One of the member services available to all employees of ONA-member newspapers is the “Legal Hotline.” The hotline is staffed by attorneys at the Cleveland office of the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. It is maintained through a retainer paid by The Ohio Newspaper Association.

Employees of any “Active Member” newspaper in good standing with ONA may use the Legal Hotline. Inquiries may relate to any aspect of newspaper publishing which may include advertising, circulation, editorial, libel law, copyright, personnel & labor law, taxation, freedom of information and general management issues. Inquiries may involve a general reference to the state or federal law that applies or guidance regarding a specific local situation.

Here’s How The Hotline Works

1. Contact the ONA office first (by phone, fax or e-mail as listed below). Many times a legal question can be answered by referring to guidebooks and other reference sources maintained here or by drawing upon similar circumstances encountered by other ONA members.

2. If your question or local issue is best handled by an attorney you will be given the direct phone number to the Baker & Hostetler law firm. The central referral is through the office of Louis Colombo for general matters or through the office of David Marburger for editorial and freedom of information matters. If you need immediate assistance and neither attorney is available you will be referred to another appropriate attorney.

3. When you call Baker & Hostetler state very clearly that you are calling as an ONA member and using the hotline service. Try to have a clear and concise listing of the facts involved in your local situation.

4. If your inquiry is general and involves no more than one hour of legal staff time, your inquiry will be included in the normal retainer paid by ONA. This will be clarified for you by the attorney handling your call.

5. If your inquiry requires additional time or legal resources you will be so advised and given the option of having a Baker & Hostetler attorney handle your case according to fees paid by you.

Baker & Hostetler

Baker & Hostetler LLP was established in Cleveland, Ohio in 1916. Newton D. Baker, Joseph C. Hostetler and Thomas L. Sidlo founded the firm. Baker himself was a two-term mayor of Cleveland and Secretary of War under President Woodrow Wilson. The Firm has grown from its Cleveland origins to include nearly 500 lawyers serving clients from offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Denver, Houston, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Los Gatos, Orlando and Washington D.C. Attorneys in the Cleveland office practice in major areas of law, including business and corporate, environmental, media and communications and employee benefits.

Louis Colombo

Louis ColomboLouis Colombo received his J.D. from the University of Michigan and his B.A. from Michigan State University. Colombo specializes in First Amendment, intellectual property, defamation and media law with more than 25 years experience.

Colombo has worked on a wide variety of commercial cases for service, retail and manufacturing companies as well as banks. He has handled and tried defamation cases on behalf of a number of firm clients, including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations.

In addition, he is general counsel to the Ohio Newspaper Association.

Dave Marburger

David MarburgerDave Marburger received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.S. from Syracuse University. Marburger specializes in First Amendment, libel communications and media law.

He is a noted authority on all legal aspects of news media content.

Marburger was the primary draftsman of a newspaper client’s brief on the merits before the United States Supreme, in which Ohio’s largest newspaper successfully challenged a municipal ordinance regulating newsracks.

Contact Dennis Hetzel, executive director, with further inquiries: dhetzel@ohionews.org.