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As an attorney with Calfee's Government Relations practice, Maryellen works closely with public and privately held clients to develop legislative strategies and support programs on issues that affect and impact their particular business. She provides legislative research and analysis around issues important to the client and its industry in order to help form an effective legislative strategy. She implements legislative strategies and drafts legislation on behalf of clients. Maryellen also has a great deal of experience helping to guide clients through the state’s operating and capital budget bill process.

Maryellen has counseled clients regarding issues affecting the gaming, higher education, Medicaid and healthcare, technology, public pension and utility industries.

She also works with clients as they navigate the regulatory process, for example, before the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Ohio State Racing Commission, Ohio Department of Health and others.

Maryellen also counsels clients on forming PACs as well as campaign finance and lobbying reporting and compliance issues surrounding such matters.

As part of the Public Law and Public Finance groups, Maryellen provides counsel to state-level authorities and other agencies of state government, municipalities, port authorities, counties, townships and special districts, as well as businesses appearing before them, on various matters, with an emphasis in the areas of general governmental finance, conduit finance and economic development.

Maryellen represents municipalities regarding a variety of matters including ordinance drafting and compliance. She works on economic development projects – both for local governments and people who wish to do work with the state and local governments. To this end, she drafts legislation and agreements, including TIF and project development agreements. 

Maryellen has developed specific expertise in the Ohio Public Records and Open Meetings Acts and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on those topics. She also serves as an editor and author of "Chapter 6: Open Meetings and Public Records" in  Local Government Law – Municipal, which is part of Baldwin’s Ohio Practice series published by Thomson West.

She is a member of the Ohio Lobbying Association and the Council of Development Finance Agencies.

Prior to joining Calfee, Maryellen was a Public Policy Analyst for Capital Partners, a public policy and management advisory firm focusing on government finance and policy reform in health care, education, and economic development. While at Capital Partners, Maryellen worked directly with the company president, a former director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.

Maryellen joined Calfee in 2008.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Government Relations Practice (2024)


J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, CALI Award for Constitutional Law II, 2003

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000



  • Serving an American real estate technology company as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. We are assisting the client in obtaining an amendment to the state’s operating budget bill to prohibit certain predatory right-to-list sales agreements. As part of the larger realty industry, the client advocated for laws to prohibit right-to-list sales agreements where the agreement runs with the land or otherwise purports to bind future owners or the agreement purports to be a lien, encumbrance, or other security interest. We also kept the client abreast of developments and assisted in their participation in legislative hearings and interested party meetings and facilitated one-on-one meetings with legislative sponsors on bills of interest.
  • Provide ongoing government relations services to an Ohio university; currently assisting the client with all its state government-related matters. We recently helped the client maintain several million dollars in direct state funding for the client's medical school during state budget negotiations. We have closely monitored and advised the client on proposed state legislation regarding the teaching of "divisive concepts" and diversity in education and successfully helped ensure that the legislation will not apply to private, nonprofit universities.
  • Representing television provider clients before the General Assembly monitoring legislation that impacts the clients' business. In the past year, we have worked with the clients, their in-house legislative counsel, and their legislative representatives from approximately 12 states to enact legislation to prevent the application of cable franchise fees to streaming video services offered by the clients over the internet. We helped review and edit draft legislation and supporting materials to fit our political and policy climate, conducted legislative outreach efforts, obtained legislative sponsors, worked on amendments with interested parties, and saw the legislation successfully amended into a legislative vehicle and passed by the General Assembly, all over a five-month period.
  • Assisted in an effort to modernize the state’s lease-to-own laws from an older, in-person model of consumer sales and disclosure to allow a business model of partnering with online retailers and providing digital disclosure for in-store purchases. Calfee worked with the client to customize the nationally agreed-upon language to reflect Ohio laws. We also connected the client with the Ohio Attorney General, the enforcement office for the state’s consumer protection laws, to gain their support for the language. We obtained legislative sponsors for an amendment to the language in the state’s biennial operating budget bill and conducted an educational campaign with legislative members. Despite only having a couple of months and starting after the budget bill was introduced and passed by the Ohio House, we obtained inclusion of the amendment in the Ohio Senate’s version of the budget and maintained its inclusion through to passage.
  • Serving as a technology company’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. Calfee has assisted the client with its introduction to the Ohio government and our legislative process. We assisted the client in meeting and educating Ohio elected officials on the important aspects of the client’s industry-leading technology. During the process, we have helped elected officials separate fact from fiction regarding both the client’s history and its business model, untangling the complicated social media industry for officials who are seeking information. We have helped the client establish relationships and lines of communication, which will allow the state and the client to productively address concerns raised with fast-moving technology. In addition, we have connected the client to legislative members to provide input on a number of pending legislative proposals.
  • Serving as the representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for a gaming company client. An important recent matter was advocacy in the state’s biennial operating budget bill, Ohio House Bill 33. The operating budget bill is Ohio’s most important policy bill of the two-year session and contains a multitude of provisions that impact the gaming industry. Along with other industry lobbyists, we advocated for or against the inclusion of gaming provisions during the House, Senate, and Conference Committee phases of the legislative process.
  • Counseled a client through the rulemaking and licensing processes in the state for the inaugural launch of Ohio’s new sports gaming industry. We worked with the client to successfully submit their licensing application and addressed regulatory questions posed by regulators throughout the submittal and license review process. During the process, we frequently added productive comments and proposed revisions to the state rule package to create a competitive and safe marketplace for operators and customers. The client and its individual licensees received their licenses and were able to open by the universal start date. We continue to provide counsel on regulatory issues for the client.
  • Provided ongoing government relations services to a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company for more than a decade. We serve as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. Our most recent significant assignment was to obtain an amendment to the state’s biennial operating budget bill to eliminate current law that authorized HIV testing only if necessary to provide diagnosis and treatment of an individual and instead authorize testing if the individual or their parent or guardian have given general consent for care and been notified that a test is planned. We worked to obtain a sponsor for the amendment and conducted a legislative education campaign to obtain inclusion in the bill and to ensure the amendment was maintained in the bill during the conference committee process. The change was included in the recently passed bill and brings the state into compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for HIV testing.
  • Provided ongoing government relations services to a multinational alcoholic beverage company for more than a decade. We serve as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. A key recent initiative was the passage of two provisions in the state’s operating budget bill that are beneficial to the client’s business, including lowering the cost to obtain a liquor permit to provide samples to customers and codifying a provision of law that creates an expedited process for a permit holder to expand their permitted business premise. The client anticipates that these provisions will expand sales in the state. We helped the client prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progressed to passage. We also are working with the client to introduce standalone legislation to address an existing tax disparity in state law for similar alcoholic beverages.
  • Serving as a trade coalition client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. A key recent initiative was the introduction of House Bill 203 to set a time limit on when private owners must submit payment to general contractors, mirroring current law for public projects' “timely pay” legislation. As there is no law on this issue currently, private owners’ failure to pay general contractors in turn delays payment to our client, the subcontractors, in essence making subcontractors unwilling financiers of private construction projects. We have helped the client develop the legislation, secure legislative sponsors, prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progresses through the General Assembly.
  • Advocating for a delivery company for a revision to the application of the state’s sales tax to purchases made using online marketplace sellers. Current state law requires all online marketplace sellers to collect and remit sales taxes, a system that often results in both the client, a grocery delivery service, and its participating retailers collecting and remitting sales tax on the same order. The revision would end double taxation. We have secured support for the revision from industry players as well as the state Department of Taxation. We have obtained legislative sponsors in both the House and Senate for a standalone bill to be introduced in the fall. We also started a larger legislative education campaign as part of the operating budget bill process, as the Senate sponsor was interested in placing the revision in the budget despite it being late in the budget process.
  • Serving as the representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for an East Coast healthcare consulting company. A key recent initiative involved maintaining inclusion in the state’s operating budget bill, the largest policy bill of the two-year session, of a provision to require the Ohio Department of Medicaid to obtain a third-party contractor to help streamline redetermination of member eligibility decisions following the conclusion of the public health emergency. We also worked with the client to obtain a provision in the budget to both increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for emergency medical service providers on a going-forward basis as well as a supplemental payment program to help reimburse past underpayments to those same providers.
  • Assisting a state-wide health organization in all government advocacy matters. The most important recent project involved assisting the client in advocating for funding in the state’s biennial operating budget bill. A significant portion of their annual funding is provided from state tax revenues. With our help, the client successfully advocated for an increase in the state funding proposed by the Governor and the removal of a number of earmarks to those funds that would have reduced direct funding. We also helped the client secure an amendment to the budget bill of a separate standalone bill containing important policy updates that will modernize functions and processes.
  • Serving as the representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for a global, publicly traded European-based pharmaceutical company. The primary project of the last year has been working to maintain and expand a state program to provide reimbursement to county jails for the purchase of behavioral health drugs. We worked with the client to double the funding for the program in the state’s biennial operating budget bill and to expand the program to include community-based correctional facilities. We helped the client develop the language, secure executive support, and legislative sponsors, prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progressed through the General Assembly. This expansion and additional funding open a new market for the client.

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

  • Ohio Lobbying Association, Member
  • Council of Development Finance Agencies, Member

News & Events




  • Law Clerk to Chief Judge Sidney S. Eagles and Judge Alan Z. Thornburg, North Carolina Court of Appeals

Licensed In

  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
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