About Michelle Taute

Michelle Taute Articles written 16

Articles written by Michelle Taute

Fighting for (and Sometimes Against) City Hall

Jeff Forbes usually represents cities but ended up on the other side in the influential Norwood v. Horney case

As a partner in the government and land use practice group at Wood & Lamping in Cincinnati, Jeff Forbes spends most of his time representing local governments and serving as both assistant law director and law director for different municipalities. But in Norwood v. Horney, he fought for the homeowners. “What I found interesting about the whole case was just the balance of protecting property owners’ rights with giving a city or a community the tools they need to be successful,” he …

LEEDing the Way

Lesley Avery helps create the green buildings of the future

Lesley Avery is your typical young, urban environmentalist. She rides her bike about a mile each morning to her job as an associate at Schottenstein Zox & Dunn in downtown Columbus. She describes herself as an “excessive” recycler—a practice she actively encourages in her co-workers. But in 2007, she brought her green philosophy to work in a much bigger way when she became the first LEED-accredited attorney in the state of Ohio. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and …

Adventures in Lawyering

From hidden gold to big business deals, Linda Parks’ work might inspire a few legal thrillers

If Linda Parks ever decided to follow John Grisham’s career path, she wouldn’t have to look any further than her own career for inspiration. Right now the Wichita lawyer is a trustee in a bankruptcy case with as much mystery and intrigue as any page-turner. The main figure in the case, Gary Krause, filed bankruptcy in 2005, claiming not to have any money, even to pay the millions he owes the IRS in taxes. But so far Parks has discovered more than $1.2 million. “Part of it is luck,” she …

Single-Minded Passions

Three young lawyers find success by finding the right areas of law

Everyone tells you to follow your dreams, but the magic doesn't really happen until you hit upon your true passion. The three lawyers profiled here created their perfect jobs by focusing on the areas of the law that fit them best.   Personal Connections Marco D. Chayet, Chayet & Danzo A family tragedy helped Marco Chayet find his calling. When he was attending law school at the University of Colorado, his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. His mother and …

Hanging Their Own Shingles

Who's the boss? Three area lawyers told us how they turned the answer into "I am." They left other legal jobs—or never really had them to begin with—and mustered up the courage to go it alone. Their firms are dreams realized, but entrepreneurship also means figuring out accounts payable.        

"Thank God I was naïve" Ian N. Friedman: Ian N. Friedman & Associates It was roughly a year after law school when Ian N. Friedman decided to open his own office in Cleveland. He worked with a part-time law clerk and focused on criminal defense, finding his first clients through family and friends. "It was rather bare bones," he says. "We shared a desk. We shared a computer. We shared a telephone." He rarely found time for sleep. His typical day included half a dozen court cases in the …

Prescription for Success

From social worker to health care lawyer, Elise Dunitz Brennan is all about healing        

On paper Elise Dunitz Brennan's career path looks like a master plan she must have laid out in advance. She earned a master's degree in social work in the late 1970s and held jobs everywhere from an early HMO—the second ever established in the country—to a medical school, kidney foundation and suicide hotline. After attending law school, she landed at Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson in Tulsa, and she's spent the bulk of her roughly 25 years there specializing in health care law. …

Kid-Friendly Divorce?

Moura A. J. Robertson's kinder, gentler family law practice        

Divorce might seem like the least likely time for a couple to work together, but when there are kids involved, Moura A. J. Robertson believes a joint effort can make the most sense for everyone involved. For the past two years, she has worked as part of the collaborative divorce movement, helping some of her clients opt out of the traditional litigation process for the kinder, gentler world of alternative dispute resolution. Like many choices in her career, Robertson, a partner at Robertson …

Fair Play

Allan H. Zerman went to bat for free agency        

Professional baseball superstars should send thank-you cards to Allan H. Zerman. The St. Louis attorney worked on a case in the late '60s that paved the way for free agency and the jaw-dropping salaries that eventually followed. The story begins with a star St. Louis Cardinals outfielder named Curt Flood. In 1969, he was traded to Philadelphia and didn't want to make the move. But the league's reserve clause, which gave a player's team complete control over his career, left Flood with few …

Head of the Class

Hugh E. McKay rounded up 700 lawyers to help Cleveland’s public schools

It all started with a gut feeling. With his term as president of the Cleveland Bar Association approaching, Hugh E. McKay began thinking about how to make an impact, and it didn’t take long for his thoughts to turn to the local public schools. Like many lawyers, he takes community service just as seriously as billable hours. But there are probably few peers who can rival McKay’s effort to found The 3Rs—Rights, Responsibilities, Realities. This ongoing program resembles a full-scale …

Practical Magic

Richard La Jeunesse makes his clients' legal problems disappear

It's the kind of scene you might expect to see on a gritty street corner rather than in a downtown law office. Richard T. La Jeunesse crumples up two pieces of ordinary notebook paper and hides one in each fist. He moves his hands around a bit as he tells a story about the challenges of bringing buyers and sellers together in the real estate world, and a few seconds later, he opens his fists to reveal that both pieces of paper now rest in his left palm. Sleight-of-hand may seem like an odd …

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