Vincent I. Holzhall (Vince) is a Member at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in its Columbus, Ohio office. He is the Assistant Leader for the Business Litigation Practice Group. Vince has been with the firm since October 2010. Prior to that, Vince practiced at two other firms in Columbus and he has been practicing in Columbus since 2003.
Vince moved to Columbus, Ohio in 2002 when his wife took a position on the faculty at Capital University Law School. Prior to Ohio, Vince was a lawyer in Illinois and worked as a research attorney and judicial law clerk for the Illinois Supreme Court as well as a practicing attorney at Lord, Bissell & Brook (which since merged and is now Locke Lord).
In representing clients in business litigation, Vince has used paralegals extensively. Vince has served as the Chair of the Paralegal Committee for the Ohio State Bar Association (2014-2016), has been on the OSBA’s Paralegal Specialty Board since 2014, and is currently the Chair of that Board. Since 2017, Vince has been a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals and has been on an accreditation site visit to Union County College in Newark, NJ.
I still remember the day when I found out exactly why there are paralegals. A senior partner had given me a task to accomplish – draft a list of documents to obtain from a third party. I could do that part. But as anyone who is experienced in working in the legal profession knows, the problems we face almost always have more components to them than just legal ones. Once “Exhibit A” to a subpoena is prepared, how does it go out the door? On that issue, I had no idea. Lucky for me, we had one of the best litigation paralegals that I have ever worked with on my floor. I asked for help.
The paralegal walked me through the basic practicalities: federal or state court; personal service, residential service, or certified mail service; daily attendance and mileage fees; is the third party within or outside our jurisdiction; what is the time frame needed for a response; what about serving notice on the other parties to the litigation. My response was a somewhat more colorful version of “oh boy” and then a quick “Can you help me with that stuff?” The answer was confident and reassuring – “absolutely.”
Since then, I have worked closely with a paralegal on the team. I have found the collaboration and teamwork professionally rewarding and vital to providing exceptional service to clients. Now that I am a bit more experienced (a/k/a “old”), I have welcomed the opportunity to assist with training and promoting the next generation of paralegals. That is why I said “yes” when asked to serve on the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals.