Who We Are
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Who We Are

Following is a list of the attorneys employed in the Employment Law Section. Click on a name to learn more about him or her.

Amy Ruth Ita

Section Chief
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Amy.Ita@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Amy joined the Employment Law Section in 2015 and was promoted to Section Chief in 2019. She manages a team of assistant attorneys general in representing state agencies, boards, commissions, educational institutions and officers in cases involving:

  • Federal and state discrimination law.
  • Harassment.
  • Retaliation.
  • Wrongful discharge.
  • Claims brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Disciplinary actions appealed to the State Personnel Board of Review.

Amy oversees the Employment Law Section’s case docket, including defense planning and advice to counsel teams on discovery matters, motion practice, trial practice and legal arguments. She also counsels employers on employment concerns including employee discipline, removals, leaves, wages and hours, and policies.

Before becoming Section Chief, Amy served as Assistant Section Chief and Federal Litigation Coordinator. She is a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s eDiscovery Team.

Before joining the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Amy practiced employment law and commercial litigation with two private law firms in Columbus, where she tried several cases. Before private practice, Amy served as a law clerk to the Honorable James G. Carr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio from 2001 to 2002.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2002)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • State of Kentucky (2011)

EDUCATION

  • The Ohio State University, J.D., cum laude (2001)
  • George Washington University, B.A., cum laude (1998)
Anna M. Seidensticker

Assistant Chief
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office:  614-644-7257
Fax:  614-752-4677
Anna.Seidensticker@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Anna serves as the Assistant Chief of the Employment Law Section, a position in which she assists in managing and serves as the Federal Litigation Coordinator. Additionally, she regularly advises and defends state agencies, colleges and universities on labor and employment matters, including:

  • Title VII discrimination and retaliation.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Title IX.
  • Claims of constitutional violations brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.

Anna regularly appears before state and federal courts and agencies throughout Ohio, including the State Personnel Board of Review, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor. She also has significant experience in labor arbitrations and issues related to collective bargaining agreements, and regularly represents state employers in those proceedings.

In her previous position as Assistant Chief in the Attorney General’s Education Section, Anna represented colleges and universities in federal and state courts as well as in administrative matters before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. She was responsible for providing advice and training to her higher-education clients on topics including employment matters and issues related to student privacy, public records, ethics and discipline.

Anna also has significant private sector labor and employment law experience. While working for a private law firm in Columbus, she regularly advised employers on labor and employment issues, prepared employee handbooks, drafted employment contracts, drafted and enforced restrictive covenant agreements, and defended employers in numerous matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (1990)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

RECENT PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

  • Presenter, “Responding to Internal Complaints,” Client Presentation (2019)
  • Presenter, “Best Practices in Responding to Charges of Discrimination,” Client Presentation (2019)
  • Presenter, “Avoiding & Addressing Sexual Harassment Complaints in the Workplace,” Client Presentation (2019)
  • Co-Author, “No Dues For You: The Future of Public Sector Agency-Shop Provisions After Friedrichs,” Labor And Employment News, Vol. 24 (2016)
  • Presenter, “Understanding & Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” 23rd Annual Conference for Public College and University Attorneys (2015)

EDUCATION

  • The Ohio State University, J.D. (1990)
  • Youngstown State University, B.A., summa cum laude (1987)
Michael J. Roche

Principal Assistant Attorney General/Unit Coordinator
Employment Law Section
Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit

Contact:
Cell: 216-407-8271
Michael.Roche@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

In 2013, Mike joined the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit, which provides comprehensive legal defense services to state agencies under the Department of Administrative Services, as well as several colleges and universities. The unit handles administrative hearings and court appeals throughout Ohio.

As Unit Coordinator, Mike works with three assistant attorneys general and support staff to provide advice and strategy to clients on all matters related to workers’ compensation claims. He evaluates new claim referrals to determine compensability and possible defenses, and he develops case plans as needed. Mike coordinates with employers and their representatives to obtain, file and present evidence and defenses before the Industrial Commission of Ohio, courts of common pleas and courts of appeals throughout the state.

Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Mike worked with a private law firm for more than eight years, gaining valuable trial experience. He provided workers’ compensation defense to both local and national companies doing business in Ohio, and his practice also included general litigation and probate. Before private practice, Mike served as a Judicial Staff Attorney in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Mike is a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law by the Ohio State Bar Association.  While completing his law degree, he worked for Cuyahoga County Probate Court and Cleveland Municipal Court.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2002)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D. (2001)
  • Cleveland State University, B.A. (1998)
Joseph N. Rosenthal

Principal Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Joseph.Rosenthal@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

Joe joined the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 1988. His first assignment was the Federal Litigation Section, but in short order, the Employment Law Section was created and he moved to become one of the founding members.

In his position, Joe represents state agencies and officials in employment discrimination lawsuits brought under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title IX and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. He regularly appears before state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout Ohio.

In addition, Joe works directly with human resources directors and in-house counsel to avoid and/or resolve potential employment related issues.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (1984)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

EDUCATION

  • Capital University, J.D. (1983)
  • Allegheny College, B.A. (1978)
Wendy Clary

Senior Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Wendy.Clary@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

With the Ohio Attorney General’s Office since 2013, Wendy represents state agencies and universities, and their officers and agents, in a broad range of employment matters before federal and state courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the State Personnel Board of Review.

Wendy defends clients against claims alleging discrimination, retaliation, harassment and violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. She provides guidance to state agencies on day-to-day personnel matters, especially in connection with disability accommodation requests.

Wendy has devoted her entire legal career to the practice of employment law. Her first job was as an associate in one of the largest national employment law firms. She also practiced employment law at a second national law firm before joining the Ohio Attorney General’s Employment Law Section.

Wendy has significant experience in disability discrimination claims and has assisted in both Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act class actions.

  • State of Ohio (2004)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

EDUCATION

  • The Ohio State University, J.D. (2004)
  • The Ohio State University, B.S./B.A. (1998)
Marissa J. Palumbo

Senior Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Marissa.Palumbo@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

Marissa has experience advising and representing state agencies, colleges and universities on a variety of employment matters, including Title VII discrimination and retaliation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 claims.

She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Opinions and Education sections of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2012)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

EDUCATION

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude (2012)
  • John Carroll University, B.A., magna cum laude (2009)

PROFFESIONAL INVOLVEMENT

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Women Lawyers of Franklin County
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation 2019-2020 Leadership Institute Class Member
Cathleen B. Slater

Senior Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Cathleen.Slater@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

Cathleen joined the Employment Law Section in October 2019. Before coming to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Cathleen practiced labor and employment law for 15 years. Additionally, she has extensive experience in collective bargaining, representing public- and private-sector unions in labor negotiations, arbitration, mediation and in matters before the National Labor Relations Board and the Ohio State Employee Relations Board.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (1996)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • University of Akron School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A.
Jared T. Erb

Senior Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 844-283-7232
jared.erb@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Jared joined the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2017 and the Employment Law Section in 2020. He now defends state agency clients against employment law claims before federal and state forums, as well as administrative bodies.

Before joining the Employment Law Section, Jared worked in the Charitable Law Section leading a team of investigators, accountants and examiners in probes of nonprofit organizations. Many of these cases resulted in litigation involving high profile charities, including ones run by former professional athletes and known philanthropists.

Jared also has taken on matters by special assignment, including successfully defending the Board of Pharmacy in multiday hearings over Ohio’s medical-marijuana dispensary application process.

In the Ohio Attorney General’s mock trial competition, held each November, Jared has served as a coach for The Ohio State University team.

He has extensive litigation and trial experience before juries in both federal and state courts. Before his time at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Jared worked in private practice for a boutique firm specializing in financial-services-industry, trade-secret and commercial-contract litigation. Clients included broker-dealers, investment banks, middle market private equity firms, REITs and life insurance companies. Matters occurred in federal courts across the U.S. and before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Jared also has served as an assistant prosecuting attorney on felony cases, involved from the inception of the investigation all the way to the jury trial. During his time in private practice, he was appointed as a special prosecutor to oversee conflict cases.

In addition to his work as an attorney, Jared has taught courses in both business law and business ethics at Marietta College. He has served as Secretary and Vice President of the Washington County Bar Association.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

EDUCATION

  • Capital University Law School, J.D., Concentration Certificate: Civil Litigation, Mock Trial
  • Xavier University, B.S.
Michael P. Germano

Associate Attorney General
Employment Law Section
Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit

Contact:
Office: 216-787-3715
Cell: 440-537-3636
Michael.Germano@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Michael joined the Attorney General’s Office in July 2019 in the Workers’ Compensation Unit. He represents state agencies regarding workers’ compensation claims filed by employees. Representation includes appearances at the Industrial Commission and Common Pleas Courts.

Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Michael was employed in private practice for 30 years. He was assigned all workers’ compensation cases, both for employee and employer representation. Additionally, while in private practice, Michael served in the following capacities:

  • Solicitor and Prosecutor, Village of Timberlake
  • Assistant Law Director, City of Willoughby; Counsel to the Board of Appeals; Counsel to the Planning Commission
  • Assistant Law Director and Prosecutor, City of Kirtland;
  • Assistant Law Director, Concord Township;
  • Prosecutor, City of Willoughby Hills

Michael has served as President of the Lake County Bar Association, Willoughby Chamber of Commerce and City of Willoughby Hills Council. He is also a graduate of Leadership Lake County.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Tax Court

Education

  • Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law, J.D.
  • Cleveland State University, B.A.s (Political Science and Mass Communication)
Gregory Lynn Patterson

Associate Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section
Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Gregory.Patterson@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

Gregory has practiced law for more than 40 years. He joined the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2007 after a private-practice career representing injured workers, some for private law firms throughout the state and some in his own law office. He also served as a Hearing Officer and first Legislative Counsel for the Industrial Commission of Ohio.

For the Ohio Attorney General, Gregory was a founding member of the Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit, representing state agencies and state universities in problem workers’ comp claims. In the unit, he has performed administrative hearings as well as trial work.

In private practice, Gregory represented injured workers and clients in various other legal matters and was one of the few practitioners of entertainment law in Ohio. He worked on major projects with Bob Hope and Bob Keeshan, and founded three performing arts companies in Central Ohio, including the Lawyers’ Performance Ensemble.

Gregory is a past chair of the Entertainment Law Committees of the Columbus Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association. He is also a past chair of the Columbus Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Committee.

In his pre-law days, he worked in the Ohio House of Representatives, as Government Relations Director for all Ohio Red Cross Chapters and as a lobbyist for private clients.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio (1979)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Education

  • University of Toledo College of Law, J.D (1978)
  • Bowling Green State University, B.A., B.S., cum laude
Colleen Koehler

Associate Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Colleen.Koehler@ohioattorneygeneral.gov

Colleen joined the Employment Law Section in 2017 and represents state entities, including regulatory boards, elected officials and educational institutions, in employment-related legal proceedings. She practices in state and federal courts, the State Personnel Board of Review, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She also advises state entities on employment matters in an effort to avoid litigation.

Colleen has experience with a broad array of labor and employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act and various Ohio laws relating to discrimination, civil service and trade secrets.

Before joining the Employment Law Section, Colleen practiced with two private firms: a defense firm where she specialized in traditional labor matters and a plaintiff’s firm focused on age discrimination claims, where she acted as co-counsel during three trials.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2013)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., Litigation Concentration (2013)
  • Ohio University, B.A., magna cum laude (2009)

COMMUNITY & PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT

  • Member, Columbus Bar Association (2015-present)
  • Member, Women Lawyers of Franklin County (2016-present)
  • Participant, Barrister Leadership Program (2017)
Devon J. Alexander

Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Devon.Alexander@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Devon joined the Employment Law Section in September 2019, after working there as a summer clerk while in law school.

In his position as Assistant Attorney General, Devon represents state agencies, departments, commissions, colleges and universities in labor and employment matters. Those include Title VII discrimination and retaliation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 claims.

Devon also defends the state against appeals brought before the State Personnel Board of Review.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2019)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • Capital University, J.D., magna cum laude (2019)
  • The Ohio State University, B.S., magna cum laude (2016)
Jerome C. Webbs

Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section
Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit

Contact:
Office:  614-466-6696
Direct:  614-466-6730
Jerome.Webbs@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Jerry joined the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2018 and has been promoted through the Workers’ Compensation, Executive Agencies and Employment Law sections. Now, as part of the Workers’ Compensation Defense Unit, Jerry represents various state agencies in such claims.

This stint isn’t his first working for Ohio’s Attorney General. From 1987 through 1990, Jerry served as an Assistant Attorney General in Cleveland, representing the state in unemployment and workers’ compensation defense. He has vast experience representing the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in jury trials in jurisdictions throughout the state and has prepared numerous appellate court and mandamus briefs.

Between AG stints, Jerry worked in the private sector representing self-insured employers in the workers’ compensation system. That work included hundreds of Industrial Commission hearings and trials. All combined, Jerry has been an advocate in the workers’ compensation system for more than 30 years, which is the majority of his 40+ years in law.

While in private practice, Jerry also defended clients in the mass asbestos litigation products liability suits. That work included overseeing the employers’ attorney group from numerous law firms, which represented employers throughout Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.

Jerry also has lectured in Continuing Legal Education courses and to groups of private employers on topics such as understanding basic workers’ compensation law, analyzing court cases and explaining new statutes affecting employers. He is a firm believer that sharing his knowledge about workers’ compensation laws is essential to ensuring that the system works as designed and that all involved get fair treatment.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (1980)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D. (1980)
  • Oberlin College, B.A. (1977)
Lorenzo Washington

Assistant Attorney General
Employment Law Section

Contact:
Office: 614-644-7257
Fax: 614-752-4677
Lorenzo.Washington@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Lorenzo joined the Employment Law Section in 2020 and represents state agencies, boards, commissions, educational institutions and officers in cases involving:

  • Federal and state discrimination laws.
  • Harassment.
  • Retaliation.
  • Wrongful discharge.
  • Claims brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Disciplinary actions appealed to the State Personnel Board of Review.

In addition, Lorenzo advises employers on various labor concerns, such as employee discipline, removals, leaves, wages and hours, and policies.

Before joining the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Lorenzo practiced employment law at a private law firm in Columbus. He also had served as a law clerk for a law firm that primarily focused on insurance subrogation claims.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of Ohio (2017)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

EDUCATION

  • The Ohio State University, J.D. (2016)
  • Ohio University, B.A., cum laude (2012)