Area attorneys certified as specialists

Certified Specialist holding business cardThe Ohio State Bar Association announced on Jan. 7, 2014, that it has certified 27 new lawyers and recertified 95 lawyers as specialists in 10 legal practice areas. (A list of names is attached.) They join a total of 650 Ohio State Bar Association Certified Attorneys in various specialty areas.

All attorneys licensed to practice law in Ohio must have graduated from an accredited law school, passed an intensive examination and attend continuing legal education courses as required by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Attorneys who devote a large part of their practice to a particular area of the law may choose to go beyond these requirements to earn specialty certification. To become certified, they must:
  • Demonstrate substantial and continuing involvement in a particular field of law, meaning they must devote at least 25 percent of their practice to that area of law;
  • Submit five professional references attesting to their competency in the specialty area;
  • Have earned a minimum of 36 hours of intermediate or advanced continuing legal education credits in the specialty area during the past three years as part of the continuing legal education hours required of all attorneys;
  • Pass a written examination;
  • Prove financial responsibility by maintaining minimum professional liability insurance coverage; and
  • Remain in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Attorneys who have earned specialty certification must file annual reports attesting to compliance with program requirements. Additionally, they must be recertified at least every four to seven years by meeting all of the original requirements for certification except the written examination.
“Earning certification as a specialist is one way attorneys can strengthen their practice skills in a particular area of the law and this designation can be used to inform their clients of that expertise,” said OSBA president Jonathan Hollingsworth. “The Ohio State Bar Association congratulates these attorneys who have successfully completed the certification process.”

The Supreme Court of Ohio established a Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists to identify specialties and set minimum standards for specialty certification. The Commission accredits the certifying agencies.

The Ohio State Bar Association is the largest certifying agency in Ohio. It is currently accredited to certify specialists in 11 areas of law.
Attorneys who wish to become certified in 2014 can apply for certification online on the OSBA website at between January and June. There also is a new elder law certification available in 2014.

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.
Attorneys Newly Certified and Recertified as Specialists as of 01/01/2014
* denotes newly certified

Administrative Agency Law
*Luther Liggett, Luper Neidenthal & Logan, Columbus
Recertified Appellate Law Specialists
Susan Audey, Tucker Ellis, Cleveland
*Claire Curtis, Bonezzi, Switzer, Polito & Hupp, Cleveland
Timothy Fitzgerald, Koehler Neal, Cleveland
*Shannon Gallagher, 8th District Court of Appeals, Cleveland
Richard Garner, Davis & Young, Cleveland
David Marburger, Baker Hostetler, Cleveland
Colleen Mountcastle, Gallagher Sharp, Cleveland
John Nalbandian, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Cincinnati
Prof. Andrew Pollis, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland
Frank Scialdone, Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., Solon
Anne Marie Sferra, Bricker & Eckler, Columbus
Kathleen Tatarsky, Kathleen M. Tatarsky, Atty at Law, Canton
Thomas Warren, Baker Hostetler, Cleveland
Recertified Business Commercial and Industrial Real Property Law Specialists
Charles Allbery, Allbery Cross Fogarty, Dayton
Recertified Estate Planning Trust and Probate Law Specialists
Sherrille Akin, Isaac Wiles, Columbus
Kathleen Ballenger, Kessler & Ballenger, Columbus
Robert Barnett, Carlile Patchen & Murphy, Columbus
*Frank L. Benham, Benham & Ream, Shelby
Thomas Breed, Wood & Lamping, Cincinnati
Richard Bringardner, Isaac Wiles, Columbus
Richard Burke, Brennan Manna & Diamond, Akron
Christine Buttress, Graydon Head & Ritchey, Cincinnati
James Chalfie, Santen & Hughes, Cincinnati
M. Patricia Culler, Hahn Loeser & Parks, Cleveland
Cheryl D’Amico, Calfee Halter & Griswold, Cleveland
Christina D’Eramo Evans, Calfee Halter & Griswold, Cleveland
Kathleen Grady, Ropes & Gray, Boston, Mass.
Daniel Griffith, Premier Bank & Trust, Canton
Joan Gross, Hahn Loeser & Parks, Cleveland
James Hardgrove, James A. Hardgrove, Co., Reynoldsburg
Mary Healy, Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati
Stuart Horwitz, The Horwitz Group, Akron
Bruce Krone, Eichel & Krone, Cincinnati
Patricia Laub, Frost Brown Todd, Cincinnati
*David Lenz, Schneider Smeltz Ranney & LaFond, Cleveland
James Leonard, Wright Law, Dublin
Thomas J. Lodge, Roth Blair Roberts Strasfield & Lodge, Youngstown
John C. Lucas, Isaac Wiles, Columbus
Marilyn Maag, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, Cincinnati
Bernard McKay, Frost Brown Todd, Cincinnati
*Edgar M. Moore, Bixler & Moore Co., Louisville
Roger Proper, Critchfield Critchfield & Johnston, Wooster
David Rectenwald, Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, Toledo
Ruth Rounding, Kohnen & Patton, Cincinnati
Michael G. Schwartz, Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease, Cincinnati
David Simmons, David J. Simmons Co., Canton
Edward M. Smith, Nolan Sprowl & Smith, Dayton
Stephen Snavely, Stephen K. Snavely, Atty. at Law, Defiance
*Sue Sokolowski, Cleaver & Sokolowski, Canton
Stanton Vollman, Cohen Todd Kite & Stanford, Cincinnati
Michael Wear, Keybank National Association, Cleveland
Jeffry Weiler, Tucker Ellis, Cleveland
Kaye Willi, Willi Law Office, Westerville
Recertified Family Relations Law Specialists
Mary Biacsi, Zoller/Biasci, Cleveland
*Andrea Cozza, Craig P. Treneff Law Office, Westerville
Magistrate Thomas Dawson, Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court, Youngstown
James Giles, James A. Giles, Atty. at Law, Mount Vernon
Edward Jansen, Lavelle & Lavelle, Cleveland
*Wijdan Jreisat, Katz Teller Brant & Hild, Cincinnati
*Louis Katz, Louis E. Katz Atty. at Law, Poland
Julia Leveridge, Kemp, Schaeffer & Rowe, Columbus
Linda Miller, Linda J. Miller, Atty. at Law, Columbus
James Moskowitz, Moskowitz & Moskowitz, Cincinnati
Gary Rosen, Goldman & Rosen, Akron
Todd Severt, Lopez, Severt & Pratt, Troy
Sherri Goren Slovin, Sherri Goren Slovin & Associates, Cincinnati
Nancy Sponseller, Law Offices of Nancy L. Sponseller, Dublin
Timothy A. Tepe, Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati
Recertified Federal Taxation Law Specialists
Joel Brant, Katz Teller, Cincinnati
Mario Fazio, Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, Beachwood
Lance Gildner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Dayton
Edward Hertenstein, Roetzel & Andress, Columbus
Kimon Karas, McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman, Cleveland
Russell Kessler, Kessler & Ballenger, Columbus
William Russo, Katz Teller, Cincinnati
Michael G. Schwartz, Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease, Cincinnati
John Seich, McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman, Cleveland
Michael Shapiro, Michael J. Shapiro, Inc., Beachwood
Frederick Widen, Ulmer & Berne, Cleveland
Gary Zwick, Walter / Haverfield, Cleveland
Specialists Insurance Coverage Law
*Stacy Berliner, Thacker Martinsek, Cleveland
*David Comstock, Comstock Springer & Wilson, Youngstown
*Keven Eiber, Brouse McDowell, Cleveland
*Amanda Leffler, Brouse McDowell, Akron
*Caroline Marks, Brouse McDowell, Cleveland
*Gregory O’Brien, Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Cleveland
*Dimitrios Pousoulides, Dimitrios S. Pousoulides Atty at Law, North Canton
*Paul A. Rose, Brouse McDowell, Akron
*Steven R. Smith, Connelly Jackson & Collier, Toledo
*Jodi Spencer Johnson, Thacker Martinsek, Cleveland
*Joseph Thacker, Thacker Martinsek, Toledo
*D. John Travis, Gallagher Sharp, Cleveland
*Robert L. Tucker, Hanna Campbell & Powell, Akron
*Michelle Valencic, Clausen Miller PC, Chicago, IL
Recertified Labor and Employment Law Specialists
Christopher Carney, Brouse McDowell, Cleveland
Colleen Cook, Theisen Brock, Marietta
Dianne Foley, Koehler Neal, Cleveland
Caryn Groedel, Caryn Groedel & Associates, Solon
Anne Marie LaBue, Cardinal Health, Inc., Dublin
Amy Mitchell, Dunlevey Mahan & Furry, Dayton
Michele Morris, Michele Morris, Atty. at Law, Akron
Dennis Niermann, Dennis J. Niermann, Atty. at Law,  Chesterland
*David Posner, Baker Hostetler, Cleveland
Evelyn Schonberg, Ross, Brittain & Schonberg, Cleveland
Rayl Stepter, Stepter Law Office, Columbus
Merl Wayman, Mowery, Youell & Galeano, Dublin
James P. Wilkins, Kastner Westman & Wilkins, Akron
Recertified Residential Real Property Law Specialists
Kathryn Carlisle-Kesling, Carlisle-Kesling & Associates, Middleburg Heights
*Monica Russell, McFadden & Freeburg, Cleveland
Recertified Workers’ Compensation Law Specialists
Kelly Badnell, Badnell & Dick, Mansfield
Gregory Bellman, Weber Dickey & Bellman, Cincinnati
Elizabeth Crosby, Buckley King, Cleveland
Robert J. Curry, Boyd Rummell Carach Curry Kaufman & Binns-Castro, Youngstown
Adrienne Hines, Calhoun Kademenos & Childress, Sandusky
Richard L. Johnson, Eastman & Smith, Toledo
Brian Mertes, Black McCuskey Souers & Arbaugh, Canton
Robert C. Meyer, Morrow & Meyer, North Canton
Joseph Navin, Larrimer & Larrimer, Zanesville
A. Brooke Phelps, Thomas & Co., Delaware
Karla Soards, Scott Scriven & Wahoff, Columbus
*Karen Turano, Charles Zamora Co., Columbus
Richard Zollinger, Day Ketterer Attorneys at Law, Canton



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