- Continuing Legal Education
- For the Public
- About Us
Total Credits: 3.0 General, 0 Attorney Professional Conduct
This seminar, meets the requirements that applicants for admission to practice before the United State Court, Northern District of Ohio. It is designed to acquaint lawyers with various aspects of federal practice and, in particular, the Northern District.
|Walinski Seminar Materials (15.79 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Agenda (0.01 MB)||Download|
Sandy Opacich serves as the fifteenth Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio beginning on April 3, 2017. Ms. Opacich joined the Court in November, 2013, and served as its Human Resources Director until her appointment as Clerk of Court. Ms. Opacich received her degree in Business Administration from John Carroll University and her Masters Degree in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to her service with the Court, Ms. Opacich served in a variety of human resources positions in Cleveland, including Human Resources Director at Medical Mutual and Vice President of Human Resources at McDonald Investments.
In addition to her standing responsibilities as the Clerk of Court, Ms. Opacich serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Judge, the combined roles of which include responsibility for maintaining the Court's records, all budgeting, finances, space and facilities management, property and procurement, and information technology.
Ms. Opacich serves as a board member of the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter.
Jennifer Dawson has a broad based litigation practice and has extensive experience handling employment, business, fiduciary and estate, and education law matters. She joined Marshall Melhorn after clerking for the Honorable Nicholas J. Walinski of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Jennifer has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in the Litigation-Labor and Employment category and has held the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for more than 20 years reflecting the highest peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standing.
Jennifer has successfully tried many cases in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies and has successfully argued many appeals in state and federal courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court. In addition, Jennifer represents clients in arbitrations and mediations. She frequently serves as a mediator. With her foundation in federal court, and her many years litigating cases before area judges, Jennifer is often selected to serve as local counsel in a wide variety of matters including complex litigation and class actions.
Drawing on her employment litigation experience, Jennifer devotes a substantial portion of her time to advising clients on a wide range of employment issues including all types of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, EEOC and OCRC proceedings, discipline, hiring, terminations, internal investigations, non-compete and employment contracts, employee separation agreements, employee policies and handbooks, and website accessibility matters. She works with employers to draft and implement sound employment policies and agreements, and advises clients in addressing and resolving employment disputes in order to avoid expensive litigation.
She is a member of the American, Ohio, and Toledo Bar Associations and the Toledo Women's Bar Association. She has served on the board of trustees of the Toledo Bar Association, the Employers' Association, and the Toledo Women's Bar Association. She has also served on the executive committee of the Morrison R. Waite chapter of the American Inns of Court, is a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and the Toledo Bar Foundation, has served as a member of the University of Toledo College of Law Board of Governors, and has been a member of the board of trustees and served in leadership roles for numerous nonprofit entities.
J.D., University of Toledo
B.A., Miami University
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
Gerry is a civil trial attorney. He has tried cases involving commercial disputes, professional malpractice, products liability, and personal injury. In 2013 and again this year, Gerry was named “Best Lawyers 2013 Lawyer of the Year, Bet-the-Company Litigation” in Toledo. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2003 in the areas of “Bet-the-Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, and Product Liability Litigation. He carries the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and he is listed in annual editions of Ohio Super Lawyers.
In 1998, Gerry became a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is also a Master of the Bench of the American Inns of Court, Morrison R. Waite Chapter. Gerry has taught numerous seminars and classes, and he has lectured to the Ohio Judicial Conference, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Ohio Common Pleas Judges’ Association, the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, various other judicial, legal, and educational organizations, and at The University of Toledo College of Law.
Gerry’s lecture topics range from trial tactics and strategy to the law of expert witnesses to ethics and professionalism. In 2017, Gerry spoke at the Nicholas J. Walinski Federal Court Practice seminar and the Toledo Bar Association Federal Court Committee’s May 2017 meeting on the topic of “proportionate discovery under amended Civil Rule 26.”
Gerry obtained a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, from The University of Toledo in 1975 and a law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law in 1979
Mr. Bennett is the Chair of Marshall & Melhorn’s Litigation Group, and a member of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. He has extensive experience with complex litigation and litigation involving corporate and commercial disputes, health care disputes, employment disputes, intellectual property disputes involving patent and trademark infringement, anti-trust claims, insurance coverage disputes, warranty litigation, and attorney disciplinary proceedings. Mr. Bennett also has extensive experience as an arbitrator, mediator, and early neutral evaluator in disputes involving commercial and professional contracts, employment agreements, employment discrimination and claims of sexual harassment, business sales, disputes between manufacturers and independent representatives, commercial and contract disputes, and insurance coverage disputes. Mr. Bennett also serves as Marshall & Melhorn’s Ethics and Professional Practices Counsel.
Gene is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Toledo Branch Office of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, where he prosecutes predominately white-collar offenses. Before joining the office in 2011, Gene was a litigation associate with Jones Day and a Deputy Solicitor in the appeals section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Gene is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and The Ohio State University College of Law.
Jack Zouhary graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College (‘73) and returned to his hometown for a law degree from the University of Toledo (‘76) where he was an Associate Editor on Law Review. He was in private practice with RCO Law until January 2000 when he took a position as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for S. E. Johnson Companies.
He was appointed by the Ohio Governor to the Common Pleas bench in March 2005; nominated by the President to the District Court in December 2005 with unanimous Senate confirmation in March 2006. He has served as a visiting District Court judge in several states, and by assignment on the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Judge Zouhary is a Judicial Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and served on its Joint Task Force with IAALS (Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System) on Discovery and Civil Justice. He recently completed two terms on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference. He currently serves on the IAALS Board of Advisors.
-Appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, June 7, 2012
-Rated “Well Qualified” (highest rating) during nomination proceedings by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary
-Previously a civil and criminal litigator for more than 23 years with extensive experience in complex cases in both state and federal courts
-Tried more than 40 cases as counsel or co-counsel
-Martindale-Hubbell rated “AV Preeminent 5.0” (highest rating)
-Licensure: State of Ohio (inactive), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Sixth Circuits, U.S. Supreme Court
-Previously certified as lead trial counsel in capital cases in Ohio by the Supreme Court of Ohio
-Previously served as trial counsel to a total of 15 defendants accused of capital murder in state and federal courts
-Previously served as co-counsel to a total of 8 petitioners challenging their state court convictions and capital sentences with habeas corpus petitions in the federal courts under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
Gamso, Helmick & Hoolahan (formerly Prajsner, Helmick & Hoolahan). Toledo, Ohio. 1997-2012. General civil and criminal practice in three-member practice group, with particular emphasis on complex criminal cases, including white collar defense, capital defense and other serious matters in both state and federal courts. Significant federal habeas corpus litigation in federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Helmick, Jacobs & Solomon. Toledo, Ohio. 1996-97. General civil and criminal litigation in three-member firm.
Kaplan, Richardson, Rost & Helmick. Toledo, Ohio. 1989-1996. Solo practitioner with practice group. Practice included the handling of general civil litigation, employment law and other matters for small businesses and individuals, plaintiff’s personal injury, and criminal defense in both minor and significant cases.
Special Advisor to the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. 1993-95. Hired with Vincent M. Nathan by Director Reginald Wilkinson to advise the Department in the aftermath of the riot in April, 1993, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (“SOCF”) in Lucasville. Duties included changes to and future use of SOCF, the handling of institutional complaints and grievance procedures within the department, analysis and recommendations for revision of use of force procedures, supervision of administrative hearings to ensure fairness, and advice to Wardens and DRC
staff on a variety of issues.
Marshall & Melhorn. Toledo, Ohio. 1988-89. Associate in litigation department of 45-person law firm. Work included advocacy in civil hearings, the taking and defense of depositions and other discovery practice, legal research and writing, including summary judgment and other motion practice.
U.S. District Court, Office of the Special Master. Appointed by federal district court judges to assist court-appointed Special Master Vincent M. Nathan in monitoring compliance with federal court orders, conducting inspections and investigations, and reporting to the courts in three major cases involving institutional reform litigation:
• Guthrie v. Evans, Civil Action No. 73-3068, conditions at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, 1983.
• Duran v. Anaya, Civ. No. 77-0721-JB, conditions of confinement at the 3 adult state correctional institutions in the state of New Mexico, 1984.
• Ruiz v. Estelle, Civ. A. No. H-78-987, conditions of confinement at all 27 adult correctional institutions in the state of Texas, 1984-85.
Ohio State University College of Law
Juris Doctor, 1988
- Editor-in-Chief, The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 1987-88
The University of Michigan
Bachelor of Arts in English, 1983
Hon. James R. Knepp, II, was sworn in on July 30, 2010 after being selected by the judges of the Northern District of Ohio. He grew up near Akron and is a graduate of Mount Union College (BA, magna cum laude, 1986), Bowling Green State University (MA, 1987) and the University of Toledo College of Law (JD, summa cum laude, 1992). Judge Knepp began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. John W. Potter. He was then in private in Toledo for 16 years with the firm of Robison, Curphey & O’Connell, where he was a member of the firm’s management committee.
Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Knepp had substantial general litigation experience in federal and state courts including successful trial and appellate level defense of death and serious injury cases and class action litigation in federal and state courts. His experience also included commercial, employment, products liability, and environmental litigation at the trial and appellate court levels. Most recently, he served for several years as national counsel for the locomotive video program of a Class 1 railroad.
Judge Knepp has been active in the Toledo community, serving on the boards of the Franciscan Academy at Lourdes University, Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, and previously Legal Aid of Western Ohio/ABLE and the Toledo Legal Aid Society. He is a past President of the Toledo Junior Bar Association and former member of the board of directors of the Toledo Bar Association. He is a member of the Morrison R. Waite Inn of Court and a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference.
He and his wife, Linda, whom he met during law school, have two children, Sarah and Joshua.
Judge Carr is a graduate of Kenyon College and Harvard Law Schol. He practiced law in Chicago from 1966 until 1970, when he joined the faculty of the University of Toledo College of Law. In 1979, he became U.S.
Magistrate Judge; in 1994 he became a District Judge.
Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 27, 1994 to a seat vacated by Richard B. McQuade, Jr.
Confirmed by the Senate on May 6, 1994, and received commission on May 9, 1994.
Chief Judge from December 21, 2004 - June 1, 2010.
Assumed senior status on June 1, 2010.
Private practice, Chicago, Illinois, 1966-1968
Staff attorney, Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation, Illinois, 1968-1970
Adjunct professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1969
Adjunct professor, Loyola University, Chicago, School of Law, 1970
Professor, University of Toledo College of Law, 1970-1979
Assistant prosecutor, Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, Ohio, 1972-1973
U.S. Magistrate, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1979-1994
U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Washington, DC 2002 - 2008
Eric Fleddermann is a law clerk to the Honorable Jack Zouhary on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. In addition to helping with district court cases, Eric has assisted Judge Zouhary with cases on appeal during by-designation sittings on both the Sixth and Ninth Circuits. Eric is a 2018 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he was president of the student government and a competitor on the mock trial team.
Stephanie Guthrie (Gurgol) is a law clerk to the Honorable James G. Carr. Prior to beginning her clerkship, she worked in private practice as a Labor & Employment Associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, OH. Stephanie graduated from UT Law in 2015, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
Samantha Meiers graduated from the University of Toledo College of Law in May 2016. Since that time, she has served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jeffrey J. Helmick and the Honorable Sara Lioi, both of the Northern District of Ohio. In addition to her work at the district court, Samantha has also been involved with several bar associations during her short career and is currently serving as Vice President of the Toledo Women's Bar Association.
Krysten joined Anspach Law in the fall of 2018. Prior to joining the firm, Krysten served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey J. Helmick and the Honorable David A. Katz, both of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division. While in law school, Krysten also served as an extern to the Honorable Jack Zouhary of the same court.
Krysten graduated from the University of Toledo in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, with a concentration in writing, and a Bachelor of Education in Adolescent Young Adult Education. She graduated from the University of Toledo College of Law in 2015. While in law school, Krysten was a competitor and coach on moot court and an articles editor for the law review. She also worked as an instructor for the Law and Leadership Institute, a research assistant, and a teaching assistant. Krysten remains active at the law school, serving as Moot Court Alumni Advisor.
Extended Care Facility Defense
B.A. (Magna Cum Laude, Writing Concentration) University of Toledo, 2006
B.E. (Magna Cum Laude) University of Toledo, 2006
J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) University of Toledo College of Law, 2015
Francis J. Landry is a lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio. He grew up in West Toledo and graduated from St. John’s Jesuit High School in its first graduating class in 1969. He was valedictorian of his class. He graduated magna cum laude with an Honors Bachelor of Arts (H.A.B.) degree in Classical Languages from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1973. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1976. While in law school he served as Book Review Editor of the University of Toledo Law Review. He has been engaged in the private practice of law on an uninterrupted basis since November of 1976. He has been with the law firm of Wasserman, Bryan, Landry & Honold, LLP as a partner since March of 1978.
He is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. He is also licensed to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
University of Toledo, College of Law, Toledo, Ohio. 1976 J.D.
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