Jim Meaney, partner at Zaino & Humphrey, on his career, the biggest change he's encountered

Current: Partner, Zaino & Humphrey, LPA, six years

Education: University of Dayton (Psychology, 1974), University of Dayton School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1977)

Professional affiliations/memberships:

Steering Committee Member, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Division and Chair of the Forum's Solo and Small Firm Committee; Columbus Bar Association Common Pleas Court Committee and Labor and Employment Committee; Ohio State Bar Association Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections

Practice areas/specialization:

Representation of existing and start-up franchise systems, multi-unit franchise developers, and franchise purchasers; general business law, franchise and commercial litigation, shareholder/partnership disputes and litigation, and counseling/litigation associated with employment law matters

Significant awards:

Who's Who Legal for Franchising, 2012, 2013 and 2014; Franklin University Adjunct Professor Scholarship, Teaching, Advancement & Results Award Recipient, 2010

Community involvement:

Columbus Italian Club, University of Dayton Alumni activities and networking group

Noteworthy case:

Moscato v. The Ohio State University – Trial counsel for terminated Plaintiff with cancer; violation of FMLA and Americans with Disabilities Act; judgment for liability against OSU, case settled thereafter.

Previous jobs:

Ohio Attorney General's Office (1977-1984), Court of Claims Defense, Administrative Assistant to Attorney General William J. Brown, Section Chief of Crime Victims Compensation and Section Chief of Consumer Protection; Partner, Crabbe, Brown, Jones, Potts & Schmidt (1987-1990); Partner, Thompson Hine & Flory (1990-1997); Partner, Alkon & Meaney (U.S. Virgin Islands) (2001-2004); General Counsel and Vice-President of Franchise Development at Damon's International, Inc. and Damon's Restaurants, Inc. (2004-2006)

How did you come to focus on your practice or specialization?

As Section Chief of Consumer Protection, I began enforcing the Ohio Business Opportunity Purchasers Protection Act, gained early experience with its connection to franchising and authored one of the first law review articles on the Ohio law: "Ohio's Business Opportunity Law: A Practical Guide," 11 Ohio Northern Law Review 651 (1984); Republished, Franchise Law Journal 169 (1986).

What business or legal trends are key drivers in your practice?

The continuing success of franchising in all aspects of business – restaurants, hotels, retail businesses, medical practices, pet stores, real estate brokerages, spas and hair-stylists, home services, online auctions, truck stops and automotive services, and cleaning and janitorial companies, etc.

What is the biggest change you have adapted to in your practice?

Being computer operator, typist, editor and proofreader! But I have adapted.

What are the most promising opportunities for your practice?

Unique businesses seeking to expand through franchising. I truly enjoy working with start-up franchise systems as it allows me to bring the full measure of my experience to the table. Having represented both sides of the franchise equation in a broad array of industries and business for over 30 years, has given me a real-world education in distribution, franchising and the internal workings of challenged and successful companies

If not law, what would be your dream job?

CEO of a franchise company located in the Caribbean.