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Alumni Accomplishments

Alumni Steven Solomon '02 and Una Lauricia '01 have joined Tucker Ellis LLP

Intellectual property attorneys joining Tucker Ellis in Cleveland are partner Steven Solomon and counsel Una Lauricia.

Steve Solomon

Mr. Solomon advises and represents clients in intellectual property matters – with a focus on patents and trademarks – and has experience in litigation disputes in federal court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He has significant experience drafting and negotiating licensing agreements, joint-development and cooperative business (supply) agreements, and non-disclosure agreements, as well as counseling and representing clients in disputes over their brands and technology. Mr. Solomon’s formal training and prior work experience in chemical engineering have formed the foundation of his patent practice, where he prepares and prosecutes patent applications focusing primarily on the chemical, biochemical, and mechanical arts. Mr. Solomon received his law degree magna cum laude from Cleveland State University College of Law and his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University.

Una Lauricia

Ms. Lauricia joins Tucker Ellis with more than 20 years of experience in intellectual property law. Her practice focuses on securing, protecting, and licensing patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property for clients in industries ranging from startups to multinational corporations. Ms. Lauricia received her law degree from Cleveland State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree in manufacturing engineering from Miami University.

“Steve and Una are highly skilled attorneys with decades of experience,” said Tucker Ellis Intellectual Property Chair Carlos Garritano. “They’re a great addition to our IP team, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

“Una and I are thrilled to join Tucker Ellis as part of its thriving nationwide intellectual property practice,” said Mr. Solomon. “We look forward to utilizing the firm’s deep resources across a range of disciplines to service our clients’ IP needs and beyond.”

Megan Bennett '16 was recognized with an Ohio State Bar Foundation Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under

Megan Bennett Headshot

Megan Bennett is a Partner at Frantz Ward LLP. She is actively involved with the West Side Catholic Center, serving on its Board of Directors since 2020. Bennett is a founding member of the Magnificat High School Blue Streak Barristers, providing valuable support to students interested in legal careers. Her dedication extends to professional organizations, including the Cleveland Chapter of SHRM, where she served on the Legal Affairs Committee. Bennett is a graduate of the University of Dayton and earned her law degree from Cleveland State University College of Law.

“Megan is one of our star younger attorneys, and as great of an attorney as she is, she is an even greater person. It’s not just how much time she gives, but it is the nature of the services she provides,” said Mike Frantz, Jr., Partner, Frantz Ward LLP.

Michael Laszlo '06 has joined Clark Hill as a Member in the firm's Boulder office. 

Mike joins Clark Hill from LaszloLaw where he was a partner.


Judge Annalisa Williams & Magistrate Joseph Mittica

Akron, Ohio, January 24, 2024 – Earlier this month, the Akron Municipal Court Judges appointed Attorney Joseph Mittica to serve as a full-time Magistrate. Administrative/Presiding Judge Annalisa S. Williams administered the oath of office on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

Magistrates are non-elected judicial officers and are appointed by the Judges of the Court. Akron Municipal Court Magistrates serve all six Akron Municipal Court Judges and preside over small claims, civil, traffic and criminal matters.

Magistrate Mittica earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2012 and his Juris Doctor from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015.

Prior to joining the Akron Municipal Court, Magistrate Mittica served the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office for eight years.

“Magistrate Mittica’s professional experience and his passion for bringing access to justice pair incredibly well with the Akron Municipal Court,” said Judge Williams. “We are grateful to add him to our impressive staff roster.”

Magistrate Mittica and his family reside in Copley Township.

James Hankle '81 Join Steptoe & Johnson’s Growing Pittsburgh Office

James Hankle

James Hankle joins Steptoe & Johnson's Litigation Department as Of Counsel and will focus his practice in the areas of general civil and commercial litigation, criminal law, and privacy and cyber security law. Hankle represents clients in complex litigation before federal and state courts, federal and state agencies, and international commercial arbitration panels. He regularly assists national companies and local corporations in the defense of commercial transaction claims, intellectual property claims, mass toxic tort claims, and product liability claims. He is also regularly called upon to handle corporate white-collar crime.

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Alumn Jose C. Feliciano Sr. '75 Awarded The Cleveland Heritage Medal on November 16, 2023

Jose Feliciano

The Cleveland Heritage Medal is bestowed upon individuals whose significant contributions through leadership, collaboration and service have left an indelible mark on all spheres of the Cleveland community. It is the City’s highest award and modeled on  the congressional medal of honor.

Past recipients include past mayors George Voinovich and  Michael White, Dr. Toby Cosgrove (CEO of the Cleveland Clinic) Beth Mooney (CEO of Keybank), Steve Minter (CEO of the Cleveland Foundation) and Mal Mixon (CEO of Invacare), among others

Alumna Chelsea Mikula Ranked in Chambers USA 2023

Chelsea Mikula

Tucker Ellis LLP is proud to announce that CSU|LAW alumna, Chelsea Mikula '10, has been ranked in Chambers USA 2023 in the area of Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio)! Individual lawyers are ranked in their practice area(s) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, ability, effectiveness, and client service.

About Chambers USA

Chambers USA ranks the leading lawyers and law firms across the USA, covering practice areas in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and up to 79 individual practice areas. Its legal rankings are based on in-depth market analysis and independent research conducted by an experienced team of researchers who carefully analyze and research each submitting firm and conduct several thousands of hours of interviews with referees. For more information, visit

About Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP is a full-service law firm of more than 220 attorneys with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The firm is proud to serve a Fortune 250 list of national and international litigation, intellectual property, and sophisticated business clients, for whom its attorneys individually tailor client service teams. For more information, visit

CSU|LAW Hall of Fame Member Steven B. Lesser '79 Appointed as Special Advisor of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Specialization

Fort Lauderdale, Florida –July 13, 2023 – Becker, a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast, is pleased to announce that Steven B. Lesser, chair of the firm’s national Construction Law and Litigation practice group, has been appointed as a special advisor of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Specialization, which approves accreditation of lawyers nationally.

The American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes legal specialties in bankruptcy, trial advocacy, medical liability, privacy and 10 other areas. Approximately 30,000 attorneys in the United States are certified specialists under various programs and states ultimately determine whether lawyers can claim legal specialization.

Mr. Lesser Steve will serve a one-year term commencing with the adjournment of the ABA 2023 Annual Meeting on August 8, 2023.

Mr. Lesser is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar and devotes his practice exclusively to construction law and litigation, including governmental construction claims and defense and hotel/condominium disputes.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and in 2022, he was elected to the Board of Governors for a three-year term. He has received several awards from the Florida Bar and ABA for his work in the construction industry.

He is past Chair of the ABA’s Forum on Construction Law, a nationally prestigious organization devoted entirely to members of the construction industry. The Forum, known for its scholarly publications and programs focusing on developments and trends in construction law, is the world’s largest construction lawyer group.

Mr. Lesser is also past Chair of The Florida Bar Association’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education (“BLSE”) which administers the Bar’s certification plan and provides oversight over all 27 certification committees that each focus upon a specific practice area. As part of its mission, the BLSE helps identify for the public and the profession those attorneys who have substantial experience and have demonstrated special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in certified areas of practice and professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. He has served in the leadership of a variety of Florida Bar and ABA Committees including past Chair of the Florida Bar Construction Law Certification Committee.

“I am honored to serve as a special advisor to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Specialization. I am a huge proponent of becoming board certified, which by virtue of studying and taking the examination alone will make you a better lawyer,” said Mr. Lesser.


With one of the largest, dedicated teams of board-certified construction attorneys, Becker’s Construction Law Practice Group is well-known nationally for its knowledge of the construction industry and experience effectively protecting the interests of its clients.

About Becker 
Becker, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast. More information is available at

On Friday, June 23, 2023, The Florida Bar honored, at a Recognition Luncheon, members of The Florida Bar who are in good standing and (1) are 50-year members of The Florida Bar or (2) whose cumulative legal practice with The Florida Bar and one or more United States jurisdictions totals 50 years, as of January 1, 2023. 

This included CSU|LAW Alumni Arthur Mark Elk '73, Gary Norman Holthus '72, James Alan Monjot '72, Daniel Joseph Newman '73, Nancy H. Canary '68, Nyjola Stella Grybauskas '71, and George Richard Katosic '71

Chambers USA 2023 Report Gives Ulmer Top Marks

June 8, 2023 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has once again been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading law firm in “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.”

After a detailed assessment of the firm’s work, Chambers ranked six of Ulmer’s practices and 16 of its attorneys as among the top in Ohio, New York, across the country, and globally. This includes the areas of Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial,  Real Estate, and Tax, which each received recognition for their demonstrated excellence in these sectors. Rankings speak to Ulmer’s ability to deliver top-flight counsel across a broad spectrum of legal practices and are based on specific feedback collected from valued clients who provide keen insights on why they choose to work with Ulmer’s attorneys to solve their most complex business challenges.

 Four Ulmer attorneys also earned positions in Band 1, the highest possible recognition given by Chambers. This notable group includes Immigration Group Leader and Partner David W. Leopold for Immigration in Ohio, Partner Anastasia Tonello for Immigration in New York, Partner Frederick N. Widen '81 for Tax in Ohio, and Partner and Litigation Department Chair Michael N. Ungar for Litigation: General Commercial in Ohio. This year marks Ungar’s 11th consecutive year receiving this outstanding honor, which was awarded to only nine commercial litigators in the state. Additionally, Leopold and Tonello earned individual nationwide and global rankings for their innovative immigration work.

 Chambers’ ratings are significant because the evaluation of client feedback is a key element of the research process. Among the firm’s detailed client responses, clients reported to Chambers that Ulmer’s team has “seasoned, experienced litigators who know the company and our business. Ulmer lawyers are responsive and proactive,” they “are excellent negotiators and problem solvers,” and are “always aware of the present market conditions and current changes in the law.”

 “At Ulmer, we live by the philosophy that our clients come first, every day,” said Scott P. Kadish, Ulmer Managing Partner. “That’s why this recognition from Chambers is so important to us – because we know client feedback is an integral component of the research conducted when awarding this honor. In every matter, we strive to go above and beyond for our clients, to make every client feel like they are our only client, and it’s gratifying to know that they recognize our efforts.”

 Ulmer attorneys who were individually recognized by Chambers in 2023 include:


·     Frederic X. (“Fritz”) Shadley


·     Douglas K. Sesnowitz

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

·     Patricia A. Shlonsky


·     David W. Leopold

·     Anastasia Tonello

Intellectual Property

·     Michael A. Marrero

Labor & Employment

·     Jeffrey S. Dunlap

Litigation: General Commercial

·     Frances Floriano Goins

·     Steven S. Kaufman

·     Amanda Martinsek

·     Michael N. Ungar

Real Estate

·     Lori Pittman Haas

·     Scott P. Kadish

·     Stephen G. Nesbitt

·     Jodi Rich


·     Frederick N. Widen '81

 Chambers’ guide to top firms and lawyers is the culmination of thousands of in-depth interviews with clients and peers, carried out by the largest research team of its kind. The qualities assessed include technical legal ability, client service, commercial vision and business understanding, diligence, depth of team, and value for money. Individual attorneys receive recognition for their ability, effectiveness, client service, and legal knowledge and experience in their respective fields.

Bob Tucker and Carter Strang '84 to Receive Living Legacy Awards

Carter Strang
Bob Tucker

As part of its 150th anniversary celebration, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation (CMBF) will honor Tucker Ellis retired name partner Bob Tucker and retired partner Carter Strang as Living Legacy Award winners among the organizations’ Legacy150 Awards.

Living Legacy Awards honor lawyers whose extraordinary leadership, innovation, and professional excellence have truly transformed the legal, business, and/or civic arena in Greater Cleveland over the course of their careers.

In an announcement on the CMBA website, 2022–2023 CMBF President Larry W. Zukerman said, “The committee worked diligently to select honorees who are remarkable attorneys, leaders, and community advocates. Each honoree has made an indelible mark on our Bar Association, the legal profession and the Greater Cleveland community.”

Mr. Tucker, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has defended thousands of cases in Ohio and a dozen other states over his 44-year career. He has been an inspirational leader, trainer, and mentor to innumerable members of the bar, both in Cleveland and at firms nationwide. It was his vision and “all-in-it-together” mindset that led to the formation of Tucker Ellis LLP in July 2003, a firm built on the strength of relationships, “where everyone is recognized, and appreciated, for their accomplishments.” 

Tucker Ellis Managing Partner Joe Morford said, “No one has been more impactful on my professional life or the professional lives of many here at Tucker Ellis than Bob Tucker. His selfless leadership, firm-first focus, and dedication to our clients, the communities where we live and work, and everyone who calls Tucker Ellis their work-home remains deeply ingrained in the DNA of this law firm. We are all better for having the privilege of working with him and calling him our friend.”

Mr. Tucker received his J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law and his B.A. cum laude from Williams College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Strang served in many community leadership roles over the course of his 38-year career in law, including as CMBA president and CMBF president. At Tucker Ellis, he created and coordinated the firm’s award-winning Pipeline Program, which encourages economically disadvantaged and minority students to learn about the law and pursue careers in the legal profession. As CMBA president (2012–2013), Mr. Strang launched the Louis Stokes Scholars program. He is a past chair of CMBA’s 3Rs program and the primary author of its curriculum. He received his J.D. from Cleveland State University College of Law and his B.S. and M.Ed. from Kent State University.

Remarking on Mr. Strang’s contributions, Mr. Morford said, “Carter’s tireless work to help others – through his CMBA presidency, his Federal Bar Association presidency, and his dedication to programs seeking to lift up others not often focused on by big firm lawyers – has been remarkable to watch. We celebrate these accomplishments and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

On June 24, Mr. Tucker and Mr. Strang will be recognized along with the other award winners at “Rock the Bar,” a celebration at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

About the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to serving the needs of legal professionals in Greater Cleveland. A voluntary membership organization, members include attorneys and judges, law students, paralegals, and other business professionals. Together, they serve as the collective voice of our legal profession, both bench and bar.

About the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation changes lives in the Greater Cleveland community by funding award-winning pro bono legal services and educational programs. In close partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, it leverages the legal talent of attorneys as well as the broader professional community in support of others in need. Together they deliver significant measurable and transformative outcomes to diverse groups, all of whom make Cleveland stronger.

About Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP is a full-service law firm of more than 220 attorneys with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The firm is proud to serve a Fortune 250 list of national and international litigation, intellectual property, and sophisticated business clients, for whom its attorneys individually tailor client service teams. For more information, visit

Anna (DeNicola) Stowe '14 Joins Kaplan Hecker & Fink as Chief Operating Officer

Anna Stowe

Anna (DeNicola) Stowe has joined Kaplan Hecker & Fink as its new Chief Operating Officer, resident in the New York office.

As Chief Operating Officer, Anna will be responsible for managing and overseeing the firm’s daily business operations while working closely with the managing partner and Management Committee to execute the longer-term goals for the firm and provide the highest and most efficient legal services for clients.

"Anna has earned the respect of judges and lawyers across New York City through her work with the Federal Bar Council, and we are thrilled to have her join us," said Julie Fink, Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s Managing Partner. "Anna will be working with attorneys and an already impressive operations team to identify and advance creative state-of-the-art practices that will help us operate more efficiently, enhance our internal processes and procedures, and continue to do our very best work for our clients.”

"I'm thrilled to join Kaplan Hecker & Fink, not only for the opportunity to work with a brilliant group of people, but also because of the firm’s unique culture dedicated to litigating its cases with creativity and at the highest level combined with its fierce commitment to using the courts to obtain justice,” Anna said. "I look forward to continuing the firm's dedication to excellence and innovation while building upon its exciting initiatives for growth."

Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Anna was the Executive Director of the Federal Bar Council where she oversaw the Federal Bar Council, Federal Bar Foundation and the Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court, annually serving more than 2,500 members of the bench and bar in the Second Circuit. During her tenure she partnered with the courts to expand civics education programming and launched the Council’s Access to Counsel Project.

“Anna served the Federal Bar Council as its Executive Director with vision and creativity,” said Jonathan Moses, the Council’s President-emeritus. “She led us through the pandemic and made us a stronger organization, focused on our core principles of fostering relations among the bench and bar and promoting the rule of law. She is a true leader who makes a difference in whatever she does.”

Anna previously held roles in orchestra management and artistic administration at The Cleveland Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New England Conservatory.

Anna received a J.D., magna cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, a Master of Music in orchestral performance from McGill University, with honors, and a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance, cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Learn more about Anna.

Learn more about Kaplan Hecker & Fink.

John C. Calabrese '12 Joins Cavitch, Familo & Dunkin

After eleven years representing individuals and families in civil litigation matters, John Calabrese joins Cavitch, Familo & Durkin as a Shareholder in their business litigation practice group.  John is licensed to practice in Ohio state and federal courts, Pennsylvania, and admitted and licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  His national litigation practice focuses on representing individual and business clients in complex commercial and business tort actions, shareholder litigation, construction defects, insurance disputes, breach of contract claims, employment and compensation matters, conversion of property, and probate/will contests.  Cavitch also specializes in estate planning, real estate and business transaction legal matters.     

John earned his law degree from Cleveland State University College of Law, served as President of the CSU Law Alumni Assoc. Board of Trustees during 2019-2020, and continues to remain active and involved in the organization. 

Walter Haverfield elects Kevin Murphy '89 as next managing partner

Kevin Murphy

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Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA is pleased to announce that attorney Ellen Hobbs Hirshman '82 has joined the firm.

Ellen comes to Lowe Scott Fisher with 40 years of experience in the field of medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury and personal injury law. She is a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. From 1982 to 1986 Ellen represented families in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. From 1986 to 1994 Ellen practiced at Jacobson, Maynard, Tuschman & Kalur where she defended physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in medical malpractice litigation. From 1994 to 2012 Ellen was a managing partner at Linton & Hirshman where she represented patients injured as the result of medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. From 2012 until joining LSF Ellen’s practice focused on the representation of families who suffered catastrophic loss and injury as a result of medical malpractice and pharmaceutical related injuries such as accidental drug overdose and nursing home negligence. From 1996 - 1998, she served at the invitation of the Ohio Supreme Court as a Commissioner on the Board of Commissioners for Grievances and Discipline, which reports directly to the Ohio Supreme Court and is responsible for adjudicating and enforcing all claims of attorney and judicial misconduct.

Ellen is a past trustee and member of the executive committee for the Ohio Association for Justice (OAJ) and is a past President and continuing board member of The Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys (CATA). She continues to serve as Chair of the CATA Community Outreach Committee where she is instrumental in initiating a partnership with the End Distracted Driving Program (EndDD) in which CATA trial attorneys travel to high schools throughout Ohio to discuss the dangers of distracted driving. Ellen has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer since 2012 and maintains a Superb AVVO rating, as well as an AV Preeminent Martindale- Hubbell® Peer Review Rating which she has maintained for over 30 years for her legal ability and professional ethical standards. Ellen has also been recognized for Excellence as a Top Attorney in Ohio since 2012 by the American Registry, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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Mansour Gavin is pleased to welcome Katie Epperson '19 as an associate to the firm!

Katie focuses her practice on civil litigation, insurance defense, and labor and employment law. Prior to joining Mansour Gavin, Katie worked for an employment law firm where in addition to investigating employment discrimination allegations, she coached managers, senior executives and clients on best management practices to optimize defense strategies and promote compliance within the workplace.

Mary Beth Klemencic '06 Promoted to Partner at MRR Law

Mary Beth Klemencic

March 3, 2023, Solon, Ohio – Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce the promotion of Mary Beth Klemencic to Partner. Mary Beth, a resident of Mentor, has been with the firm for 16 years.

Mary Beth focuses her practice on general liability, including liquor, premise and professional liability, and personal injury defense. She represents dram shop owners, developers, contractors, homeowner associations, real estate appraisers, and various businesses. She has defended architects, engineers and construction companies in construction defects cases. Her representative experience also includes scope-of-employment cases and employer intentional tort cases.

“Mary Beth has been integral to the firm’s success in handling liquor liability and general liability matters during her tenure with MRR,” said Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr., Managing Partner of the firm. “I am delighted to make this announcement.” 

Mary Beth graduated with her J.D. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In 2006, she was named a “Rising Star” by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, and she is a recipient of the CALI Award for Excellence in Remedies. Klemencic served as Chairperson of the Grand Jury for Lake County, Ohio in April 2022.

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. (MRR Law) provides sound legal advice and representation to clients involved in litigation in the face of an ever-changing legal landscape. MRR Law relies on its vast expertise and collaborative communications to achieve the most successful result possible for their clients. The firm’s attorneys and seasoned professionals are aligned into practice areas in the public and private sectors including Business and Employment Law, Liability and Insurance Defense Law, and Public/Municipal/Education Law.

Jackson Walker announces election of sixteen attorneys to partnership, including CSU College of Law alum, Jackie Staple.

Jackie Staple

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Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Georgia Hatzis '14, a Partner in the firm’s Cleveland office, has been elected to the Horizon Education Centers Board of Trustees. 

Georgia Hatzis

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Singerman, Mills, Desberg & Kauntz Co., L.P.A. has named Michael R Stavnicky '94 as an Ohio Super Lawyer in the field of Business Litigation and Jacqueline A. Hoelting-Van de Merwe '13 as a Rising Star for 2023 in the field of Real Estate.

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Reminger Co., LPA is pleased to announce that Brian T. Gannon '03 will become the firm’s President & Managing Partner, effective January 1, 2024.

Brian Gannon

Brian has been with Reminger since 2001 when he joined the firm as a law clerk while earning his J.D. from Cleveland State University College of Law. Since then, he has served as a trusted advisor to healthcare providers, practice groups, outpatient centers, hospitals, and multi-facility health systems. He has led Reminger’s Healthcare Law Practice Group since 2015. Brian’s work is not only appreciated by his clients, but by his legal colleagues as well. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants and is recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer

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Attorney Jose Feliciano '75 was named to Crain’s “Power 150,” which is a list of the CEOs, politicians, philanthropist, and entrepreneurs, who are leading some of Northeast Ohio‘s most influential organizations, and who are in a position move the region forward.

Amy Kullik '98 Joins as Partner in Fisher Philips' Cleveland Office

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CSU Alumni Named Partners at Benesch

Congratulations to Alison Evans '14, Laura Kogan '10, and Corey Sparks '14 who have been named partners at Benesch.

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Awatef Assad '95 Honored by Cleveland American Middle East Organization (C.A.M.E.O)

Awataf is being honored for her career achievements at the 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Cleveland American Middle East Organization (C.A.M.E.O) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and annual dinner on Friday, October 15.  C.A.M.E.O is the leading Middle East organization in Northeast Ohio.  If you are interested in attending, please visit here.

Awatef is the Risk Manager for Cuyahoga County and Vice-President, CMBA Committee for Inclusion and Diversity.

Justice Melody Stewart '88 Receives St. Thomas More Award from the Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

Court Justice Melody Stewart

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart was honored by the Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland on October 1 for her contributions to the legal profession. Justice Stewart received the organization’s St. Thomas More Award, which is given to a distinguished member of the legal community for contributing high ethical standards and spiritual growth in the practice of law. 

“Whatever qualities and characteristics I possess – as a lawyer, as a judge or justice, or just as an individual child of God – that the committee deemed worthy of recognition to honor me with this award, it is my greatest hope that those attributes have served to make life better for others, even in the smallest of ways,” Justice Stewart said. 

As the 161st member of the Supreme Court elected in 2018, Justice Stewart is the first African American woman voted onto the state’s high court. Prior to joining the Court, she served as a judge for 12 years on the Eighth District Court of Appeals. 

Justice Stewart’s legal career also includes time in academia at CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law, and the University of Toledo College of Law. She also worked as an assistant law director for the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland. 
Full story here.

Claire O'Connor '13 Named Associate at Benesch

Claire O’Connor has been named an associate in Benesch’s Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group in Cleveland. Claire focuses on commercial leasing in retail, office, health care, and other commercial spaces. She has represented clients in the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate. Claire also has experience in negotiating, drafting, and reviewing a variety of transactional documents, including commercial leases, purchase and sale agreements, and easements and licenses.

She received her BSW from Cleveland State University, her MPA from Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and her J.D. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Richard H. Drucker '81 Appointed as Immigration Judge 

Richard H. Drucker, a graduate of CSU Cleveland Marshall Law School, Class of 1981, was appointed by the Attorney General of the United States as an Immigration Judge and assigned to the Immigration Court at New York Varick Street in New York, New York. His investiture was on December 18, 2020.

Robert Psaropoulos '96  Joins Leaf Home as Chief Legal Officer

Robert Psaropoulos

Leaf Home has announced the appointment of Robert Psaropoulos as Chief Legal Officer, who brings more than 20 years of law practice to the company, including in-house experience delivering wins for Fortune 500 clients in a diverse range of successful business sectors.

In this newly created role, Psaropoulos will oversee all aspects of legal affairs for the company and its four brands, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, litigation management, employment, contracts and negotiations, compliance, risk mitigation, and other general business legal issues.

Prior to joining Leaf Home in August, Psaropoulos served in various roles over his 15 years within Eaton Corporation, most recently as Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the company's global operations, where he had a history of recruiting and developing high-performing, diverse teams. He has also held the role of Equity Partner at Benesch Law, where he served on the firm's recruitment committee, and as a Judicial Clerk with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

Rita Kline '00 Joins Renner Otto as Newest Partner to Expand Trademark Practice

Rita Kline

Rita Kline joins Renner Otto as the firm’s newest Partner, bringing with her extensive trademark experience working with a myriad of international and domestic businesses and organizations.

With over 20 years in practice, Kline is known in the industry as a seasoned and highly respected trademark attorney. She advises clients on all facets of brand management, including complex trademark matters and adversarial proceedings, and management of international intellectual property portfolios.

Kline is a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where she is also an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

Daniel J. Hurley '86 was Selected by his Peers for Inclusion inThe Best Lawyers in America® 2022

Dan is a Senior Attorney at Plunkett Cooney in their Columbus, Ohio office. See Dan's firm profile. He received his inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for Insurance Law and Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which lawyers within their own geographic region nominate their peers. These lawyers are not allowed to select nominees from the same area(s) in which they practice. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.

Leah Gibbons '04 Named Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services announced Aug. 31 that Leah Gibbons has been named senior vice president and general manager of brokerage. This is a new position, created to streamline operations between the various departments and build strategic initiatives in core markets, the company said.

Gibbons holds a B.A. in marketing and communications from Baldwin Wallace University and a juris doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She joined Howard Hanna in 1993 and has held various positions throughout the company including corporate director of marketing and sales office manager. Most recently, Gibbons was vice president and Ohio East regional manager, where she led the region to more than $1.7 billion in closed sales volume in 2020.

“Leah’s dedication to the industry and our company will truly be demonstrated on a new level as general manager of brokerage,” says Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. “I look forward to working with her to integrate the best of our family of companies and support our associates and leadership team.”

Two CSU C|M|LAW Alumni Honored by the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee - Vincent T. Lombardo '81 and Judge John J. Russo '92

The Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee in partnership with the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office and Cleveland City Council is proud to announce the following honorees for 2021 Italian American Heritage Month in Cleveland, Ohio.

Public Servant, State of Ohio: Vincent T. Lombardo

Public Servant, County: Judge John J. Russo

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the City of Cleveland has enacted restrictions on the size of events which requires a limit on the number permitted to attend.  Therefore, the Opening Ceremony for Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month scheduled for Monday, October 4, 2021 will be a private event for honorees and their guests only. 

The members of the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee are disappointed that the community won’t be able to gather together in person again this year, but we hope you will join us virtually either via live-stream or by watching a recording.  Facebook page or for information on how to watch the ceremony.

Nominations came from, among others, Dean Lee Fisher, Assistant Ohio Attorney General Lisa Amato Reid '87, and Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate Kira Krivosh '09.


Alan G. Starkoff, a noted Columbus attorney and senior counsel at the law firm Ice MillerLLP, has been appointed to the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees by Governor Mike DeWine. 

“Mr. Starkoff is a welcome addition to the board as we work to implement CSU 2.0 – our aggressive, growth-oriented plan for the future,” said David Reynolds, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “He brings to the table a wealth of business acumen and higher education legal experience.”

An alumnus of the CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and an attorney for more than 45 years, Starkoff has tried complex commercial legal cases in federal and state courts throughout the U.S. Additionally, as the chair of the firms litigation practice group,  he has mentored many aspiring trial lawyers. He currently specializes in helping entrepreneurs and businesses identify and mitigate risks in a broad range of industries including manufacturing, food service, real estate, professional services, financial services, gaming, cannabis, higher education and transportation.

“I’m looking forward to being able to tap into Mr. Starkoff’s extensive expertise,” said CSU President Harlan Sands. “As an alumnus, he has a passion for our university and understands the transformative power of a CSU education.”

Starkoff is a senior fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society whose membership represents less than half of one percent of American lawyers. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© from 2005 through 2022 and has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer from 2004 through 2022.

He has served as a continuing legal education lecturer for the Ohio State Bar Association on post-employment litigation issues and as special counsel to the Attorney General of Ohio since 1992. An active member of the community, Starkoff is a past board member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Junior Achievement of Central Ohio. He currently is a member of the board of directors of The Honey Baked Ham Company.

“From groundbreaking research to preparing the workforce of tomorrow, Cleveland State makes a tremendous impact in Northeast Ohio and across the entire state,” Starkoff said. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the board, and I thank Governor DeWine for this opportunity.”

Starkoff lives in Galena, Ohio with his wife Kathleen. In addition to his law degree from CSU, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University.

His term on the board runs through May 2026.

Mario A. Ciacobbe '91 Appointed to Serve as Deputy District Attorney - Executive Assistant for Erie County District Attorney's Office

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that he has appointed Mario A. Giacobbe to serve as Deputy District Attorney-Executive Assistant for the Erie County District Attorney's Office. 

Giacobbe left private practice as a partner in The Law Offices of Jaworski & Giacobbe to serve as a member of Flynn’s leadership team. Since July 2006, his work primarily focused on Driving While Intoxicated cases and other criminal defense matters. Giacobbe also has extensive civil trial practice experience, including personal injury, real estate, estate litigation, matrimonial, and family law.

Giacobbe previously served as a prosecutor in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 2005. During his nearly 12 years as an Assistant District Attorney, he prosecuted and supervised thousands of criminal cases. He was the Chief of the former DWI Bureau (now the Vehicular Crimes Unit), responsible for overseeing all driving while impaired cases.

In addition, Giacobbe is a current member of the Bar Association of Erie County and served on the Board of Directors (2017-2020). He was a member of the Western New York Prosecutors Association and served as president of the organization from 2017 to 2020. Giacobbe graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1991.

Michael J. Charlillo '12 Appointed to Empower Sports Board of Directors

Michael J. Charlillo '12, and Associate at Ulmer & Berne LLP, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Empower Sports, a Cleveland nonprofit committed to providing sport and exercise programs for children and adults with various physical and cognitive disabilities.

Empower Sports places kids and adults with special needs on sports teams with volunteer players to help them build social skills alongside their typically developing peers. In his new role on the Board, Charlillo will assist the organization in its mission of enriching the lives of athletes with diverse challenges through sports and exercise while also promoting kindness, character, and tolerance.

Charlillo focuses his legal practice on securities litigation and business litigation. He routinely represents broker-dealers and registered representatives in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and in investigations and enforcement actions by FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and state securities regulators. Charlillo is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and the Ohio State Bar Association. He has served as a Brief Advice Clinic volunteer with The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and as a high school classroom volunteer with the CMBA’s 3Rs: Rights, Responsibilities, and Realities Program, which connects legal professionals with high school students in Cleveland and East Cleveland public schools to help foster understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution. Charlillo has also been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in recognition of his legal skills. 

Several CSU C|M|LAW Attorneys at Reminger Were Recognized in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

Listed in 2022 The Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch

  • Joseph T. Palcko '11 - Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants, Health Care Law
  • Paul R. Shugar '13 - Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates

Listed in 2022 The Best Lawyers in America

  • Andrew J. Dorman '94 - Insurance Law, Commercial Litigation
  • Kevin Foley '92 - Transportation Law
  • Brian T. Gannon '03 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Erin Siebenhar Hess '01 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • David J. Hudak '98 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Thomas B. Kilbane '96 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Clifford C. Masch '83 - Insurance Law, Appellate Practice, Litigation – Insurance
  • Allison M. McMeechan '04 - Trusts and Estates
  • Russell J. Meraglio, Jr. '83 - Litigation - Trusts and Estates
  • Jeanne M. Mullin '99 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Christine Santoni '93 - Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Brian D. Sullivan '91- Insurance Law, Litigation – Insurance
  • Stephen E. Walters '83- Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Five CSU C|M|LAW Alumni Recognized as Crain's 2021 Notable General Counsels: 

Brendan Gallagher '06 
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Gravitas Ventures

Sheryl King Benford '79 
Chief Legal Officer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Robert Owen '00 
General Counsel & Assistant Secretary, Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Renee Tramble Richard '88 
Vice President, Legal Services and Risk Management & General Counsel, Cuyahoga Community College

Sarah Ryzner '06 
General Counsel, Stark Enterprises

These five alumni represent the best of GCs in Northeast Ohio. As Crain's stated, "They are about growth and education, and are part of conservation and innovation. In 2020, they had to learn and adjust to pandemic-mandated changes in the way their workplaces operated. In 2021, they were part of the planning to bring things back to 'normal.' And it was all done without a manual or action plan. The attention to detail and meticulous work amid ever-changing situations provided significant challenges."  Special shout-out to Sonali Bustamante Wilson, General Counsel and Board Secretary of Cleveland State University and Leader-in-Residence at CSU C|M|LAW for being recognized as well.  Read full story here

Heidi Ruchala '98   Selected for 2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyers 

2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyers – Barclay Damon Buffalo office:        
Heidi Ruchala: Class Action

Each year, no more than 5 percent of lawyers in New York are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive the designation. 

Heidi primarily concentrates her practice on defending cases involving toxic substances, products liability, personal injuries, and fatal accidents in both state and federal court. She serves as national coordinating counsel in the asbestos-exposure hotspots of Illinois and West Virginia and as defense counsel for WNY fairs, festivals, and other amusement venues.

Heidi is deeply involved in defending asbestos, benzene, beryllium, and lead-paint litigation and handles cases across New York State, including in New York City, and in multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Heidi also defends claims involving defective product designs, failures-to-warn, slips and falls, and motor-vehicle accidents as well as general insurance claims. She routinely coordinates multiple defendants and experts for risk management, defense, and trial preparation in products-liability claims. Learn more here.

Paul R. Shugar '13 Selected as Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law Section and Appointed as a Member of OSBA's Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section Council.

We are pleased to announce that Paul R. Shugar has been appointed to a three-year term as a member of OSBA’s Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section Council. Composed of practitioners from across the state, the council meets three times a year to discuss developments in its respective area of law and works throughout the year on proposed legislation for the Ohio General Assembly to consider.  Paul has also been selected as Chairperson of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s (CMBA) Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section. He recently started his one-year term for the CMBA section that provides articles, CLE programs, lunch meetings, and pro bono/community service as part of their programming efforts to engage membership. Leading up to his appointment as Chairperson, Paul served as Vice-Chair and Treasurer for the section.

As a member of Reminger’s Probate Litigation Department, Paul has trial experience litigating million-dollar estate, trust, and guardianship issues such as undue influence, power of attorney abuse, and financial exploitation. An award-winning journalist who worked at daily newspapers around the country before becoming a lawyer, Paul employs the writing and investigation skills he developed as a reporter to help people in a legal setting.

Paul received his J.D. from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and his undergraduate degree from Ohio University. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Garrett B. Humes '12 Joins the Ulmer & Berne Real Estate Practice Group in Columbus, Ohio

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Garrett B. Humes to the firm’s Columbus office where he joins the Real Estate Practice Group.

Humes assists clients with all aspects of real estate matters including the acquisition, disposition, and development of commercial property. He represents a variety of clients in commercial real estate transactions and is experienced drafting and negotiating a wide range of instruments involving real estate. His prior experience litigating cases involving zoning appeals, deed restrictions, easement disputes, and housing discrimination, gives him a unique perspective when handling commercial transactions and other complex real estate matters.

“Garrett is a great addition to our skilled real estate practice,” said Lori Pittman Haas, Group Leader of the Real Estate Practice Group. “Garrett’s experience with zoning, condominium and homeowner’s associations complements our already robust Real Estate Practice Group and we’re excited about him joining our team. His diverse legal background and prior real estate litigation experience makes him well-suited to help our clients with their widespread legal needs.”

In addition to his practice, Humes is a member of the Columbus chapter of the Community Associations Institute, as well as the Columbus and Ohio State Bar Associations. Recognized for his growing talent, he has been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars for the last three years. He earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Heidelberg University and his J.D. with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.

Michele Friend '98 Installed as 58th President of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs.

Michele Friend '98 was installed as the 58th President of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs.  She learned about the organization when she received the Elmer J. Whiting, Jr. Memorial Scholarship during law school.  Mr. Whiting is a notable C-M alum and was President of the AAACPA in 1980.  Michele currently practices law at Clark & Trevithick in Los Angeles, California.  She provides litigation and general counseling services. 

See Press Release!

Ali Lombardo '01 Named Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at University of Arkansas

Ali Lombardo '01 has been named assistant vice chancellor, director of sponsored programs, in the Division of Research and Innovation at University of Arkansas. She will be responsible for oversight and management of all sponsored program activities.

"I'm honored and excited to welcome Ali to the University of Arkansas," said John English, vice chancellor for research and innovation. "Her experience in research administration will be invaluable as we partner with faculty, staff and students on sponsored research and compliance."

Lombardo has served as the director of sponsored research and foundation relations at the College of Wooster since 2012. In this leadership role, she leads and oversees the execution of their campus-wide sponsored research and grants program and advises campus leadership on research compliance policies and governing sponsored program laws and regulations. She previously served in research administration and advancement at Ashland University, Case Western Research University and the Cleveland Museum of Art. She earned a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, an M.Ed. from John Carroll University and a B.A. in European History from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a professional member of the Society of Research Administrators International, National Council of University Research Administrators and National Organization of Research Development Professionals.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the University of Arkansas and to have the opportunity to support the stellar research being done here," Lombardo said. "I'm looking forward to creating a collaborative environment and to providing exemplary service to the research community as we work toward a shared vision of increasing and enhancing the research enterprise. There are so many fascinating and impactful research projects and activities on campus, and that truly excites me, as well."

Rita Kline '00 Elected to Board of Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Counsel Rita Kline '00 has been elected to the Board of the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (CIPLA), a professional organization comprised of intellectual property lawyers, patent agents, and law students from the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area. Kline will serve a one-year term on the Board in the role of Treasurer.

Kline is a skilled IP attorney with more than 20 years of experience advising cutting-edge organizations, including large international corporations, mid-market companies, tech startups, and nonprofits, on trademark and copyright matters. She counsels clients on a variety of complex IP issues including worldwide brand portfolio clearance, acquisition, maintenance, and enforcement, as well as trademark dilution of famous brands, fair use, Digital Millennium Copyright Act compliance, domain name disputes, and strategies to combat domestic and international trademark counterfeiting. She also serves as counsel of record on more than 100 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancellation and opposition proceedings involving the enforcement of trademarks on both the plaintiff and defendant sides.

An active member of CIPLA, Kline previously served as Chair of the Women’s Committee and on the Board from 2016 to 2018. She has also served in leadership roles with the International Trademark Association and is a member of the Catholic Lawyers Guild. She shares her experience as an IP attorney at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University where she serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) is pleased to announce the induction of Magistrate Elizabeth Tekavec '11 to its honorary Fellows Program.

Magistrate Elizabeth Tekavec '11 of Painesville Township sits on the Ashtabula Juvenile Court bench.  She has previous experience as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Juvenile Division Supervising Attorney at the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office and as Director of Capital Development for the Lake County Family YMCA. She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and a 2020 graduate of its Leadership Academy. She also belongs to the Ashtabula County Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Magistrates. Tekavec graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

"We are very proud of our 2021 Fellows," said OSBF President Velda K. Hofacker. "They are outstanding lawyers and people who are committed to community service. They will come together this year to create a Fellows Week of Service that will enable the more than one thousand Fellows around the state to make a difference in their communities. The generosity of our Fellows also enables the Ohio State Bar Foundation to provide funding to non-profits around the state who are working to improve the public's understanding of the law and institute improvements in our justice system.  We are excited to have these outstanding individuals join us as we work to improve the lives of Ohioans!"

The Akron Art Museum Board of Directors Appoints New Member - Anusha Gibson '98

Aurora resident Gibson is senior vice president and head of diverse growth segments for PNC Bank. She has more than 24 years of experience at PNC and a legal background. Gibson earned a bachelor of arts psychology from Cleveland State University, an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a law degree at Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Brandilyn Cook '18 Honored by Crain's Cleveland Business for 20 in their Twenties

Brandilyn Cook is an immigration attorney at Lorenzon Law. Brandilyn’s legal practice has focused primarily on criminal defense, immigration, and simple probate and real estate issues. Brandilyn interned at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program during summer 2017. It was there she further developed her interest in asylum law, continuing advocacy for this vulnerable, immigrant population. Brandilyn was an active member of Cleveland-Marshall’s Hispanic Law Students Association (“HLSA”) during her time in law school. As President of HLSA, she organized a volunteer trip for law students to assist in pro bono representation of asylum-seekers detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (aka the “Dilley Detention Center”), one of two family detention centers along the southern border. Brandilyn was one of the managing attorneys who supervised CM-Law students during this Spring Break 2019 volunteer trip. Brandilyn currently serves on the board of LegalWorks, Inc., a small nonprofit providing legal services to underprivileged communities throughout the Greater Cleveland area. Brandilyn is a bilingual Spanish-speaker who loves to travel and cook multicultural food in her spare time, and remains a passionate advocate in the advancement of social, racial, and economic justice.

Four Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Are Honored by The Florida Bar with 50 Year Memberships

On Friday, June 11, 2021 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, Orlando, FL, the Florida Bar will honor those Florida Bar members (1) who are in good standing and (2) who are 50-year members of the Florida Bar or whose cumulative legal practice with the Florida Bar and one or more United States jurisdiction(s) totals 50 years, as of January 1, 2020 or January 1, 2021, at a 50-Year Member and Senior Counselor Recognition Luncheon. The event will be held in person and virtually for those honorees who will not attend in person.

1971 Admission to the Florida Bar 
Arnold Theodore Blostein '70 
Salvatore Dominick Defelice '70 
Jeffrey L. Weiler '70

1970 Admission to the Florida Bar 
William S. Halberg '70 

Chad Beck '05 Joins Reminger Co., LPA

Reminger Co., LPA is pleased to announce the addition of Chad Beck to our Cleveland office.

Chad focuses his practice on medical malpractice defense and health care law. Chad has successfully defended a wide range of medical professionals in malpractice lawsuits, including family medicine physicians, emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, surgeons, physician assistants, and labor and delivery nurses.

Prior to joining Reminger Co., LPA, Chad worked at a firm in Seattle, Washington from 2017 to 2021 practicing medical malpractice defense and general defense litigation. Prior to 2017, Chad litigated numerous disability and workers’ compensation cases that frequently involved complex medical issues over an eleven-year period.

Chad earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Chad is licensed to practice in Ohio, Washington, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. 

Monica A. Sansalone '95 Elected Managing Partner of Gallagher Sharp

The law firm of Gallagher Sharp is pleased to announce that Monica A. Sansalone has been elected Managing Partner.  Ms. Sansalone served on the firm’s management committee for the past six years and is the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group Manager.

Ms. Sansalone represents lawyers in grievance proceedings at the state level and before federal administrative agencies such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Justice. She also defends lawyers against malpractice claims, in contempt and sanctions proceedings, and in their fiduciary capacity.  She provides representation in trial courts and on appeal, including matters before the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Ms. Sansalone provides ethical consulting and counseling for risk management matters.  She routinely lectures on ethics, malpractice, and professionalism. 

Ms. Sansalone received her law degree, cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago.  She is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated Attorney, listed in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers in America® for Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, a Top 25 Women Cleveland and Top 50 Women Ohio Super Lawyer, and a Fellow of the Litigation Council of America.  Ms. Sansalone serves on the Supreme Court of Ohio Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Board of Commissioners, the Advisory Committee for the Solo Practitioner Incubator at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and is a former Chair of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on Professionalism. She is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), the American, Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations, and the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys.

Two C|M|LAW Alumni Join Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis: Deanna DiPetta '86 and Christin Sabio Socrates '92

Veteran domestic relations attorney Deanna DiPetta '86 brings more than 33 years of experience handling divorce and dissolution, custody and visitation litigation, and adoption. She has a varied and deep understanding of the complexities involved with domestic relations law including negotiating and litigating a broad spectrum of financial issues such as dividing complex marital estates, investment properties, business interests, unusual investments, mineral rights, complicated retirement plans, and separate property issues.

Deanna is a Certified Mediator, former Professor of Domestic Relations Law at Notre Dame College, and makes frequent television appearances to discuss family law-related issues. She co-authored and lectured on “Planning for the Possibility of Divorce” and “Estate Planning and Asset Management Issues” for the Estate Planning Institute.

Deanna is a member of Judge4Yourself, Violence Against Women Act Committee, Legal Aid Society, and Cleveland Museum of Art Women’s Council. She is a mentor to young lawyers through the Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer Program and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She actively volunteers for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Pro Bono Clinics, and Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Deanna earned her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University.

Christine Sabio Socrates '92 possesses over 25 years of experience in estate planning and probate law representing individuals, families, professionals and business owners. Tina’s practice spans the spectrum from simple wills and powers of attorney to revocable trusts and complicated trust planning including wealth transfer, business succession, asset protection and minimizing tax liability. She works closely with her clients’ financial, insurance and accounting advisors in a team approach to ensure her clients’ goals are met and optimized.

Additionally, Tina has extensive experience in probate/trust administration, adoption and guardianship representing fiduciaries in several counties throughout the state of Ohio.

She is a member of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan and Ohio State Bar Associations.

Tina earned her LL.M. (Taxation) from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and B.A. from Boston College

Diana Nasser '19 has recently accepted a new position at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office in Cleveland, OH. As she said, "Being in public service has been the desire of my heart for a long time and I am so looking forward to begin this journey."

Nicole Lester Arrindell '11 recently joined Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company as its Senior Director and Government Relations Counsel in New York City.

Charissa Walker '09 Named to Leadership Counceil on Legal Diversity by Tucker Ellis LLP.

Ms. Walker is  among the 404 attorneys named to the 2021 class of Pathfinders, a program to train high-performing early-career attorneys in critical career development strategies, including leadership and the building of professional networks. Pathfinders are identified as diverse, emerging leaders who have, or have the potential to, distinguish themselves within their organization. The Pathfinder Program provides participants with practical tools for developing and leveraging internal professional networks, foundational leadership skills, and an understanding of career development strategies. Further, each Pathfinder is matched with a Program Facilitator, a mentor who plays a key role in helping Pathfinders connect what they learn in the program to the organizations in which they work.

“We’re thankful to have this opportunity to recognize Monica, Ludgy, and Charissa,” said Managing Partner Joe Morford. “They’re great lawyers and great people, and we know they’ll make the most of their involvement in these two innovative LCLD programs.” 

Robin M. Wilson '96 Appointed to Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Board of Directors

Wilson has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA), a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to serving the needs of legal professionals in Greater Cleveland. Wilson will serve a three-year term on the Board of the CMBA beginning on July 1, 2021. The CMBA Nominating Committee considered a variety of factors in selecting Wilson and five other directors including but not limited to their history of service and commitment to the CMBA, diversity of experience, practice areas and settings, and leadership engagement both within the CMBA and in the broader Cleveland community.  

Wilson is a commercial litigator and trial attorney at Ulmer with more than 20 years of experience in private and public sector litigation and mediation. She is also an experienced appellate practitioner and serves on the panel of business mediators for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Carolyn C. Soeder '12

Carolyn C. Soeder ’12 has joined Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC’s Cleveland office as an Associate in the Litigation practice area as the Domestic Relations lead. Carolyn advocates for clients in all aspects of family law including dissolution, divorce, child custody, parenting time, preparation of antenuptial agreements, child and spousal support, trial work, appellate work and all aspects of post-decree modifications.


Christopher Viland '04

Cuyahoga County Council unanimously voted to make Christopher Viland the Cuyahoga County Sheriff.

Samuel J. Burruano Jr. '93

Samuel J. Burruano Jr., '93 has been promoted Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Financial Institutions, Inc., where he is responsible for delivering legal advice on all company matters; overseeing governance, audit, and HR functions; advising the CEO on strategic direction and enterprise matters; and leading execution of the Company’s ESG-related strategies. 

Michelle Fisher '11 

Governor DeWine appoints Fisher to Ashtabula County Court

Michael J. Scheiman ’16

Michael J. Scheiman ’16 has joined the Business Law Practice Group of Ulmer & Berne LLP Cleveland office. Michael is a business attorney who focuses his practice on the representation of public and private companies and private equity funds in a variety of matters, including acquisitions and divestitures, commercial financing transactions, and governance matters. He also works with clients in the health care industry including skilled nursing and assisted living facility owners and operators.


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