Jerry Kaltenbach and James Vargo selected as Ohio Super Lawyers, once again

SuperLawyersMag2014

Ohio Super Lawyers magazine has named Jerry L. Kaltenbach as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and named James G. Vargo as a Super Lawyer for 2014, the third straight year each has received this honor.

Rising Stars are made up of the top 2.5% of attorneys in Ohio under age 40, while those recognized as Super Lawyers represent no more than 5% of all attorneys in the state of Ohio.

Candidates for inclusion in the annual list of Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars are selected after nomination for the honor by their peers or the research conducted by Super Lawyers’ research staff.  Each candidate is then independently evaluated by third parties using Super Lawyers’ 12 key categories of peer recognition and professional achievement.  Finally, the researched candidates are evaluated by a panel of attorneys for selection.

Both Jerry and James are very honored by their continued inclusion as Ohio Super Lawyers, and will seek to meet or surpass the standards that Ohio Super Lawyers are expected to provide.

James Vargo and Jerry Kaltenbach announce new law practice.

KV Law Full Size jpgWith nearly 30 years of combined experience practicing in large and in mid-size law firms, and after embarking on successful careers as sole practitioners, Jerry Kaltenbach and James Vargo have teamed up to bring you Kaltenbach Vargo, LLC.

Kaltenbach Vargo, LLC, was founded on the principal of delivering top quality legal services in a more economic manner.  We do this through our efficiency and our ability to utilize technology in almost all aspects of our practice.

While our primary focus will continue to be business litigation, we can assist you or your business in many other areas, including business formation, employee and vendor agreements, and various other contractual matters.

We also leverage our extensive experience in fee disputes, consumer complaints, commercial and residential real estate matters, and ethical matters before the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, as well as local Boards of Realtors and associations, to assist agents and brokers seeking representation on any of these matters.

In addition, we are strong advocates for consumers, protecting their rights through the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and various federal laws, and by representing those who were injured by a defective product or who suffered a significant personal injury due to the negligence of another.

If we can assist you or your business in any of these matters, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Jerry Kaltenbach selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2013

SL MagOhio Super Lawyers magazine has named Jerry L. Kaltenbach as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2013.

Rising Stars are made up of the top 2.5% of attorneys in Ohio under age 40.

Candidates for inclusion in the annual list of Super Lawyers Rising Stars are selected after nomination for the honor by peer attorneys or by Super Lawyers’ own research pool.  Each candidate is then independently evaluated by Super Lawyers based upon its 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Jerry has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in the practice area of civil litigation for 2013 in addition to being named a Rising Star in previous years.

“Inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers under 40 is a great honor and we appreciate the recognition by our peers in the legal community of our ability to deliver superior legal services.  This combined with satisfied clients makes our job and mission all the more worthwhile,” said Kaltenbach.

Supreme Court upholds bulk of Obamacare

With Chief Justice John Roberts among the 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court of the United States mostly let stand President Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul, known as “Obamacare.”

We’re a law firm.  We believe that legal scholarship is important rather than just taking cues from the media spin machines.  So get out your reading glasses and read what SCOTUS decided by clicking here for the full decision.

You might want to get a cup of coffee first because it is a 193-page decision.  If that’s not brief enough for you today, you can google to your heart’s content or read some media summaries.  The New York Times has a story running here.  Our own Columbus Dispatch has one here.

Jerry Kaltenbach named Top Lawyer by Columbus C.E.O.

In addition to being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star earlier this year, attorney Jerry L. Kaltenbach has been identified as a “Top Lawyer” by Columbus C.E.O. magazine in its April 2012 edition.

Columbus C.E.O. turned to Martindale-Hubbell as the authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession to compile its list of Top Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio.  Jerry Kaltenbach made the “Top Lawyers” list due to his AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the highest peer review rating available driven by the confidential opinions of lawyers and members of the judiciary regarding Jerry’s ethical standards and legal ability.

Attorney Kaltenbach Speaks to the Press About Social Media Use

Attorney Jerry Kaltenbach was featured in a recent article in The Daily Reporter regarding the use of social media by lawyers. Here’s the article:

By Jessica Shambaugh |Daily Reporter Staff Writer

Published: 03/23/2012

Columbus attorneys are being followed.

With the social networking website Twitter reporting to have hundreds of millions of registered users, it may not be surprising that members of the Columbus legal community have joined the masses in trying to accumulate followers and continually reaching out to the world in 140 characters or less.

“Like it or not, social media is here to stay,” said Jerry Kaltenbach, a Columbus litigation, real estate and business attorney. “Twitter is only getting bigger.” Kaltenbach opened his own firm, Kaltenbach Law LLC, in November and said his personal experience with social networking immediately transitioned to a business benefit.

The attorney has more than 80 followers and tweets several times a day about “[content] that comes out of the attorney general’s office, Ohio Supreme Court opinions, 6th Circuit, things like that,” he said. While he noted that most of his interactions are with other attorneys and that the potential for getting clients through Twitter is questionable, Kaltenbach said he can see possibilities.

“To date I can’t say that I’ve ever gotten a client strictly from using Facebook or Twitter, but I also know that you’re more likely to show up in Google search results if you’re out there using these social media products,” said Kaltenbach who uses Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Google Plus.

Continue reading

Future of Home Sales in Central Ohio Looking Bright

The Columbus Board of Realtors released the following article yesterday suggesting the continued bright future for a housing market comeback in Central Ohio.  As most of our readers know, a good portion of our law practice is spent representing real estate brokers, agents, and their clients in transactions, disputes, with complaints, and in litigation.  A good attorney is both easy and important to find!  Here’s the CBR article:

November marks the fifth consecutive month of increased home sales in central Ohio this year after the first half of the year struggled to keep up with increased sales from 2010 due to the home buyer tax credits.  According to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, 1,406 homes sold in November which is seven percent more than the previous year.

Additionally, the number of residential homes scheduled to close was up over 37 percent, from 1,341 last year to 1,843 last month (November 2011).

“We’re finding that sellers recognize the challenges of today’s market and are realistically pricing their homes to sell,” says Rick Benjamin, 2011 President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “Buyers are responding well to the pricing and, of course, the record low interest rates. It’s still a great time to buy a home.”

Homes in central Ohio this year have sold for an average of $157,032, down 2.5 percent from the average sale price in 2010, but up over five percent from the average sale price in the first quarter of 2011. The average price of a home sold in November was $153,673, up 3.1 percent from the previous month ($149,082).

The number of homes listed for sale last month (1,949) is 20 percent less than listings added to the market in November 2010 (2,439). The total inventory of homes available for sale in central Ohio was 12,675 at the end of November, which is down 27.5 percent from one year ago.

As a result, the month’s supply, a measure of inventory that estimates how many months it would take to sell the entire home inventory, fell 28.5 percent to 7.4, down from 10.3 last year.

“A healthy months supply for our market would be around 6.5. So the decrease in inventory is a positive sign of market recovery,” adds Benjamin. “Plus, based on the concept of supply and demand, when we  have too many homes on the market, homes are more likely to sell for
less.”

We love hearing positive news about the return of the housing market in Central Ohio and across the state.  Kaltenbach Law, LLC is cheering for an even better 2012!

Penn State Commentary: What about McQueary?

See evil, hear evil, but speak no evil.

11/12/2011 UPDATE BELOW. This post is not designed to provide coverage on the horrifying and troubling events that have been revealed at Penn State at the hand of former coach, Jerry Sandusky.  Click here to get coverage from the New York Times.  Instead, this post is presenting a very simple question:  How can it be that the Board of Trustees fired University President Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno, but the current wide receiver’s coach and team recruiting coordinator, Mike McQueary, still has his job?

According to the Grand Jury Presentment against Sandusky, McQueary was the then graduate assistant that went to Penn State’s locker room facilities on a night in 2002 when he heard, and then actually saw, Jerry Sandusky raping a ten-year-old boy in the showers. There’s so much to say, but let’s look at just two aspects:

1.  Mike McQueary is a former Penn State Quarterback, he was 28-years-old when this event occurred, and looks like he runs about 6’3″ and 230 lbs.  So, why McQueary didn’t stomp the 58-year-old naked and distracted Jerry Sandusky into the shower room tile is a mystery.

2.  Next, why didn’t McQueary call the cops?  There is no legal obligation to get involved in a crime in progress, but one would like to think that a call to 911 would be made as a civic responsibility at the least.  People call 911 when they see a drunk driver and even when McDonald’s runs out of Chicken McNuggets.  So why don’t you call the cops when you see the rape of a child in progress?

Instead, McQueary tells his dad what he saw and then he tells Joe Pa what he saw.  Joe Pa then tells Athletic Director, Tim Curley; but the telephone game apparently washes out some details.  Paterno or Curley could have, and should have, called the cops; but neither of them was an eyewitness like McQueary.

University President Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno were fired last night.  McQueary still has a job.  Today.  Should McQueary still have a job this Saturday by the time the Nittany Lions’ game gets underway?  We think not, how about you?

UPDATE: McQueary has been put on leave and will not be at the game today when Penn State hosts Nebraska in Happy Valley.

Cicero called to the carpet over Tressel emails

I wrote this post back on March 10, 2011, the day that Christopher T. Cicero was identified by The Columbus Dispatch as the attorney who sent e-mails to Buckeye football coach Jim Tressel warning that OSU players like Terrelle Pryor were giving away signed memorabilia in exchange for tattoos from Edward Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink.

Mr. Cicero (Image via ESPN)

My post was not about the developing scandal at Ohio State (There has been plenty of press coverage on that topic.  Too much in the opinion of this Buckeye fan).  Instead, my post took the lawyer’s perspective since the Dispatch’s article suggested that Cicero obtained the information he sent to Tressel from Ed Rife in a meeting regarding Cicero’s potential representation of Rife in a drug trafficking investigation.  The question in a lot of attorneys’ minds was whether Cicero breached his duties to Rife by passing along attorney-client privileged information to Tressel.

The question has gathered significant steam today.  Catherine Candisky from the Dispatch reported earlier today:

The Columbus lawyer at the center of controversy surrounding former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel may lose his license to practice law.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel today filed a complaint against Christopher T. Cicero, accusing him of violating attorney-client confidentiality when he sent three e-mails to Tressel telling him that players had been given free tattoos in exchange for signed memorabilia. Continue reading

Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Foreclosure Checks and Balances

They don't call it the burden of proof for nothing...

Back on January 31, 2011, I wrote about a group of foreclosure lawyers who filed a complaint against three Franklin County Common Pleas Judges (John Bender, Kimberly Cocroft, and Guy Reece) over an Order they signed requiring foreclosure lawyers to sign a certification on behalf of their clients – the foreclosing bank.

In a nutshell, the certification requires the foreclosing lawyer to verify certain facts, including that the foreclosing bank is the proper party and that it holds the original note and mortgage before it can obtain a judgment to take away a home.

The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office (the lawyer for all County employees in their official capacity) filed a Motion to dismiss the Complaint and the Ohio Supreme Court granted that motion yesterday without any findings of fact or conclusions of law.  The Court’s decision was unanimous among the seven Ohio Supreme Court Justices:

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, and Justices Paul Pfeifer, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Terrence O’Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Robert Cupp, and Yvette McGee Brown.

John Futty from The Columbus Dispatch wrote today:

State attorneys general across the nation, including then-Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, announced in October that they were investigating fraudulent foreclosure filings. Some law firms and major lenders were using so-called “robo-signers” to complete affidavits on foreclosures without reading the documents or verifying ownership of the mortgage notes.

In late November, the three Franklin County judges began telling all lawyers who file residential foreclosure cases in their courtrooms that they must “personally certify the authenticity and accuracy of all documents” in support of the filings. If a lawyer doesn’t, the judge will not grant a motion for default or summary judgment, but will instead schedule the case for trial.

Setting a foreclosure for trial can delay the case for a year or more. However, in its motion to dismiss the lawyers’ complaint, the prosecutor’s office argued that a trial date provides a “remedy” for those who object to verifying their clients’ documents.

“The fact that the trial will delay matters does not change the fact that it is an adequate remedy,” wrote Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Piccininni. “Any issues of authentication of documents and proof can be settled at that stage.”

Personally, I think the Judges are fully within their discretion to order foreclosure attorneys to verify their cases.  Most foreclosures are pushed through the courts unopposed and as fast as possible.  Mistakes are made and big banks take advantage of the volume of cases and overload on the judges to skirt the rules to their benefit.  Thanks Judges, for watching out for the homeowners in these economic times.