When it came time this year for Taft, Stettinius & Hollister to expand, there was no talk of pulling up stakes and leaving downtown. Instead, the 122-year-old firm is staying true to its roots and expanding its current headquarters in the U.S. Bank building overlooking the renovated Fountain Square.

"As we've watched what's been going on downtown, with the Fountain Square project and so many other positive things, it just seemed to us that there was a very good basis and foundation for continued vitality here. We thought we could contribute to it and frankly benefit from it," says Edward D. Diller, partner-in-charge.

The firm has signed a lease extension through 2023 and plans to add 20,000 square feet to its current 115,000 square feet on five floors.

Taft did not seek or accept tax abatement considerations for the expansion.

Diller says the expanding downtown made practical sense, given the central location and proximity to businesses and courts. "There are a lot of fundamental things down here that are good. It sends a good symbolic message as well."

Taft was located at Dixie Terminal until moving to the U.S. Bank building in 1981. It grew from 95 attorneys and associates then to 144 professionals in 1990 to 211 lawyers and 290 total employees in Cincinnati today. Taft has 422 employees firm-wide, including offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Northern Kentucky.

Scott Carroll, a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease who specializes in labor and employment law, has been elected to the National Board of Trustees Executive Committee of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He is president of the Southern Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a 10-year blood cancer survivor who participated in the 2004 Flying Pig Marathon and the Walt Disney World Triathalon in 2006.
Carroll is active with the Society's Team in Training (TNT) program, completing the 2004 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, and participating in the Walt Disney World Triathlon in 2006. TNT is the world's largest endurance sports training program, and provides participants with personalized coaching and fundraising support to complete full or half marathons, triathlons or century (100-mile) bicycle rides while raising money for LLS.
Carroll was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1996 and was declared cancer-free following nine months of treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.

Katherine M. Lasher, a Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP associate focusing on labor and employment law, employment immigration law, media law, and appellate practice, has been named the recipient of the 2007 Nicholas Longworth, III, Alumni Achievement Award by the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The honor recognizes UC law grads for outstanding contributions in a wide range of endeavors, which may include private law practice, internal corporate legal counsel, education or scholarly works, public or community service, and business or industry achievement.

Terrance Ashanta-Barker, a business and finance attorney at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister is volunteering as an organizer and participant in Taft Elementary's Young Bankers Program, an 11-week seminar designed to educate fifth-graders about banking and financial literacy. The seminar includes field trips to the University of Cincinnati and the Fifth Third check processing plant. Ashanta-Barker graduated valedictorian from Robert A. Taft High School.

Elizabeth A. Gray has joined Dinsmore & Shohl in the corporate department. Gray received her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2005 and her bachelor's degree from John Carroll University.

Seth A. Voit has joined Ulmer & Berne in the intellectual property and technology group. Voit was an attorney in the Intellectual Property Group at Dinsmore & Shohl and has experience prosecuting and drafting patent applications, performing patentability studies related to various technologies, and participating in infringement litigation.

Frost Brown Todd has beefed up its Cincinnati office with five new additions to its law staff: Gregory S. Kessler, a labor and employment department associate; Jeffery A. Culver, an environmental department associate; Scott H. Hankins, counsel in the commercial transactions and real estate department; Kari K. Hall as senior associate in the business/corporate department; and Margaret G. Kubicki as counsel with the personal planning and family business department and corporate department.

Law news relevant to the Tristate legal community may be e-mailed to law@cincybusinessmag.com.