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November 3, 2015. Ten lawyers from five law firms spent well over 3,000 hours on three lawsuits to establish marriage equality in Ohio. In the cases of Obergefell v. Hodges, Henry v. Hodges, and Gibson v. Hodges, the legal team, which included attorneys from Gerhardstein & Branch, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, Newman & Meeks, and Cincinnati attorney Ellen Essig, won the right to marriage equality for LGBT couples in Ohio.  After winning Obergefell and Henry at the trial court level, the State of Ohio appealed.  The fees and expense’s increased dramatically because of the State’s appeal.  This is a risk the State took because it knew that appealing increase their liability to pay legal fees.  The marriage equality cases are constitutional cases seeking a court order, not money damages. In order to encourage attorneys to bring constitutional cases, if the defendant loses, the defendant pays the legal fees of the party whose constitutional rights were violated.  In some constitutional cases the government concedes and does not defend its unconstitutional acts.  Some states’ attorneys general chose not to defend marriage equality challenges to their state marriage bans.  Ohio chose to defend, and as a result, bore the cost of losing.  The attorneys in these cases filed a well-documented brief that explained the reasonableness of the time they put into the case.  The State did not object and the Court granted the award of $1.3 million in fees and expenses to the entire team.

Gerhardstein & Branch Co. LPA is a small Cincinnati civil rights law firm.  We are accepting applications for an associate position.  G&B seeks an attorney with at least five years of civil litigation experience for fast paced litigation practice.  Applicant must excel at legal research and writing, have strong organizational and trial skills, and be a motivated self-starter.  A strong commitment to reform in our practice areas and dedication to our clients (including reproductive health providers) is a must.  Competitive public interest salary and benefits depending on experience.  Email [email protected] or fax (513-345-5543) resume, reference list, law school transcript, writing sample, trial or deposition transcript(s), and a cover letter which explains your qualifications and salary request.  The position is open until filled.  We are an equal opportunity employer.

If you are unfamiliar with living in Cincinnati check out the local scene and some fun facts; and read the National Geographic Traveler article on Cincinnati’s renaissance.

Painesville, Ohio, October 20, 2015. A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit challenging as excessive force the tasing of David Nall in his Painesville, Ohio apartment on June 26, 2010.  Mr. Nall suffered severe brain injury and will need care for the rest of his life.  The lawsuit also challenged as a civil rights violation the arrest of Mr. Nall and his wife Becky.  The monetary settlement is subject to probate court approval and totals $2,250,000.00.  The funds will be used to provide care for Mr. Nall, compensate the couple for their injuries, and cover fees and costs in their five year legal struggle.  The City also agreed to provide current taser policy and training materials to the Nall attorneys and receive in good faith any recommendations regarding improvement in the policy and training materials.  The city also agreed to use the Nall use of force as a training exercise demonstrating an extended trigger pull in the hope that similar injuries will be avoided in the future.

The Nall family attorneys, Al Gerhardstein and David Malik, stated, “We commend the City of Painesville for responding to the family’s request for a review of training.  The settlement will allow the family to have resources needed to care for David and the training review will help make the community safer for everyone.”

Ohio Lawyer Magazine has published an article by Jennifer Branch, one of the Obergefell (Marraige Equality Case) lawyers.  In the article Jennifer summarizes the path that lead to the Obergefell decision and some of the issues yet to come.

Al Gerhardstein and the firm of Gerhardstein & Branch have agreed to join with lead attorney Mark O’Mara of the O’Mara Law Group and Michael Wright of the Cochran Firm in the representation of the family of Samuel DuBose. They will have an application to open a probate estate filed Monday morning August 3, 2015 in Hamilton County, Ohio Probate Court. The goal of the family is to ensure fair compensation for all of the next of kin and heirs and to continue their efforts at police reform both at the University of Cincinnati and beyond. Samuel DuBose, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by former officer Ray Tensing of the University of Cincinnati Police Department on July 19, 2015. Mr. Tensing has since been indicted for murder.

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Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Fax (513)345-5543