Dinsmore Announces 13 New Partners

January 6, 2016News Releases

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP is pleased to announce 13 attorneys have been named Partner. Michael P. Abate, April L. Besl, Brian C. Close, Tom M. Connor, Jennie K. Ferguson, Christian Gonzalez, Lindsey M. Hoelzle, Katherine P. Langan, Kristin M. Lenhart, Richard J. McNeely, Michael R. Proctor, Alicia M. Stefanski and Faith C. Whittaker were elected to partnership effective January 1, 2016.

“I am proud to welcome the newest attorneys elected to partnership. They share a passion for the practice of law and a commitment to serving our clients that we value at Dinsmore,” said George H. Vincent, Managing Partner & Chairman. “It has been a pleasure to see them advance in our profession and achieve this accomplishment.”

Michael P. Abate- Louisville, KY

A member of the Litigation Department and Healthcare Group, Michael has extensive experience litigating at all levels of the federal court system. Prior to joining Dinsmore, Michael worked in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he maintained a nation-wide trial and appellate practice handling the United States’ most sensitive litigation matters. Michael has briefed cases and presented oral arguments before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Federal, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits, as well as in multiple federal district courts. He also has briefed matters before the U.S. Supreme Court at both the certiorari and merits stages. Michael previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Baltimore, MD.

Michael has represented clients in numerous industries before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Since joining Dinsmore in 2013, Michael’s practice has concentrated primarily on appellate and healthcare litigation, with a particular focus on representing managed care organizations in connection with issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, and ERISA health plans. Michael also has represented a number of media organizations in open records, open meetings, and other disputes. Prior to law school, Michael worked for Merrill Lynch Investment Banking in both Chicago and London. He earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

April L. Besl- Cincinnati, OH

A member of the Intellectual Property Department, April focuses her practice on counseling clients with respect to non-patent intellectual property including trademarks, copyrights, social media, Internet law, advertising and trade secrets. She services a large and diverse portfolio of trademarks and copyrights both domestic and worldwide for a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to individual entrepreneurs. April has extensive experience assisting clients with emerging issues related to the impact of social media, the web, and technology on their business and marketing strategies. She frequently appears in Federal Court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to defend her clients’ non-patent intellectual property rights.

April currently serves as the President of CincyIP, an organization made up of intellectual property professionals from around the region based in Cincinnati. She is also a member of the U.S. Subcommittee of the Non-Traditional Marks Committee with the International Trademark Association. In addition, April serves as the Chair of CincyBrand, a highly successful conference for legal practitioners, marketers, and business owners on the subject of branding and licensing that first debuted in Cincinnati in April 2014. She earned her J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law.

Brian C. Close- Columbus, OH

A member of the Corporate Department, Brian provides strategic business, real estate and tax counsel services to closely-held business owners, start-up entities and growth companies. He advises clients on a number of matters, including contractual drafting and negotiations, capital and private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate development and leasing transactions. He also has extensive experience in guiding clients through tax challenges, including tax-free restructuring and reorganizations, partnership tax and income tax planning, real estate tax appeals, and federal and local tax controversies. Brian represents a number of emerging and growth-stage companies with respect to structuring and negotiating capital formation transactions, including crowdfunding and venture capital.

With a master’s degree in taxation and a bachelor’s degree in economics and management, Brian’s background and experience enable him to structure transactions that will not only protect his clients, but also generate them substantial cost savings. He earned his J.D. and LL.M. from the Capital University School of Law.

Thomas M. Connor- Cincinnati, OH

A partner in the Litigation Department, Tom is an experienced litigator, having handled trials, mediations, negotiations, and client counseling in a wide variety of matters. These include product liability and mass tort litigation, toxic tort matters, natural resources and land use disputes, intellectual property litigation, software and information-technology related litigation, contract matters, as well as defense of health care providers and hospitals. Tom has extensive experience practicing in both state and federal courts throughout much of the Midwest, including experience in complex and multi-district litigation.

For nearly a decade prior to his law career, Tom worked in a series of information technology leadership roles at one of the world’s largest and most diverse technology and manufacturing corporations. He worked with business partners to design, develop and implement a wide variety of complex technology and business process reengineering solutions to address business challenges and opportunities. As an attorney, he has leveraged this background to better understand the operations and legal needs of his business clients. Tom also has worked with technical personnel leading sophisticated large-scale e-Discovery efforts involving traditional business documents as well as non-traditional e-Discovery involving structured enterprise systems data, CRM systems, and CAD engineering drawings.

In the course of his litigation work, Tom has developed a thorough understanding of the Medicare Secondary Payer statute and has advised clients on all aspects of litigating and settling cases that may give rise to Medicare reimbursement or reporting obligations. He is a member of the firm’s Information Systems and e-Discovery committees. He earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Jennie K. Ferguson- Columbus, OH

A member of the Litigation Department, Jennie counsels public and privately held companies and individuals on civil and criminal matters, with a focus on civil litigation and white collar criminal defense. Prior to her legal career, Jennie worked closely with numerous Fortune 500 companies to integrate cutting edge communication and internet solutions into their business models. Her professional background has combined with her legal practice to make Jennie a uniquely experienced and valuable practitioner in the field of e-discovery in both civil litigation and white collar criminal defense.

In her civil practice, she represents large public corporations, closely held businesses, partnerships, joint ventures, medical practices, manufacturers, and governmental entities. This representation includes contract and commercial issues, shareholder/member disputes, embezzlement and conversion investigations and claims, commercial landlord/tenant fights, and a variety of federal, state and local tax disputes, board of revision and tax appeal work, and significant collection matters.

Jennie is a key member of Dinsmore’s white collar criminal defense team. In her criminal defense practice, she represents, counsels, and defends institutions, corporations, and individuals in a wide variety of matters. These include defending against criminal investigations at the federal, state and local levels, grand jury responses, False Claims Act defense, medical fraud, and tax fraud investigations. She earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Christian Gonzalez- Columbus, OH

A member of the Corporate Department, Christian’s practice focuses on corporate, banking and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, federal securities law compliance, public and private stock offerings, capital formation, regulatory compliance, and general corporate governance matters.

Christian has extensive and significant experience servicing financial sector clients ranging from multi-billion dollar public financial institutions to community banks and thrifts. He counsels financial institutions in strategic growth planning, holding company formation, M&A transactions and other critical situations and has a broad range of experience in complex transactional, securities, regulatory, governance and compliance matters impacting this highly regulated and ever-evolving sector. Christian has also been a resource for the firm’s leadership covering the impact of Dodd-Frank Act regulations on the firm’s financial sector clients.

Prior to joining Dinsmore, Christian served as General Counsel for The Ohio Division of Financial Institutions working on various regulatory and corporate matters pertaining to state-chartered financial institutions. He earned his J.D. from the New York Law School.

Lindsey M. Hoelzle- Philadelphia, PA

A member of the Corporate Department, Lindsey has extensive experience handling leasing matters for clients, both in working with management companies to fill existing space, as well as handling leasing for REO properties and properties in receivership. She has counseled a variety of clients on leasing matters, including commercial office, medical office and retail clients, throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Knowing that each client has distinct objectives, she is adept at negotiating key leasing provisions, including financial provisions, maintenance provisions, liquidated damages provisions, exclusives and radius clauses, build-outs and allowances and co-tenancy.

Lindsey also focuses her practice on real estate and lending transactions. She represents special servicers and advises clients on matters involving commercial mortgage-backed securities, including foreclosures, loan workouts, and loan sales. Additionally, after a client takes title to a property, she works with the REO department on the drafting and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements. She earned her J.D. from Villanova University.

Katherine P. Langan- Louisville, KY

A member of the Corporate Department, Katie is dedicated to helping her clients protect themselves and their loved ones through careful estate planning and estate administration. She routinely advises her clients on issues such as complex wealth and business succession planning, Federal Estate and Gift Tax matters, Kentucky Inheritance Tax issues, strategic IRA and 401(k) planning, complex probate administration, and fiduciary litigation.

In addition to assisting individuals with complex wealth planning, Katie is also experienced in representing individual and corporate trustees with respect to trust administration matters. These matters include court actions to reform or modify trusts, determine questions of interpretation, and resolve beneficiary disputes. In her representation of fiduciaries, Katie has advised clients on estate tax exposure matters and IRS audits. She also helps closely-held business owners develop a comprehensive succession plan, including buy-sell and non-compete agreements. Because wealth planning and probate estate administration involve personal, and sometimes sensitive, family dynamics, Katie brings a compassionate touch to her practice. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Kristin M. Lenhart- Cincinnati, OH

A member of the Corporate Department, Kristin represents a variety of individuals in estate planning and probate and trust administration matters. Focusing largely on the planning side, Kristin leverages a practical, real-world approach to helping clients minimize the complications associated with the transfer of wealth. Understanding that estate planning sometimes involves an emotional component and complex family dynamics, Kristin tailors her approach to each client, quickly discerning their goals and laying out a strategy to help them get there. By building relationships with clients, Kristin is also able to advise them on other matters, including general business needs, business and LLC formation and implementing business succession plans.

Building on her past experience with a large accounting firm, Kristin also advises closely-held businesses, charitable organizations and family foundations on a variety of tax and business matters.

Beyond her practice, Kristin enjoys writing and in 2012 co-authored a children’s book called “The Notre Dame Spirit,” which highlights the picturesque and legendary South Bend campus through the eyes of a first-time visitor. She earned her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Richard J. McNeely- Dayton, OH

A member of the Intellectual Property Department, Rick's practice focuses on patent preparation and prosecution in diverse technological areas including chemistry, materials, medical devices, and petroleum processing. He has helped acquire patent protection for inventions from large corporations, small corporations, universities, and even an inventor who walked in off the street. Rick has acted as a technical liaison between trial counsel and expert witnesses during a multimillion-dollar litigation and currently is part of an exclusive team called on to defend the patents of a Fortune 500 company against an attack waged through the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s new Inter Partes Review proceeding.

Rick currently serves as First Vice President of the Dayton Intellectual Property Law Association and as an active member of the Scholarship Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association. Prior to joining the firm, Rick worked for eight years at Chemical Abstracts Service in Columbus, Ohio, analyzing and indexing scientific journal articles and patent documents. He earned his J.D. from Capital University Law School. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and his B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University–Bloomington.

Michael R. Proctor- Morgantown, WV

A member of the Litigation Department, Michael handles business disputes throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Mike also has extensive bankruptcy experience, representing creditors in all phases of bankruptcy, including claim litigation, nondischargeability actions and preferential transfers.

Overall, Mike’s litigation experience is wide-ranging and includes UCC Article 9 litigation, litigation under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, deliberate intent and employment litigation, contractual disputes and oil and gas production disputes. Some specific examples of Mike’s experience include: administration of class action funds on behalf of a local governmental entity, immunity of governmental entities in performing administrative duties, litigation of the co-extensive jurisdiction of the bankruptcy courts and district courts, and providing advice to common carriers regarding Federal Transit Administration procurement regulations. He earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Alicia M. Stefanski- Columbus, OH

A member of the Litigation Department, Alicia boasts a diverse practice, handling everything from product liability and breach of warranty cases to commercial litigation matters, including non-solicit, breach of contract cases, and real property litigation. She also assists business clients in defending tort actions including premises liability, negligence, and wrongful death claims. She has worked with a variety of clients, from internationally-known vehicle manufacturers, to residential and commercial loan servicers and from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Alicia is adept at guiding clients through every step of litigation, whether managing the discovery process, participating in depositions or negotiating settlements. She also has extensive experience in preparing matters for mediations and arbitration proceedings, and has taken several cases to jury trials in both federal and state courts. Her thorough, practical approach to working with clients enables her to learn their tolerances and objectives before crafting a strategy that meets their needs.

Alicia has also handled a number of cases involving claims of due process violations against municipalities and government entities. She earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Faith C. Whittaker- Cincinnati, OH

A member of the Labor and Employment Department, Faith has significant experience guiding clients through issues that arise in the workplace. She has handled a multitude of employment-related litigation for her clients, who range from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Faith has handled a variety of discrimination matters, including obtaining an important win for her client in a pregnancy discrimination case, which was later upheld on appeal. She has also handled numerous wage/hour and exemption issues for clients, and has extensive experience in negotiating settlements. Most recently, in November 2015, Faith defended our client in a seven day jury trial for an age discrimination case and obtained a full defense verdict.

Faith has conducted training for her clients related to a variety of issues, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and a variety of other state and federal employment statutes and regulations. Faith has experience litigating in several different jurisdictions, which helps strengthen her ability to guide clients in compliance with the law. She earned her J.D. from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.