What We Do

Criminal Defense

Being charged with a crime can feel like having a target painted on your back. A vigilant defense attorney can make all the difference in whether the State is successful in hitting that target.

Our firm focuses on defending against criminal charges that include:

  • domestic violence and assault
  • gun possession, improper handling, CCW, and other gun crimes
  • drug possession and trafficking
  • theft and fraud crimes
  • nonpayment of child support
  • post-sentencing issues including judicial or early release

Our attorneys practice in all Ohio courts including municipal, common pleas, and appellate courts. Our attorneys are also licensed to practice federally in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Some notable cases and highlights include:

  • Trial Counsel on federal gun possession case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio – three-day jury trial that resulted in not guilty verdict in under 2 hours;
  • Trial Counsel on RENU-investigated marijuana trafficking case in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas – misdemeanor offer/plea on day of trial;
  • Attendee of 6-day National Defender Training Project seminar at the University of Dayton.

Dissolution of Marriage and Separation Agreements

If you are considering ending your marriage, doing so by dissolution is one option available to you. In order to end your marriage by dissolution you must be in agreement with your spouse about all issues prior to filing anything in court. These issues include custody arrangements and child support if you have minor children as well as property and debt division. Our attorneys will discuss your options with you and help you determine if ending your marriage by dissolution is in your best interest. Should you choose to move forward with a dissolution, our attorneys can help negotiate a settlement for you <Back to Top>

Divorce

If you are considering ending your marriage, divorce is another option available to you. If there are issues such as custody or division of assets that you are unable to agree upon with your spouse, divorce may be an option for you. Additionally, you may be in need of certain protections available to you only by filing divorce. Our attorneys will assess your situation and advise if filing for divorce will help accomplish your objectives. <Back to Top>

Child Custody

Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to assist you with your child custody matter. Each situation is different and our attorneys will listen to your specific issue and recommend help you determine which course of action is best for you. <Back to Top>

Civil Protective Orders

Civil protective orders are available to you through Domestic Relations court should you meet certain legal criteria. If you are seeking representation involving protective orders, please contact our attorneys right away. We can help you secure a protective order against someone or defend you against a protective order filed against you. <Back to Top>

Post Decree Modification and Contempt

In a perfect world, you would never have to go back to Court after you end your marriage by divorce or dissolution, or are granted custody or parenting rights. Often this is not the way the real world operates. Things come up and situations change which may warrant a modification of your court order. Our attorneys can guide you through that process and help you seek the desired modification of your court order. Our attorneys can also assist you in filing for contempt against someone if he or she is not complying with the court order in your case. Additionally, our attorneys can defend you if you are being accused of contempt. <Back to Top>

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements (otherwise known as Antenuptial Agreements) are enforceable in the State of Ohio. Our attorneys can assist you in negotiating a fair agreement and explain to you the explications of what you are entering into. It is imperative that you contact an attorney if you are contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse. <Back to Top>

Same-Sex/Same-Gender/LGBTQ Family Law

Big changes have brought sweeping reform to how same-sex/same-gender couples are recognized under the law.  We work with clients to end same-sex marriages, establish custody and parentage, and obtain orders regarding rights and responsibilities of children.  Over the last several years, Merisa has been actively involved with Equality Ohio and GLSEN, as well as chairing the LGBT Committee for the Columbus Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association’s LGBT Diversity & Inclusion Conference.  Merisa presents on a variety of topics related to LGBTQ legal issues, including at Lavender Law, the National LGBT Bar Association’s annual convention in August 2015.  She is an active member of the Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Bar Association, who recognized her as a Best 40 Under 40 LGBT Attorney in the Class of 2016. <Back to Top>

FAQ

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Sometimes, the most popular attorneys might not be the best attorney for your situation. Here are 4 steps in considering the right attorney:

  1. Visit the law firm’s Web site and do a web search of the attorney. Determine the location and if it is convenient for you and to the Courthouse. Does the attorney seem accessible? Are the phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact methods active and reliable?
  2. Read the “attorney profile” on the firm’s Web site to gauge experience, expertise, and personality. Personality can be very important to a healthy relationship between you and your lawyer.
  3. Ask for a confidential consultation, possibly with more than one attorney. What questions do you have? Does the attorney seem like someone you can work with successfully?
  4. Based on your investigations, which attorney will efficiently, respectfully, and aggressively assert your rights and interests?

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Your attorney may not be able to control the pace or timing of your case. Oftentimes, the timeline of your case is determined by outside forces, like the Courts, rules of practice, or the opposing party. Both you and your attorney should be understanding and patient of the time that cases often take.

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. When people come to a lawyer, it’s not typically a happy occasion. I understand that my clients have significant and often complex problems. The best part of my job is helping people unravel those problems so they can move forward with their lives. From contract disputes, to substance abuse and addictions, to the painful process of divorces, my partner and I truly enjoy helping people help themselves and empowering them to get back on steady ground. <Back to Top>