases as well as individuals on a variety of disputes. Buzzy most recently worked at the Cleveland-based law firm of Gallagher Sharp as a litigation attorney. Prior to that, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Summit County, Ohio.

Bisesi brings more than two decades of real estate experience to Walter | Haverfield. She joins the firm as a paralegal and previously worked at law firms, in banks and with developers in the Northeast Ohio region.

“I was looking for a firm that has a strong real estate practice group, and that’s why I sought out Walter | Haverfield,” said Bisesi, who is also a Northeast Ohio native and enjoys working at the Cleveland Film Festival each year.

“Our goal is to find highly skilled and qualified individuals to serve our clients in ways that align with our strong values and high standards,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “Nick and Gail will be able to deliver that superior service, and I’m happy to have them on board.”

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

 

 

Ben Chojnacki, an attorney who focuses his practice on public law, sports law and litigation, is a 2018 graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builders. Chojnacki is the third Walter | Haverfield attorney to complete the 10-month long program, which teaches participants how to become effective leaders and create meaningful change around a civic issue impacting Northeast Ohio.

Chojnacki is one of 59 graduates in this year’s class. Others include individuals from the non-profit, public and private sectors. All participants were required to go through a thorough application and vetting process.

“Bridge Builders provided the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the community and develop sustainable, long-term relationships with like-minded professionals,” said Chojnacki, who currently serves as the assistant law director for the village of Cuyahoga Heights. “It also allowed me to get back to doing what I love – volunteering.”

As part of the program, participants applied their skills to assist a local community organization in boosting its strategic efforts and overall effectiveness. Those organizations included the Positive Coaching Alliance, International Women’s Air and Space Museum, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Signature Health, among others.

“I learned a lot about the challenges that non-profits and social service organizations face in achieving long-term success in the civic realm,” added Chojnacki, who worked with Signature Health, an opioid addition and behavioral healthcare services provider in Northeast Ohio. “I also became more aware of the strategies successful civic organizations have employed to ensure they have a long-lasting impact on Northeast Ohio.”

 

Committed to its mission of offering superior service to a wide range of clients, Walter | Haverfield has hired Jessica Bradburn Loucks to its Litigation team.

Loucks is a passionate, young attorney with experience in various phases of complex civil litigation. Her background includes in-depth involvement on a defense team for a Fortune 500 global science company. She worked extensively on all aspects of the multidistrict litigation consisting of numerous, novel claims of personal injury and wrongful death. As part of that team, she helped implement a process to timely remove and transfer more than 2,000 complaints from state court into federal court.

“Jessica’s skills as well as her dedication to the job truly impress us,” said Ralph Cascarilla, head of Walter | Haverfield’s Litigation team. “We are honored to have her on our team.”

Loucks previously served as a legal extern with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. There, she was the driving force behind the development and creation of a pilot program offering legal services in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She also served as a member of the Police Reform Practicum, working with the Cleveland Community Police Commission to improve police-community relations.

A graduate of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Loucks is a native of Rochester, NY and resides in Rocky River with her family. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

A dishonest auto repair shop and its shoddy work prompted a local woman to attend a Legal Aid clinic. She needed advice on how to get her money back. That’s where she met Legal Aid volunteer and Walter | Haverfield attorney, Leslie Wolfe. Their story appeared in Poetic Justice.

Kevin MurphyIn an article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, Walter | Haverfield partner Kevin Murphy said he’s not in favor of a state-run system to track money within the medical marijuana industry. He said such a system could hinder patient access and discourage banks that are willing to be involved with the program.

Kevin MurphyIn an article published in Crain’s Cleveland Business, Walter | Haverfield partner Kevin Murphy predicted that Ohio’s medical marijuana program, which faces many challenges, may not be fully functional for 12-18 months.

 

Walter | Haverfield partner Darrell Clay led a panel discussion at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on the topic of #MeToo and sexual harassment in the legal profession. Cleveland.com recapped the discussion, which included attorneys from other local firms.

 

Sara Ravas Cooper and Shelly LaSalvia are Walter | Haverfield’s two newest partners. The additions bring Walter | Haverfield’s partnership to 38 members.

“I am very proud of both Sara and Shelly’s accomplishments,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner. “They work extremely hard in their respective fields, and I look forward to their continued participation in the growth of the firm.”

 

Cooper focuses her practice on litigation as well as labor and employment. She has extensive experience with white-collar criminal defense, corporate investigations and the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).

LaSalvia represents a wide range of commercial clients in complex finance, business and real estate transactions. She also has significant experience representing financial institutions as creditors in collection litigation and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be integrally involved in shaping the future of the firm,” said Cooper. “Walter | Haverfield is already an excellent place to work, and I’m eager to build on our success.”

“Walter | Haverfield embodies everything I look for in a firm – skilled attorneys, a range of practice areas, substantial bench strength and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said LaSalvia. “Partnership allows me to be even more invested in a place I’m very proud to work at, and for that, I’m thankful.”

Cooper joined Walter | Haverfield in 2009. LaSalvia joined in 2015. Both are members of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Cooper is also a member of the Federal Bar Association. LaSalvia is a member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).

December 6, 2017 – Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. An additional 11 attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list. The names of those honored are below.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are recognized by the Ohio Rising Stars research team.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections, for both Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, are made using a multiphase process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Our 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers Honorees: Our 2018 Ohio Rising Stars Honorees:
Ralph Cascarilla George Asimou
Darrell Clay Benjamin Chojnacki
Bonnie Finley Brendan Healy
Irene MacDougall Patrick Hruby
Crain Marvinney Joshua Hurtuk
Kevin Murphy Shelly LaSalvia
Charles Riehl Ted Motheral
John Waldeck, Jr. Jamie Price
Gary Zwick Rina Russo
andnbsp; Megan Zaidan
andnbsp; Peter Zawadski

 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our longtime colleague and friend, Jim Mackey.

Jim, 67, died Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

“Jim’s contributions to our collective endeavors have been significant, and we will truly miss his spirit, tenacity and kindness,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner.

A partner in our Corporate Transactions and Tax and Wealth Management groups, Jim joined Walter | Haverfield in 2001. He was particularly experienced in helping entrepreneurs in business transactions. He was also well known for his skills as an estate planner for individuals and business owners, assisting them through the complex process of estate and gift taxes as well as property transfers.

In 2011, John Carroll University honored Jim as an alumni medal award recipient. It is the highest honor awarded annually by the alumni association for an individual’s accomplishments in his/her profession, personal life and community as well as his/her dedication to John Carroll University.

In 2008, the Ohio State Bar Association recognized Jim as an estate planning, trust and probate board certified specialist in an issue of its Ohio Lawyer magazine.

Outside of the office, Jim was an active volunteer and community leader. He served as president of John Carroll University’s National Alumni Association and was a member of the board of trustees and the Presidential Search Committee. He was also chairman of the university’s Tax Advisory and Planned Giving Counsel.

Prior to joining Walter | Haverfield, Jim worked for Chattman, Gaines and Stern, LPA for 25 years, where he served as a managing director and the firm’s chief financial officer.

Jim leaves behind a wife, three sons, a daughter and 11 grandchildren.

 

Max Rieker brings more than a decade of professional legal experience to Walter | Haverfield. With a focus on labor and employment issues, Rieker has successfully represented clients before various arbitrators, boards, commissions and trial and appellate courts throughout Ohio. He has extensive involvement in administrative investigations and prevailed in a variety of termination and employee discipline cases. He also has considerable experience in public sector collective bargaining as he represented clients in dozens of cases through the statutory fact-finding and conciliation process.

Named to the 2017 Ohio Rising Stars list, Rina Russo has significant experience representing employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements as well as allegations of discrimination and harassment. She works with private and public sector employers in matters involving failure to accommodate, wage/hour violations and enforcement of restrictive covenants before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Her litigation practice includes single plaintiff, class and collective actions.

 


We are pleased to announce that
Darrell Clay
who serves as vice-chair of our firm’s litigation services group, is now president of
the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA).
Darrell, a 20-year member of the CMBA, was sworn in at the organization’s annual meeting on June 2.

In addition to helping
guide the operations of CMBA for the next 12 months, Darrell will direct the implementation of the organization’s
new strategic plan. Key objectives of the plan include strengthening membership by enhancing the overall value
proposition for members, promoting the organization as a go-to source for thought leadership in law and justice,
and repositioning the organization to be more relevant and appeal to changing demographics, including younger
members and sole practitioners. The organization is also actively working to improve diversity in the local
legal market.

Darrell has a long history of active participation in CMBA. Among other services, he served on the membership
(recruitment), bar admissions, and grievance committees. He is a Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar
Foundation, as well as the Ohio State Bar Foundation. He has been a strong advocate of the Association and its
ongoing efforts to elevate the overall perception of lawyers and their varied contributions to the community.

During his remarks at the Annual Meeting, Darrell announced plans for CMBA to convene a summit in April 2018 to
mark the 50th anniversary of passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the 150th anniversary of enactment
of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens.

With more than 5,500 members, CMBA is the largest local bar association in the State of Ohio. Its members are drawn
from all aspects of the legal profession, including private practice, in-house counsel, judges, government attorneys,
law students, paralegals, and business professionals. Its mission is to promote the rule of law, sustain and improve
the quality of and public trust in the administration of justice and the legal profession, and enhance Greater Cleveland
through member, civic and community service, and leadership.

According to Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner, “Darrell is particularly well-suited to lead the
CMBA because of his outstanding leadership skills and ability to build consensus, in addition to being an excellent lawyer.”

Darrell has been with our firm since 1997. His practice focuses on complex civil and white collar criminal matters covering
a wide variety of subjects, including antitrust, construction, unfair competition, First Amendment, and other matters.
As an instrument-rated commercial pilot and airplane owner, Darrell also has an active aviation law practice. He has been
selected to Ohio Super Lawyers list for the past eight years in the areas of business litigation, criminal defense—white
collar, and aviation law and was named a Leading Lawyer by Inside Business in the area of antitrust law. He also serves on
the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness. He is a 1994 magna cum laude graduate of Tulane
University School of Law, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from University of South Florida.
He can be reached at dclay@walterhav.com.

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to welcome the following attorneys to the firm.


Edward F. Caja
joined Walter | Haverfield as an associate in 2016. Prior to
joining W|H he developed a well rounded aptitude for innovation counseling with
experience in various legal, business, and technical management positions across
many organizational roles from original engineering design and research,
extensive project and program management, and business unit leadership to patent
application preparation and prosecution. Recent legal experience includes
litigation assistance involving patents, trade secrets, business torts, and
unfair competition in numerous art fields. Patent prosecution experience
includes U.S. and international application in multiple technology areas such as
fluid systems, optics, mechanical, electro-mechanical, RFID-based data systems,
computing devices, computer and telecom systems and business methods.

Maria L. Cedroni’s intellectual property practice focuses on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and patent litigation. Maria joined W|H as an associate in 2017. Prior to joining W|H she worked in a Boston area firm for almost 9 years and then a Cleveland firm for 3 years.


Kaitlin Corkran
, an associate in the firm’s Corporate Transactions group,
focuses her practice on a wide range of corporate and business matters,
including new business formation and development, mergers and acquisitions,
stockholder arrangements, and reorganizations. Kaitlin also counsels lenders and
borrowers in commercial finance transactions.


Brendan D. Healy
joined Walter | Haverfield LLP as an associate in 2016, and
is a member of the firm’s Public Law practice group. He has extensive experience
representing public entities throughout Ohio, including cities, villages,
townships, and government agencies. He has advised various municipal boards and
commissions, including Boards of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commissions, and Civil
Service Commissions. Additionally, he served as an Assistant Director of Law for
the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Patrick A. Hruby is an associate in Walter | Haverfield’s Corporate Transactions group, whose practice also expands into the Litigation Services group. Patrick’s experience includes representing banks and other commercial lenders, commercial property owners, creditors and debtors in the United States Bankruptcy Court, and bankruptcy trustees, among others.

Ellen R. Kirtner-LaFleur is an associate in the Real Estate group. Ellen focuses her practice on a range of commercial real estate matters, including the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties, retail leasing, and real estate finance.


DeMarcus E. Levy
is an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property
practice group. He focuses on patent law with an emphasis on assistance with
patent prosecution in the electronic and mechanical arts. In addition to
preparing and prosecuting applications in the United States, he has assisted
with advising foreign clients on how to navigate U.S. patent law while keeping
claim language consistent across their international portfolios. Mr. Levy also
performs copyright and trademark prosecution.

William T. Raiff is an associate in the Real Estate group. He focuses his practice on commercial real estate matters and transactions including retail and residential leasing and the disposition and acquisition of commercial properties.


Cary A. Zimmerman
is also an associate in the firm’s Corporate Transactions
group. She represents public and private companies with their corporate and
securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity
issuances, venture capital, angel investing, and corporate governance matters.
In addition to her Juris Doctor, Cary has a Master of Science in
Management-Finance, which informs her practice and enhances her value as a
business advisor.

In an article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, published on June 4, 2017 and titled, “Cleveland bar association has new leader, same challenges,” new CMBA president Darrell Clay affirmed his commitment to the organization’s overall strategic plan, adopted in May 2016.

Darrell A. Clay, a partner in the litigation services group of Walter | Haverfield, will assume the position of president of Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, June 2. Clay, who has been practicing law since 1994, has been an active member of CMBA for 20 years.

In addition to helping guide the operations of CMBA for the next 12 months, Clay will direct the continued implementation of the organization’s new strategic plan. Key objectives of the new plan include strengthening membership by enhancing the overall value proposition for members, promoting the organization as a go-to source for thought leadership in law and justice, and repositioning the organization to be more relevant and appeal to changing demographics, including younger members.

“I am excited about the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat to help make this new strategic vision a reality,” said Clay. “Although it won’t be wrapped up by the end of my term, I hope to have the overall direction and foundation for growth in good shape for my successor. I want people to experience CMBA in a new way and promote the idea that this isn’t your father’s bar association.”

Clay has a long history of active participation in CMBA. Among other services, he has served on the membership (recruitment), admissions and grievance committees. He is a Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, as well as the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

“I believe attorneys should give back to their profession,” said Clay. “Despite the jokes often targeted against lawyers, I am proud to be in this field. Lawyers help protect rights and liberties, and CMBA can impact the community in meaningful ways relative to law and justice issues.”

The upcoming CMBA Annual Meeting is significant as it marks the 10th anniversary since the Cleveland and Cuyahoga County bar associations came together. The Cleveland Bar Association traces its roots back to 1873.

“I believe in the CMBA and am confident that I’m a better leader and a better lawyer because of being a member,” said Clay.

Although Clay began his legal career in New Orleans, he has been practicing law in Cleveland with Walter | Haverfield since 1997. He serves as vice-chair of the firm’s litigation services group, with a personal practice focused on complex civil and white collar criminal matters covering a wide variety of subjects, including antitrust, construction, unfair competition, First Amendment, and other matters. In addition, drawing on his experience as an instrument-rated commercial pilot and airplane owner, Clay has an active aviation law practice that includes advice, counseling and representation of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation companies in transactional, administrative and litigation matters.

“In addition to being an excellent lawyer, Darrell’s outstanding leadership skills and ability to build consensus make him particularly well-suited to lead the CMBA as its president,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner at Walter | Haverfield.

Clay is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Louisiana. He graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University School of Law and received his M.A. and B.A. from the University of South Florida. He has been selected to Ohio Super Lawyers list for the past eight years in the areas of business litigation, criminal defense, white collar, and aviation law and was named a Leading Lawyer by Inside Business in the area of antitrust law. Clay currently resides in Strongsville.

Walter | Haverfield LLP is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers selects attorneys as a result of a multiphase selection process, in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Candidates are evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement and, each year, selections are made on a state-by-state basis. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in Ohio are recognized by Super Lawyers in their annual listing.

Those named to the 2017 list, and their areas of practice, are as follows:

Six other attorneys have been named to the 2017 Ohio Rising Stars list. The selection process for the Rising Stars list mirrors the Super Lawyers selection process, except that candidates must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Ohio are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars list.

Those named, and their areas of practice, are as follows:

In addition, Irene M. MacDougall was named to the list of the “Top 25 Women” in the Cleveland area. This list includes those women lawyers who ranked highest in the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

On an ongoing basis, Walter | Haverfield continues to evaluate the range of legal services we offer our clients to identify complementary practice areas that provide added value and meet our clients’ ever-evolving needs. That’s why, in the past year alone, we have added four new practice areas—intellectual property (IP), public and structured finance, loan workouts/creditors’ rights, and liquor control law. These practices had been identified as high-demand areas by our existing and prospective clients.

The firm’s newest practice group—IP—was initially created as a result of the legal professionals of D. Peter Hochberg Co, LPA, joining the firm at the end of June. D. Peter Hochberg Co. is well recognized in the national and international IP markets, having served clients around the globe for more than 30 years. In addition to its long-standing trademark and patent business, which has been responsible for writing more than 1,500 patents over the years, the firm also provided counseling relative to copyright and trade secret licensing and litigation, as well as arbitration of major patent infringement cases. Peter will be the Chair of the International Patent Group at Walter | Haverfield. The full legal team, including Peter Hochberg and Sean Mellino, were part of the transition.

Also in late June, Walter | Haverfield successfully recruited the entire Cleveland-based IP group of Kegler Brown Hill and Ritter. Jamie Pingor, who was the director-in-charge of the Cleveland office, will head up the new IP group at Walter | Haverfield. Beyond his IP work, Pingor is a licensed patent attorney, and he also counsels clients on a variety of corporate transactions, including business formation and structuring.

Leading the firm’s new public and structured finance practice group is 30+-year veteran Irene MacDougall, who joined Walter | Haverfield in the spring.

In order to better serve Cleveland’s burgeoning hospitality industry, the firm also added a liquor control law practice group that is under the direction of new partner John Neal.

Kirk Roessler, who joined the firm last fall, will lead the new commercial loan originations and workouts team which also offers experience in creditor/debtor law.

Walter | Haverfield also attracted high-level legal talent to support its existing practice groups in the last year. A number of these additions were mentioned in our previous newsletter. Brand new to the firm’s corporate transactions team, however, is T. Ted Motheral, who focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, having handled a wide array of transactions valued between $200,000 and $350 million.

Combined with the attorneys who were brought on board to start the four new practice groups, there were a total of 24 new attorneys joining the firm in the past 12 months. This is the second time in the last four years that the firm has documented double-digit growth in its professional ranks.

We are honored to be able to recruit such exceptional lawyers. All of these attorneys are well recognized in their individual practice areas and will allow us to not only serve our existing clients better but also attract new clients. We are also pleased to be attracting younger attorneys that will support the continued growth and vitality of this firm well into the future.

Ralph can be reached by phone at 216-928-2908 or e-mail rcascarilla@walterhav.com.

In an online article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, written by reporter Jeremy Nobile and titled, “Walter | Haverfield law firm is growing at record rate,” Ralph E. Cascarilla discussed the firm’s recent growth.

Jamie PriceJamie Price, an attorney who focuses her practice on civil, commercial and probate litigation, recently joined the Cleveland Bridge Builders class of 2019. The Mobile, Alabama native applied for the competitive 10-month program, which teaches participants how to create meaningful change around a civic issue impacting Northeast Ohio.

“I sought out Bridge Builders to gain a deeper understanding of the civic community in Cleveland and find a hands-on way to give back” said Price, who is an avid runner. “I’m proud to be a part of such a fantastic program.”

Bridge Builders includes 60 local participants in its latest class, all of whom were chosen because they demonstrated a commitment to the community, strong leadership and problem-solving skills.

Price has been highly involved in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the past decade. She serves on its regional board and is a part of the ADL’s national civil rights committee. The Shaker Heights resident is also a new member of the National Council of Jewish Women and serves on the Ethics and Professionalism committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

As part of the program, participants apply their skills to assist a local community organization in boosting its strategic efforts and overall effectiveness.

“I’m eager to find my place within the civic realm of Cleveland and pinpoint an organization in which I can become involved,” added Price, who was selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers 2018 Rising Stars list for business litigation. “And throughout the Bridge Builders program, I look forward to learning more about myself and others. That process will help me become a more effective leader and communicator to ultimately assist others in need.”

Sara Fagnilli, an attorney in the firm’s Public Law group, is in Serial, a podcast that shares stories from inside the Cuyahoga County courthouse during its third season. Fagnilli was the special prosecutor in the controversial case of Euclid resident, Erimius Spencer. The details of Spencer’s case, Fagnilli’s role in it and the outcome are all explained in episode seven.

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. An additional eight attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list. The names of those honored are below.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are recognized by the Ohio Rising Stars research team.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections, for both Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, are made using a multi-phase process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Our 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers Honorees:

•    Ralph Cascarilla  Criminal Defense: White Collar
•    Darrell Clay – Business Litigation
•    Shelly LaSalvia – Creditor Debtor Rights
•    Irene MacDougall – Government Finance
•    Craig Marvinney – Civil Litigation: Defense
•    Kevin Murphy – Real Estate
•    John Waldeck, Jr. Real Estate
•    Mark Wallach – Business Litigation
•    Gary Zwick – Tax

Our 2019 Ohio Rising Stars Honorees:

•    Rick Amburgey – Surety
•    Benjamin Chojnacki – State/Local/Municipal
•    Joshua Hurtuk – Real Estate
•    James McWeeney – Schools and Education
•    Ted Motheral – Mergers and Acquisitions
•    Rina Russo – Employment and Labor
•    Greg Watkins – Business/Corporate
•    Megan Zaidan – Real Estate

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Construction on a mixed-use Detroit Ave. project that includes apartments, retail and event space will soon begin, thanks to half a dozen real estate attorneys at Walter | Haverfield.

The legal team represented Project 29 Partners, LLC, the developer behind the Church + State project. For the past year, Walter | Haverfield’s attorneys worked closely on the development and financing process and advised the developer team through critical steps.

Church + State will consist of 158 apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a public plaza. An amphitheater, rooftop soaking pool, a large rotating public art installation and a splash fountain will also be incorporated into the property.

Walter | Haverfield’s real estate team secured the complex funding for the project, including the crucial HUD 221(d)(4) program insured loan. Just as essential was the tax increment bond financing, which closed concurrently with the HUD insured loan. The firm’s attorneys also successfully concluded a loan from Cuyahoga County and funding from Cleveland’s Neighborhood Development Program as well as its Vacant Property Initiative. TIF Bond financing came via the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and was underwritten by Huntington National Bank.

Walter | Haverfield has played an integral role in helping to revitalize the Detroit Ave. stretch of Ohio City commonly known as Hingetown. In 2016, the firm’s real estate attorneys closed on the $6 million Music Settlement space in The Quarter building at W. 25th and Detroit Ave. They also represented The Music Settlement when it received the donation of the Bop Stop, an intimidate jazz performance venue, at W. 29th and Detroit Ave.

The Church + State project is set to be completed in 2020.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

On August 13, 1932, Western Reserve School of Law graduate Paul W. Walter, the son of German immigrants, joined several hundred recently graduated attorneys in Cleveland’s Engineers Building where they were to be sworn into the Ohio Bar. It was before the start of this momentous ceremony that Walter stood up in the crowd and called out, “Is there a Haverfield in the house?”
In the months prior, a mutual friend of Walter and fellow attorney D. Rusk Haverfield, a Harvard Law School graduate, had strongly suggested the two become law partners. But they hadn’t yet met before that pleasant summer day during the Great Depression.

Within minutes of this very public introduction, Walter announced to Haverfield, “We’re going to practice law together.”  Haverfield’s response was pragmatic: he declared he was married and needed a job. In return, Walter reminded him, “It’s the Depression. There are no jobs.” And thus was born Walter and Haverfield, with Harvard’s Haverfield as “Mr. Inside” and Western Reserve’s Walter as “Mr. Outside.”

The story of the firm’s genesis reflects Walter’s extraordinary ability to mobilize others to take meaningful action. It became the hallmark of his leadership style, and a quality his future colleagues admired. “When Paul got involved in a project, everyone got involved full bore,” said Charles Riehl, Of Counsel in Walter | Haverfield’s Litigation and Public Law groups.

The firm’s founding also marked the moment from which Walter would dedicate the next six decades of his life and career to advancing policy locally and at the highest levels of national government.

Just two years into his career, Walter played a pivotal role in convincing Harold Burton to seek election as mayor of Cleveland in 1934. Burton would serve three terms as mayor before being elected to the U.S. Senate, and later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Walter’s relationship with the statesman led to his appointment as volunteer chairman of the Work Projects Administration, which provided 280,000 jobs to economically-devastated Clevelanders and facilitated construction of and improvements to various Cleveland landmarks. That included Hopkins Airport, Burke Airport, Cleveland’s lakefront, the Flats, and a number of public parks and buildings.

In the years that followed, Walter’s commitment to ensuring city management of public resources led the firm more deeply into municipal law. In an effort to reignite interest in Cleveland’s deteriorating public electric plant and prevent the formation of a monopoly by a privately-owned company, Walter formed the Cleveland Municipal Light Plant Association in 1937. He successfully saved the plant and went on to join then Cleveland Transit Commissioner Ed Schweid in orchestrating a takeover of the privately-owned transit system by the city of Cleveland.

In 1938, Walter was once again tapped to manage a high-profile campaign, this time for Ohio Republican Robert A. Taft, who sought a seat in the U.S. Senate. Walter led two successful re-election campaigns for the senator known as “Mr. Republican,” while also serving as floor manager for Taft’s unsuccessful attempts to secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1940, 1948, and 1952. Growing the firm’s expertise to include labor law, Walter joined Taft in forming the National Academy of Arbitrators. He also notably served as a key author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which governs the activities of labor unions.

As Walter’s outside interests drove the expansion of the firm’s practice areas, so grew his influence in the nation’s corridors of power. Walter was instrumental in persuading Taft to endorse the successful presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and by the 1960’s, he had been appointed national president of the United World Federation. In this capacity, Walter worked with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to promote global peace by successfully lobbying Senate Republicans to support passage of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

Paul Walter (left) shakes hands with Dwight D. Eisenhower

Despite his extensive involvement in national politics, Walter remained dedicated to serving the people of Cleveland. He served for 25 years on the board of the YMCA, chaired the Western Reserve Historical Society board, and was a trustee for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. For more than 50 years, he was the head of Hiram House, Cleveland’s first settlement house. His legal work defending the business interests of the Hough Area Development Corporation in the early 1970’s following the Hough Riots in 1966 exemplified this commitment.

Paul Walter and D. Rusk Haverfield both passed away in 1992, leaving behind them the firm that still bears their names.

“Paul taught us to fight for our clients,” said Michael McMenamin, former managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “He always had our backs and made us believe in ourselves. If Paul, with all he had done, believed in us, how could we not do the same? He truly was a great man.”

Now in its 86th year, Walter Haverfield stands in testament to an enduring legacy of service to city and country first modeled by one of its founding name partners, Paul Walter.

For more on Paul Walter, click here to watch an interview that he did in 1990.

Ralph CascarillaWalter | Haverfield attorneys Ralph E. Cascarilla and Irene M. MacDougall have received special recognition by Ohio Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a nationwide legal rating service with statewide divisions which evaluates attorneys based on independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Ohio Super Lawyers has named Cascarilla to its 2019 “Top 100” Ohio attorneys list as well as its 2019 “Top 50 Cleveland Area” attorneys list. Cascarilla is managing partner of Walter | Haverfield and leads the firm’s Litigation team. This is the third time that he has beennamed to both lists and the 16th time that he has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers.

Ohio Super Lawyers named MacDougall to its 2019 “Top 50 Women” Ohio attorneys list and its 2019 “Top 25 Women-Cleveland Area” attorneys list. MacDougall is a partner at the firm who focuses her practice on finance and development transactions. This is the third time that she has been named to both lists and the 10th year that she has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers.

Irene MacDougall

The top-ranked lists, as mentioned above, include those lawyers who have ranked highest in the 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade

 to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation and public law.

Margaret O'BryanThe Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) has certified Walter | Haverfield attorney Margaret O’Bryon as a specialist in workers’ compensation law. O’Bryon is the only Ohio attorney to have received such certification in 2018.

The OSBA certification program is accredited by the Ohio Supreme Court. Attorneys seeking certification must devote at least 25 percent of their practice to their particular field of law, submit five professional references, complete a minimum of 36 hours of specialized continuing legal education and pass a written exam.

“Receiving this certification is a testament to my hard work over the last two decades,” said O’Bryon, who represents a variety of public and private employers in the health care, manufacturing, construction and education industries. “I’m honored to be recognized, and I have every reason to believe that being a certified workers’ compensation specialist will further my practice.”

“This is an exceptional achievement, and not one many attorneys in the state share,” said Susan Anderson, partner at Walter | Haverfield and O’Bryon’s colleague. “We all applaud Margaret on this accomplishment.”

Attorneys who have earned specialty certification must file annual reports showing they comply with program requirements. They must also be recertified every four years.

There are currently 130 OSBA-certified workers’ compensation specialists in Ohio, which has a total of 44,856 licensed, registered active attorneys.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation and public law.

We are pleased and honored that 15 of our attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. First published in 1983, Best Lawyers based its 2019 listing on the results of an exhaustive peer review survey, in which attorneys cast their votes regarding the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Those who will be honored in the 2019 edition include:

Marc J. Bloch: Litigation – Labor and Employment

Ralph E. Cascarilla: Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Environmental

Nick R. Catanzarite: Real Estate Law

Darrell A. Clay: Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Nathan A. Felker: Real Estate Law

Todd Hunt: Land Use and Zoning Law; Municipal Law; Real Estate Law

Eric J. Johnson: Education Law

Irene M. MacDougall: Banking and Finance Law; Real Estate Law

Craig Marvinney: Litigation-Insurance

Christina Henagen Peer: Education Law

David Ricco: Real Estate Law

Russell C. Shaw: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Litigation – ERISA

John W. Waldeck, Jr.: Real Estate Law

Mark Wallach: Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Municipal

Gary A. Zwick: Tax Law

In addition, R. Todd Hunt was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America’s “Lawyer of the Year” listing in the Cleveland metro area. Todd was recognized for his “Land Use and Zoning Law” practice.

Josh HurtukRina Russo

Josh Hurtuk, Rina Russo and Megan Zaidan are Walter | Haverfield’s three newest partners. The additions bring Walter | Haverfield’s partnership to 42 members.

“Josh, Rina and Megan all demonstrate the talent and dedication needed to take their practice to the next level,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner. “I am very proud of their efforts and applaud this important milestone in their careers.”

Hurtuk and Zaidan are integral members of Walter | Haverfield’s Real Estate and Business Services teams. Specifically, they represent developers, lenders, sellers and buyers in complex transactions with regards to the acquisition, disposition, development and redevelopment of commercial properties. They also focus much of their practice on the leasing of retail, office, warehouse and industrial space as well as the formation and structuring of business entities.

Russo represents private and public sector employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues. That includes allegations of discrimination and harassment, matters involving failure to accommodate and wage/hour violations. She also has significant experience representing employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and counseling them in all aspects of the employment relationship.

All three attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in their respective practice areas for the past three years. They are also members of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Both Hurtuk and Zaidan are members of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) as well as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Russo is on the board of the Hitchcock Center for Women, a Cleveland-area non-profit that helps women recover from addiction. Zaidan is an associate board member for the Centers for Families and Children, which supports needy families and at-risk children in Cuyahoga County.

“The growth of our partnership demonstrates the strength of our firm, and I look forward to building upon our success with the partner participation from Josh, Rina and Megan,” added Cascarilla.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public entities.

Chambers and Partners, a London-based independent research company that conducts rankings of law firms and attorneys, has selected Ralph E. CascarillaIrene M. MacDougall and Mark I. Wallach to be included in its 2019 USA guide. Cascarilla, MacDougall and Wallach are being recognized in the following practice areas after the company conducted numerous interviews with clients and general counsel:

Many of the world’s largest banks and companies rely on Chambers in selecting their outside counsel. Its 200 research analysts have been ranking firms and lawyers in the U.S. for more than two decades. In Chambers USA 2019, more than 6,000 law firms and 18,000 attorneys are ranked. Rankings are based on technical ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness, diligence and commitment.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Walter | Haverfield, a top ten Cleveland-based law firm, is expanding our existing office in Columbus and hiring attorneys in all practice areas. We are looking for experienced, hard-working, self-starter individuals who are eager to grow their practice as well as the firm’s presence in the state capital.

If you are interested in joining our team, please email your resume to hiring@walterhav.com.

Walter | Haverfield opened its Columbus office in 2018, marking a significant milestone for the 87-year-old firm. As we have experienced year-after-year growth in the last decade, we broadened our geographic footprint, remaining committed to our mission of serving clients. An office in Columbus allows us to meet the demands we face and offer more sophisticated services.

Our Columbus office is located at 175 South Third St.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Often confused as being synonymous with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is the underlying technology upon which the cryptocurrency concept was built. Blockchain first made its debut in 2008, and its relationship to bitcoin has been compared as such: blockchain is to bitcoin, what the internet is to email.

As blockchain developed, people began to realize it had applications beyond bitcoin. The continued discovery of those applications has become the catalyst of the technology revolution that we find ourselves in today – one that is affecting all industries as they find a way to incorporate blockchain. For example, a 2017 study by IBM found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives had plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution that year while 56% expected to by 2020. Also notable, financial institutions are spending millions on developing blockchain applications. Two CEOs of major European lenders claim blockchain “will underpin the financial industry in five years.” Still, as we make our way through the blockchain renaissance, there are many questions, the simplest being: what is blockchain?

In short, blockchain is a digital ledger consisting of recorded transactions. Transactions are recorded on the blockchain using cryptography. Cryptography consists of two digital keys: one digital key ensures you are the only person who can enter a transaction into the blockchain, and the other digital key lets another person confirm it was really you who added the transaction.

What makes blockchain unique is its decentralized nature and security. Typically, transactions are verified by a centralized authority (i.e., a bank, the DMV, a credit card company, etc.). However, transactions on the blockchain are verified by the consensus of several users. In other words, the information is distributed to multiple computers, each having its own copy of the transactions. As such, no single party controls the information.

Also, blockchain has sophisticated security features, including its use of hashing and its internal construction which make it impenetrable. Hashing is the process of reducing data to a random set of characters. In blockchain, hashes are linked together so any minute changes are visible in the block housing the hash and all other blocks added later. Blockchain also consists of an “append-only” construction, which only permits the writing-in of new information, with the previous information being impervious to edits, adjustments or changes. Therefore, blockchain is often referred to as being immutable.

There is no denying that the intricacies of blockchain are extremely complex and much more in depth than the high-level perspective provided by this entry. Perhaps the important takeaway is that blockchain provides an unparalleled level of trust and security among parties. For that reason alone, it is easy to see how this technology will impact the way we do business.

After more than three decades of litigating high-profile cases in Cleveland, Mark Wallach is joining Walter | Haverfield as partner.

Wallach has handled nearly two dozen cases before the Ohio Supreme Court, including several major municipal law decisions and land use issues. In addition to working with public agencies, he also works with commercial entities as well as with individuals.

“Our clients will truly benefit from Mark’s counsel,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “His impressive skills and accomplishments raise the level of services we already offer.”

Wallach is rated in Chambers and Partners, which is a global, prestigious ranking service of law firms and lawyers.  He is also the recipient of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society’s Access to Justice award. Plus, he’s been recognized by Best Lawyers and Ohio Super Lawyers.

Gregory Watkins is also joining Walter | Haverfield as part of the Corporate Transactions team. Named to the 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, Watkins assists clients in mergers and acquisitions as well as with business governance matters. Plus, he counsels entrepreneurs in all aspects of the business life cycle, including entity selection, day-to-day management and exit strategies. Watkins also serves clients in the alcoholic beverage industry, advising them on licensing, compliance and transportation matters.

“As we experience an increased demand for transactional work, we are committed to making sure we match that demand with well-trained attorneys,” said Cascarilla. “Greg fits exactly what our clients need.”

Prior to Walter | Haverfield, Watkins focused on acquisition and sale transactions at his previous firm. He has also served as outside corporate counsel for clients in various industries, including a large health care system.

In an effort to serve our growing number of diverse business clients in Central Ohio, Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that Bryan Jeffries has joined the firm as a partner in its Columbus office. Jeffries focuses his practice on commercial litigation as well as construction and business law.

“Walter | Haverfield presented me a great opportunity to enhance my practice in commercial litigation and construction and grow my practice in real estate,” said Jeffries who most recently worked at Eastman and Smith. “Plus, the firm is keenly focused on expanding in the Columbus market, which also enticed me to join the team.”

For the past three decades, Jeffries has guided closely held businesses and other clients through formation and financing, shareholder disputes and employment litigation. Within the construction industry, Jeffries represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. At Eastman and Smith, Jeffries led the firm’s construction law practice group for three years.

“Bryan brings a skill set that is exactly what we need as we continue to grow our Columbus office,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “Not only is he an accomplished attorney, but he is also active in a variety of organizations and speaks regularly on a wide range of legal topics.”

Jeffries is involved in the Central Ohio Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Central Ohio NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association). He is also a part of the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio, the Construction Financial Management Association and the National Association of Remodeling Industry.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of Walter | Haverfield fits in very well with my practice and my approach to practicing law,” added Jeffries, a father of three who proudly calls himself a “foodie.”

A resident of Dublin, Jeffries is a former adjunct faculty of business and corporate law at Columbus State Community College, Franklin University and Capital University’s paralegal program. He has also given more than 30 presentations on business and construction to various trade groups and organizations.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

After a nearly two-year legal battle, Walter | Haverfield partner, Darrell Clay won a lawsuit against the philanthropic arm of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) over a sought-after speaker’s contract. Clay represented Bill Sheil, an investigative reporter at Cleveland’s Fox affiliate, Fox 8, and the contract showed how much the Tri-C Foundation paid Academy-Award winning actress, Octavia Spencer to speak at a fundraising luncheon.

Sheil first requested the contract in 2017 as part of a public records request, and by law, public institutions must comply with Ohio’s Public Records Act. But the Tri-C Foundation denied the request claiming it is “a private, nonprofit organization that is not subject to open records requests.”

Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled there was clear and convincing evidence that the Tri-C Foundation “operates as the functional equivalent of a public entity,” making it subject to the Public Records Act. The court also rejected the Tri-C Foundation’s claim that the contract with Spencer was a trade secret exempt from disclosure. As a result, the foundation had to release the contract to Sheil.

Spencer’s contract revealed that the Tri-C Foundation paid Spencer $150,500 (plus first-class travel expenses for two) to attend the fundraising luncheon. The event lasted two hours and twenty minutes. In response, Tri-C issued a statement saying that speaker fees “are paid with private, not public, dollars.” It also said the event “netted approximately $1 million for scholarships.”

The Eighth District’s decision can be found here. For additional information, check out Fox 8’s stories on this case here and here.

Darrell Clay is a partner at Walter | Haverfield and a member of the firm’s Litigation team who regularly practices in the area of First Amendment law. He can be reached at 216-928-2896 or at dclay@walterhav.com.

Megan GreulichL Burleson

As one of the few full-service law firms in Ohio with a dedicated education law practice, Walter | Haverfield is proudly adding two new attorneys to its team in the firm’s Columbus office. Both attorneys will serve an increasing client base of school districts in Central and Southern Ohio.

Lisa Burleson joins Walter | Haverfield as a partner after seven years working in education law. Previously, she led her own education law practice in Columbus, was associated as Of Counsel with two other law firms in Columbus and served as Deputy Director of Labor Relations for the Ohio School Boards Association. Burleson works closely with school districts as general counsel and provides various types of legal services including labor negotiations, labor relations, employment, special education, Title IX, student issues, litigation and Board governance issues.

“This move is a fantastic opportunity for my clients to have access to a broad support base with Walter | Haverfield’s Education Law group, and I’m excited to grow the firm’s Columbus practice,” said Burleson, who lives in Upper Arlington with her husband and two children. “I’m proud to be a part of such a distinguished firm and work with such talented education attorneys.”

Megan Greulich joins Walter | Haverfield as an associate. Previously, she worked at the Ohio School Boards Association in Columbus for nine years, most recently as a senior staff attorney. There, Greulich provided legal information, guidance and policy recommendations to boards of education, attorneys and administrators across the state via the association’s statewide legal hotline, presentations and publications.

“I’m thrilled to join such a reputable education law team,” said Greulich, who lives in Westerville with her husband and three children. “It gives me the chance to utilize my skills in new ways and continue to assist school districts, which is what I love.”

“Lisa and Megan bring a wealth of knowledge to our group,” said Christina Peer, head of Walter | Haverfield’s Education Law team. “Their assistance and counsel will give us an excellent opportunity to better serve school districts throughout the state. We are truly excited to have them on board.”

Burleson is very active as a volunteer in her community and her children’s school. She also serves on the Columbus Bar Association Admissions Committee.

Greulich currently serves as Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Education Law Committee, is an Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellow and has volunteered with the Columbus Urban League, her children’s school and the Columbus City School District’s Reading Buddies program.

Both Burleson and Greulich are graduates of Capital University Law School and are members of the Ohio State Bar Association as well as the Columbus Bar Association.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public law.