Legal Accolades

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Three local law firms have garnered notable honors for diversity, legal writing and value-based approaches for clients.

Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur was singled out as one of 12 national 2012 ACC Value Champions by the Association of Corporate Counsel, for its work with Dublin-based United Retirement Plan Consultants.

The project was led by partner Mark Koogler, but all Porter Wright attorneys and many paralegals are trained in legal project management. "It's really about doing things smarter and in different ways than they might have been done in the past so that, at the end of the day, the client gets the same or higher quality service delivered as efficiently as it can be delivered," says managing partner Buzz Trafford.

Bailey Cavalieri was honored for a different kind of service-legal writing. The firm received the national Burton Award for Best Law Firm Encyclopedic Handbook for the eighth edition of Liability of Corporate Officers and Directors.

The firm has worked on the two-volume book for more than 30 years. The award is "an affirmation that the book provides high-quality information for people who are involved in counseling directors and officers or directors and officers themselves, of what the exposures are, how to minimize and how to protect against those exposures," says co-author and D&O practice chair Dan Bailey, who accepted the award at a Library of Congress event. The book's other contributors include Kathy Bowman, Bob Eblin, Tom Geyer, Michael Goodstein, Darius Kandawalla and Stacy Lane.

Meanwhile, the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, the Columbus affiliate of the National Bar Association, gave Bricker & Eckler its Outstanding Organization award, for fostering inclusion of African-Americans. Bricker & Eckler is the first law firm to receive the honor.

"Diversity is an inclusion that's really built into the DNA of Bricker & Eckler," says Kurt Tunnell, the firm's managing partner and chair of the Columbus Bar Association's Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative.

"By any measurement, African-Americans and a number of other minorities are underrepresented in our profession, and we collectively have to work together through a variety of programs and hard work and outreach to make sure that we're reflective of our community," he says.

Former Bricker & Eckler attorney Janine Hancock Jones was honored by the JMLBA with the first President's Award. Jones, who relocated to California at the end of June, is a former JMLBA president.

Reprinted from the August 2012 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.