Donald Caster Talks About Experience, DNA and Making Connections
“My time there [at the Prosecutor’s Office], in part, served to truly eliminate any notion I had of there being ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ when it comes to defense attorneys and prosecutors,” said Donald Caster '03. In fact, his experience as a prosecutor benefitted him in several ways. First, it confirmed for him that he is best suited to appellate and post-conviction work; and second, it confirmed that he is more comfortable on the defense side. Further, it gave him insight into a prosecutor’s point of view on post-conviction cases, which is invaluable in his current position as a staff attorney with the OIP.
A native of Buffalo, NY, Caster attended Youngstown State University before coming to the College as a student. Here, he was a member of Moot Court and the Law Review. Caster was also a fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights.
After graduating, he began building his professional resume in earnest, beginning with a clerkship for the the Honorable Robert C. Chambers, Chief Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Thereafter, he returned to Cincinnati to work at a boutique civil rights firm for several years and then spent additional years as a solo practitioner. Most recently, he worked in the Appellate Division of the Butler County Prosecutor’s office.
Training the Next Generation
Caster and the other attorneys supervise the OIP fellows, as well as represent clients in the courtroom. Offering some insight as to how the work OIP does has changed over the past 10 years, he noted that today there is much better access to DNA than there was when the OIP started, largely because of OIP’s work to get Ohio’s DNA testing statute passed. That being said, he noted that there are fewer and fewer “easy” cases. Instead, the majority of cases today involve smaller traces of DNA and, as such, it is often more difficult to convince a prosecutor that the DNA test will answer the question of who committed the crime. Further, the general trend is that the cases are increasingly difficult and complicated. “The work is just as important as ever,” he noted. “I look forward to the challenge as well as working with this and future classes of OIP students.”
The Importance of Making Connections
Caster shared why he believes it is important to be kind to your peers in law school and beyond. His two most recent legal jobs came about in no small part due to his connections with former classmates. He also offered additional useful advice: “ I strongly recommend students take as many practice-oriented classes as possible. Whether civil or criminal, the advocacy and writing skills you learn will be invaluable throughout your career.
“And, to young practitioners, seek mentorship from an experienced attorney, especially if you are on your own practicing criminal law. Those that have come before you can instill in you a wisdom that can help you enormously.”
No Longer a Student, Brian Howe’10 Returns to Work at OIP
Cincinnati native Brian Howe ’10 has never wandered too far from home—the College of Law and the city. Now several years after his graduation, he is back at the hallowed halls of the College of Law – not as a student, but as a staff attorney with the Ohio Innocence Project.
Howe graduated from The Ohio State University in 2003 with majors in philosophy and Russian language. As part of his degree program, he studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia for a summer (now that’s a long way from home!). After graduating from OSU he found work as a media buyer for three years in Washington and Illinois. It was around this time in 2007 that Howe made the decision to return to school for his JD.
“I knew from the start I wanted to do something in the area of public interest,” explained Howe when speaking about his student involvement with OIP. “The opportunity to do something like this through the university is amazing -- it was such an easy decision to want to do this. I was really hungry as a law student for actual, real clinical experience, and the opportunities at OIP are miles ahead of most other first summer experiences.”
Between graduating from UC Law and returning to the College of Law to work as a staff attorney with the OIP, Howe worked here in Cincinnati. He completed a two-year fellowship with Equal Justice Works hosted through the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio. After the fellowship, he was hired on as a full-time staff attorney with Legal Aid, continuing his work defending foreclosures, handling evictions, and assisting with other related cases.
He joined the OIP as a staff attorney in January of this year. As opposed to the caseload that a student handles (about 20 cases), Howe now handles 60-75 cases as a staff attorney, though only about a dozen are in active litigation. Reflecting on his time as a student with OIP and comparing it to his current experience, he noted that the ability to see cases through is something he is looking forward to. “It’s interesting. The cases take so long to develop, almost as a rule, and it is rare for a student to be able to see a case through to its conclusion during their one year with OIP.” One example of this is that a case in his caseload now was one that he worked on as a student years ago. “It is nice as an attorney to be able to know that I can see these cases through as opposed to just a one year window before handing it off to the next class.”
Howe gave these words of advice to law students in the throes of school and looking forward to life after graduation: “It is important to enjoy what you are doing -- it is a luxury that not everyone will have,” he counseled. “I have been really lucky to have the opportunity to do things that I enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis—both as a student and a professional.”
Doreen Canton elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
Taft Attorney Elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
CINCINNATI, OHIO (Sept. 25, 2014) – Doreen Canton, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, has been elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.
Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.
Canton, a partner and co-chair of the Labor & Employment practice group of Taft, graduated from Canisius College and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was Lead Articles Editor of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.Canton has advised and represented private and public employers in all areas of labor and employment law and has tried many Title VII, Title IX and state law claims, including age, sex, race, disability and national origin discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation and contract claims to defense verdicts. She also has substantial experience in traditional labor matters, including arbitrations, contract negotiations, elections and labor disputes.
Canton is listed in Best Lawyers in America and was named a 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" for Cincinnati Labor Law - Management. She is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Sept. 25, 2014
Leading Lawyers for Business. Ohio Super Lawyers rated her one of the "Top 25 Women Attorneys in Ohio" and one of the "Top 50 Women Attorneys in Cincinnati."
At Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, delivering outstanding legal performance to help clients succeed is what drives and motivates our more than 400 attorneys every day. Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Chicago; Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Covington, Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law, including Business and Finance; Litigation; Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property; Business Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights; Environmental; Health and Life Sciences; Private Client Services; Real Estate; and Tax. With a proven track record of experience since 1885, the firm offers breadth and depth of legal expertise coupled with a trusted business perspective to help our clients, big and small, regionally, nationally and internationally, reach their goals. For more information, please visit www.taftlaw.com.
Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, elected to serve as ECOS President
State Commissioners Elect Tennessee Commissioner Martineau President
Santa Fe, NM – Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, was elected by his peers to serve as ECOS President at the organization’s Fall Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joining Martineau at the helm of the national nonprofit, nonpartisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders are newly elected Vice President Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Secretary-Treasurer Henry Darwin, Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and Past President Dick Pedersen, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
“I am honored to lead ECOS at a time when the state-federal relationship is front and center in critical discussions on air, water, and natural resources in our nation,” said Martineau, who was appointed to his Commissioner post by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2011. “ECOS is leading conversations on how we collectively are going to deliver a clean and healthy environment to all Americans in a fiscally responsible, modern, and efficient manner.”
Martineau’s priorities will include advancing the joint U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-state E-Enterpise for the Environment initiative, building an enhanced relationship between state environmental agency attorneys and EPA’s Office of General Counsel, and advocating for federal funding for state environmental agencies. “States implement 96 percent of the delegable environmental programs in our country.
This means that the state voice has to be heard and considered, as we are co-regulators with EPA,” said Martineau. “At the same time, state primacy and autonomy must be respected.”
He also plans to enhance the association’s relationships with the Departments of Defense and Energy. “Silos are breaking down between agencies and departments every day,” Martineau noted. “This opens up new partnerships and opportunities for ECOS to seize.”
Martineau has spent more than 25 years as an attorney in the field of environmental law, including seven years of service in EPA’s Office of General Counsel and 16 years as a partner in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee.
Best Lawyers selects Edward Taber as the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year”
THREE TUCKER ELLIS PARTNERS NAMED 2015 “LAWYERS OF THE YEAR”
Tucker Ellis LLP is proud to announce that Best Lawyers has selected three of the firm’s partners as 2015 “Lawyers of the Year” in the Cleveland market. Only one lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.
The Tucker Ellis attorneys honored as 2015 “Lawyers of the Year” are:
- Henry Billingsley—Admiralty and Maritime Law
- Matthew Moriarty—Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
- Edward Taber—Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
Best Lawyers conducts exhaustive peer-review assessments with thousands of leading lawyers each year and bestows the “Lawyer of the Year” honor on those attorneys with particularly impressive voting averages. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.
About Tucker Ellis LLP
Tucker Ellis LLP is a full-service law firm of more than 180 attorneys with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The firm is proud to service a Fortune 250 list of national litigation clients and sophisticated business clients for whom we individually tailor our client service teams. For more information, please visit tuckerellis.com.
Gregory M. Utter '81 Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates
KMK Law Partner Gregory M. Utter Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates
Cincinnati (Sept. 15, 2014) — Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law) is pleased to announce that Litigation Partner Gregory M. Utter has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). ABOTA’s mission is to “foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation.”
Specifically, ABOTA serves to elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, to promote the efficient administration of justice, and to preserve the United States jury system. The ABOTA Foundation serves to preserve the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and preserve the civil justice system in the future.
For the past 33 years, Utter’s practice has been concentrated in the areas of class action, complex commercial litigation, and personal injury. He has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous commercial and class action matters involving employment, shareholder derivative, tort, antitrust and contract disputes. Utter has significant experience in trial and appellate, state and federal courts in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. In 2012, Utter was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, and he is a Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America. He serves as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Utter earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1981, and his B.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, magna cum laude, in 1978.
About Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
The law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a nationally-recognized law firm delivering sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 100 corporations to start-up companies. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers 2014 recognized KMK as a leading law firm in Ohio in Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Law, and General Commercial Litigation. KMK earned three national rankings (Corporate Law, Commercial Litigation, and Venture Capital Law) and 36 metropolitan rankings in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” report by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. Founded in 1954, KMK has approximately 110 lawyers and a support staff of 150 employees. Additional information is available at www.kmklaw.com.
Pureval Takes His Passion for Social Justice Wherever He Goes
Aftab Pureval ’08, a proud alum of the College of Law, has maintained a deep interest in social justice—not only here but in whatever city he has worked. Originally from Beavercreek, Ohio, he attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in political science and was the president of the student body his senior year. Having always made service a priority in his life, Pureval’s experiences as the student body president furthered his passion for social justice. After graduating, he moved down the I-71 corridor to join the College of Law.
“The College was really a breath of fresh air,” he said, referring to not only the small class sizes and great classmates, but also to the faculty, staff, and the city of Cincinnati. While at UC Law, working at the Warren County Domestic Relations Court and with the Domestic Violence Clinic were particularly impactful experiences for him. “I saw firsthand the devastation that domestic violence does to our community,” he explained, “and I have since sought to prioritize this work in my professional career.”
Since graduating in 2008, Pureval has had a varying and successful career. As an associate with White & Case LLP in Washington D.C., he practiced in the area of anti-trust litigation. The Queen City, however, called him back, and he worked as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio, prosecuting federal felonies involving guns, drugs, and white collar violations. Now, he is counsel for The Procter & Gamble Company. These experiences truly involve vastly different subject matter, but one thing that has remained consistent throughout it all is his commitment to serving his community.
Social Justice as a Life-Long Commitment
While in Washington D.C., Pureval worked with female immigrants, filing U-Visa applications on their behalf. U-Visas are a way for women who are victims of or witnesses to abuse to gain residency in the country in exchange for testifying against the perpetrator(s). Further, he worked on a team of attorneys who drafted a memorandum that aided the Nepalese government in drafting their constitution. For this work, Pureval was honored with the White & Case Pro-Bono Award.
Now back in Cincinnati, he is working within the community to promote social justice. He serves on the board of trustees of Cincinnati Union Bethel, an organization that works to shelter, support, and educate Cincinnati’s urban women, children, families, and communities to help them to realize their potential. Additionally, he sits on the Leadership Council of the Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. As Pureval explained, “Both organizations address the overwhelming issue of poverty in Cincinnati.” While he is truly dedicated to working toward a better future for Cincinnati’s impoverished women, Pureval still has energy to spearhead initiatives to better the city on the broadest of scales. He is now co-chairing the Grand City Experiment – turning the 31 days in October of this year into 31 days of random acts of kindness in an effort to make Cincinnati a more welcoming place.
When asked what advice he would give to someone looking to follow a similar career path promoting social justice and service to the community, Pureval was big on the opportunities available right here in the tri-state area:
“One of the things I love about Cincinnati is the opportunity here -- big enough to rely on and leverage the resources available, but not so big that you will get lost in the crowd. You can have a real ripple effect. I would challenge anyone who is interested in social justice to join organizations that are working on it, and become a leader in that organization. It’s not that hard -- you have to have energy, ideas, and the ability to work hard. But, if you really commit yourself to working on these issues, you will surprise yourself how much you can accomplish and how many lives you can touch.”
2014 Harris Distinguished Practitioner Paula Boggs Muething
Date: October 7, 2014
Time: 12:10 p.m.
Location: College of Law, Room. 118
Food will be provided
About the speaker:
Paula Boggs Muething joined the Port Authority in March 2012 to assist in redevelopment initiatives, including operating the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (“Landbank”) on behalf of the Landbank Board. The Hamilton County Treasurer incorporated the Landbank in 2011 as a tool to assist the County in addressing the problems associated with the increasing number of vacant and abandoned properties.
Paula was previously employed by the City of Cincinnati Law Department, most recently as senior assistant city solicitor. While at the City of Cincinnati, she demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in the areas of blight and nuisance abatement solutions and was active in the effort to expand landbank-enabling legislation to include Hamilton County. Prior to joining the City, Paula was an associate at Keating, Muething and Klekamp, PLL, and a law clerk for the Honorable James E. Keller of the Kentucky Supreme Court. Paula earned a juris doctor from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law in 2003, where she was a Human Rights Fellow and a member of the Editorial Board of the Law Review. She studied Community Land Reform Initiatives at the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education.
She serves on the boards of Talbert House, Cincinnati Development Fund, Legal Aid and Greater Ohio Policy Center, as well as organizations and task forces directly contributing to regional quality of life. She is a frequent speaker on community revitalization strategies and land bank legislation, delivering programs to the UC Real Estate Roundtable, Ohio Land Bank Conference, National Vacant Properties Conference, Revitalizing Ohio’s Vacant Properties Conference, the Cincinnati Bar Association and 2013 Covington Neighborhood Summit. Paula was named one of Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 in 2013, and was named the 2014 Most Outstanding Government Staffer by the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati.
Update on Homecoming Tailgate
Homecoming 2014 will be celebrated on September 20, 2014 when the Bearcats play Miami (OH) University. Because of Nippert Stadium renovations this year’s Bearcat home football games will be played at Paul Brown Stadium. So, homecoming will be hosted at Paul Brown Stadium and The Banks.
With that in mind, the College of Law has decided to not host a separate tailgate this year. With so many activities and events that highlight both our great football team and Cincinnati’s heritage (Okotoberfest and the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run that weekend), we encourage you to immerse yourself in these great activities. There will be a Bearcat Fanzone around the Paul Brown Stadium concourse and The Holy Grail Tavern & Grille is the official UC Headquarters for all home games. Take part in the Hudepohl 14K and you will receive a mini-history of Cincinnati’s former breweries along the way or visit Oktoberfest if the Chicken Dance is more your speed.
For more information about homecoming and the weekend’s events, check www.uc.edu/homecoming and www.bearcatsfootball.com. For information about Oktoberfest visit www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com and for information about the Hudepohl race details, check out www.hudepohl14kbreweryrun.com.
Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) Lawyer, Sophia P. Paul Recognized as 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
PITTSBURGH, PA - Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) is pleased to announce that lawyer Sophia P. Paul was recently named a 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine.
Sophia P. Paul has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for a fifth year. Sophia has over 20 years of experience in matrimonial law, and served as former counsel to the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, where she was actively involved in extensive revisions to the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines. She formerly clerked for the Honorable Lawrence W. Kaplan of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. An active member of the Family Law Sections of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations, Sophia is also a Fellow of AAML and a frequent lecturer on family law matters.
Attorneys selected as Super Lawyers are among the top five percent of Pennsylvania's licensed attorneys. Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine recognizes outstanding attorneys in more than 70 areas of practice using a rigorous, multiphase selection process that considers 12 separate indicators of peer recognition, professional achievement and high ethical standards.
"It is an honor to have Sophia recognized among the top lawyers in the state in the area of family law," stated Robb D. Bunde, a partner of BGMS.
"Our attorneys possess a wealth of experience in a breadth of family law matters and we are thrilled to have a great team providing outstanding service, value and a wealth of expertise to our clients every day."
Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C. (BGMS) is a law firm dedicated to the representation of individuals in family law cases. The attorneys of BGMS deal exclusively with family law issues including divorce, custody, child support, equitable distribution of assets, exclusive possession, alimony, spousal support, pre and post-nuptial agreements, paternity, grandparents' rights and protection from abuse (PFA) matters. All of the attorneys at BGMS have spent the majority of their careers practicing in the area of family law and have extensive experience in handling family law matters. The attorneys of BGMS are also able to assist clients with alternative dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation and collaborative law. BGMS is one of the only law firms in Western Pennsylvania in which three attorneys are fellows in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. For more information about BGMS, please call 412.391.4330 or visit www.bgms-law.com.