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Until 1978, I was a science teacher in Toronto, Canada, teaching chemistry, physics and biology. I loved teaching as a career and loved the subject-matter. Shortly after moving from Toronto back to the States, I began attending the Chase College of Law. The birth of the first test tube baby was in 1978. During my tenure in law school in vitro fertilization technology was perfected. Growing up in a family of doctors, I followed this medical miracle with interest and watched, first hand, as members of my own family established the first IVF program locally in 1983. When I graduated from law school in 1986, my family law practice began. I joined the law firm of Katz, Greenberger & Norton where I practiced for thirty years. When that law firm closed, I was fortunate to begin my own law firm with my longtime friend and partner, Ross Evans. Essig & Evans LLP is a boutique firm only handling family and fertility law matters.
I handled my first private adoption in 1987. Since then, I have helped hundreds of families grow through adoption. I have provided legal assistance in interstate and in-state adoptions, as well as the re-adoption of foreign born children. Because of my interest in adoption, I applied for and was granted membership to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, in 1993. As a Fellow of this Academy, I have worked with some of the most experienced attorneys in the country. From my adoption practice, there was a natural transition into the practice of surrogacy law. In 2009, I was proud to be a founding member of the newly established American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. In 1993, when the Hamilton County Probate Court decided to adopt a local rule concerning surrogacy, I was actively involved in the small group working with the Court to create their guidelines.
As a result of my years of experience in surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology family-building methods, I am called upon frequently to talk to hospital personnel and physician groups about this emerging area of the law. I am often requested by these groups to assist them in developing their practice policies. I have been called as an expert on cases concerning surrogacy and interviewed by various television and news sources when surrogacy issues arise.
During my legal career, I have been an active participant in the Cincinnati Bar association, serving as Chair of the Family Law committee for two years beginning in 2000. Previously, I served as that committee's Vice Chair and Secretary. I served on the committee responsible for oversight of all other committees of the Bar from 1996 to 1998 and then served on the Bar's Grievance Committee from 1999 through 2001. In 2001, I was designated as AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell recognizing the highest ethical standards and legal ability within the legal community. I am proud of this accomplishment and do all that I can to maintain that reputation including, but not limited to, returning phone calls promptly and completing projects on time.
In January, 2000, after passing the examination given by the Ohio State Bar Association I was certified as a Family Relations Law Specialist. The next year, I was asked by the Ohio State Bar Association, to serve on the specialization board for the Family Law Bar and helped write the next exam for those wishing to become certified specialists. In 2004, I was designated as an Ohio Super Lawyer and continued to achieve that designation in following years. In 2006, I was designated a Cincinnati Leading Lawyer by Cincinnati Business Magazine.
Along with Rachel Loftspring, a talented member of our Fertility Law group, I am proud to say that we have helped thousands of clients build their families through surrogacy, egg, sperm, embryo donation and adoption. We look forward to helping you build your family through adoption, assisted reproductive technology and other collaborative methods.
Areas of Practice
- Adoption Law
Certified Legal Specialties
- Family Relations Law Specialist, Ohio State Bar Association, 2000
- Ohio, 1986
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
- Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky
- J.D. - 1986
- Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
- B.S. - 1972
Honors and Awards
- "Ohio Super Lawyer", 2004 - Present
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2001 - Present
- Cincinnati Leading Lawyer by Cincinnati Business Magazine, 2006
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Fellow, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, 1993 - Present
- Fellow, American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, 2009 - Present
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Cincinnati Bar Association