R. D. Benjamin Edwards Resumé

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Cullen Palmer Law Office LLP

Partner January 2013 – Present

Associate Attorney September 2011 – 2012

Legal counsel in small general practice firm focusing in business, real estate, transportation, estate planning, and probate. Representation of businesses and individuals in buying or selling a home, commercial property, or business, forming legal entities, negotiating agreement and resolving disputes, transportation law and safety regulation compliance and traffic violations. Admitted to practice in Washington and Ohio and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Business / Litigation

  • Manage and handle civil litigation, including complaints/answers, discovery requests/responses, pre-trial hearings, settlement negotiation, preparation of settlement agreements in major and minor civil litigation – Superior and District Court. Represent businesses and individuals in civil litigation
  • Business entity formation, corporate and LLC share transfers, stock purchase agreements, draft operating agreements, buy-sell agreements for transfer of corporate and LLC ownership, and filing of annual reports
  • Defend individuals and businesses concerning debt collection through negotiations and litigation
  • Negotiate and settle contract disputes, employment disputes, collection matters, customer relations issues, drafting of contracts and agreements in business and legal disputes
  • Defend business in residential construction litigation

Real Estate

  • Handle corporate and residential real estate transactions, contracts and closings, evictions, and all related litigation
  • Represent landlords and tenants in unlawful detainer actions
  • Defend realtors in Department of Licensing investigation of real estate agent license matters
  • Drafting and reviewing real estate purchase and sale agreements
  • Drafting and reviewing residential and commercial leases
  • Representation of homeowners associations
  • Real estate litigation, including adverse possession proceedings
  • Preparation of deeds, real estate excise tax affidavits, including exemptions and supporting documents
  • Conduct trustee’s sale of commercial property

Traffic

  • Represent commercial and passenger licensed drivers in traffic cases in Washington District and Superior Courts. Traffic violations, and driver’s license suspension cases. Obtain reductions and dismissals of violations in majority of cases.

Estate Planning / Probate / Trusts

  • Assist clients in estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable general powers of attorney, powers of attorney for health care
  • Drafting of probate pleadings, including motions, orders, notices and declarations
  • Prepare probate property inventory
  • Drafting of trust agreements and related documents

The Law Offices of John L. Alden

Associate Attorney April 2001 – August 2011

Legal counsel in small general practice firm focusing in business, transportation, regulatory, employment, and administrative law, involving daily client contact and negotiations in civil and traffic cases, leadership responsibility in high-volume caseload, and personally maintain relationships with clients of the firm. Admitted to practice in Ohio and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Transportation

  • Represent motor carriers and warehouse operations in every facet of transportation business, including dispute resolution, litigation, state and federal agency administrative matters (FMCSA, state public utilities agencies, etc.)
  • Implement and draft transportation and business-related contracts.
  • Transfer hundreds of commercial vehicle titles, obtain sales tax savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of trucking companies.
  • Handle state tax audits (fuel tax, state taxation of foreign corporations).
  • Calculate and file quarterly fuel tax returns with Ohio Department of Taxation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, represent motor carriers in various states, such as Kentucky Weight Distance and Apportioned Vehicle Property taxes, Arkansas Ad Valorem tax, New York Highway Use Tax, Kansas Motor Vehicle Property Tax.
  • Drafting of commercial motor vehicle leases, owner-operator agreements, shipper-carrier agreements for small- and medium-sized businesses.
  • Obtain IRP license plates for commercial vehicle fleets, annual plate renewal, obtain temporary authorities for vehicles to travel in additional states or to add vehicles to fleet.
  • Prepare and file IRS heavy highway vehicle use tax returns for trucking companies and owner-operators.
  • Preparation of required annual filings for motor carriers registered with FMCSA for interstate operations.
  • Obtain intrastate operating authorities for motor carriers in states across the country, obtain motor carrier authorities in Ontario, register trucking companies with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Customs Agency for importing/exporting goods into and from Canada, compliance issues with customs regulations of both countries, including new electronic filing programs such as PARS and ACE.
  • Registration and renewal of registration for motor carriers transporting hazmat both within Ohio and across state lines, filing for federal and multi-state Uniform Program hazmat permits.
  • Filing of petitions to upgrade motor carrier safety ratings issued by FMCSA, able to avoid FMCSA and PUCO shutting down motor carriers for alleged safety violations. Negotiate settlement of safety violation enforcement by FMCSA/PUCO, obtain reductions of fines assessed against motor carriers.
  • Guide businesses through the extensive and in-depth review government review process in order to obtain Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification from Ohio Department of Transportation, enable businesses to obtain contracts available only to minority-owned or otherwise disadvantaged companies. Also assisted client with Minority Business Enterprise certification with Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
  • Establish overweight permit process for trucks operating at a Midwest intermodal facility, work with commercial developers and county boards of commissioners to gain approval for permit process.
  • Assist clients with various state liquor permits for transportation of alcohol.
  • Filing claims against property broker surety bond for recovery of motor carrier freight charges.
  • Obtain special hauling permits from Ohio Department of Transportation for oversize and overweight commercial vehicles.

Business

  • Manage and handle civil litigation, including complaints/answers, discovery requests/responses, pre-trial hearings, settlement negotiation, preparation of settlement agreements in major and minor civil litigation – Common Pleas, Municipal, Court of Claims. Represent businesses and individuals in civil litigation and mediation proceedings.
  • Handle corporate and residential real estate transactions, contracts and closings, evictions, and all related litigation.
  • Business entity formation, corporate and LLC share transfers, stock purchase agreements, draft buy-sell agreements for transfer of corporate and LLC ownership, filing of corporate minutes for sole- and multiple-shareholder corporations.
  • Oversee business succession planning, including estate planning, provide simple wills, durable general powers of attorney, powers of attorney for health care.
  • Practice employment law – litigation, state employment proceedings, unemployment compensation appeals and worker’s compensation defense.
  • Establish limited liability companies through Secretary of State filings, prepare company minute books including operating agreements and member and manager minutes. Registration of trade names and foreign corporations with Secretaries of State throughout the country, dissolution of defunct businesses with Ohio Secretary of State.
  • Defend victims of identity theft in erroneous debt collection negotiations and proceedings.
  • Recover unpaid debts, counsel warehouse companies in collection matters and handle claims as bankruptcy creditors, impose liens on debtor’s assets and equipment, filing Proofs of Claim in United States Bankruptcy Court, filing of UCC financing statements.

Administrative/Regulatory

  • Register businesses for Federal and State hazardous materials transportation and handling.
  • Ensure clients comply with federal and state regulations – Federal and Ohio DOT, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
  • Represent consumers and negotiate settlements in complaints filed with PUCO against electric and natural gas utilities.
  • Conduct administrative hearings before PUCO and BMV.
  • Defend taxpayers in Ohio Department of Taxation audits as well as in other states, negotiate resolution, obtain refunds of various business taxes.

Employment

  • Negotiate settlements in employment cases, represent terminated employers and employees in hearings before Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Industrial Commission, Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Represent small business employers in litigation filed by former employees.
  • Negotiate and settle contract disputes, employment disputes, collection matters, customer relations issues, drafting of settlement agreements in many areas of business and legal disputes.
  • Resolve employee claim filed with U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of employer.
  • Obtain disability benefits for employee through proceedings with Social Security Administration and Public Employees Retirement System.
  • Defend public correctional facility guard in excessive use of force claims by inmate in Courts of Claims of Ohio proceedings.
  • Pursue damages of public correctional facility guard in employment dispute with Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, State Personnel Board of Review Proceedings.
  • Obtain unemployment compensation benefits for terminated employees in claims before Ohio Department of Job & Family Services and Unemployment Compensation Review Commission.
  • Appeal determination of Ohio Department of Job & Family Services of business as employer for unemployment compensation purposes.
  • File Employer Adjudication Protest with Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation in connection with assessment resulting from BWC audit.

Traffic

  • Represent hundreds of drivers, both commercial and passenger licensed, in traffic cases in all courts in Ohio, primarily plea negotiations but also including extensive trial experience. Traffic violations, OVI violations, and driver’s license suspension cases. Obtain reductions and dismissals of violations in vast majority of cases. Removal of dismissed violations from driver/motor carrier’s federal safety history.
  • Work with local counsel in other states in similar client traffic matters for individual drivers and motor carriers.
  • Defend commercial drivers in PUCO/BMV hearings in commercial driver’s license suspension cases, out of service violations, vehicle inspection violations.

EDUCATION

JURIS DOCTOR
The Ohio State University College of Law 2000

BACHELOR OF ARTS
The Ohio State University (Political Science) 1997
Also attended The Colorado College 1992-1994


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Member, Washington State Bar Association
Member, Thurston County Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Washington Trucking Association