- Dinsmore & Shohl
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio No. of offices 12 No. of attorneys 475 (2011) Major practice areas General practice Key people George H. Vincent, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board of Directors Date founded 1908 Founder Frank Dinsmore & Walter Shohl Company type Limited liability partnership Website www.dinsmore.com
Dinsmore is a large U.S. law firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the National Law Journal's 2011 rankings, it is the 107th largest law firm in the United States. The firm is the largest law firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2nd largest in Dayton, Ohio, 5th largest in Lexington, Kentucky, 5th largest in West Virginia, 6th largest law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, and 9th largest in Columbus, Ohio.
The firm owns its own title agency, Mercantile Title Agency. The firm also founded a Cincinnati investment bank, Great Water Capital Partners LLC., a public affairs and advocacy groups, D&S Consulting and Dinsmore/Fries Public Sector Advisors LLC
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP was founded in 1908 by Frank Dinsmore, a Harvard Law School graduate, and Walter Shohl, a graduate of Cincinnati Law School (now known as University of Cincinnati College of Law).
The partners took a leading role in two of the most sensational trials in Cincinnati history: the criminal trials of George B. Cox for violation of state banking laws. In the country's notorious era of "bossism," Cox controlled 25,000 votes in Cincinnati, one of America's largest cities. Historians[who?] claim that "no one in Cincinnati could hope to hold office without Cox's approval - even presidents vied for his approval." The state of Ohio charged Cox and 10 other former directors and officials of Cox's defunct bank, the Cincinnati Trust Co., with willful misapplication of bank funds and other charges. In two trials during the summer of 1913, Dinsmore and Shohl won acquittals for Cox on all charges.
Ironically, 73 years after the Cox trials, the firm ended up on the other side of Ohio's misapplication of bank funds statute. The firm's lawyers took the lead in prosecuting the criminal trial following the collapse of Home State Savings Bank Savings and loan crisis#Home State Savings Bank of Cincinnati of Cincinnati in the great savings and loan crisis. Ohio Attorney General Anthony Celebrezze, Jr. appointed Lawrence Kane as Special Prosecutor to convene a grand jury and investigate the Home State collapse. Kane and a team of the firm's lawyers successfully prosecuted the criminal charges in what was, at that time, the longest criminal trial in Hamilton County history, stretching from November 1986 to March 1987. Local financier Marvin Warner, a former Ambassador to Switzerland, was among those found guilty and sent to prison.
Just prior to World War II, the firm handled a top-secret matter for the government: the siting of the Wright Aeronautical Plant on what is now General Electric in Evendale. This facility would employ 20,000 by 1942 and manufacture the aircraft engines responsible for much of the bombing during the war. Dinsmore & Shohl attorneys handled the massive title work involving hundreds of parcels, all in total secrecy.
After the war, the firm expanded in a number of areas, including litigation and liability. Massive wage hour litigation was handled in Milan, Tennessee, for the Procter & Gamble Defense Corporation. The firm managed National Labor Relations Act cases for Procter & Gamble, as well as early product liability cases.
Dinsmore & Shohl also broadened its reach as Procter & Gamble expanded into foreign markets. Attorneys formed companies throughout the world, providing an essential support to the establishment of Procter & Gamble’s vast international business in the 1950s through the 1970s. As legal practices became increasingly specialized during this same period, the firm's experience with Procter & Gamble helped its own business, transactional, tax and real estate practice areas. In 2006, for example, the firm represented long-time client Bob Castellini in his acquisition of the Cincinnati Reds from financier Carl Lindner.
In the 1980s, the firm expanded into tort litigation, starting with the Rely (brand) tampons, Toxic Shock Syndrome cases for Procter & Gamble and the Bendectin birth defect cases for Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. During this period, the firm also handled insurance coverage work for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Additional work involved Dow Corning breast implants, the diet drug Fen-phen, Brown & Williamson tobacco and popcorn flavoring.
The firm first ventured beyond Cincinnati when it opened an office in the neighboring Clermont County in 1979. In the 1980s, offices were opened in Dayton, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio. In the late 1990s, Dinsmore & Shohl expanded into Louisville, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky. In 2002, offices were established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Charleston, West Virginia. Two more West Virginia locations – Morgantown and Wheeling – were added in 2007. In 2009, a third office was opened in Kentucky in the state capital of Frankfort.
Several mergers have helped fuel Dinsmore & Shohl's growth. In 2003, the law firm of Killworth, Gottman, Hagan & Schaeff LLP, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio was merged with Dinsmore & Shohl, significantly expanding the firm's intellectual property practice. In 2008, Dinsmore & Shohl added depth to its corporate and tax practices through a merger with Chernesky, Heyman & Kress, P.L.L., also located in Dayton, Ohio. In 2009, Woodward, Hobson & Fulton, L.L.P. merged with Dinsmore & Shohl, expanding the firm's presence in Kentucky to become one of the top five largest in the Commonwealth.
The firm has more than 55 practices including labor & employment law, immigration law, bankruptcy and restructuring, products liability, corporate & securities law, tax law, real estate & construction law, environmental law, family law, entertainment law, telecommunications, media law, health law, trusts & estates, criminal law, and intellectual property.
Notable lawyers and alumni
- Charles W. Sawyer, United States Secretary of Commerce under the Truman administration
- Potter Stewart, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
- Karen K. Caldwell, judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
- Donald Alexander, Commissioner of Internal Revenue by President Richard Nixon
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dayton, Ohio
- Frankfort, Kentucky
- Lexington, Kentucky
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Charleston, West Virginia
- Morgantown, West Virginia
- Wheeling, West Virginia
- Lewisburg, West Virginia
- Washington, District of Columbia
- ^ Vincent's firm profile
- ^ Mercantile Title Agency home page
- ^ Great Water Capital Partners press release
- ^ D&S Consulting press release
- ^ Dinsmore Fries home page
- ^ Killworth, Gottman merges with Cincy law firm
- ^ Dinsmore & Shohl Combines With Largest Corporate/Tax Firm in Dayton
- ^ Woodward to become part of Dinsmore & Shohl law firm
- ^ Dinsmore Opens Washington, D.C. Office
- ^ Full list of practice areas
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