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Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. - Business and Commercial Law Attorney
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Ashley Warwar Joins the Firm's Estate Planning and Tax Department


aewCoolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Ashley Warwar has joined the firm as an associate in its Estate Planning and Tax Department.

Ashley will focus her practice in the areas of estate planning, trust, probate and tax. She was admitted to the Ohio Bar in October of this year.

"We are pleased to have Ashley join our team – she brings with her an excellent background and will be of great assistance to our ever-growing practice," said Chad Hansen, Chair of the firm’s Estate Planning and Tax Department. Ashley previously worked at the firm as a summer clerk and joins up with her father, Sam, who is a shareholder in the Tax Department and has been with Coolidge Wall for more than 35 years.

Prior to law school, Ashley lived in Boston, MA, where she worked as the lead recruiter for a development/construction firm and oversaw the company’s expansion into New York City.

Ashley earned her undergraduate degree from Denison University with a B.A. in Political Science. She graduated from The University of Dayton School of Law, cum laude, with a certified concentration in Intellectual Property and received the CALI Award for highest-scoring student in nine classes. Ashley was also a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society.

In addition, Ashley is actively involved in the community. While in law school, she received the Pro-Bono Commitment to the Community award from the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation. Ashley is also a member of the professional development committee of the Dayton Club.

Two Coolidge Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Recognition


Two Coolidge Wall attorneys recently received recognition by Best Lawyers® as "Lawyer of the Year" in Dayton in their specific practice areas.

Shannon L. Costello was named Best Lawyers® 2019 Litigation-Real Estate Lawyer of the Year in Dayton. Chad D. Hansen was named Best Lawyers® 2019 Tax Law Lawyer of the Year in Dayton.

Congratulations to these and all of our firm's very accomplished attorneys.

New Attorney Joins Coolidge's Estate Planning and Tax Department


ELGCoolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Erica Glass has joined the firm as Of Counsel in its Estate Planning and Tax Department.

Erica focuses her practice on estate planning and administration. She has extensive experience helping families plan for the future and helping them navigate the steps that need to be taken after a loved one passes away. Her experience also includes estate and gift tax preparation and administering guardianships.

"We are excited that Erica has rejoined the firm," said Chad Hansen, Chair of the firm’s Estate Planning and Tax Department. "She brings more depth of service within our growing estate planning group and will provide valuable counsel to our clients."

Immediately prior to joining the firm, Erica worked for a bank trust department for five years. She also worked previously at Coolidge for seven years.

Erica earned her undergraduate degree in Finance from The Ohio State University. She earned her law degree from the University of Dayton.

In Memoriam - C. Mark Kingseed, Esq.




The Coolidge Wall family celebrates the life of our partner and close friend, C. Mark Kingseed, who passed away on October 10, 2018, following an extended illness. We will miss Mark's keen wit, brilliant mind, and boundless energy. In a field that can reward big personalities and bigger egos, Mark chose a different path: he was a paragon of common sense, decency, and humility, never caving in to pressure with a cross word or a compromised strategy.

Mark started his career jetting around the country for NCR, putting out union fires (sometimes literally) during the company's heyday in Dayton. He served as in-house counsel for 15 years and led NCR's commercial litigation and labor law department.

We are fortunate that Mark chose to join Coolidge Wall in 2004. He devoted his practice to traditional labor matters, mentored new attorneys, and eventually chaired the firm's Labor & Employment Department. During his time here, he won all of the highest accolades of his peers in the legal profession. In a firm with a history of distinguished orators, Mark may have been the very best among them. He was a frequent public speaker and teacher on employment law, on naval military history, and in rare and exceptional moments, when prompted, on the appreciation of fine bourbons. Personally and professionally, he improved the lives of everyone around him.

As anyone in the Miami Valley likely knows, Mark was also a man of the people and a municipal politician of the highest order. He served first as an elected Councilman in Centerville, Ohio, from 1990 to 2003, and then as Mayor from 2004 to 2015. Known for his ethical approach to government and loyal advocacy for his city, Mark was the perfect face of "Warm and Cheerful Centerville."

Although he enjoyed a sterling career and total dedication to his clients, his first love was his family. His relationship with his amazing wife Joannie was a constant blessing for him and a model for the rest of us. He made clear that his career and accomplishments were insignificant compared to his roles of loving son, husband, father, and grandfather.

May Mark's wisdom, decency, and the memory of his effortless smile stay with us forever. His family has our deepest condolences, along with our lasting thanks for sharing him with us.

Wilberding Pens Article for Dayton Daily News About Thieves Stealing Deeds


In the September 4, 2018, Ideas & Voices Section of the Dayton Daily News, Coolidge attorney Merle Wilberding penned an article about the increasing risk of home title fraud/theft.

MFW Thieves Stealing Deeds

Coolidge Wall Selected as General Counsel for Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority


The law firm of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that the firm has been selected by the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to be their General Counsel. The RTA is a public transit agency that serves Montgomery County and Western Greene County. It is Ohio’s fourth largest public transit system and provides more than 11 million passenger trips per year on its buses, which operate seven days a week and 21 hours a day.

"Coolidge is pleased to be selected by the RTA, a premier public transport provider and integral part of the people and communities it serves, as their General Counsel for the next two years," said Chris Conard, chair of Coolidge’s Public Sector Department. "We look forward to providing the quality and depth of legal services an organization of their size and complexity needs."

"We partnered with Coolidge because the firm provides us the full suite of cost-effective legal services we require while also being a Dayton-based firm with all of their people and resources here to support us locally," said Mark Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer of RTA.

Twenty Coolidge Attorneys Honored as The Best Lawyers in America® 2019


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that 20 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.

Best Lawyers is regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Its process is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers may not pay a fee to be listed, so inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

The Coolidge attorneys selected for inclusion in 2019 Best Lawyers in America® are:

  • Michelle D. Bach for Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • R. Scott Blackburn for Trusts and Estates
  • Glenn L. Bower for Corporate Law
  • Christopher R. Conard for Commercial Litigation
  • Shannon L. Costello for Litigation-Real Estate and Real Estate Law
  • Terence L. Fague for Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Labor and Employment
  • Kristin A. Finch for Real Estate Law
  • Marc L. Fleischauer for Employment Law-Management and Labor Law-Management
  • Jonas J. Gruenberg for Corporate Law and Real Estate Law
  • Chad D. Hansen for Tax Law
  • J. Stephen Herbert for Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Law
  • C. Mark Kingseed for Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor and Employment
  • David C. Korte for Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
  • David P. Pierce for Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Labor and Employment
  • Richard A. Schwartz for Corporate Law
  • William H. Seall for Real Estate Law
  • Richard A. Talda for Commercial Litigation
  • Sam Warwar for Corporate Law, Tax Law, and Litigation and Controversy-Tax
  • Merle F. Wilberding for Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, and Litigation-Real Estate
  • Jeffrey A. Winwood for Trusts and Estates

New Paralegal Joins Coolidge Litigation Department


The law firm of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Erika Shellhammer has joined the firm as a paralegal in its Litigation Department.

Erika brings more than 25 years of experience to the firm. She has focused on litigation paralegal support for the past 18 years with firms in Dayton and Troy. Erika supports attorneys in all aspects of litigation, including discovery, research and trial preparation.

"Erika is a great addition to the Litigation team," said Richard Talda, Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. "She brings a wealth of litigation support experience to Coolidge and our clients."

Erika is a graduate of Edison State Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Legal Assisting and lives in Tipp City, Ohio.

New Associate Joins Coolidge Labor and Employment Department


The law firm of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Matthew T. Crawford has joined the firm as an associate in its Labor and Employment Department.

Matt’s practice focuses on counseling employers in addressing and creating solutions for a wide variety of workplace issues. He has secured dismissal of unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board and State Employment Relations Board. In addition, he has successfully represented clients in arbitration proceedings, in litigation matters and before administrative agencies. Matt also brings experience in collective bargaining negotiations, public sector fact-finding, union elections, mediation and counseling in employment matters.

"We are excited that Matt has joined our team," said Marc Fleischauer, Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department. "Matt’s experience in traditional labor law helps round out our management side employment practice."

Prior to joining Coolidge, Matt worked at a small Dayton-based firm focused in labor and employment law as well as the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. He is a graduate of Ohio University and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Matt is actively involved in the community and currently serves on the Associate Board of the Dayton Art Institute and with the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project. He lives in Oakwood, Ohio.

Coolidge Wall Attorney Blankenship Selected for Dayton Business Journal’s 2018 "Forty Under 40" Honor


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Amy Blankenship, an attorney in the firm’s Public Sector Law Department, has been selected as a recipient of the Dayton Business Journal’s prestigious 2018 "Forty Under 40" award. In announcing the award, the DBJ said this is the 21st year that the publication has honored, "the region’s brightest young professionals" and that "nearly 200 people from around the Miami Valley were nominated this year." The winners will be recognized at an awards gala on May 17th.

"Amy is truly deserving of this award," said Chris Conard, Chair of Coolidge Wall’s Public Sector Law Department. "Not only is Amy a talented attorney, she is actively engaged in the local community. The firm is very proud of her well-deserved accomplishment." Blankenship focuses her practice primarily in the area of local government representation. She provides general counsel to local governments on a variety of topics, such as employment matters, collective bargaining, annexation, land use and zoning. She has represented local municipalities in state and federal court, as well as in administrative proceedings. Blankenship also practices in general litigation.

For more information about the award, you can visit https://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/2018/04/02/unlocked-dbj-names-forty-under-40-winners-for.html

Coolidge Estate Planning and Tax Department Continues to Add Attorneys and Expand Services to Clients


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that three attorneys – R. Michael Osborn, Javan A. Kline and Thomas W. Langevin – have joined the law firm’s growing Estate Planning and Tax Department.

Mr. Osborn joins Coolidge after working at a Springfield, Ohio law firm for more than 17 years. His practice focuses on business and tax planning for the family and closely held business, estate and succession planning, and providing business and tax counsel to tax-exempt organizations, including private foundations. He serves as general outside counsel to businesses, including corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and non-profit organizations. In addition, he represents individuals and business organizations before the IRS, state and local taxing authorities. His experience runs from business formation, acquisitions and joint ventures to cessation of business operations. Mr. Osborn lives in Springfield and will maintain his practice with clients there.

Mr. Kline comes to Coolidge following seven years working at an AmLaw 200 firm. He represents clients on business, tax, and estate planning matters. He has extensive experience advising clients on sophisticated federal, state and local tax matters. Mr. Kline is also an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business where he teaches courses on State and Local Taxation, IRS Practice and Procedure and Corporate Legal and Social Responsibility. He lives in West Chester, Ohio.

Mr. Langevin joins the firm in its Tax Department. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2016 and is licensed there. In addition, he obtained a Master of Laws in Tax from the University of Florida in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Langevin clerked at a corporate firm in Little Rock, AR, with a focus on business transactions and SEC compliance. In addition, he interned with Tyson Foods’ in-house counsel in their corporate and contracts departments.

"These attorneys bring even more depth and breadth of estate planning and tax services to our clients," said Chad Hansen, Chair of the Estate Planning and Tax Department at Coolidge. "We are continuing to grow and now have one of the largest and most comprehensive teams of attorneys -- based 100 percent in Dayton -- to serve the estate planning and tax needs of this region."

Coolidge Wall Adds Attorney and Paralegal to Growing Corporate and Business Department


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Tino Monaldo and Debra Aldred have joined the firm in its growing Corporate and Business Department.

Monaldo brings more than 30 years experience in a wide variety of transactions for both publicly and privately held corporations, managing, negotiating and drafting transaction documents in a variety of industries including gas pipelines, ethanol, oil and gas, construction, engineering, car dealerships, hotels and casinos.

For more than 24 years, Monaldo served as outside General Counsel for a Kansas City-based energy entrepreneur, which included the ownership and operation of a 3,000-mile interstate gas transmission pipeline system and a construction company with projects throughout the U.S.  From 2007 through 2015, he was Vice President of Corporate Development/Deputy General Counsel of a publicly traded international hotel/casino/hospitality corporation and was involved in project development, project finance, due diligence, and the negotiation and drafting of complex international commercial transactions. Most recently, he provided legal consulting services on a project-by-project basis for Kansas-based business clients.

In addition, Aldred joins Coolidge Wall as a paralegal. With more than 20 years of experience, she has provided support in entity formation, entity maintenance, and entity elimination as well as mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Aldred has experience with regulated industries. Prior to joining Coolidge Wall, Aldred worked in the Office of the Corporate Secretary and Governance for Nationwide, a Fortune 75 company, as well as at Fifth Third Bank.

"We are excited to have Tino and Debra join the firm," said J. Stephen Herbert, President and CEO of Coolidge Wall. "They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our growing Corporate and Business Department and are welcome additions to the team."

Coolidge Wall to Speak at Third Annual Dayton Chamber HR Forum


Marc Fleischauer, chair of Coolidge Wall’s Labor and Employment Department, will be presenting at the third annual Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Forum on:

Thursday, March 22, 2018    8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Crown Plaza Hotel
33 E. Fifth Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402

During this 90-minute discussion, Marc will discuss the following from a legal perspective:

  • Recalibrating Your Harassment Radar at Work
  • Culture Check to Avoid Your Day in the Sun
  • Action Items for Internal Complaints
  • Crisis Management for External Complaints
  • Lawmakers Try to Shut the Barn Door
  • What’s Not Getting Media Attention: Other Employment Law Updates

Overall, the Forum features expert presentations and interactive panel discussions. Attendees will leave feeling more confident navigating common HR challenges including handling the opioid crisis in the workplace and closing the talent gap.

SHRM credit is pending for this Forum.

You can register today at https://tinyurl.com/y9k7d6d3.

Michelle Bach and Marc Fleischauer to Speak at 2018 Ohio Safety Congress


Michelle Bach and Marc Fleischauer will be presenting at the 2018 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo and Ohio Workers' Compensation Medical & Health Symposium at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on March 8, 2018. Their presentation will educate employers on how to handle an employee's absence from work under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Ohio workers' compensation laws. They will also explain the protected class under each law, along with the benefits provided by each law, their similarities and differences.

Register for the Expo at https://bwc.expoplanner.com/content/osc18/Register/.

Established Dayton Estate Planning Attorney Joins Growing Coolidge Wall Team


The law firm of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Jeffrey A. Winwood has joined the firm in its Tax and Estate Planning Department.

Winwood has been practicing in the areas of estate and trust planning, probate law and business law for more than 30 years in the Dayton area.

"We are excited to have Jeff join the firm, as he brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to our group," said Chad Hansen, Chair of Coolidge’s Tax and Estate Planning Department. "Jeff is considered to be one of the top estate planning attorneys in the region and he adds depth to what is already one of the most extensive teams of attorneys and paralegals in the area."

Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Winwood graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Science and received his Juris Doctor from the Indiana University School of Law. After several years with the Internal Revenue Service Estate and Gift Tax Department in Indiana, he returned to Dayton to practice with Pickrel Schaeffer and Ebeling and then was a partner with Louis & Froelich. Prior to joining Coolidge, Winwood managed his own firm, Winwood Rutledge Law, for more than 12 years.

Winwood taught Wills and Trusts at the University of Dayton School of Law for 24 years, and was selected as a recipient of the Dean Francis Conte Special Service Award from the law school. In addition, he was elected a fellow in the prestigious American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC) and has served in the college since 1999.

He has been selected by his peers as an Ohio Super Lawyer and was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Winwood currently lives in Centerville, Ohio.

Coolidge Wall Receives 2018 Best Law Firms First-Tier Ranking


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. has received first-tier metropolitan ranking in eight practice areas by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in the 2018 "Best Law Firms" list. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise among ranked law firms.

The eight areas for which the firm received first-tier ranking are Corporate Law; Real Estate Law; Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management; Litigation - Labor & Employment; and Litigation - Real Estate. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Coolidge Wall had 18 lawyers listed in 2018 Best Lawyers.

Firms selected for the "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence and consistently receive impressive ratings from clients and peers. A tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Wilberding Establishes Endowed Prize for Law Review at University of Dayton


Merle Wilberding, long-time Coolidge Wall attorney, has established an endowment to create the Susan Newhart Elliott Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship fund to recruit legal scholars to write for the University of Dayton Law Review. Wilberding also established a trust last year to support the law review in perpetuity.

"These gifts honor Susan’s longstanding service and contributions to legal scholarship, and the law review, for which I have a great deal of respect and admiration and is close to my heart," said Wilberding who wrote the law review’s first article, "Banks and the Equal Pay Act, 1 U. Dayton Law Review 1 (1976).

Susan Newhart Elliott, a professor at the School of Law and director of the Zimmerman Law Library, has served at the UD School of Law since 1994, including 10 years in the law library and 10 years as the University of Dayton Law Review faculty adviser. She was also the law review’s Managing Editor as a member of the class of 1987.

As a student at Notre Dame Law School, Wilberding served as Executive Editor for its law review as a member of the class of 1969. Over the years Wilberding has written more than fifteen law review articles, as well as seven books, and more than fifty free lance and Op Ed pieces. He is a regular Community Contributor to the Dayton Daily News.


Congressman Turner Introduces Bill to Rename Dayton's Federal Building

At a press conference on November 17, 2017, Congressman Mike Turner announced that he had just introduced a bill in Congress to name the federal building in Dayton the "Walter H. Rice Courthouse," to be named after Judge Walter H. Rice, long-time United States District Court Judge and long-time civic leader in the Dayton community. The nomination was based on a recommendation by a Citizens Committee appointed by Mike Turner and chaired by Merle Wilberding from Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. The committee also included Amanda Wright Lane (Wright Brothers Family), Idotha "Bootsie" Neal (former Dayton City Commissioner), Debbie Lieberman (Montgomery County Commissioner), Mary McDonald (Mayor, City of Trotwood), Charlie Faruki (Faruki Ireland Cox Rhinehart & Dusing PLL), Brady Kress (President, Dayton History), Margaret Quinn (former judge, City of Oakwood), Kermit Lowery (General Counsel, Lexis-Nexis), and Wilburt Bill Shanklin (Community Contributor).

Walter Rice graduated with a B.A. from Northwestern University, and then received a combined J.D./M.B.A. from Columbia University. Judge Rice has had numerous honors during his illustrious career, including honorary degrees from both the University of Dayton (Doctor of Laws, 1991) and Wright State University (Doctor of Human Letter, 2000). In 2014 he was the recipient of the Thomas J. Moyer Award for Judicial Excellence. Sitting first as a Dayton Municipal Court judge and then as a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge, Walter Rice was nominated to be a United States District Court Judge by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Judge Rice

Merle Wilberding Meets the Chief Justice of the United States


Congressman Mike Turner invited Merle Wilberding as his guest at the Congressional Dialogues at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. These educational conversations for a limited number of Senators and Members of Congress are hosted by David Rubenstein, the Chairman of the Board of the Library of Congress. At this convocation, David Rubenstein interviewed John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, followed by a Q&A session. During the evening, Merle Wilberding, long time attorney at Coolidge Wall, had the opportunity to meet the Chief Justice, and they posed for this photograph.

MFW With Chief Justice Roberts

Lu Ann Stanley Featured Barrister of the Month in Dayton Bar Briefs


Coolidge Wall attorney Lu Ann Stanley is the featured "Barrister of the Month" in the October 2017 issue of Dayton Bar Briefs, a publication of the Dayton Bar Association.

Besides being an experienced Estate Planning and Probate attorney, Lu Ann is a proud wife to Steve and mother to Sam. Her varied interests range from active involvement in community organizations such as The Women's Board of The Dayton Children's Hospital and the Wright Memorial Library Board to membership in the Merry Readers Book Club. Lu Ann is an avid reader and lover of Shakespearean works. In fact, each year family and friends travel to the Canadian Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.

Among her varied interests, Lu Ann is also a proud University of Alabama football fan, owning footballs personally autographed by Coach Nick Saban, Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, and Quarterback Jalen Hurts.


David Pierce Named Best Lawyers® 2018 Litigation-Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year" in Dayton


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that one of the firm’s attorneys, David P. Pierce, has been named Best Lawyers® 2018 Litigation–Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year" in Dayton. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honored as "Lawyer of the Year."

"Being a peer-based designation and one that only a singular attorney in Dayton receives in each practice area makes David’s Best Lawyers’ inclusion a special one, and as his colleagues we are proud of his accomplishment," said J. Stephen Herbert, President of Coolidge Wall.

Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Its process is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers may not pay a fee to be listed, so inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

Mr. Pierce received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his J.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Gentry Participates in Oakwood Hollinger Tennis Center Rededication


As President of Hollinger Tennis Center, attorney Dan Gentry was present at the July 4th celebration and renaming of the tennis facilities, now known as the "City of Oakwood Hollinger Memorial Tennis Center." The rededication and new name reflect the new partnership between the City and the nonprofit Club, which celebrates seventy years of operation this year.

"By partnering with the City of Oakwood, we hope to expand membership and continue to improve our tennis facilities, which are acknowledged to be the best clay courts in the area," said Gentry. "We welcome and appreciate the City’s efforts to integrate the Center into other recreational programs offered in Oakwood. We look forward to working with the City to take the Center to a higher level and make clay court tennis available to more members of our community."


Firm Hosts Court Camp Students


On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Coolidge Wall hosted a group of 19 students as part of the Montgomery County Court Camp Program. Most of the students are first generation college bound and serve in a government club or mock trial program at the school. Coolidge Wall attorneys Bud Seall, Chris Conard, Pat Friesinger, and Chip Herin participated in a session moderated by Coolidge Wall's coordinator, David Pierce. Afterwards, the students toured the Firm's offices before returning back to the Courthouse. It is our sincere hope that we helped these students on their journey to success.

Court Camp

Pierce Becomes First Vice-President of DBA


On Friday, June 9, 2017, David Pierce was sworn in as First Vice-President of the Dayton Bar Association by Judge Jeffrey Froelich at the DBA's annual meeting.


Stanley Appointed to Dayton Women's Board


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is proud to annouce that Lu Ann Stanley has been appointed to the Women’s Board, an auxiliary of Dayton Children’s Hospital. The Women’s Board is a volunteer organization of approximately 40 women representing counties throughout the Dayton region from various professional and community volunteer backgrounds. The Women’s Board’s primary fundraiser is the biennial cha|cha dinner and silent auction. In 2017, cha|cha raised over $500,000 in support of a new transformative nurse call system that places Dayton Children’s Hospital among some of the country’s leading children’s hospitals.

Ms. Stanley is a member of the Estate Planning and Probate Department of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A.

David Pierce and Other Dayton Bar Association Officers Participate in ABA Bar Leadership Institute


Joining over 300 other emerging leaders of lawyer organizations from across the country at the American Bar Association’s Bar Leadership Institute (BLI), March 15-17 were Brian L. Wildermuth, President-Elect and David P. Pierce, Second Vice President of the DBA.

The BLI takes place annually in Chicago. It offers incoming officials of local and state bars, special focus lawyer organizations and bar foundations the opportunity to confer with ABA officials, bar leader colleagues, executive staff and other experts on the operation of such Associations.

Wildermuth and Pierce joined ABA President Linda A. Klein, and ABA President-Elect Hilarie Bass, in sessions on bar leadership, governance and communications.
Talda and Gentry To Give Presentation to DBA Corporate Counsel


Coolidge attorneys Richard Talda and Dan Gentry will be giving a presentation to the Corporate Counsel of the Dayton Bar Association on April 27. Their talk, "Caveat Emptor: Arbitration Insights — It May Cost More Than You Think," will examine the preference under both Federal and Ohio law for enforcing arbitration agreements; the intended benefits for arbitration; and how well arbitration delivers on those intended benefits versus resolving disputes in traditional court proceedings.

Fleischauer and Bach Speak at Dayton Area Chamber HR Forum


Coolidge Wall attorneys Marc Fleischauer and Michelle Bach co-presented at the annual Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Forum held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday, March 23, 2017, with more than 75 HR professionals in attendance. Their talk, "The Tricky Triangle of ADA, FLMA and Workers’ Compensation Absences," covered topics related to employee leave, disability and accommodation issues under the ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation law, and strategies for handling same.

The event was hosted by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Valley Human Resources Association and was sponsored by Coolidge Wall and Staffmark. Other panelists included Staffmark Executive Suzanne Perry, Liz Heitner from Synchrony Financial, Douglas Houghton from Kettering Health Network, and Mari Wenrick of Value Added Packaging.


Corporate Development Executive, Business Lawyer Joins Coolidge To Lead Strategic And Advisory Services Business


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Douglas M. Ventura has joined the firm as President of Coolidge Strategic|Advisory Services (CSAS). Ventura will also be a member of Coolidge’s Corporate and Business Practice.

As president of CSAS, Ventura will oversee this new ancillary services business, which offers business owners, investors and boards of directors a portfolio of services to develop, refine and execute long-term growth strategies.

"Over the years, many of our clients have sought help developing and executing growth strategies," said Sam Warwar, Shareholder and attorney in the firm’s Corporate and Business Department. "CSAS meets both of those needs. For Coolidge clients, CSAS provides the additional benefit of tight integration with our full range of legal services. We are constantly striving for ways to bring additional value to our clients, and adding this new ancillary service is one more example."

Ventura brings more than 30 years of experience to Coolidge as a business lawyer, operational business leader and corporate development executive, having worked in a wide range of industries both domestically and internationally. Ventura started his legal career at Coolidge. After holding various senior executive positions with Reynolds and Reynolds, Ventura has spent the last several years leading Spectrum, a strategic advisory firm serving middle-market clients.

"I’m excited to rejoin Coolidge and their dedicated team of attorneys," said Ventura. "The firm’s outstanding base of diverse privately held businesses maps well to the types of services CSAS provides. All companies regardless of size or maturity encounter growth hurdles. We bring them the resources to build – and to execute - their growth strategies without adding to fixed costs."

Ventura is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to serving on local company boards of directors, he is actively involved in the community as a special advisor for both Cooperative for Education and Idea Global.

Wilberding Speaks to Lincoln Society about the Lincoln Memorial


On Sunday, March 5, 2017, Merle Wilberding was at Carillon Park where he gave a presentation to The Lincoln Society of Dayton entitled "The Lincoln Memorial." The presentation covered the planning, construction, and dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922, as well as its living history ever since.

Over the years, the Lincoln Memorial has been the gateway and background to protests, performances, open dialogue and classic connections and confrontations. These events have included the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, the many protests during the Vietnam War, and the pre-inauguration celebrations by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. In so many ways, the Lincoln Memorial has fulfilled Abraham Lincoln’s legacy that "this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

We are proud to participate in the lecture series of The Lincoln Society of Dayton, and proud to continue to serve the Dayton community.


David Pierce and Wife Lisa Are Featured Barristers of the Month in Dayton Bar Briefs


Happy Valentine’s Day! Coolidge Wall’s David P. Pierce and his wife Lisa S. Pierce, who is also an attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl, are featured as the Barristers of the Month in the February issue of Dayton Bar Briefs. This article shares their personal and professional journey together and the life they built in the Dayton community. Read more about these lawyers in love below.


Chip Herin Involved With Local Chapter of American Heart Association


Coolidge Wall attorney Chip Herin is serving his third year as a member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Heart Ball, an event hosted by the Dayton Chapter of the American Heart Association. Each year, community members, medical professionals and corporate leaders come together to celebrate the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

For years, the Heart Ball has helped to advance the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association, a mission that has impacted the lives of thousands of men, women and children in the Dayton area. Contributions help support ongoing biomedical research and educational programs, which results in saved lives and enhanced health and wellness throughout the community.

The 2017 Heart Ball will be held on March 25th at Sinclair Community College. For information or tickets, visit http://daytonheartball.heart.org.

WCH Heart Ball

Coolidge Wall to Host Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce HR Forum


Coolidge Wall, in conjunction with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, will host a Human Resources Forum on Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Crown Plaza Dayton, 33 E. 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402.

For more details on topics and registration information, click here.

Paralegal Joins Coolidge Wall's Growing Estate Planning and Probate Department


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Darla J. Demetriades has joined the firm as a paralegal in its Estate Planning and Probate Department.

Demetriades has more than 26 years experience as a paralegal in both banking and legal services. She was most recently a probate paralegal at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

"Darla brings a tremendous level of experience to help us meet the expanding needs of our clients in this critical area of estate planning and probate," said Chad Hansen, Chair of the firm’s Tax, Estate Planning and Probate Departments. Demetriades’ hire comes on the heels of attorney Christopher Hartman recently joining the firm to focus on tax, estate planning and complex financial transactions. He was previously with Deloitte. "We are pleased to add such talented and quality individuals to our team so we can continue to provide the depth and breadth of services to our growing practice," said Hansen.

In addition to the administration of probate estates, Demetriades has experience in the administration of trusts and personal estate planning. She is a member of both the Ohio State Bar Association and the Dayton Bar Association.

Wilberding Pens Article about National VA Archives Coming to Dayton


The January 24, 2017 Ideas & Voices section of the Dayton Daily News featured an article by Coolidge attorney Merle Wilberding about the National Veterans Affairs Archives being moved to the Dayton VA Medical Center. The project is expected to generate a $20 million investment and become an anchor for economic development in west Dayton.

Archives to VA

Sam Warwar is Panelist at Event Hosted by The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP)


On March 3, 2017, The Greater Dayton Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Council will present "4 Perspectives on the First 40 Days of the New Presidency," with a discussion by four local experts, including our own Sam Warwar.  The panel will address a variety of topics (taxes, philanthropy, investing and business) as related to a new Presidential administration. The panelists' specialties include law, finance, taxes and philanthropy.

The four panelists are:

  • Sam Warwar, Attorney, Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A.
  • Tom Mangan, Sr. VP, and Portfolio Mgr. James Investment Research
  • Lynn Burns, CPA, JD, CFP. Owner, Burns Tax Consulting, LLC
  • Mike Parks, President, The Dayton Foundation

Michelle Lovely, Vice President of Development for The Dayton Foundation, will serve as moderator of the event.

Registration and networking are from 7:30am - 8:00am, and the Panel Program runs from 8:00am - 9:30am.  This program is free to all PPP Dayton members and guests. Breakfast will be provided. This program is not eligible for continuing education credits.

Click on the link to register for this event!

Coolidge Wall Shares Its Holiday Spirit


Each year, the employees of Coolidge Wall join together to share their holiday spirit by giving to needy families in our community. Contributions are raised through the firm's "Casual Day" program, where employees pay a nominal fee to dress casually one day per month. Those contributions are then used to purchase food for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as Christmas gifts for each family. The families we assist are always delighted to be the beneficiaries of the firm's generosity.

Holiday delivery

Coolidge Wall Attorneys Speak on FLSA Wage-Hour Regulations


On December 7, 2016, Marc Fleischauer and David Pierce presented on the topic of the Fair Labor Standards Act to a group of lawyers as part of the Dayton Bar Association’s Annual Labor and Employment Law Roundup. The presentation focused on the Department of Labor’s proposed amendments to its wage and hour regulations that had been set to take effect on December 1, 2016, before a last-minute nationwide preliminary injunction was granted by a federal court in Texas. Pierce and Fleischauer provided background on the proposed regulations and up-to-the-minute information and analysis on the legal battle now taking place before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in light of the changing political landscape.

New Attorneys Join the Firm


The law firm of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that Christopher J. Hartman and Patrick Martin recently have joined the firm. Mr. Hartman’s work focuses primarily on tax and estate planning, real estate, and financial transactions. Mr. Martin is a member of the firm’s Corporate and Business Department.

Mr. Hartman’s prior experience as a Certified Public Accountant at a large accounting firm gives him a unique perspective on tax and estate issues and complex financial transactions. He also has experience representing clients in trials and formal appeals. In law school, Mr. Hartman actively participated as a member of the National Moot Court Honor Society, advancing to the quarter finals in both appellate and trial competitions. Prior to graduation, he received recognition from Syracuse University for completing more than 30 hours of community service.

Mr. Martin is a second career attorney whose previous experience was in financial and operational executive positions at fortune 50 companies. He also has significant financial and operational experience in start-up organizations and closely-held business entities. At Coolidge Wall, Mr. Martin partners with clients in the areas of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, contracts, vendor agreements, customer agreements, employment agreements and real estate matters, and he provides clients strategic guidance in financial and operational business planning. Mr. Martin graduated cum laude from the University of Dayton School of Law and was awarded a President's Scholarship. He also served as a Staff Writer and Comment Editor for the University of Dayton Law Review.

"Coolidge Wall is happy to welcome these talented attorneys. We are excited to add their skills to the expertise and experience of our existing attorneys providing legal services in and around the Miami Valley," says J. Stephen Herbert, President of Coolidge Wall.

Six Attorneys Selected for 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is pleased to announce that six of its attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers®:

Michelle D. Bach -- Workers’ Compensation
Christopher R. Conard -- General Litigation
Marc L. Fleischauer -- Employment & Labor
David C. Korte -- Workers’ Compensation
Stephen M. McHugh -- State/Local/Municipal Law
David P. Pierce -- Business Litigation

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Each year, no more than 5% of the lawyers in a state are selected to receive this honor.

Additionally, Joshua R. Lounsbury has been selected as a 2017 Ohio Rising Star®, a Super Lawyers recognition given to qualified attorneys in practice for fewer than 10 years or under the age of 40. Only 2.5% of all attorneys in Ohio receive Rising Star recognition.

Wilberding Receives Prestigious Lloyd O'Hara Public Interest Law Award


Merle Wilberding, senior attorney at Coolidge Wall Co., LPA, was presented the Lloyd O'Hara Public Interest Law Award at the 2016 Access to Justice Awards Gala on November 3. The event, held at the Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, and was presented by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) and the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyer Project (GDVLP).

The annual Awards Gala recognizes individuals and organizations that have provided extraordinary assistance to disadvantaged individuals and families in the Dayton community.

Wilberding was honored for his ongoing efforts to educate at-risk children on how laws and the justice system work to create a peaceful and fair society, and by helping them know their legal rights. His first book, "Haki and the Rule of Law," was published in 2013. His more recent book, "Haki Finds Common Ground" was co-written with Susan Elliott. It is a complementary civics book that was distributed free to more than 40,000 inner city school students in Dayton and throughout the state. The book uses several historical vignettes from the Lewis & Clark expedition in the early 1800's to illustrate in a simple way the importance of using negotiation and mediation to resolve disputes.

"Merle’s enduring commitment to our community is inspiring," said J. Stephen Herbert, President and CEO, Coolidge Wall. "This honor is well-deserved and all of us at the firm are proud of him."

The Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Legal Aid of Western Ohio and the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project are organizations that provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals who are victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, disability and public benefits concerns and immigration issues.

MFW Award

Coolidge Wall Receives 2017 Best Law Firms First-Tier Ranking


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. has received first-tier Metropolitan ranking in nine practice areas by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise among ranked law firms.

The nine areas for which the firm received first-tier ranking are Corporate Law; Real Estate Law; Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation - Labor & Employment; Litigation - Land Use & Zoning; and Litigation - Real Estate. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Coolidge Wall had 18 lawyers listed in 2017 Best Lawyers.

Firms selected for the "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence and consistently receive impressive ratings from clients and peers. A tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Attorney McHugh to Speak at YMCA "Wills & Trusts Week"


The YMCA of Greater Dayton is hosting "Wills & Trusts Week" at eleven different Dayton area YMCA’s the week of September 19th-23rd. Coolidge Wall attorney Steve McHugh will be one of several estate planning attorneys available to answer questions regarding creating or updating a will or trust. Attendees will learn the importance of proper estate planning, why you need a will, and what happens if you do not have one. Other issues which may be addressed are estate tax, probate tax, trust, and guardianship issues.

Steve McHugh will be at the Trotwood YMCA on Monday, September 19, 2016, from 9-11 a.m. All sessions are informational only and not intended to replace legal advice.

Attendance is free of charge, and refreshments will be served. For a complete list of participating locations and times.


Merle Wilberding Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Mary's University of Minnesota


Merle F. Wilberding, a long-time attorney at Coolidge Wall and a graduate of St. Mary's University of Minnesota Class of 1966, was recently awarded the University's Distinguished Alumnus Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to his community and the nation.

In 1969, he received a JD from Notre Dame Law School, and subsequently received an MBA from the University of Dayton, an LL.M in Taxation from George Washington University, and an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. During the Vietnam War, he served as a U.S. Army JAG Captain and represented the Army in 800 appeals and argued 100 cases, including two of the biggest cases arising out of the Vietnam War - the Presidio Mutiny case and the Lt. William L. Calley "My Lai Massacre" case.

Merle joined Coolidge Wall in 1973, where he has had a distinguished legal career for the past forty years. In 2008, Merle worked with the family of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was savagely murdered by her sexual assailant, Cpl. Cesar Laurean. Merle's work on this case resulted in multiple appearances on national news programs, testifying before the U.S. Congress, and it began his advocacy for victims of sexual assault in the military.

In addition to Merle's legal achievements, he is deeply involved in numerous community organizations. In 2012 he received the Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service from the Ohio State Bar Foundation and in 2014 he was the Honoree for the Muse Machine's production of "Seussical." United States District Court Judge Walter Rice said, "Wilberding is not only a practitioner, he embodies the role of a community servant." An active community leader and volunteer and a prolific writer, Wilberding has dedicated a lifetime of service for the benefit of his fellow man.

Merle Lifetime Achievement Award

To view the St. Mary's University video on Merle's contributions, click here.

Eighteen Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017


Coolidge Wall is privileged to announce that eighteen of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.

Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Its process is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers may not pay a fee to be listed, so inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

The attorneys selected for inclusion in 2017 Best Lawyers in America are:

Michelle D. Bach for Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
R. Scott Blackburn for Trusts and Estates
Glenn L. Bower for Corporate Law
Shannon L. Costello for Litigation-Real Estate and Real Estate Law
Terence L. Fague for Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Labor and Employment
Kristin A. Finch for Real Estate Law
Marc L. Fleischauer for Employment Law-Management and Labor Law-Management
Jonas J. Gruenberg for Corporate Law and Real Estate Law
Chad D. Hansen for Tax Law
J. Stephen Herbert for Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Law
C. Mark Kingseed for Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor and Employment
David C. Korte for Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
David P. Pierce for Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Labor and Employment
Richard A. Schwartz for Corporate Law
William H. Seall for Real Estate Law
Richard A. Talda for Commercial Litigation
Sam Warwar for Corporate Law, Tax Law, and Litigation and Controversy-Tax
Merle F. Wilberding for Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, and Litigation-Real Estate

Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is a full-service business law firm with a proud tradition of excellence and achievement by its legal professionals.

David Pierce Elected President of Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton


On August 17, 2016, Coolidge attorney David P. Pierce was elected and installed as President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, an organization established to further the welfare of the Jewish community. The Federation coordinates social, welfare and cultural programs; fosters cooperation among Jewish organizations; facilitates fund-raising activities on the local and national level; and stimulates participation and interest in community-wide activities.

David also serves as Second Vice-President of the Dayton Bar Association, an association of lawyers dedicated to furthering the administration of justice; enhancing the public’s respect for the law and promoting excellence and collegiality in the legal profession. The Dayton Bar Association provides services to 1600 members of the legal community and provides information and a host of public services to benefit the community at large.

President JFGD

Coolidge Wall Sponsors Brian Hafer Memorial Golf Outing


On August 1, 2016, Coolidge Wall sponsored the Brian Hafer Memorial Golf Outing at the Dayton Country Club. The Brian Hafer Foundation promotes drug and alcohol abuse awareness. The Coolidge Wall Team, comprised of lawyers Chris Conard and David Pierce, CFO Matt Rauch, and client Scott Campbell, won first place in the Ben Hogan flight at the golf outing.

Brian Golf Outing

Left to right: Matt Rauch, David Pierce, Scott Campbell, Chris Conard
Fleischauer Was Presenter at Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce HR Forum


Labor and Employment Department Chair Marc Fleischauer presented to the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Forum on July 14, 2016, as part of its seminar, "Top Concerns for Area Employers." The seminar was co-hosted by the Miami Valley Human Resource Association.

Marc and co-panelist Suzanne M. Perry, Chief Human Resources Officer for Staffmark, addressed recent changes to regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including the implications for employers of the upcoming increased salary requirement for exempt positions.

Other presenters included Karen W. Borgert, Vice President Strategic Human Resources at CareSource, speaking on ways to engage and retain millennial employees; and keynote speaker Karen Pierce, Managing Director of Policy Development & Training for Working Partners, concerning the impact of Ohio’s new medical marijuana law.

Coolidge Wall was proud to sponsor and participate in this successful event.

Merle Wilberding Travels to Sarajevo as part of City of Dayton Delegation to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Dayton Peace Accords


Merle Wilberding, a senior member of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A., was part of the City of Dayton Delegation that visited Sarajevo to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. The delegation was led by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, City Commissioner Matt Joseph, Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice, and Sister Cities Chair Hunt Brown. The Dayton City Commission had appointed Wilberding to the Sister Cities Committee a number of years ago.

The Dayton Delegation was invited to a special reception at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, and later toured the Tunnel of Hope that served as a life-line during the Siege of Sarajevo during the heat of the war in Bosnia. Later, the Dayton Delegation toured the National Museum of Bosnia and saw the original of the Sarajevo Haggadah, a magnificent illuminated manuscript created more than 600 years ago in Spain. Later, they joined a group of Bosnian friends for a picnic in the hills above Sarajevo, the same hills in which these friends had been entrenched during the war as freedom fighters as the last buffer between their city and the machine guns of the Serbian forces above them.

Pictured are Merle Wilberding with Mayor Nan Whaley and City Commissioner Matt Joseph

Sarajevo Article

Merle Wilberding - - Haki Finds Common Ground


Merle Wilberding, a senior member of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A., co-authored with Susan Elliott, the Director of the Law Library at the University of Dayton School of Law, a book entitled Haki Finds Common Ground. The Ohio State Bar Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to Children’s Historical Publishing Company to pay for the printing and distribution of Haki Finds Common Ground. This book is part of the Haki series, with the first book being entitled, Haki and the Rule of Law. This series is aimed at supplementing the core courses at the inner city public schools throughout the major cities of Ohio by highlighting the structure that the rule of law brings to all phases of the lives of children and, in the current book, highlighting the ways in which people of all ages can use negotiation and mediation to resolve conflicts. Haki Finds Common Ground is aimed at school children in the age range of 12 to 15, but it can be useful to children of all ages.

As a part of introducing this book to the public, Merle Wilberding and Susan Elliott were recently interviewed by Emiko Moore on The City Show, a community access TV program based in Lebanon, Ohio. Their full interview can be accessed with the following link:


Haki Finds Common Ground

Fleischauer To Be Panel Member at DACC HR Forum


Don't forget to join us at the Human Resources Forum presented by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, July 14. Coolidge Wall attorney Marc Fleischauer will be part of a panel discussion covering changes to labor and employment law and the new legislation for medical marijuana use in the workplace. For more information and to register for the event click here.

Running for a Cause at the 10th Annual 5 for the Kids 5K!


On Friday, May 27, the Coolidge Wall race team captained by David Pierce participated in the 10th Annual 5 for the Kids 5K run to support CARE House. The team consisted of three runners and their combined time for the 3.1 mile course was a fast 1:07:11. In addition, all three runners finished in the top 20 overall.

All of the proceeds from this event benefit CARE House. The mission of CARE House is to coordinate agency services for child abuse cases and provide educational services aimed at child abuse prevention. Since opening in 1999, the organization has helped over 8,600 child abuse victims. Over the past ten years, the 5 for the Kids event has raised over $92,000 for CARE House. Thank you team Coolidge for running to support a great cause!

5K Race

Steve McHugh Honored by Choices in Community Living


For over a decade, attorney Steve McHugh served on the Board of Directors of Choices in Community Living, a nonprofit agency that provides lifelong person-centered, community-based residential options and other services for people with developmental disabilities. Steve was honored at a special retirement ceremony and received a plaque from Executive Director Tom Weaver for his dedicated service.


Sam Warwar Pens Dayton Bar Briefs Article on Charitable Giving

Coolidge Wall Attorneys Help Cities, Counties Facing Debt Collection Issues


What do Ohio’s cities and counties do when their residents can’t or won’t pay for local government services? Three Coolidge Wall attorneys discussed ways that local governments can improve debt collection efforts at the Ohio City/County Management Association (OCMA) 2016 Winter Conference in Columbus on February 25th.

"Cost effective debt collection is a challenge for any local government," said Christopher Conard, Chair of Coolidge Wall’s Municipal Law Department. "Municipalities all across Ohio are looking for ways to collect overdue payments, ranging from income taxes and traffic fines to water and sewer charges and permit fees." Conard and fellow Coolidge Wall attorneys Patricia Friesinger and Stephen McHugh were presenters at the OCMA debt collection session.

The attorneys provided practical guidance about methods that local governments may use to collect different types of debt. Attendees also learned how bankruptcy filings can present additional challenges to managers and finance directors tasked with collecting delinquent payments. Friesinger explained the bankruptcy process and provided a decision tree for understanding how priority debts are treated in bankruptcy.

In addition to municipal law, Conard practices litigation and administrative law. Friesinger focuses on creditor/debtor rights in her practice, helping local government and business clients find legal solutions to financial challenges. McHugh serves local governments in a variety of areas, such as real estate, zoning, municipal litigation, and state and federal employment law and compliance.

Michelle Bach to Present at 2016 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo


Michelle D. Bach will be a presenter at the upcoming 2016 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, which is being held from March 9-11, 2016. This BWC-sponsored event is the largest regional safety and health conference in the United States. OSC16 offers more than 200 educational sessions, 225 exhibitors and FREE continuing education credits.

Michelle will be presenting "When Are Workers' Compensation Claims Compensable? A Guide for Employers" on March 10 at 1:15 p.m. and "My Injured Worker Can't Work: Now What?" on March 10 at 3:45 p.m.

Register for the event at this link: Ohio Safety Congress & Expo

Attorneys Work for Oakwood Library Improvements


Lu Ann Stanley and Josh Lounsbury, both attorneys at Coolidge Wall, are working with other community volunteers on the current campaign to improve and expand the Wright Memorial Public Library in Oakwood.

Lu Ann serves as president of the library’s board of trustees and Josh serves as vice president. As board members and officers, they are actively involved in the efforts to pass a capital bond levy in the March election. Funds from the levy would be used to correct moisture and humidity problems, add 4,000 square feet of space to the building, and perform a complete technology upgrade at the library, which was originally built in 1938.

Lu Ann, Josh, and other Coolidge Wall attorneys provide hundreds of hours of service each year in community leadership positions.

Coolidge Wall Helps Ease Hunger in Dayton


Coolidge Wall and its employees are helping to ease hunger in Dayton by donating the equivalent of 800 jars of peanut butter to the local Bar Hunger campaign. That’s 12,682 ounces or 792.6 pounds of peanut butter, collected in just 13 days.

The Dayton Bar Association (DBA), in conjunction with other local charities, is sponsoring the Bar Hunger: Peanut Butter and Justice Challenge to address hunger in the community. A 2013 Food Research and Action Center report ranks the City of Dayton as the ninth hungriest city in America.

Retired Magistrate Bonnie Beaman Rice, a volunteer director/coordinator of the DBA’s peanut butter drive, visited Coolidge Wall offices on Feb. 5 to say "thank you" and officially accept the donation.

Attorneys David Pierce, Pat Friesinger, William "Bud" Seall, and Jennifer Roberts organized the peanut butter collection at Coolidge Wall.


Pat Bud David Jennifer

Coolidge Wall Attorneys Present at OTA Winter Conference


Coolidge attorneys Chris Conard and Amy Blankenship were presenters at the 2016 Annual Winter Conference of the Ohio Township Association (OTA) in Columbus. They discussed "The Top 10 Things a Board/Commission Should Never Do." Chris and Amy provided tips and suggestions to help township officials avoid common pitfalls. The tips included how to build a good record of township meetings and how to meet the requirements of Ohio’s open meeting law.

Chris serves as Chair of the firm's Municipal Law Department. He and Amy provide general counsel to local governments on a variety of topics, such as employment matters, annexation, land use and zoning.

The Ohio Township Association is a statewide organization dedicated to promoting and preserving township government. Townships encompass unincorporated areas of the state, serving approximately 35 percent of Ohio’s population.

David Pierce to Present at DBA Seminar


Coolidge attorney David P. Pierce and Duncan & LeFevre attorney Steven Justice will be presenters at a session on injunctive relief at the Dayton Bar Association Federal Practice Update on December 8. Topics for the seminar include applicable Sixth Circuit standard(s) for TRO and preliminary injunction proceedings, and steps in the process -- from filing complaint/motion to ex parte/noticed hearing to posting a bond.

Coolidge Wall Attorneys Receive Super Lawyers Recognition


Coolidge Wall is pleased to announce that Michelle Bach, Christopher Conard, David Korte, Stephen McHugh, David Pierce and Sam Warwar have been selected as 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers®. Super Lawyers is a rating service which identifies lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Their patented selection process includes peer nominations, evaluations, and independent research.

Super Lawyers also has a process for recognizing younger attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their fields. Coolidge attorneys Amy Blankenship and Joshua Lounsbury have been named 2016 Ohio Rising Stars® in the fields of General Litigation and Workers’ Compensation, respectively.

We proudly congratulate our Super Lawyers and Rising Stars on their professional achievements and personal commitment to excellence.

Wilberding Speaks to Lincoln Society about Lewis Gunckel


On Sunday, November 1, 2015, Merle Wilberding was at Carillon Park where he gave a presentation to The Lincoln Society of Dayton entitled "Lewis Gunckel -- Dayton’s Treasure & Lincoln’s Friend." The presentation recounted the many times Lewis Gunckel connected directly with Abraham Lincoln, beginning in 1856 when Gunckel was a delegate at the first Republican convention in Philadelphia when Lincoln was nominated for Vice-President, continuing in 1859 when Gunckel chaired the welcoming committee and met with Lincoln in his room at the Phillips Hotel before giving his famous speech at the Dayton courthouse, and finally in 1863 when Gunckel traveled to Pennsylvania to hear Abraham Lincoln deliver his Gettysburg Address.

Lewis Gunckel and Hiram Strong founded the law firm Gunckel & Strong on March 8, 1853, a law firm that continues more than 160 years later as Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. Lewis Gunckel is also honored as the father of the Dayton Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers from the Civil War, a facility that continues today as the Dayton VA Medical Center.

We are proud to be part of the Lewis Gunckel legacy and proud to continue serving the Dayton community.

Lincoln Society-Wilberding

The Oakwood Schools Foundation Names New Board Member


Chris Conard is the newest elected member to the Oakwood Schools Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Chris and his wife Kara have lived in Oakwood for 14 years and have three children in the Oakwood school system.

"Chris is very committed to our community and to our schools, and we look forward to his active participation on our Board of Trustees and in The Foundation’s ongoing efforts to enhance excellence in education for Oakwood students," said Phil Schnell, Board Chair.

Chris attended Harman Elementary and graduated from Oakwood High School in 1976. He is a University of Dayton and UD School of Law graduate and a former adjunct professor at both schools. Chris joined the law firm of Coolidge Wall in 2000 where he is chair of the Municipal Law Group. Before joining Coolidge Wall, Chris worked as an assistant Montgomery County Public Defender and appointed the office’s Deputy Director. Chris is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and is a member of the Patterson Park Youth Baseball Board of Trustees.

Chris joins current Board of Trustees members: Doug Almoney, Jennifer Almoney, Patrick Armstrong, Lucy Baker, Irv Bieser, Julie Cannon, Joel Frydman, Bev Johnsen, Markus Kemper, Mike Miller, Darcy Plunkett, Dr. Kyle Ramey, Joann Ringer and Phil Schnell.

Wilberding Pens Article About Closing of Local Eatery


Merle Wilberding, Coolidge Wall attorney and frequent contributor to the Dayton Daily News, penned an article that appeared in the October 12, 2015 online edition of the newspaper. The article lamented the closing of yet another popular local restaurant.


Leesman and Kress Riding in Style


Michael Leesman, Chairman of the Board for Dayton History (and Coolidge Wall shareholder), and Brady Kress, CEO for Dayton History, traveled to their lunch meeting in Brady's 1924 Ford Model T to discuss the success of the German Picnic held at Carillon Park the previous weekend.

Leesman and Kress

Gentry Attends Western & Southern Tennis Tournament


Dan Gentry attended the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in Mason, Ohio, and was chosen to assist with the coin flip and sit courtside for the evening match on the grandstand court. Pictured here from left to right are: Raquel Kops-Jones, Anastasia Rodionova, Byron Wade, Dan Gentry, Chia-Jung Chuang, and Su-Wei Hsieh.


Coolidge Attorneys Receive Best Lawyers in America Recognition


Coolidge Wall congratulates attorneys Shannon L. Costello, Terence L. Fague, Kristin A. Finch, Chad D. Hansen, C. Mark Kingseed, David C. Korte, David P. Pierce, Richard A. Schwartz, William H. Seall, Richard A. Talda and Merle F. Wilberding for being recognized in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America® publication.

Coolidge Family and Friends Enjoy a Night of Baseball


Coolidge Wall staff and family members enjoyed a beautiful summer evening of fun at the Dayton Dragons-West Michigan Whitecaps game on Wednesday, July 22. Sadly, the Dragons lost by one run in the 10-inning battle. Despite the loss, one staff member commented, "Great night, great company, great weather, great game." Can’t beat that!

Dragons Game1 Dragons Game2

Talda Serves as General Counsel for Arts Alliance


Rick Talda begins his third year serving as General Counsel for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of the Dayton Ballet, Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Opera. Previously Rick acted as General Counsel for the Dayton Ballet. He also serves on the Board of Trustees.

Coolidge Wall has a history of service to Dayton Performing Arts organizations. Coolidge lawyers, Sam Warwar, Joe Gruenberg, David Pierce and Merle Wilberding have also volunteered their time and professional talents to various Miami Valley performing and visual arts organizations.

Kingseed Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony


C. Mark Kingseed, labor attorney with Coolidge Wall and Mayor of the City of Centerville, attended the July 16, 2015 groundbreaking for the new Chick-Fil-A store at the Cornerstone Site in Centerville off Wilmington Pike. The local management team from Chick-Fil-A and a leadership group from the South Metro Chamber of Commerce (of which Coolidge Wall is a member) were present in force to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new business.

Kingseed at Groundbreaking

Coolidge Firm is Major Sponsor for Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at Dayton VA Medical Center


On June 17, 2015, the Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at the Dayton VA Medical Center was formally dedicated. The Coolidge Wall law firm was the major sponsor for this project. Lewis B. Gunckel and his partner Hiram Strong had founded the Coolidge firm in 1853 as Gunckel & Strong, and the firm has continued throughout the years in direct succession to its current name.

At the dedication ceremony Merle Wilberding made a presentation on the legacy of Lewis B. Gunckel, for Gunckel was a man of great stature in the Dayton community from 1851 until his death in 1903. Besides practicing law from 1853 to 1903, Gunckel served in the Ohio Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

His passionate speech in the Ohio Senate urging Ohio to build a home for disabled Civil War soldiers won him national acclaim. He was appointed to serve on the board of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, along with 12 other members, including the President of the United States, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Secretary of War, and six generals. With that as a platform, he was able to have Dayton selected as one of three sites for the national home for disabled soldiers, and he led the campaign for the community to purchase the site a few miles west of Dayton.

Speakers at the Dedication besides Merle Wilberding included Judge Walter H. Rice, Mayor Nan Whaley, Glenn Costie the CEO of the Dayton VA Medical Center, and Bob Neff, Master Gardener.

Grotto Plaque CW Members attend Dedication
Coolidge Wall representatives at the Dedication of the Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at the Dayton VA Medical Center included, (left to right) Joe Gruenberg, Mike Leesman, Merle Wilberding, Steve Herbert, Rick Schwartz, Bud Seall, Matt Rauch, Rick Talda, and Chris Conard
Dan Gentry Selected to Join OSBF 2015 Fellows Class


Dan Gentry was recently selected to join the 2015 Fellows Class of the Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF). OSBF Fellows are exceptional lawyers who have demonstrated their dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession and the welfare of their community. Each year, outstanding individuals from around Ohio are invited to become a member of this select group.

All Fellows pledge financial support that fuels Foundation grants to statewide causes aligned with the OSBF mission. Fellows also are offered service opportunities to volunteer with Ohio organizations that promote the pursuit of justice and the public understanding of the rule of law. Recent service includes organizing a "Suit for Success" clothing drive to help foster youth as they enter the job market, speaking with middle school youth about the legal ramifications of sexting and cyber bullying, helping seniors understand the importance of advance directives, visiting Law & Leadership students, and serving as judges with Ohio Center for Law Related Education to help prepare the "We the People" state champions for their national competition.

Gentry Family Visits Iceland


Coolidge Wall shareholder Dan Gentry and his family enjoyed spring break - in Iceland, the land of fire and ice. "We have an Iceland fanatic in the family," said Dan, "but everyone enjoyed Iceland."

Gentrys in Iceland

Wilberding Cited in DDN Article


Coolidge attorney Merle Wilberding recently offered a statement which appeared in the May 18, 2015 edition of the Dayton Daily News article about sexual assault cases at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. View the article here: DDN Sexual Assault Article 05-18-2015.pdf

Gentry Receives Award


Dan Gentry was recognized at a donor recognition event for ABLE/LAWO for co-chairing the 2014 Access to Justice Awards Gala along with his wife Caroline, who is also an attorney.

ABLE stands for "Advocates for Basic Legal Equality" and LAWO stands for Legal Aid of Western Ohio. They are nonprofit organizations that provide legal services to indigent citizens located in Western Ohio.

Firm receives award from Dayton Business Journal


The Dayton Business Journal recently announced that Coolidge Wall was named a 2015 Best Places To Work honoree. On April 23, 2015, representatives of the firm attended the annual Best Places to Work party at the Schuster Center in Dayton to receive its award. We're proud to be coollaw.

2015 Best Places to Work award.jpg

Costello and Gruenberg recognized by Dayton Business Journal



Shannon Costello and Joe Gruenberg were recently recognized as Dayton Region Real Estate Leaders by the Dayton Business Journal in their recent special edition, "Who's Who in Real Estate 2015." Shannon was also named "Real Estate Lawyer of the Year" (Dayton) by Best Lawyers in America. Joe has been a prominent figure in Miami Valley real estate transactions over the nearly 50 years of his law practice.

Singing with Bach Society of Dayton


Barb Piatt (Legal Secretary/Alto) and Marc Fleischauer (Labor Department Chair/Bass) sang with the Bach Society of Dayton's presentation "From Leipzig to Vienna: Bach Meets Schubert" in October 2014. The Bach Society is the region's leading presenter of classical works for chorus and chamber orchestra.


Christopher Conard Serves as President of CBC/CTS Board of Directors


News Release

September 12, 2014



DAYTON, Ohio - Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services (CBC/CTS) is making history again as it celebrates its 50th anniversary Sept. 14, 2014 as the Dayton region's first central blood bank. CBC/CTS's "50 Years of Saving Lives" legacy continues with new community leadership from Dayton attorney Christopher Conard, the first non-physician in the organization's history to serve as president of the CBC/CTS Board of Directors.

Conard is an attorney with Coolidge Wall and has been a dedicated member of the CBC/CTS board and executive committee for 12 years. "Donating blood and tissue, in most cases to complete strangers, is truly giving the gift of life," he said. "Donation is a selfless act of kindness where nothing is expected in return. By serving on the board of CBC/CTS, I have a unique and wonderful opportunity to help the organization continue its mission of saving and enhancing lives."

Conard chairs Coolidge Wall's Municipal Law Department and serves on the firm's executive committee. He is the Village Solicitor for Yellow Springs and General Counsel to the Downtown Dayton Partnership's Special Improvement District. He is a University of Dayton and U.D. School of Law graduate and a former adjunct professor. Before joining Coolidge Wall he served as assistant Montgomery County defender and Deputy Director of the Montgomery County Public Defender's Office.

Conard is joined on the six-member CBC/CTS executive committee by newly-elected vice president Kathryn Tchorz, MD, a surgeon at the VA Medical Center. Dr. Tchorz has been a physician representative on the board for five years. Continuing as secretary is Matthew Graybill, COO of Dayton Children's Medical Center and a 19-year board member.

Mark Shaw, VP & CRO at Premier Managed Care & Revenue Cycle and a 26-year board member, continues as treasurer. Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger, who served two years on the physician representative committee, joins the executive committee as an at-large member. Also joining the executive committee as a new at-large member is David E. Westcott, treasurer at AK Steel Corporation, who has served on the board for seven years as a community representative.

Community Blood Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary Sept. 14, 2014

A new era in patient care began Sept. 14, 1964 when Community Blood Center (CBC) opened the doors of the region's first central blood bank in the basement of the Fidelity Medical Building in downtown Dayton. Mrs. Barbara Bartley of Dayton was the first of six donors that day. CBC now supplies blood to 25 partner hospitals in its 15-country region with the standard goal of registering at least 300 donors per day.

The Dayton Regional Tissue Bank was introduced in 1986 and later became Community Tissue Services. The Center for Tissue, Innovation and Research opened in Kettering in 2011, and is now an industry leader in the processing and distribution of bone and skin grafts for transplantation worldwide.

CBC/CTS has 572 employees with more than half the staff working in the Dayton region and the remainder in tissue branches across the country. On Sept. 14, 2014 CBC/CTS will celebrate its golden anniversary with pride, honoring all who have contributed to a now 50-year legacy of saving lives.

Reprinted with permission

DVAC to loan artwork to Coolidge


Coolidge Wall has partnered with Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) to outfit its new office space with artwork borrowed from the DVAC collections. DVAC is one of the region's leading contemporary gallery spaces and artists' organizations, featuring primarily local artists and their works. Coolidge is establishing its own private collection as well as participating in the DVAC loan program, allowing the display of a variety of pieces in its offices throughout the year.

New Carillon Brewing Company opened in Dayton


Celebrating the opening of the Carillon Brewing Company at Carillon Park on August 21, 2014 at Carillon Park are (left to right) Brady Kress (President & CEO of Dayton History), Michael Leesman (Chairman of the Dayton History Board of Trustees and Shareholder at Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A.), and Vail Miller, Jr. (CEO of Heidelberg Distributing, the lead sponsor for Carillon Brewing Company). The dedication of the brewery was attended by over 500 Dayton History members.

Carillon Brewing

Brent Gambill: Community Volunteer


Brent Gambill volunteers his time and services to the Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment in Cincinnati. For more than 15 years, Brent has served CCAT either as a board member or as a member of its personnel committee. In 2013 Brent was recognized as CCAT's Volunteer of the Year for his faithful and diligent service.

Also, for the past 10 years Brent Gambill has served as board secretary and general counsel to Ballet Theatre Midwest, a small nonprofit in Cincinnati. Ballet Theatre Midwest not only provides classical dance instruction to children and adults, it presents full-length ballet performances with roles for all, and has an active community outreach program. The organization presents one act ballets in schools and offers "Dance for Your Life" programs to introduce school aged children to the wonder of dance.

On election days, you will find Brent Gambill working in the polls as an election judge.

Terry Fague serves on Diabetes Dayton Board


Terry Fague is serving a second term as President of the Board of Trustees of Diabetes Dayton. This agency is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that for over 50 years has been helping persons in the Greater Dayton Area affected by diabetes. Diabetes Dayton provides medical supplies for the uninsured, free AADE-accredited diabetes management classes, and summer camps for children with diabetes. In July, over 100 children attended Camp Ko-Man-She, a camp for children with type 1 diabetes. Another 17 children attended Camp Tiponi, a camp for children with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. In addition to the outdoor fun, the type 1 campers learned how to be independent with managing their diabetes, and the Tiponi campers collectively lost 107 pounds.

Michael Leesman named Chairman of Board of Dayton History


Michael G. Leesman recently was named Chairman of the Board for Dayton History, a non-profit organization which owns and operates several facilities around the Dayton area such as Carillon Historical Park, Hawthorn Hill, the Old Courthouse, Patterson Homestead, and Memorial Hall. The newest addition to Dayton History will be the Carillon Brewing Co., which is scheduled to open at Carillon Park on August 21, 2014.


Coolidge Wall congratulates 2014 Special Olympics medalist


Coolidge Wall congratulates Philip Donnell, son of Coolidge Wall secretary Sharon Donnell, who participated in the U.S. 2014 Special Olympic Nationals in New Jersey this summer. Philip was the only Montgomery County athlete to be selected for Team Ohio, which consisted of 95 athletes from 88 Ohio counties. There were 1,300 athletes from all over the country who participated in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports.

Philip played for Team Ohio in men's softball. Team Ohio won the Gold Medal, beating out Team New Jersey in the finals. Philip was honored by the City of Dayton Commissioners, the Montgomery Board of Developmental Disabilities Services, and was featured on the Dayton Dragon's Facebook page.

Phillip Donnell

Picture taken by Publicity Department of Montgomery County DDS
Labor Attorneys present annual "Sizzling Summer Seminar"


Allison Michael and Mark Kingseed presented to the annual Edison State "Sizzling Summer Seminar" in Piqua on August 8. This is the 6th year Mark and Allison presented on employment law topics at the event. The topics included an update on recent case law covering the burden of proof, FMLA coverage, the definition of supervisor, sexual orientation legal trends and the new pregnancy discrimination guidelines adopted by the EEOC. The seminar also addressed the recent aggressive action by the National Labor Relation Board to expand its reach into non union environments.

The Latest Issue of Dayton Magazine features an Interview with Merle Wilberding


In its March 2014 issue Dayton Magazine featured an interview with Merle Wilberding, long-time member of Coolidge Wall Co, LPA, and his recent book, Haki and the Rule of Law. Haki is a children's activity book aimed primarily at children in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades, but it has been used successfully in all K-12 years.

Thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation, Children's Historical Publishing Company ("CHP") was able to publish this second edition of Haki and, more importantly, CHP has been able to distribute Haki to virtually all of the public schools in cities throughout Ohio, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Akron, Canton, Hamilton and a host of other cities.

The book is aligned with the Core Curriculum in Ohio and, better yet, the book is designed to teach children that the "rule of law" applies to all phases of their lives, whether they are at school, at church, at home, the playground, or anywhere else. There are features in the book that show how police officers and the court system play an important role in the "rule of law" and how that may help students develop their goals and actions during their own lives.

Merle Wilberding has written a large number of books, articles, and commentary on topics that range from technical law review articles, to literary writing in the Antioch Review, and to commentary on life in a variety of newspapers, magazine and websites.

View article: Laying Down the Law - Dayton Magazine April-May 2014

Merle Wilberding Honored in "Seussical" by The Muse Machine


In recognition of his more than twenty years of service, contribution, and leadership, Merle Wilberding was honored by The Muse Machine by its dedication to him of its musical, Seussical. Merle served on the Board of The Muse Machine from 1990 - 1998 and since then has remained a faithful supporter of The Muse Machine and its mission to change lives, through participation in the arts and arts integration in the classroom setting.

The recognition was made on January 18, 2014, at a Benefit Dinner at the Dayton Racquet Club that was attended by more than 300 people. In accepting the dedication, Merle Wilberding praised The Muse Machine as a unique community asset that changes lives of its participants. "We all know Muse alumni who have gone on to star on Broadway, but we also know the many, many participants in the Muse program whose lives have been forever changed by their Muse Machine experience. It truly is an extraordinary experience." After the dinner, everyone moved to The Victoria for a sold out performance of Seussical. More than 140 students from 100 area schools participated in Seussical and this production was a major success.

Muse Machine Seussical MFW & Doug Poster

Costello serves on Board of local Habitat for Humanity


Attorney Shannon Costello has served on the Board of Directors for Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity, an organization working to provide decent, affordable housing to low-income families, for the past four years. As of January 1, 2014, Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity of Greene County merged into one entity known as Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton. By combining forces, the new affiliate will work to provide more home ownership opportunities for hard working families facing challenges finding affordable housing in the difficult real estate market. Shannon provided legal representation to Dayton Habitat in connection with the merger. She was recently elected to the office of Vice President of the new entity.


Board members pictured: Phil LaDue, formerly of Greene County;
Out Going President, Denise Swick; Vice President, Shannon Costello;
President, Rick Willis, and Ron Rodenroth also formerly of Greene County.
Gentry serves on board of Big Brothers Big Sisters


Dan Gentry is a member of the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley, Inc., an organization that provides professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships for at-risk youth in order to promote improved outcomes, including better attendance in school, grades, and community involvement. Despite having served for a full six-year term, Dan agreed to extend his term to work on special projects pursuant to a request from the agency's CEO. Dan also is a member of the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley, Inc. Foundation, a supporting organization responsible for managing a capital fund for BBBSGMV. Dan assists each organization with compliance and governance issues and serves as their statutory agent.

Wilberding Publishes Commentary on Maria Lauterbach Case


In the current University of Dayton Magazine (Winter 2013-2014) is an essay by Merle Wilberding entitled "Saluting Maria," a personal commentary on his work on the civil and criminal aspects of the murder of Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach and the ensuing efforts to make changes in the laws relating to sexual assault in the military.

Jonas Gruenberg Named Barrister of the Month in Dayton Bar Briefs


Coolidge attorney Jonas J. Gruenberg was showcased in the December Dayton Bar Briefs magazine, a monthly publication of the Dayton Bar Association. The article, written by Thomas J. Intili, Esq., highlights the fascinating personal story of Joe's rise to accomplished lawyer from his humble beginnings as a child in Tarnopol, Poland. The article follows the family's move to the United States, Joe's academic career, and his ultimate move to Dayton, Ohio, where he began a very successful practice of law that has spanned nearly 45 years.

View the article here (Barrister of the Month Joe Gruenberg ([email protected])).

Dan Gentry Serves on Board of Local Tennis Club


Dan Gentry expresses his love of the sport of tennis, community support, and youth development by serving on the board of trustees for the Virginia Hollinger Memorial Tennis Club of Dayton ("VHMTC"). VHMTC is an Ohio non-profit corporation founded in 1947 for the purposes of operating a private tennis club to promote youth and adult physical education by participating in the sport of tennis. The club was named in honor of an outstanding Oakwood, Ohio youth tennis player, Virginia Hollinger, who won the United States National Indoor Girls Championship in 1934 and 1938. In October, VHMTC's board of trustees honored Dan by selecting him to serve as President.

Wilberding Speaks to Cincinnati Bar Association


On December 3rd Merle Wilberding was in Cincinnati to speak at a CLE program entitled "Famous Political Trials: The Court-Martial of Lieutenant William Calley, Jr." The program was directed by Howard Sundermann, a retired judge who had spent 30 years on the bench in Cincinnati. It consisted of a film about the background of the My Lai Massacre and the court-martial trial, along with the distribution of certain handouts including a copy of the decision by the Army Court of Military Review, United States v. William L. Calley, Jr., 46 CMR 1131, 1973 CMR LEXIS 843. While he was an Army JAG Captain during the Vietnam War, Merle Wilberding had briefed and argued that case and he was able to share with the audience a number of his personal experiences about the case as well as his comments on the film.

Coolidge Employees Sing with The Bach Society of Dayton in Holiday Presentation


Coolidge Wall labor attorney Marc Fleischauer and legal secretary Barbara Piatt, both veteran choristers, will be singing with The Bach Society of Dayton at its festive annual concert called "Sweet Sounds of the Holidays" on Sunday, December 8th at the Kettering Adventist Church in Kettering, Ohio. Tickets and event details are available at www.bachsocietyofdayton.org. Featuring old and new choral works for Christmas and Hanukkah, this family-friendly event also includes a handbell ensemble and audience sing-alongs of traditional carols.


Coolidge Attorneys help with Access to Justice Awards gala


Coolidge Wall attorneys David Pierce, Dan Gentry, and Anne Thompson attended the Access to Justice Awards gala held on November 13, 2013. Local organizations Advocates for Basic Legal Equality ("ABLE") and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. ("LAWO") hosted the event, which recognized outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations to the improvement of access to legal services in Western Ohio. ABLE and LAWO are non-profit regional law firms that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity. Anne, Dan, and Dave served on the planning committee, which organized the event and facilitated outreach to sponsors. The event sold out all available seating, a first for this event.

David Pierce Speaking at National Business Institute Seminar


David P. Pierce will be one of three presenters at the National Business Institute seminar on Evidence and Expert Testimony Best Practices to be held in Dayton on November 21, 2013. He will cover the topics of "Getting Scientific and Expert Testimony Admitted into Evidence" and "Hearsay in the Courtroom."

David is a shareholder of Coolidge Wall and focuses his law practice on business litigation and employment law and litigation. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law where he teaches evidence and trial practice. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a member of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys and Defense Research Institute, and a past president of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court.

David is a frequent lecturer to professional and business organizations on a wide variety of litigation topics.

David Korte gives presentation to Celina-Mercer Chamber of Commerce


On October 16, 2013, workers' compensation chair David Korte presented to the Celina-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Safety Council on "The Missing Links Your Company Needs To Save Real Money In Workers' Compensation." His presentation concentrated on the benefits companies derive from the use of attorneys to defend them in workers' compensation matters, both before the Industrial Commission of Ohio and in the Common Pleas Courts. The theme of his talk was that workers' compensation is a legal concept that requires legal analysis and argument from the moment the injury occurs to the time the file is closed.

Firm completes acquisition and renovation of new space


Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. recently completed acquisition and renovation of approximately 20,000 square feet of additional space at its location in Downtown Dayton, Ohio. Improvements include a new reception area and lobby, board and conference rooms and professional offices. This project was recently identified in the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan Progress Report. Coolidge Wall has maintained its offices in Downtown Dayton for more than 160 years and is pleased and proud to be part of the growing momentum in business reinvestment in our community.

CW Logo on building

Marc Fleischauer elected to Board of Directors of Bach Society of Dayton


Attorney Marc Fleischauer, chair of the Labor & Employment Department, was elected to the Board of Directors for the Bach Society of Dayton. The Bach Society (http://www.bachsocietyofdayton.org/) is the Miami Valley's leading presenter of classical works for chorus and chamber orchestra, with a mission to perform and promote appreciation of choral masterworks from early music, including J.S. Bach to new music, and to nurture the next generation of choral singers. Marc sings bass and has performed with the group under the direction of John Neely since 2012.

J S Bach

Book Club fosters law firm camaraderie


If you've thought about joining a book group but feel you just don't have the time to work it into your busy schedule, you'll be inspired by the Coollaw Book Club.

Staffers at Coolidge Wall meet several times a year on their lunch hour to share a love of reading and good books. About 10 to 15 usually participate.

"I think the interplay among the secretaries, attorneys, paralegals and our IT manager has been good for developing an over-all team approach to our work as a firm," says Merle Wilberding, who started the group. Lunchtime conversations have given members a chance to appreciate one another's talents and interests in ways that wouldn't have been achieved otherwise.

Barbara Piatt, a secretary at the firm, says she loves seeing another side to the "lawyer-types."

"Josh (Lounsbury) astounds me with his avid reading, knowing how busy he must be with the triplets and he still finds time to read everything that comes along and remembers vivid details about every one of them," she says. " I love to see David (Pierce) actually sitting down and not being tied to his iPhone for a whole hour! He is another person from the one I see passing in the hallway!"

Wilberding says the group is in its ninth year and is still going strong.

The Dayton Daily News recently featured the Coolidge Wall Book Club in its Sunday edition.

Firm recognized for support of Cultural Arts community


Coolidge Wall was recognized by Culture Works for its continuing support of the Dayton Cultural Arts community. A special award was given to the Firm for increasing its financial support of Culture Works this past year.

Culture Works is a nonprofit regional arts agency that provides a unified voice for all the cultural organizations and activities in the Dayton region and promotes the good news about the amazing cultural vibrancy of our region to a national audience. Pictured below is Coolidge Attorney Chip Herin who received the Firm's award. Chip will be our workplace giving coordinator for the 2014 Culture Works campaign.

Herin receiving Culture Works award

Coolidge Wall Sponsors 2013 Rubber Duck Regatta


Coolidge Wall was pleased to again sponsor United Rehabilitation Services' 2013 Rubber Duck Regatta. This annual event supports URS' mission to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities or other special needs. URS was originally founded in 1956 as the Dayton Chapter of United Cerebral Palsy and is now providing services everyday to more than 400 children and adults with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism, Alzheimer's, Pervasive Developmental Disorders and many other disabilities. Supporters of URS adopt rubber ducks which race on the Great Miami River at Downtown Dayton's waterside park RIVERSCAPE. This year 17,000 ducks were entered. Assisting in the retrieval of the ducks were members of Boy Scout Troop 530, who are also supported by the Firm.

Steve Herbert Named Director of United Way of Greater Dayton


The United Way of Greater Dayton has recently named Steve Herbert to its Board of Directors. Steve has been a United Way volunteer for many years, serving on the United Way Campaign Cabinet, most recently as Co-Chair for the Leadership Giving effort. Steve says, "The United Way in Dayton is focusing its efforts on helping people make their charitable giving effective, both by directing funds to well run agencies and by new initiatives to help solve social problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. I am proud to be asked to help with that effort." Steve is currently President of Coolidge Wall and also chairs the firm's Real Estate Department. Steve's legal practice focuses on commercial real estate, commercial financing and representation of a number of closely-held businesses.

Joshua Lounsbury re-elected President of Friends of Aullwood Board


Josh Lounsbury was recently re-elected to serve as President of the Friends of Aullwood Board of Trustees. Fifty-six years ago, Marie Aull created the first nature center in the Midwest. Five years later she established the Miami Valley's first children's farm. Today, Aullwood's working farm is a model of local sustainable agriculture in the Miami Valley. With over 200 acres of nature sanctuary with six miles of trails through prairie, forests, marsh, ponds, and meadows, Aullwood provides experiences and activities that increase understanding and preservation of the planet through education, research, and recreation.

Josh is a shareholder in the Workers' Compensation Department at Coolidge Wall. Since 2004, he has represented employers in more than 1,000 hearings before the Industrial Commission of Ohio. He also handles appeals of workers' compensation issues to the Common Pleas Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Ohio.


Rick Talda Selected as Candidate for Induction into the Order of the Arrow (BSA)


Rick Talda was recently selected by Boy Scout Troop 530, Centerville, Ohio as its candidate for induction into the Order of the Arrow (O/A). O/A is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. The society was created by E. Urner Goodman, with the assistance of Carroll A. Edson, in 1915 as a means of reinforcing the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. O/A's stated purposes are to:

  1. Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition;
  2. Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship;
  3. Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the ideals and activities of Scouting and our nation; and
  4. Solidify in himself and others the Scout habit of helpfulness, a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others."

A former Scout himself, Rick has served in a variety of leadership positions for Troop 530. He recently acted as Trek Leader for a group of Scouts and adults on a 9-day backpacking trip to Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming.

Yellowstone NP 033

Wilberding has Op Ed in Dayton Daily News


The Dayton Daily News published an Op Ed by Merle Wilberding about how the Law & Leadership Institute can enable underserved students to have dreams and goals about law & leadership. Wilberding-DDN-Op-Ed-Column-09-12-20131

Merle Wilberding to be Honored by The Muse Machine


In a surprise release to a Victory Theater SRO crowd attending the summer concert on August 8, 2013, the Muse Machine honored Merle Wilberding by announcing that it will be dedicating its upcoming annual musical, "Seussical the Musical," to him in recognition of his 25 years of service as a board member, emeritus board member, donor and contributor of legal services through Coolidge Wall Co., LPA.

The honor will be awarded at the benefit dinner prior to the performance of "Seussical the Musical," on Saturday evening, January 18, 2014.

The summer concert by the Muse Machine was "All You Need is Love," a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States.

The Muse Machine is a nationally-acclaimed music and theater program for elementary and high school children in more than 100 schools in the Miami Valley. The Muse Machine program started more than 30 years ago and has become a well-recognized gateway to music and theater programs in college and beyond. Many of its alumni have gone on to perform on Broadway.

Melisa Wolfe – Helping feed the homeless


Melisa Wolfe, one of our Workers' Compensation paralegals, regularly gives back to the community by helping feed the homeless. Twice each month, she and her family provide 120 sandwiches to the St. Vincent de Paul Hotel, a local organization that helps the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, food, clothing, household items, and guidance to leading a self-sufficient life. Melisa has been providing meals to St. Vincent Hotel for over two years.

Attorney Shannon Costello serves on the Executive Board of Habitat for Humanity Dayton


Attorney Shannon Costello serves on the Executive Board of Habitat for Humanity Dayton and serves as its General Counsel. Shannon most recently provided her pro bono services in connection with Habitat's purchase of their new headquarters building in downtown Dayton. Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. It brings people together to build homes using volunteer labor.