How does the Cincinnati Law Library Association, age 159, stay relevant when Tristate attorneys can access case law through Google-driven internet searches and the vast  LexisNexis database?

Time, Law Librarian David Whelan says, is on its side. 

"A lot of the law in Ohio, even as recently 25 or 30 years ago, is not available except in print," Whelan explains.

That's where the Cincinnati Law Library comes in. Located on the sixth floor of the Hamilton County Court House, the private, non-profit library still fills a large niche that internet resources can't touch. Its collection of 150,000 volumes serves attorneys and litigants representing themselves"”at no charge. The library recently abolished its $5 daily usage fee. A staff of eight helps customers navigate the collection.

The library was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1844 and opened its doors in 1847. Funding comes almost solely from traffic tickets issued in the county.

The library has adapted to the times by establishing partnerships within the last year with four online databases: LOISLaw Treatises, CCH.com, Fastcase.com and HeinOnline.

For $100 a year, 1,500 member attorneys have access to federal and state case law of all sorts through those databases. That fills another niche for sole practitioners and small firms that may not subscribe to the pricey services.

"It's a service they couldn't afford otherwise," Whelan points out.

Kimberly S. Amrine has been tapped to be the first director of diversity at Frost Brown Todd. Amrine is a senior associate in the Cincinnati office's litigation department. She is charged with coordinating and implementing the firm's diversity program at all seven of its regional offices. Amrine's duties include  identifying and recommending ideas and programs that help Frost Brown Todd recruit and retain a diverse workforce. She previously served on the firm's Women's Initiative Steering Committee and Training and Development Committee.

Robert F. Ware, a partner with Thompson Hine, is the new president-elect of the Ohio State Bar Association. He will assume the presidency of the 25,000-member organization on July 1, 2007. The University of Michigan Law School graduate is firm-wide chair of Thompson Hine's new lawyer committee, which recruits attorneys for the practice. Ware's priorities for his term as state bar will include strengthening and energizing the association, enhancing member benefits and contributing to improvements in the justice system in Ohio.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has appointed Mark F. Sommer, a partner at Greenebaum Doll and McDonald, to the Kentucky Lottery Corp. board of directors. The board oversees a lottery system that garnered more than $707 million in sales during the last fiscal year. Since its inception 17 years ago, the lottery has generated more than $2.43 billion for education funding in Kentucky. Cincinnati-native Sommer practices here and in Louisville, specializing in tax law.

Dinsmore & Shohl has added three partners to its Cincinnati office. James A. Marx, a graduate of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, practices in the areas of corporate, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. He is a trustee at the Woodward Trust and formerly served as the president and chairman  of the Board of the Housing Network of Hamilton County. Christopher R. McDowell, a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, practices litigation with an emphasis in criminal defense and construction law. Bryan E. Pacheco, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, is a member of the litigation department. He is the Silverton city solicitor and Blue Ash deputy solicitor.

Kevin Kirsch has joined the Cincinnati office of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister as a partner in litigation. He is a patent attorney licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and has represented companies in numerous commercial and intellectual property litigation matters. The graduate of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles previously led the legal services department for Luxottica Retail and was a partner with Minneapolis-based Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly. He also worked at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, of Newport Beach, CA.

Taft has formed a new practice group called the General Counsel Access Program. Attorneys James Farmer, Nancy Brown, Diane Reynolds and Donna Flammang are charged with offering small- and mid-market companies the same quality of service available to larger companies. Clients will receive a legal compliance analysis and recommended compliance program, including the development of policies, presentations and other materials, tailored to address the company's particular industry, regulatory environment and identified problem areas.

Law news relevant to the Tristate business community may be emailed to Cincy Business at news@cincybusinessmag.com.