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Cleveland-area attorneys chair OSBA committees and sections

For Immediate Release

SUBJECT: Cleveland-area attorneys chair OSBA committees and sections

CONTACT: Kenneth A. Brown  800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426

COLUMBUS (Sept. 2, 2003)—Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) President Keith A. Ashmus has appointed eight Cleveland-area lawyers as chairpersons of OSBA committees and sections for 2003 - 2004. The OSBA maintains 39 standing committees and 10 sections, each of which monitors a particular area of law. Committees and sections work to improve the justice system by keeping Ohio lawyers informed about the latest court decisions and regulatory changes. In addition, they comment on bills before the Ohio General Assembly and draft their own legislative proposals to improve existing laws.

Barbara Kaye Besser, partner in the South Euclid firm Elfvin & Besser, has been appointed to chair the Specialization Committee. Besser received her bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1973. In addition to being an active OSBA member, Besser is a member of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association. She and her husband, Howard, have one son, Matthew, who is currently in law school.

Jeffrey A. Brauer, an associate with the Cleveland office of Hahn Loeser + Parks, LLP, has been appointed to chair the New Lawyers Section. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in 1990 and his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1994. Brauer is also beginning a two-year term representing the OSBA at the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He has served on several committees in the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA and he is the current chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Litigation Committee. Brauer is also a member of the ABA’s Litigation Section and the Cleveland Bar Association. In the community, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Charenton Theatre Company. Brauer’s wife, the Reverend Nicole C. Kirk, serves as the minister of East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland.

Kathleen M. Carrick, law librarian for the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, has been named to chair the Law Libraries & Legal Information Services Committee.

Keven Eiber, an attorney with the Cleveland law firm of Brouse McDowell, has been appointed to chair the Environmental Law Committee. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and her law degree from AmericanUniversity’s Washington College of Law in 1983. A former chair of the Akron Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee, she now serves as treasurer and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter. She also chairs Brouse McDowell’s Environmental Law Practice Group. Eiber and her husband have two sons.

Andrew L. Fabens, III, a partner in the Cleveland office of law firm of Thompson Hine, LLP, has been appointed to chair the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1967. A past member of the OSBA’s Board of Governors, Fabens is currently a fellow of the American College on Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the Advisory Board of the Probate Law Journal of Ohio. He has spoken about probate and estate planning topics at Cleveland Bar Association and OSBA Continuing Legal Education events. In the community, he serves as a trustee of the Bascom Little Fund and as a trustee of the Great Lakes Basin Conservancy. He is the director and chairman of the Board of the A.M. McGregor Home and the treasurer of Citizens for Heights Schools. Fabens and his wife, Leigh, have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Jeffrey J. Fanger, the principal of Fanger Law Office in Cleveland, has been appointed to chair the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He received his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and his law degree from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law in 1991. He serves the Geauga County Bar Association as a member of the executive committee, a member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and chair of the Medical-Legal Relations Committee. In the community, he serves on the corporate council for the Euclid Hunger Center, is active in the Geauga Lyric Theater, and chairs Geauga County’s Octoberfest celebration. He and his wife, Sarah, have one child, Elizabeth.

Jeffrey Largent, a partner in the law firm Largent, Berry, Preston & Jamison Co., LPA with offices in Berea and Medina, has been appointed to chair the Solo, Small Firms & General Practice Section. He received his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and his law degree from Cleveland State University in 1973. Largent currently serves as the Magistrate of Mayor’s Court in two cities: Beachwood and Middleburg Heights. He is the current president of the Southwest Area Bar Association. He is also a member of the Medina County Bar Association, where he has been involved in the Civil Procedure & Rules Committee and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. Largent has been profiled in Who’s Who of American Law and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America. In the community, he is a member of the Citizens League of Greater Cleveland, a “super booster” for the Strongsville Athletic Boosters, and a Strongsville Soccer Organization and Y.M.C.A. soccer coach. Largent has two adult children: Elizabeth and Daniel. He and his wife, Jodi, live in Strongsville with their four younger children: Megan, Caitlyn and Kelly, 8, and Molly, 1.

John F. Murphy, an attorney in private practice who represents small business clients, has appointed to a second term as chair of the Elder Law Committee. A graduate of  Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Mr. Murphy is a member of several professional associations including the Ohio Bar Association, the Parma Bar Association, and the American Institute of  of CPAs.

Dennis M. Pilawa, a member of the Cleveland law firm of Ritzler, Coughlin & Swansinger, has been appointed to chair the Litigation Section. Pilawa earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University and his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1978. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. He is also a member of the OSBA’s Jury Instruction Committee and previously served as vice-chair the Cleveland Bar Association’s Grievance Committee. In the community, Pilawa chairs the Munson Township Board of Zoning Appeals, serves on the Notre Dame Elementary School Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Chesterland Rotary Club. He is vice president of the Munson Baseball Commission and coaches baseball and basketball for the Catholic Youth Organization. Pilawa has five children: Joe, 24; Tori, 21; Kayley, 15; Douglas, 13; and Jacob, 5.

Amy Leopard Woodhall, a partner in the Cleveland firm of Walter & Haverfield and a member of its Healthcare Practice Group, has been re-appointed chair of the OSBA Health Care Law Committee.  Woodhall represents healthcare clients on corporate and transactional issues, regulatory compliance, fraud and abuse, and government investigations. She received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Law and a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Woodhall is also an adjunct professor of health law at CWRU law school, where she is serves on its Law-Medicine Center Advisory Committee.  She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, the Cleveland Bar Association, and the West Virginia Bar Association. 

Barbara Friedman Yaksic, of counsel with the Cleveland law office of McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC, has been appointed to chair the Women in the Profession Section. A graduate of Indiana University, she received her law degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1981. Yaksic is a member of the OSBA’s Council of Delegates. She is an active member of the Cleveland Bar Association (CBA), currently acting as chair of the Judicial Selection Committee. In recent years, she has served the CBA as a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Executive Committee, and chair of the Justice for All Committee. Yaksic is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. In the community, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and on the executive committee of the William K. Thomas Inn of Court. Yaksic was named Cleveland Bar Association Volunteer of the Month in May 1999. She and her husband, Michael, have two children: David, 16, and Sarah, 14.

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio, as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

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