Shoveling Smoke - A Frantz Ward Lawcast

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that "lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke." One interpretation of his remark is that lawyers take a vague concept or principle and give it shape, clearing away the smoke. Our podcast series will focus on current legal issues and news items that may affect your business, your community or you as an individual. Our attorneys – sometimes with a judge, client or other guest – will spend 15-20 minutes exploring an issue and, at the end, provide a few takeaways to assist you in making sense of the gray areas of law.





Episode 16 | The Basics for Building Your Workforce
As a business grows, a very exciting step is adding the company's first employees, but it is also one that should be very intentional and well-considered. Frantz Ward attorney Megan Bennett joins the podcast to discuss the importance of developing job descriptions, considering the terms "employee" and "independent contractor," and how to develop policies and procedures to ensure a legally compliant business.

Guest : Megan E. Bennett    
Host : Alanna C. Guy



Episode 15 | Hot! Hot! Hot! Don't get Burned by the Perils of Buying and Selling Residential Real Estate
The residential real estate market in Cleveland continues to boom, with home price values increasing by more than 10-20% in northeast Ohio over the past few years So Shoveling Smoke thought this would be a good time to review the nuts and bolts of the residential real estate transaction and to identify the possible pitfalls that come with buying in a hot market. To cover those topics, we invited Frantz Ward partner Mark Rodio to give us some valuable insight on these issues from both a buyer and seller perspective. Mark will also give us some commentary on how the COVID pandemic is impacting how residential real estate deals are getting done.

Guest : Mark L. Rodio    
Host : Michael E. Smith



Episode 14 | You Came Up With a Great Business Idea During the Pandemic - Now What?
A fledging business doesn't just need a solid business plan; it also needs a strong legal foundation. This foundation is not "one size fits all," so it's important to tailor your choices to your specific industry and your risk tolerance, long-term goals and budget. Frantz Ward attorney Alanna Guy joins the podcast to discuss the building blocks necessary to start a new business, from choosing and forming the appropriate legal entity, to preparing documents for managing the entity, to considering what other safeguards might be necessary to set your business up for long-term success.

Guest : Alanna C. Guy    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler

Episode 13 | Criminal Sentencing Reform: A Conversation with Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Michael Donnelly
In light of the wide disparity of sentences for felonies across Ohio, the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission has developed and is implementing a Criminal Sentencing Database designed to provide judges with data to rely upon when crafting sentences. Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Michael Donnelly, one of the leading advocates of the program, joins the podcast to discuss the initiative’s importance to all Ohioans, not just for those involved in the criminal justice system, and explain how the program brings more fairness and transparency to sentencing. Frantz Ward’s Managing Partner, Chris Keim, also Co-Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Racial Equity And the Law work group on Criminal Justice Reform, joins in the conversation to discuss the value of the program and report on his group’s role in its adoption by the courts.

Guest : Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Michael Donnelly    
Guest : Christopher G. Keim
Host : Christopher C. Koehler

Episode 12 | Scoring Big for the CLE: A Conversation with David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Cleveland's profile as a destination city continues to grow and no entity is more responsible for that success than the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. Shoveling Smoke welcomes guests David Gilbert, GCSC's and Destination Cleveland's President and CEO, and Christopher Keim, Frantz Ward's Managing Partner and member of the GCSC Board of Trustees. Together, we discuss the challenges and rewards of attracting sports events - like the NFL draft, NBA All-Star Game and NCAA basketball tournaments - to Cleveland, the economic and intangible impacts such events have on our city and how partnerships with the business community and other city constituents make it happen.

Guest : David Gilbert, President and CEO The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland    
Guest : Christopher G. Keim
Host : Michael E. Smith


Episode 11 | Spurring Economic Growth in Northeast Ohio: A Conversation with Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO
Frantz Ward is proud to partner with Team NEO, the business and economic development organization focused on accelerating economic growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. Bill Koehler, the organization's CEO, joins the podcast to discuss the economic outlook for the region, how the public and private sectors are working together to both attract new businesses and help existing businesses, and the resources that are available to companies in their growth initiatives.

Guest : Bill Koehler, CEO - Team NEO    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler


Episode 10 | Looking From the Outside In: A Conversation with In-House Counsel Kelley Barnett
Former Frantz Ward partner Kelley Barnett has seen it all - from trying major felony cases as a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor to becoming a top commercial trial lawyer at Frantz Ward to serving in her current role as vice-president and corporate counsel for labor and employment at AmTrust Financial Services. In this episode, she sits down with her former colleagues to discuss the keys to success in her transitions to each role. She also provides insight as to how to build strong relationships between attorneys and their business clients.

Guest : Kelly J. Barnett - AmTrust Financial Services    
Hosts : Michael E. Smith and Christopher C. Koehler


Episode 9 | Don't Learn Safety by Accident: A Look at Worker Safety and OSHA Initiatives Under the Biden Administration
Continuing our discussions about what the legal landscape may look like under the Biden Administration, Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Partner Christina Niro joins us to discuss what we can expect in terms of workplace safety initiatives and the work of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. We will discuss anticipated increases in OSHA inspections, new rules and regulations that may arise and the potential expansion of workforce-related programs. We will also check in to see how the ongoing COVID pandemic may impact this arena.

Guest : Christina E. Niro    
Host : Michael E. Smith


Episode 8 | Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Navigating the Domestic Relations Arena
Frantz Ward Domestic Relations Partner Katie Arthurs joins us to explain the divorce and dissolution process, to discuss the best strategies for navigating the difficult and often painful challenges that arise in a divorce, and to provide important insights on how you can best protect your businesses from being impacted by such events.

Guest : Kaitlyn D. Arthurs    
Host : Michael E. Smith


Episode 7 | Order in the Court: A Conversation with Judge Brendan Sheehan of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Shoveling Smoke is pleased to welcome The Honorable Brendan J. Sheehan, Administrative Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and our first outside guest for the podcast. We look forward to Judge Sheehan's unique perspectives on several topics, including the judge's personal experiences, court operations and trials during COVID, the status of the new jail/justice center project, and other services provided by the court system.

Guest : The Honorable Brendan J. Sheehan    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler


​Episode 6  |  Changing of the Guard, Part 3:  Tax Law Outlook Under the Biden Administration
A new presidential administration and a shift in control of the Senate means changes in the legal landscape as well. In Part 3 of our series on the anticipated changes due to the new look in Washington, Frantz Ward Partner Matt Kadish provides a civics lesson and explains why it's particularly hard to read the tea leaves on tax issues this year. But he has some predictions on what changes we are likely to see, when they'll occur, and the variables that will affect the outcome.

Guest : Matthew F. Kadish    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler


​Episode 5  |  Changing of the Guard, Part 2:  Health Care Outlook Under the Biden Administration
In Part 2 of this three-part series discussing the anticipated changes in the laws and regulations we can expect during the Biden administration, Frantz Ward Partner Craig Haran provides insight on how things will progress on the health care front, discussing how the administration will handle implementation of policies and laws relating to the ACA, COVID relief, Medicare, Medicaid and other hot topic issues.

Guest : Craig T. Haran    
Host : Michael E. Smith


​Episode 4  |  Changing of the Guard, Part 1:  Employment Law Outlook Under the Biden Administration
A new presidential administration and a shift in control of the Senate mean changes in the legal landscape as well. This three-part series will address the anticipated changes in the laws and regulations related to employment, health care and tax issues, and at the agencies responsible for enforcement of those laws. In Part 1, Frantz Ward Partner Brian Kelly guides us through the outlook on the labor and employment law front.

Guest : Brian J. Kelly    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler


​Episode 3  |  Forgiveness is Divine: Looking at the 2021 PPP
Frantz Ward partner Melissa Jones provides insight on the new rules and regulations of the 2021 version of the PPP and gives some ideas as to how your company's participation in the PPP might help your bottom line.

Guest : Melissa A. Jones    
Host : Michael E. Smith

​Episode 2  |  A Dose of Prevention - COVID Vaccine Primer for Employers
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is poised for a more widespread roll-out, employers are finally able to develop plans to get their employees back to the workplace. But the vaccine will present employment law issues: Can you mandate that your employees get vaccinated? What do you do if they refuse? Frantz Ward attorney Megan Bennett answers those questions and more to help employers navigate the reopening of their businesses.

Guest : Megan E. Bennett    
Host : Christopher C. Koehler


Episode 1  |  Where Have You Gone Mrs. Pfalsgraf?

Understanding Premises Liability in the COVID world. Frantz Ward Partner Pat Haggerty provides insights on protecting your business from potential liability for claims from people supposedly contracting COVID while on your property. We will discuss the types of claims you may face and the preventive strategies that will minimize your risks.

Guest : Patrick F. Haggerty    
Host : Michael E. Smith