OMVLAP Board of Directors

Evelyn Stratton-01

Justice (retired) Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, President

Evelyn “Eve” Stratton was a former trial judge for seven years, and an Ohio Supreme Court Justice for 16 years. Evelyn Lundberg Stratton retired from the Supreme Court of Ohio early to pursue criminal justice reforms with a particular emphasis on veterans who become involved with the justice system. She established the Veterans in the Courts Initiative in 2009.

She comes from a long line of veterans – a grandfather killed in the line of duty (KIA) in WWII, five uncles and a father who also served in WWII,  and two brothers who served in the Vietnam Theater.

She assisted the Department of Veterans Affairs in establishing veterans treatment courts, served on the VA committee that launched the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program, founded Operation Legal Help Ohio, co-founded Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit focusing on veterans and traumatic brain injury (TBI), co-chairs the Ohio Attorney General’s Task Force on Mental Illness and Criminal Justice, with a sub-committee on Veterans Courts and Military Affairs, among other veterans-related issues.

Stratton teaches and speaks nationally on veterans and criminal justice reform issues.

Fred Stratmann

Fred Stratmann, Vice President

Fred Stratmann is General Counsel for CommuniCare Health Services in Cincinnati. He served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services from 2013-2015. During his tenure at ODVS, he was a proponent of expanding Veterans Treatment Courts in more counties in Ohio. He has also developed and presented CLE programs on Veterans Treatment Courts and the representation of Veterans in criminal courts. He serves as Co-Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Law Committee has also served as Interim Superintendent of the Ohio Veterans Homes. Fred served in the United States Coast Guard from 1984-1990.

Shawn Beem

Shawn M. Beem, Secretary

Shawn M. Beem is the Assistant Dean for Professional Development at Capital University Law School. He is a frequent developer of innovative CLE programs and presentations and author of articles on the subject of career and professional development. Dean Beem served as a Director on the Board of NALP – The Association for Legal Career Professionals, a national organization dedicated to professional development and legal recruitment. He assisted in the initial creation of Operation Legal Help Ohio’s call center and pro bono placement. Dean Beem earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and International Studies from the University of Dayton and a Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School. He spent a year studying at the Université de Strasbourg in France earning a Diplôme d’Etudes Françaises.

Jane Taylor

E. Jane Taylor, Treasurer

Ms. Taylor is the Director for Pro Bono and Communications for the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.  Prior to her employment with the Foundation she practiced law for 25 years at the Akron law firm of Guy, Lammert & Towne, concentrating her practice in commercial litigation, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy.  In 1994, Ms. Taylor was elected the first female president of the Akron Bar Association, and was president of the Ohio State Bar Association from 2005 to 2006. She holds a B.A. from Kent State University and a J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law.

Duncan Aukland

Colonel (retired) Duncan D. Aukland

After being admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1982, Duncan Aukland was commissioned as a Judge Advocate in the US Army Reserve in 1984. In 1990 he became the General Counsel to the Ohio Army National Guard, serving in the capacity until his retirement as a Colonel in 2014. After a year in retirement, he was selected as the Civilian Labor Relations Specialist for the Ohio National Guard and serves in that capacity today.

David Borell

Captain David Borell

David Borell is an attorney licensed in Ohio and Michigan and practices in the Toledo firm of Anapach, Meeks & Ellenberger.  He focuses his practice on serving the needs of veterans, military members, and their families. David previously served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman and performed several overseas tours, including a combat tour in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. David continues to serve as a Judge Advocate General assigned to Trial Defense Services in the Ohio Army National Guard.

Stephen Lynch

Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Stephen T. Lynch

Steve Lynch has served as the legal assistance attorney for Coast Guard units around the Great Lakes since 2001. Based in Cleveland, he provides counsel to Coast Guard and other military personnel on a wide range of issues, including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Prior to joining the Coast Guard, Mr. Lynch served on active duty with the Air Force for more than twenty years. He is an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve School of Law, and a guest instructor at the Army JAG School in Charlottesville, VA. He is a recipient of the Ohio AMVETS Public Servant Award, and the ABA Distinguished Service Award for Legal Assistance to Military Personnel.

Sean McCarthy-01

Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy is Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. He previously served as a Judge of Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and was later appointed as a Judge in Franklin County Municipal Court. He spent more than 15 years as an assistant prosecutor for Franklin County, serving as lead prosecutor on major felony cases and as Deputy Director for the Drug Prosecution Unit. He volunteered for military duty after 9/11, and was commissioned in the Ohio Army National Guard. He mobilized to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, and deployed to Afghanistan with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Adam Miller

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Miller

Adam is a partner in the Columbus office of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister. He is a former chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He presently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Adam is a U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer (1996 – present) and served with the 10th Mountain Division during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2004. An adjunct faculty member for the National Defense University in Washington DC; Adam has been selected to attend the U.S. Army War College.

Melissa Palmisciano

Lieutenant Colonel Melissa D. Palmisciano

Melissa (Dunlap) Palmisciano is an attorney in the Columbus office of Jones Day and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Prior to affiliating with the Reserves, she served 11 years on active duty in the Marine Corps as an Aviation Intelligence Officer and Judge Advocate. She graduated summa cum laude and Order of the Coif from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and with distinction from the United States Naval Academy.  Her husband Matthew, a former active duty Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot, currently flies the A-10 in the Indiana Air National Guard.

Melissa Powers

Judge Melissa Powers

Judge Melissa Powers began her legal career in the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office in 1991 as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. She received national and international attention in 1995 for resolving a cold case, an eighteen year old double homicide that was committed by a white supremist serial killer. In 2008 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she was awarded the prestigious Anti-Defamation League Inna Kay Award recognizing her accomplishments for crimes against hatred. Prior to the Governor’s appointment of Judge Powers to Hamilton County Municipal Court in 2006, she had fifteen years of trial experience in criminal, juvenile, domestic relations, probate, civil and the appellate courts. She was successfully re-elected to Municipal Court three times, with the most recent election was in 2014. Currently she is the Presiding Judge of Hamilton County Municipal Court.


Judge Powers started the first Hamilton County Municipal Veterans Treatment Court in April 2012. It is a specialized treatment court developed for veterans in conjunction with Cincinnati Veterans Administration Hospital. This strong partnership between the Veterans Treatment Court and the VA establishes a genuine, effective commitment to help the returning veteran heal from the wounds of war and reduce recidivism.

Joe Schwade

Major Joseph Schwade

Major Joe Schwade is the current Chief Counsel and Joint Staff Judge Advocate for the Ohio National Guard. He began his military service in 1990 as a rifleman in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. He separated from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1994.

Major Schwade graduated from The Ohio State University in June 1994 and later from Capital University Law School and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1998. In 1998 he began his practice with the Ohio Attorney General, where he practiced for 10 years in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor law.  He commissioned into the Ohio Army National Guard Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 2004 and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2008 as the Brigade Judge Advocate. Shortly after returning from deployment he was selected as the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio National Guard, the position in which he practiced and served up until the time of Colonel (Retired) Duncan Aukland’s retirement in May 2014.

Cybele Smith

Cybele Smith

Ms. Smith is currently the Director of the Public Service Law Center at Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University where is also the primary administrator of the Captain Jonathan D. Grassbaugh Veterans Project.  The Project pairs law students with local veterans facing housing and credit related legal issues. The students are supervised by licensed volunteer attorneys.  In addition to her roles at Moritz, Ms. Smith served as a Board Member for the National Association of Law Placement and is in her sixth year as a member of the Genoa Township Board of Zoning Appeals. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her middle school aged kids and their pets, as well as working in her perennial garden and staying in touch with friends. She is a Capital University Law School and Ohio State University graduate and has been a public employee as long as she can remember.