Type: News
Date: 02/20/2009

Taft Law Continues Growth in Region

Seven Attorneys Join Taft’s Dayton Office

DAYTON, OH – Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP announced today that seven additional lawyers, including four new partners, have joined the firm’s Dayton office.

All four lawyers from Crew & Buchanan in Dayton, including partners Jeffrey A. Swillinger and Jennifer Hann Harrison and Joseph P. Buchanan, will move immediately into Taft’s offices in the Fifth Third Building in downtown Dayton. They will be joined by three attorneys, including partners Barbara A. Duncombe and Suzanne Sumner, who are moving to Taft from Sebaly Shillito & Dyer.

With these additions, Taft’s Dayton office has more than 30 attorneys, ranking it among the top three full-service firms in Dayton.

“The legal performance and reputations of these attorneys are top-notch, and we are proud that they have joined our team,” said Jeffrey Mullins, Partner-in-Charge of Taft’s Dayton office. “We are continually looking at ways to improve and expand our services to clients. The addition of these attorneys represents smart, measured growth for the firm and the clients we serve.” 

Mullins said the combination strengthens Taft’s Dayton office capabilities across the board. “We have a bigger toolbox of services to bring our clients in Government Contracts Law, Workers Compensation, Probate and Estate Planning, Corporate, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Tax, Real Estate and Health Care.”

Thomas Terp, Taft’s Chairman and Managing Partner, said “We are thrilled with the addition of these outstanding lawyers to our Dayton office. They will bring new depth to our existing capabilities in Dayton and will broaden our service capabilities in important ways firm-wide. The lawyers from Crew & Buchanan will add to our existing strengths in corporate, labor and employment, and estate planning and probate work in Dayton, and the addition of Barbara Duncombe’s national government contracts practice is great news for all of our clients firm-wide.

“Our Dayton office has been a success from the first day it opened, and these additions assure our continued growth and momentum there.”

More About the Attorneys

Joseph Buchanan practices in the areas of Probate and Workers’ Compensation.  He has more than 50 years of experience practicing law in the Dayton region.  He is the past president of the Dayton Bar Association and a member of the Ohio State and American Bar Associations. He graduated from Occidental College at Miami University and received his law degree from The Ohio State University.

Barbara Duncombe practices in the area of Government Contracts Law, representing clients regionally and nationally. Formerly the Director of the George Washington University Law School Government Contracts Program, she lectures nationally and internationally on government contract and procurement issues for the law school’s continuing legal education program, the United Nations, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Panama Canal Commission as well as providing in-house representation for many corporate clients. She practiced in Washington, D.C., after she clerked before the then-U.S. Court of Claims, until she moved to Dayton. Duncombe is a member of the American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Committee including the Procurement Fraud and Debarment & Suspension Committees. She serves on the Boards of County Corp, County Corp Economic Development, and the Dayton Bar Association and is on the membership committee of the Dayton Development Coalition. Duncombe earned her undergraduate degree from American University, School of International Services, and her law degree from the George Washington University Law School.

Jennifer Hann Harrison practices in the areas of Worker’s Compensation and represents clients in a variety of employment-related matters including investigating and defending VSSR’s, employer intentional torts, and claims of retaliatory discharge and disability discrimination.  An experienced litigator, Harrison has defended numerous cases to jury trial.  Harrison is a member of the Dayton Bar Association, previously serving as vice chair. She is also a member of the Oho State Bar Association serving on the Council of Delegates and is a member of the Ohio Self-Insurers’ Association as well as being a volunteer mediator at the Dayton Mediation Clinic. Harrison received her undergraduate degree from West Chester University and her law degree from the Dickinson School of Law.

Tom Menza, an associate joining Taft from Sebaly Shillito & Dyer, practices in the area of Government Contracts Law.  He has nearly four years of experience in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate. Menza graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a B.A. in political science.  After receiving his undergraduate degree, Tom joined the Air Force as a Contracting Officer.  While serving in the Air Force reserves, Tom attended law school at the University of Akron School of Law, graduating cum laude.

Suzanne Sumner practices in Government Contracts Law and commercial litigation. Earlier in her legal career, Sumner worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as an Air Force Judge Advocate and as a Workers’ Compensation Hearing Officer. She is licensed to practice in Ohio, Colorado, Alaska and the District of Columbia. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She is also a member of the Dayton, Colorado and Alaska bar associations. Sumner received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and law degree from the University of Denver.

Jeffrey Swillinger practices in the areas of Employment Law, Corporate Law, Real Estate, Litigation and Personal Injury.  He is a past president of the Dayton Bar Association, former co-chair of the diversity committee of the Ohio State Bar Association, and is a member of the Thurgood Marshall Law Society in the local chapter of the National Bar Association. He earned his undergraduate degree from Boston University and his law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Andrew R.Thaler, an associate moving to Taft from Crew & Buchanan, specializes in Workers’ Compensation Law. He is a member of the Ohio State, Cincinnati, Dayton and Clermont County Bar Associations, and sits on the planning commission of the Village of Moscow. In addition, he is a trustee of the Village of Moscow Community Investment Corporation. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and his law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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