The law firm of Lyons & Lyons has really grown up with West Chester Township.

Started in 1983 by attorney Robert H. Lyons, a West Chester native, the firm is one of the oldest continuing law practices in the township.

“When I started here,” Lyons says, “there may have been two or three attorneys with offices in the township but they’ve since moved on or retired.”

While other lawyers and bigger law firms have established offices in the township, particularly as West Chester has grown, Lyons says the firm has continued to focus on its clients.

“It sounds trite, but what I like is helping people,” Lyons says. “We’re not chasing the billable hour. The gratifying thing is helping people and making a difference in their lives when they’re having a difficult time.”

The firm, which also includes attorneys Jonathan N. Fox and Gregory J. Vogt, offers a full range of services from DUI defense, criminal defense, business law, trust and wills, and family law across Butler and surrounding counties.

What really sets the firm apart is its expertise on DUI (driving under the influence) and traffic law defense.

Lyons, who practiced with his late father, Robert D. Lyons, until he retired in 2004, was one of the first attorneys in the area to focus on DUI defense as a specialty. It wasn’t by design, he says, but evolved over time because of Interstate 75’s run through the town, the proximity of Butler County Court and the growing severity of DUI penalties.

“I’m not a proponent of drinking and driving by any means,” he says. “[But] somebody charged with DUI still has constitutional rights. Because of the technicalities in the driving under the influence law, I dedicated myself to learning it.”

DUI defense takes a lot of work, he says.

“Walking into court and saying ‘guilty’ or ‘no contest’ is not how you defend a DUI,” he says. “I’ve spent my career making the prosecution prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Lyons has regularly offered legal seminars on the best practices in DUI and traffic defense.

Since 1999, he also has served as judge of the Butler County Area I Court, a municipal court, in Oxford.

“Working both sides of the bench, gives you a nice perspective,” he says.

The Lyons firm also has a different perspective on traffic and criminal cases because Fox, who grew up in Franklin, spent 12 years on the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Monroe Police Department before earning his law degree. He also worked as a Butler County assistant prosecutor before pursuing private practice.

Like Lyons, Vogt grew up in West Chester and has known the Lyons family since he was a boy. In fact, he says, it was Lyons, who got him interested in a legal career. His specialties include family law, such as domestic and juvenile cases.

Soon there will be another generation in Lyons & Lyons; Kara Lyons, Lyons’ daughter, is a third-year student at Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law.