I knew I wanted to become an attorney at an early age, but it took me a while to find my niche. After law school, I handled a variety of cases, including bankruptcy and other civil matters. Yet criminal law has always been my strong suit. If you want to do something well, it’s important to be focused. So when I opened my own practice, I decided to center it around criminal defense and appeals. After all, while with Cooper & Pennington, I had ample learning opportunities from prominent Columbus criminal defense attorneys Christopher Cooper and Crysta Pennington. During this time, I gained extensive trial experience ranging from simple traffic offenses to high-profile murder cases, all of which are invaluable to my practice today.
When people ask “Why criminal defense?” there is one particular case that always comes to mind. It was the first “not guilty” verdict I received for a client after trial. The fact that we won is not what is significant. What matters is that my client was charged with the rape of a child that he truly did not commit. His entire life was on the line because of this case, and he could’ve lost everything for something he was not even a part of.
In that moment, I knew why I was passionate about criminal defense. Unlike what the general public often thinks, criminal defense attorneys regularly protect the innocent from convictions they do not deserve. Even when clients are guilty, good attorneys will strive to uphold their rights when everyone else has turned their back. For this reason, I have always found that criminal defense attorneys help people in a unique way.
The satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone improve their life makes everything worth it.
Outside of the office, I continue to stay involved in the legal community. I am an active member of both the Ohio State Bar Association and its Criminal Justice Committee. I have also served on its legislative subcommittee, where I have offered a defense attorney’s perspective on proposed changes to Ohio’s criminal laws. In addition, I am a member of the Licking County Bar Association and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Further, I have attended and completed the National Defender's Training Project, a weeklong practicum for criminal defense attorneys; am Rule 20 Certified to represent indigent defendants in death penalty cases and appeals; and am a CJA panel member selected to represent certain indigent defendants in federal court.
Though being an attorney keeps me busy, I am still sure to spend time with my amazing wife, Katherine, who works as an assistant prosecutor with the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. Katherine and I stay active by hiking, going to concerts, and of course, attending as many Ohio State sporting events and Columbus Blue Jackets games as possible. We are both Columbus natives and graduates of the university, and I’d like to think we do our best to stay true to our roots both in and out of the firm. We have a son, Thomas, two dogs, and two cats. Thomas went to his first Blue Jackets and Ohio State basketball games when he was less than a month old!
U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 2009
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2015
Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio
Juris Doctorate - May 2008
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Bachelor of Science, cum laude with honors in the arts & sciences - June 2004
Oxford University in England
Anglo-American legal system
Thomas Worthington High School - 2000
Honors and Awards
Recognized as a “Rising” Star from 2016 - Present by Super Lawyers
Phi Beta Kappa
Professional Associations and Memberships
Ohio State Bar Association, Member, 2008 - Present
Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 2014 - Present
Licking County Bar Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
Cooper & Pennington Co., LPA (formerly known as Christopher M. Cooper Co., LPA), Associate, 2009 - 2013
Columbus City Prosecutor's Office