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Calfee is one of Ohio’s most prominent law firms in the area of Public Law. The firm built its reputation in this area by consistently demonstrating three qualities: knowledge, creativity, and a strong determination to achieve our clients’ goals.

Several of our attorneys have served as public officials in city, county, and state government. This provides our governmental clients with extraordinary experience in state and federal law, a depth of direct experience in the workings of government, and a keen understanding of the economic constraints on all levels of state and local governments.

The depth and breadth of the firm’s public law experience reflect the range of legal issues and needs that public bodies encounter. From drafting zoning regulations and eminent domain ordinances to sophisticated bid and construction contract documents for a wide variety of public projects, Calfee attorneys provide legal assistance and counseling to Ohio government officials at every level. We partner with you to resolve time-sensitive issues such as public records/open meeting questions, real estate acquisitions, and conflicts of interest.




  • Represented the State of Ohio in connection with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s first design/build/finance/operate and maintain procurement for a 16-mile, 4-lane highway in southeast Ohio. The engagement included the preparation of the procurement documents, including a Public/Private Agreement.
  • Represented the Group Plan Commission in the redevelopment of Public Square and the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Counsel to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority in connection with the proposed acquisition of the City of Cincinnati’s parking system, including seven off-street parking facilities and the City’s on-street parking system, which included negotiation of a long-term lease structured to be treated as a sale for federal income tax purposes, while providing both an upfront purchase price and ongoing cash flow to the City.
  • Represented an urban inner-ring suburb of Cleveland in connection with the redevelopment of a retail center, including bond financing, and preparation and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements and development agreements.
  • Represented local government in assisting multiple social service agencies relocate in Cincinnati.
  • Advised municipalities and other Ohio political subdivisions regarding home rule powers, municipal utility powers, public records, tort immunity, vacating streets, zoning, and eminent domain.
  • Represented Cuyahoga County Public Library in the sale and purchase of real property for the construction of new library branches.
  • Represented local housing authority in the master lease of its former headquarters as well as other transactional and real estate matters.
  • Served as general counsel to a 501(c)(3) District Energy Company, which includes but is not limited to corporate governance, construction, financing, and labor and employment matters.
  • Defended municipal utilities in court actions seeking to limit the constitutional authority of municipal utilities over rates and use of funds.
  • Served as general counsel to an Urban Design Review Board, providing legal advice to the board throughout the administrative process.
  • Consulted with local government clients across Ohio on updating their zoning ordinances, including ordinances related to social service and continuum of care uses.
  • Lead drafts person for the first PACE/EPAD project (Energy Project Assessment District) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which involved the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments to finance the retrofitting of a senior care center in Northern Kentucky with energy-saving improvements.

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