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Southeast Ohio Initiative

Partnering to provide legal services in the Greater Appalachian Ohio region

Bricker & Eckler LLP is one of Ohio’s leading law firms, representing businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, health care facilities, school districts and municipalities, including many in the Greater Appalachian Ohio region. Our attorneys offer specialized experience in a variety of unique and practical service areas, to supplement the services of your local counsel.

Bricker & Eckler’s close proximity to the Greater Appalachian Ohio area has allowed the firm to develop strong relationships with many local attorneys, businesses and organizations. We often work in tandem with local practitioners to provide specialized legal services to the businesses and organizations in Greater Appalachian Ohio.

The opening of our Marietta office, in historic downtown Marietta, positions the firm to help the people of the region in a variety of ways.  We are anxious to give back to the region in which we've been privileged to work for so long.

Services

Our firm offers the following legal services to Greater Appalachian Ohio organizations:

  • Advanced / Alternative Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Bonds, Structured & Public Finance
  • Business Formations, Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Construction
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Employment / Employee Benefits
  • Energy Efficiency & Cost Management
  • Environmental
  • Estate Tax, Trust & Probate Law
  • Government Relations
  • Health Care
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate Developing & Financing
  • Shale, Oil & Gas
  • Tax Planning

As the map below indicates, Bricker & Eckler has established strong ties to the area due to our representation of a wide variety of clients throughout Greater Appalachian Ohio. Some of these clients include YSK Corp., The Wilds, Genesis Healthcare, and multiple school districts, municipalities and developmental disabilities organizations. Bricker & Eckler is closely involved with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio with the mission of enriching the region’s current and future quality of life.

Our ties to the Greater Appalachian Ohio area run deep, and we understand the important role the businesses and organizations in this area play in the success of Ohio as a whole. Our attorneys are privileged to represent many of these businesses and organizations and are committed to helping others in the region have an opportunity for success. Many of our attorneys were raised, have worked or live in the region today.

For more information, contact one of our Greater Appalachian Ohio team members listed below or call our Marietta office. Our team understands the issues facing businesses and organizations in the region.

Attorneys

Kurtis A. Tunnell Kurtis A. Tunnell, Managing Partner
McDermott

Government Relations
ktunnell@bricker.com
614.227.8837
My great, great-grandfather Andrew Laubner >> More immigrated from Germany and settled in Scioto County in the mid-1800s. He farmed land near McDermott, Ohio until his passing in the early 1900s. While my family subsequently moved further west to farm in Nebraska, I’ve been delighted to embrace my family heritage and connectivity with southeast Ohio. I’ve worked extensively with the nearly 15 percent of our lawyers who hail from the area to focus on the value the firm can provide to businesses, educational institutions, hospitals, nonprofits and other institutions and individuals in the region. As managing partner, I am privileged to visit communities in this area with many of our attorneys who call the region home.
> See full biography
Amy Straker Bartemes Amy Straker Bartemes
Steubenville

Real Estate
abartemes@bricker.com
614.227.2379
I was born and raised in Steubenville, Ohio. >> More I am the daughter of a steel worker and witnessed firsthand the challenges and triumphs southeastern Ohio has experienced. It would be a privilege to professionally participate in any efforts that would help Appalachia thrive once again.
> See full biography
C. Christopher Bennington C. Christopher Bennington
Shadyside

Health Care
cbennington@bricker.com
513.870.6572
I was born and raised in Belmont County, >> More Ohio, and graduated from Shadyside High School in 1997. After high school, I remained in the region, attending Muskingum College (now University) in Muskingum County. The values instilled in me in southeastern Ohio now form the basis of my personal and professional life. I welcome the opportunity to provide my expertise and experience to help the region thrive as part of Bricker & Eckler's efforts.
> See full biography
Jessica Branner Jessica Branner
Athens

Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy
jbranner@bricker.com
614.227.4810
I was born in Athens where I grew>> More up on a small family farm, and I attended Ohio University for my undergraduate degree. My family still lives in Athens County, where they run our land surveying business. I look forward to working with the folks in Southeast Ohio and connecting them with the excellent legal services we can provide here at Bricker & Eckler.
Alexander M. Brown Alexander M. Brown
Martins Ferry

Technology
abrown@bricker.com
614.227.2344
My father was born and raised in Martins Ferry, >> More and much of my family still lives there or close by. I have a special fondness for Belmont County, and I enjoy helping its economy as well as my friends, family and other connections who live there. I'm honored to be helping Bricker & Eckler's efforts in Appalachia and southeastern Ohio.
> See full biography
Price D. Finley Price D. Finley
Morgan County

Bond & Structured Finance
pfinley@bricker.com
614.227.8897
Both of my parents grew up in >> More Morgan County, and our family’s roots in the region trace back to the early 1800s. Having watched my family members engage in the farming and coal mining industries and try to survive economic ups and downs, including the rise in unemployment in the region, I hope to be able to help the people in the region develop sustainable businesses and maintain a satisfying quality of life for themselves and their families.
> See full biography
Flite H. Freimann Flite H. Freimann
Marietta

Litigation
ffreimann@bricker.com
740.374.2274
My practice has been exclusive to Marietta >> More and Southeast Ohio for nearly two years. I have worked extensively helping landowners remove existing leases from their property so that they can enter into new Utica and Marcellus leases. My family and I are excited to live in Washington County and become involved in the Marietta community.
> See full biography
John F. Furniss III John F. Furniss III
Lancaster

Tax, Trusts & Estates
jfurniss@bricker.com
614.227.8919
> See full biography
Natalie T. Furniss Natalie T. Furniss
Lancaster

Litigation
nfurniss@bricker.com
614.227.8918
> See full biography
Daniel Gerken Daniel Gerken
Throughout Southeast Ohio

Litigation
dgerken@bricker.com
614.227.4869
I have deeply enjoyed representing landowners>> More in oil and gas lawsuits in Southeast Ohio. Some of my most rewarding time as an attorney has been spent talking with clients over coffee about the issues most important to them. I grew up in the small town of Norwalk in northern Ohio, graduating from Norwalk High School, and have been a frequent visitor to Southeast Ohio for the past fifteen years.
> See full biography
Katherine S. Giumenti Katherine Spies Giumenti
Dover

Labor & Employment
kgiumenti@bricker.com
614.227.8825
The concerns of the Greater Appalachian Ohio >> More Region are real to me. I was born and raised in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. My paternal grandparents owned and operated a turkey farm in Dover Township for many years, and by marriage I have family that currently owns and operates a beef cattle farm in Carroll County. My father and sister have served Tuscarawas County as elected public officials. Today I have immediate and extended family that live and work in the Dover-New Philadelphia area. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide legal advice to the good people of that beautiful part of Ohio that is home to me.
> See full biography
James J. Hughes James J. Hughes
Perry

Litigation
jjhughes@bricker.com
614.227.2365
My paternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth >> More McGreevy,and paternal great-grandfather, John W. Gordon, were born and raised in Perry County, Ohio. I am pleased to be part of the Bricker & Eckler team providing legal services to the Southeast Ohio area where my ancestors are from. It is my hope that our firm can provide value that will help restore the prosperity in this region.
> See full biography
Bryn R. Hunt Bryn R. Hunt
Athens

Health Care
bhunt@bricker.com
614.227.4823
> See full biography
Kevin M. Kinross Kevin M. Kinross
Athens

Business Law
kkinross@bricker.com
614.227.8824
Having spent a significant amount of time in >> More southeast Ohio over the past year working with organizations on corporate, governance and capital raising matters, as well as working directly with the Ohio University Innovation Center on its Advisory Board and with its incubator companies, I have seen the talent and strength of the people and communities in the region. Working with these emerging companies, I have taken a vested interest in recognizing their potential and helping them achieve as much success as they can. I have enjoyed becoming an innovative partner with southeast Ohio in growth for its emerging businesses.
> See full biography
Gregory J. Lestini Gregory J. Lestini
Woodsfield

Government Relations
glestini@bricker.com
614.227.4893
Appalachia and southeastern Ohio are >> More important to me because that is where I grew up and it is where the seeds of my personal and professional values were planted. Born and raised in Monroe County, Ohio, I have seen boom and bust in the local economy and among the many hard-working individuals and business owners. I cherish the opportunity to provide my expertise and experience to help the region thrive as part of Bricker & Eckler's efforts.
> See full biography
Frank L. Merrill Frank L. Merrill
Circleville

Environmental
fmerrill@bricker.com
614.227.8871
Born and raised in Circleville, in >> More Pickaway County, along the outskirts of the Ohio/Appalachian region, I still live in Circleville and have many clients in the Southeast Ohio area. I often travel in the area, especially for outdoor recreational activities like hunting and fishing. I speak the language and understand the values and challenges of the region and the people who call it home.
> See full biography
Jeremy R. Morris Jeremy R. Morris
Ironton


jmorris@bricker.com
614.227.2370
As a native of Ironton, I had the opportunity >> More to grow up and later begin my professional career in a community that I am proud to call my hometown. My small town upbringing has helped me throughout my life by instilling hard-working values and strong principles that have positively influenced my life. Most of my family and many of my close friends still reside there. I look forward to using my abilities and expertise to aid the region as part of our firm’s efforts.
> See full biography
Susan L. Oppenheimer Susan L. Oppenheimer
Athens

Education
soppenheimer@bricker.com
614.227.8822
> See full biography
James G. Petrie James G. Petrie


Real Estate
jpetrie@bricker.com
614.227.2373
Todd O. Reutzel Todd O. Reutzel
Portsmouth

Real Estate
treutzel@bricker.com
614.227.8849
I was born and raised in the Portsmouth area, >> More and most of my immediate family continues to live and work in Scioto County. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with a number of clients on real estate matters in the southern/southeastern Ohio region and look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve clients in the area in which I grew up.
> See full biography
Justin W. Ristau Justin W. Ristau
Lancaster

Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy
jristau@bricker.com
614.227.4857
My family and I live on a small farm just outside >> More Lancaster, Ohio. Although we are relatively new to the area, I am committed to strengthening my relationships in the community. In support of that mission, Bricker & Eckler allows me to telecommute from a remote office in downtown Lancaster several days a week. I am grateful for the support that Bricker has offered with this alternative work arrangement, and value the local relationships that I have been able to develop as a result. I am excited to be part of Bricker's efforts in Appalachia and southeastern Ohio.
> See full biography
Jack Rosati, Jr. Jack Rosati, Jr.
Woodsfield

Construction
jrosati@bricker.com
614.227.2321
I grew up in Woodsfield in southeastern Ohio >> More where hard work, integrity, common sense, and friendliness are the norm. It is my goal to live and practice law in accordance with these values.
> See full biography
Douglas L. Shevelow Douglas L. Shevelow
Toronto

Construction
dshevelow@bricker.com
614.227.4803
I was raised in Toronto, in Jefferson County, >> More where I enjoyed a true "Tom Sawyer" boyhood on the banks of the Ohio River, learning the value of hard work and good friends. I have been proud to serve many local governments and private entities in eastern and southern Ohio both as an engineer and now as an attorney.
> See full biography
Christopher N. Slagle

Christopher N. Slagle
Gallipolis

Partner in Charge, Marietta

cslagle@bricker.com
614.227.8826

I was born and raised in Gallipolis, Ohio, >> More in Gallia County, where my family still owns and operates the small farm my great-grandparents settled on following their journey from Wales in the 1800s. Like all folks in Southeastern Ohio, we were raised to work hard, help our neighbors, and give back to our communities to make them better places to live and work. Nearly all of my family still lives in Gallia County. I am privileged to be from a part of Ohio so deeply rich in history, tradition and family values.
> See full biography
Karen D. Smith Karen D. Smith
Zanesville

Health Care
ksmith@bricker.com
614.227.2313
> See full biography
Ryan M. Smith Ryan M. Smith
Lowell

Shale, Oil & Gas
rsmith@bricker.com
614.227.4826
As a native of Washington County, I am >> More excited to be a part of Bricker's Southeast Ohio initiative. Both of my parents and their parents were raised and educated in the Marietta area. I grew up in Lowell, Ohio, and graduated from Fort Frye High School. After high school, I stayed in the area, studying economics at Marietta College. It has been a lifelong goal of mine to give back to Washington County and see it thrive, and I am happy to be making that happen as part of Bricker & Eckler's Southeast Ohio initiative.
> See full biography
Betsy A. Swift Betsy A. Swift
Niles

Labor & Employment
bswift@bricker.com
614.227.8850
My maternal great-grandfather, Michael Zeiser, >> More lived and worked in Cambridge for many years as a glassblower of some renown. He married Emily Cunningham of Cambridge. In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with many in southeastern Ohio, including many area hospitals, banks, grocery stores, not-for-profit agencies and technology companies. Although I grew up in northern Ohio's steel territory, I have found that southeastern Ohio residents share the same hard work and salt-of-the-earth characteristics. These traits have sustained the people through difficult economic times and are the basis from which the growth of the region will spring.
> See full biography
Matt Warnock Matt Warnock
Marietta

Shale, Oil and Gas
mwarnock@bricker.com
614.227.2388
Having spent a significant amount of time >> More in Southeast Ohio over the past several years working with landowners on oil and gas matters, I have witnessed firsthand the small town values of the individuals and business owners poised to take advantage of new opportunities in the region. The honesty, work ethic, and passion shared throughout the region makes the work we're doing in Southeast Ohio enjoyable and worthwhile. Through our firm's efforts in the region, I hope to continue working with the people in Southeast Ohio to unlock the secrets of sustained success from the shale boom in the region.
> See full biography
Sue W. Yount Sue W. Yount
Chillicothe

Education
syount@bricker.com
614.227.2336
Both sets of my grandparents were from Hocking>> More County, and I graduated from Chillicothe High School. I have spent most of my career on the DeRolph school funding lawsuit, which originated in Southeast Ohio. Much of my practice is dedicated to school districts in the Southeast Ohio area.

 

> See full biography