Facta non verba - deeds, not words. It is difficult to find a more apt phrase to describe James McLean's attitude toward helping Duke Energy and the GCMCP fulfill their mutual missions of increasing the value, volume, and significance of the legal work being done by diverse attorneys for Duke Energy.
After spending years in private practice as a litigator, James now oversees litigation for Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky. In that role, James not only serves as lead trial counsel on many of Duke Energy's cases, but he also is responsible for assigning work to outside counsel when appropriate. In making the decision on who to hire as outside counsel, James makes sure that he takes the opportunity to fulfill Duke Energy's commitment to increasing the diversity of the outside counsel working on its matters. James explains that when he gets in a new matter that he determines will be sent ¬†to outside counsel, the first thing that he does is to determine whether there is a minority or woman-owned firm suitable for the assignment.
That has been a challenge in Cincinnati due to the dearth of woman and minority-owned firms who specialize in litigation. However, if there is no woman or minority-owned firm that is best suited for the assignment, James then determines what majority firm is best suited for the assignment and whether that firm can provide a diverse team to staff the matter.
The result of this conscious effort to hire diverse attorneys has resulted in numerous Duke Energy matters being assigned to diverse attorneys at various firms throughout Greater Cincinnati. James has not let the lack of minority owned law firms or other challenges deter him from moving the needle on assigning work - and, the results speak for themselves.
James has used GCMCP to make the task of finding diverse outside counsel much easier. For example, James has participated in the GCMCP Connect Program. James directly attributes his involvement with that program with his ability to identify a diverse attorney who was an ideal candidate to handle a piece of litigation for Duke Energy. James' active involvement in GMCP has kept him in close contact with a number of diverse attorneys practicing in Cincinnati and allowed him to be able to take full advantage of these connections to get work in the hands of diverse attorneys.
James' efforts are a great example of how the GCMCP and its member corporations, like Duke Energy, can make increasing the value, volume, and significance of the legal work being done by diverse attorneys in Greater Cincinnati a reality. Please join me and the entire GCMCP board in thanking James and Duke Energy for putting their words into action.
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Frost Brown Todd
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