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    Bricker & Eckler announces seven new partners for 2020

    The law firm of Bricker & Eckler LLP recently elected seven new partners of the firm: Jill Bigler, Dylan Borchers, Laura Bowman, Melissa Carleton, Nicole Donovsky, Devin Parram and Christy Schirra. All are based in the firm’s Columbus office.

    Jill K. Bigler works with a variety of employers on a broad range of labor and employment matters arising under state and federal law. Her practice includes advising employers on day-to-day employment issues, as well as representing employers in disputes and litigation involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, FMLA violations, breach of contract, non-compete/non-solicit violations, wrongful termination, unfair labor practice charges, and alleged violations of ERISA. She also represents employers as defense counsel approved by Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) and Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O) carriers. Jill’s practice also includes drafting employment policies, handbooks, employment agreements, severance agreements and other employment-related documents.

    Dylan F. Borchers’ practice focuses on energy infrastructure development, regulatory proceedings and energy policy.  Throughout his career, Dylan has represented developers of new generation facilities totaling more than 6,000 megawatts of new electricity capacity in Ohio before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). These projects include six new natural gas combined cycle power plants and four utility scale wind farms. Dylan is also engaged in Ohio’s growing solar sector, representing multiple developers of utility scale solar projects, as well as several behind the meter projects. He also represents a variety of clients, including trade associations, municipal aggregators, electric vehicle charging companies and suppliers, in adjudicatory hearings, rulemakings and other proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Dylan was formerly commissioned as an Army officer and received his honorable discharge in 2008. Outside of his energy practice, he frequently volunteers as pro bono counsel, with an emphasis on providing legal support to veterans.

    Laura J. Bowman’s practice focuses on the preparation of construction project documents on behalf of private and public owners. She provides guidance on project delivery systems, including construction manager at risk and design-build and prepares requests for qualifications, requests for proposals and contracts with architects, engineers, contractors, design-builders, construction managers at risk, vendors, owner's representatives and consultants. Her experience also includes advising public owners, including counties, cities, townships, school districts and libraries on compliance with Ohio statutory requirements relating to construction bidding and procurement. Additionally, she has worked on a wide range of public and private health care construction projects, from renovations of existing hospital spaces to new construction of standalone medical facilities. Project values vary from less than $1 million to over $1 billion.

    Melissa M. Carleton advises higher education entities in a variety of areas, including student affairs, student conduct, disability accommodations, confidentiality, policies, contracts, governance and employment matters. She takes a practical and proactive approach to legal issues and enjoys working on collaborative matters between educational entities. Melissa has a great deal of experience guiding the institutional response to allegations of sexual abuse. She regularly works with colleges, universities, career-technical schools and K-12 school districts to comply with Title IX and, when applicable, the Clery Act, as well as implementing guidance and regulations. Melissa works as an impartial investigator and hearing officer and reviews policies, procedures and case files from a neutral perspective. She also trains administrators, staff members and other investigators using real-world examples to help navigate the trickiest situations with regard to sexual misconduct. Additionally, Melissa works with religious entities to address allegations of sexual abuse in a manner that is respectful of the parties and their privacy, is transparent and fair, and is attentive to both the religious beliefs and the safety needs of the community.

    Nicole M. Donovsky serves as general counsel to school districts with an emphasis in labor and employment issues, including contract negotiations, grievances, arbitrations, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers’ compensation, evaluation, nonrenewal and termination. She also advises school districts in the areas of career-technical education, student issues, civil rights, public records, abuse reporting, ethics, board policies and meeting requirements. Additionally, Nicole assists clients with crisis management strategies and advises clients on conducting sensitive investigations. Nicole is chief legal counsel to the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and presents extensively on issues affecting public education. In addition to proactively counseling clients, Nicole has represented school districts before a variety of courts and administrative agencies throughout Ohio, including the Ohio Supreme Court.

    Devin D. Parram provides counsel to clients on a wide range of energy and utility issues. A significant portion of his practice focuses on litigating and processing cases before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Devin advises clients on various PUCO matters, ranging from routine regulatory filings to complex rate cases. At the OPSB, he represents major electric generation facility developers and natural gas utilities. Devin has served as lead counsel in fully-contested wind farm cases before the OPSB and as regulatory counsel in dozens of cases involving the development of natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Outside of the regulatory space, Devin represents a variety of clients regarding energy-related transactions by drafting and negotiating purchase power agreements, lease agreements, energy procurement agreements, utility management/optimization agreements and asset purchase agreements related to the purchase of utility systems. He frequently works with hospitals, schools, businesses and municipalities on these various energy transactional matters.  

    Christy Rideout Schirra focuses her practice on a wide array of environmental and energy matters. She regularly counsels clients on environmental and regulatory issues involving compliance, due diligence, contract negotiation, permitting, enforcement and litigation. This includes assisting clients with matters pertaining to the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, hazardous and solid waste regulation under CERCLA and RCRA, underground storage tank regulations, and the Clean Air Act. Christy has successfully represented clients in both state and federal court and at administrative hearings, trial court and appellate court proceedings. Before joining Bricker, Christy served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, representing Ohio EPA on matters relating to water pollution control and drinking and groundwater laws and rules.