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Debby Merritt Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Debby Merritt

Debby is the Distinguished University Professor and John Deaver Drinko/Baker & Hostetler Chair Emerita at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Podcast episodes

International Human Rights Lawyer at the United Nations

Episode #44
April 29, 2019

Matt Hoisington, a graduate of Boston College Law School, explains his path to and through the United Nations. He talks about how he managed to obtain one of the most sought-after jobs in the law as an international human rights lawyer. He discusses his time doing law and policy at UN headquarters in New York City, and time abroad in Abyei and Darfur, Sudan.

Federal Criminal Defense: Representing Indigent Clients

Episode #40
May 23, 2016

Candace Hom, a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, explains her role in the criminal justice system. She also talks about how she builds trust with her clients, the various legal roles within the federal public defender office, and the challenges of dealing with prosecutors—even the good ones.

Business Immigration: Helping Companies Bring Foreign Nationals to the U.S.

Episode #39
May 16, 2016

Melina LaMorticella, a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, worked as a paralegal for 15 years before going to law school. After graduation, she moved from a local immigration boutique to a larger firm in Portland to practice business immigration law. In this episode, Melina talks about how the U.S. considers immigration applications from professional workers and the charged political atmosphere she operates in, as well as what her typical day looks like.

Federal Government Transactions: Affordable Housing Deals and Counsel

Episode #34
February 22, 2016

Kevin Karin, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, is a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lawyer in the Seattle regional office. In this episode, he tells us about his role at HUD and how it differs from other types of public interest work related to affordable housing.

In-House Counsel: Where Prioritization Outweighs Perfection

Episode #30
November 23, 2015

Jessica Morgan, a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, discusses her areas of responsibility as vice president of Legal for Boulder Brands, a public company that owns a variety of food manufacturers. Jessica oversees a team of regulatory experts, manages outside counsel and company’s intellectual property portfolio, negotiates contracts, and continues to automate as many legal processes as she can to save and make her company money.

Helping Families Plan Their Legacy with Trusts and Estates

Episode #23
August 3, 2015

Deacon Haymond, a graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, discusses his small and growing law firm that specializes in trusts and estates. Deacon talks us through his fees, how he finds clients, and what happens when he's too nice to his clients. While advances in legal services technology pose challenges to his practice long term, he's emphatic that so far, they're helping him.

Emerging Law Around LGBTQA+ Issues

Episode #20
July 13, 2015

Meaghan Hearne, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, is involved in a variety of general practice areas, from civil litigation and criminal defense to divorces and child custody. However, much of her work revolves around LGBTQA+ clients and issues. Before the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples, Meaghan protected same-sex couples who wanted the protections marriage afforded.

Full-Spectrum Counsel to Warfighters in the U.S. Military

Episode #19
July 6, 2015

Each of the five U.S. military branches has a large legal staff that handles civil litigation, criminal prosecution and defense, and more. With worldwide jurisdiction, the military justice system operates alongside our civilian system and is run by the Judge Advocate General's Corp—JAG for short. Captain Megan Mallone, a 2008 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law and Air Force JAG officer, joined the military right after law school. While she’s not involved in combat, she does provide legal counsel of all kinds to warfighters. She discusses her time when she re-enlisted and was deployed to Greece and Qatar while stationed in England. 

Prosecuting Federal Drug Laws

Episode #16
June 8, 2015

Mike Hunter, a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, is an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In this episode, he details his role in the criminal justice system. From Fourth Amendment advice for federal agents making a bust to deciding which cases to take, when to seek indictments, and who to make plea agreements with, Mike tells us how he makes choices in pursuit of justice.

Consumer Protection: Suing Debt Collectors

Episode #13
May 11, 2015

Pete Barry, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, is a Minnesota consumer rights lawyer who sues debt collectors who harass or discriminate against consumers. Pete describes important criteria for taking a client, what's at the core of every lawsuit, and the federal laws that help him market to those who do not realize they’ve been legally harmed. 

Health Policy and Medical Professional Prosecutions

Episode #11
March 16, 2015

Johanna Barde, a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, is a lawyer for the Tennessee Department of Health. In her capacity as assistant general counsel, Johanna creates public health policy—researching and writing rules of conduct—and prosecutes medical professionals during administrative hearings before state health boards. For a medical professional, her property right (a license) is at stake during these hearings. When the government tries to take that right away, she's afforded due process. At the hearing, just like at a trial, Johanna must litigate the facts and the law to persuade the decision-maker of her case. She subpoenas and interviews witnesses, makes opening and closing statements, argues rules of evidence and procedure, and ultimately wins or loses. The work can be repetitive, Johanna admits, but her colleagues and her desire to protect public health keep her motivated.

e-Discovery in Modern Civil Litigation

Episode #9
March 2, 2015

Nat Croumer, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is the discovery attorney administrative manager for the WilmerHale DiscoverySolutions team. In this role, he oversees coaching and career development, hiring, personnel matters, budgeting and finance, and marketing of the group. Nat discusses how electronic document discovery is essential to modern civil litigation.

Navigating the Administrative Maze for Immigrant Clients and Their Families

Episode #7
February 16, 2015

Manuel Escobar, a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, discusses his experience representing people as an immigration lawyer. In this episode, Manuel addresses some key questions pertinent to immigration law. What options are available to those seeking relief from deportation? How does an immigration lawyer prepare for hearings? What challenges do immigration lawyers face, and which strategies can help mitigate stress from work?

Obtaining Writs of Mandamus to Assist Aggrieved Government Employees

Episode #6
February 9, 2015

Michael Morguess, a graduate of Western State University College of Law, discusses his new appellate practice where he frequently seeks writs of mandamus—an order to a government agency or official to behave in accordance with the law—for clients terminated by government agencies. With jobs and livelihoods on the line, Michael faces a lot of pressure running his own firm, but the intellectual challenge and thrill of victory buoy his non-traditional litigation practice.

The Insurance Maze, Tough Clients, and Prevalent Sexism in Personal Injury Practice

Episode #2
January 21, 2015

Tricia Dennis, a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law, has been a personal injury lawyer for almost 30 years. From dealing with sexist opponents to corralling tough clients, Tricia reveals several challenges she's faced in her career. She walks us through a plaintiff lawyer’s perspective on client intake, negotiations, and settlement. By the end of this episode, listeners understand that, more than anything, Tricia is a small business owner who helps her clients navigate an insurance maze.