Buckingham Leadership Series, season 2


New faculty at the University of Akron School of Law.

Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC, Managing Partner Steven Dimengo and Akron Law Dean Emily Janoski-Haehlen posed prior to the event.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Recruitment and Retention in Today’s Workforce and The Taming of the Trolls: Navigating Negative Reviews and Internet Defamation were the two timely topics addressed by panels in the second annual Buckingham Leadership Series lecture, held Sept. 21st in the Brennan Courtroom.

Panelist Heather Steele ’19, an associate attorney at Buckingham, observed that since the pandemic, employers have become much more comfortable hiring employees from outside Ohio who will work remotely. She cautioned that employment laws in other states may be different from Ohio, and those will be the laws that apply to remote employees. In Massachusetts, for example, the employer must hand the dismissed employee their full final check on their last day of employment.

The Recruitment and Retention panel was moderated by Buckingham Partner Susan Rodgers. Other panelists included Amy Byers, chief operating officer of Medina-based Slicker Trucking, Inc., and Nicole Thorley, human resources business partner, senior director, GOJO Industries, Inc.

The Taming of the Trolls panel was moderated by Akron Law Associate Professor Vera Korzun and included Buckingham Partner Andrew Stebbins and Associate Christina Williams.

“Online reviews and ratings are crucial for many service-oriented small businesses,” Stebbins said. “Fake or malicious reviews can do real damage. The good news is that in most instances, Google will take down a malicious review in response to a defamation suit where the troll is not a real customer.”

Commercial clients account for about half of the practice, he noted. The other half involves online defamation or harassment of individuals. He and Williams caution clients not to expect to be awarded financial damages for online defamation if they cannot document a clear dollar value.