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Comprehensive Representation for Labor Organizations

Doll, Jansen & Ford is the current name of a firm that has represented unions and individual employees continuously since 1953. The firm has a longstanding commitment to providing working people, and the labor organizations that represent them in a constantly changing environment, with high-quality, sophisticated legal services. Its attorneys are dedicated to the labor movement’s principles of economic justice and fairness for all working people.


Doll, Jansen & Ford provides full-service representation to labor unions and employees throughout Ohio, and is centrally located in Dayton.  The firm represents workers in almost all areas and industries that are organized, in both the private and public sectors. Our client base is diverse, and the firm has worked with unions and individual employees including police officers and firefighters, truck drivers and warehouse workers, teachers, airline pilots and flight attendants, factory workers, power plant operators, newspaper writers and delivery drivers, utility workers, nurses and many others.  The firm’s attorneys are experienced in the full range of issues that confront labor organizations, from organizing campaigns and representation proceedings through contract negotiations through arbitration hearings and labor board cases.  All attorneys are members of the AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance and the International Conference of Teamster Lawyers. 



John R. Doll 

John Doll was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1978. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree and Master of Science Degree in Education from The Ohio State University. John authored the “Workplace Job Action; An Effort to Reshape the Balance of Power,” 9 The Labor Lawyer No. 2 Spring, 1993, and has continued to serve as a contributing editor for The Developing Labor Law published by the American Bar Association and Bloomberg BNA Books, the leading treatise on labor law in the U.S.


John is chief counsel to the Ohio Conference of Teamsters and represents a variety of benefit funds, local unions and international unions in contract negotiations, arbitrations and litigation on issues ranging from internal union regulation, ERISA, and the Railway Labor Act. John has represented labor organizations and employees and conducted a broad general practice for more than 35 years. He served for 22 years as a member of the Centerville School Board, including multiple terms as its President, and currently is a member and Chairperson of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.


Legal Secretary: Mary Kay Rike,

Susan D. Jansen 

Susan Jansen was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1987. Susan earned a Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Dayton and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Dayton Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. Susan authored “Section 1983 and Due Process Liberties,” 12 U. Dayton L. Rev. 129 and has been a contributing editor for The Developing Labor Law. Susan has presented programs to attorneys, employee groups and labor unions on topics including collective bargaining in both the private and public sectors, grievance procedures, NLRB and SERB practice, the duty of fair representation, sexual harassment and workplace violence.


Susan has been with the firm since 1990; her focus is on the representation of police and fire and other public sector unions in contract negotiations, arbitrations, and agency proceedings and on representing educators and other public school employees. She is active in the Ohio Public Employees Lawyers Association and the National Organization of Lawyers for Education Associations.


Legal Secretary: Mary Kay Rike,

Julie C. Ford

Julie Ford was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1988. Julie earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism with distinction from The Ohio State University and a J.D. magna cum laude from George Washington University, where she was the Executive Editor of the George Washington Journal of Law and Economics. Julie is a frequent speaker at seminars and continuing legal education programs for groups such as the American Arbitration Association, the AFL-CIO Lawyer’s Union Lawyers Alliance Committee and the Teamster Lawyers Conference. She provides training for employees and union representatives on topics including collective bargaining, grievance procedures, NLRB practice and fair representation.

Julie is active in the Union Lawyers Alliance and has served two terms on that organization’s Board of Directors. She has been with Doll, Jansen & Ford since 1992, representing a broad range of labor organizations in arbitrations, agency proceedings and litigation. She also has been actively involved in voter protection efforts in Ohio since 2004.

Legal Secretary: Debbie Sovonick,

John R. Sauter

John Sauter was admitted to the Ohio bar in 2011.  He is a graduate of Capital University Law School and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University.  Prior to his employment with Doll, Jansen & Ford, John spent several years working for a union-side labor law firm in Columbus, Ohio.  His focus is on the representation of public and private sector labor unions in contract negotiations, arbitrations and litigation. 


John is a frequent lecturer on employment-related topics such as gender discrimination in our educational system and employment law applicable to medical marijuana use.


John was formerly an Adjunct Professor at Capital University Law School where he co-coached the school’s National Moot Court team which competed in the annual ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition.  He is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. 


John has been named to the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Super Lawyers “Rising Star” List, a designation that only 2.5% of eligible lawyers receive.

Legal Secretary: Mary Kay Rike,

Stephen R. Keeney

Steve Keeney was originally admitted to the Ohio Bar in 2014.  He is a graduate of the Northern Kentucky University College of Law and received Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and International Studies from Miami University.  His focus is primarily on representing public and private sector labor unions in contract negotiations, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings. 


Steve spent more than seven years as a Staff Representative for AFSCME Ohio Council 8, where he handled negotiations, grievances, organizing, and arbitrations for assigned public employee locals.  During that time, he served on several committees for the Dayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council. 


Steve is also a frequent contributor to publications for the Society for American Baseball Research, including chapters in the books Time for Expansion Baseball and Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957, and several journal articles, including “Democracy at the Ballpark: Looking Towards a Fan-Owned Future” in The National Pastime (2021) and “The Roster Depreciation Allowance: How Major League Baseball Teams Turns Profits Into Losses” in The Baseball Research Journal (Spring 2016), which was selected as one of SABR’s 50 at 50: The Society for American Baseball Research’s Fifty Most Essential Contributions to the Game.

Legal Secretary: Debbie Sovonick,

Legal Assistant

Stephen C. Grismer

Steve Grismer is a 25-year veteran of the Dayton Police Department who retired at the rank of sergeant at the close of 2001. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dayton. During his law enforcement career, Steve served as a hostage negotiator, was a criminal investigator and supervised the internal affairs bureau. He also served as the vice president of the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police. In the early 1970s, Steve was a union steward for the Retail Clerk's Union and a local organizer for the United Farm Workers, where he had the opportunity to provide personal security for Cesar Chavez during a 1973 speaking appearance at the University of Dayton.


Steve has been with the firm since June 2002, bringing 15 years of experience as the FOP's chief spokesman in collective bargaining as well as in hearings related to fact findings, conciliations, arbitrations and unfair labor practice cases. Steve established an Ohio-chartered, non-profit organization, the Dayton Police History Foundation, and authored the book, "Drenched Uniforms and Battered Badges."


In Memoriam

Bruce E. Pence (1943-1999)

Remembrance of Bruce E. Pence

As published by the ABA Labor & Employment Law Section/BNA Books in How to Take a Case Before the NLRB (7th ed., 2000)


Bruce Pence, who died of cancer on March 2, 1999, at the age of 56, practiced for more than 25 years with the Dayton, Ohio firm most recently known as Logothetis, Pence & Doll. He represented labor organizations in all areas of law in the private and public sectors, as well as representing individual employees. He began his career as a field attorney with NLRB Region 9 in Cincinnati and was an active, long-time member of the Section's Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the National Labor Relations Act. Bruce also was just beginning a new professional role as a member of the American Arbitration Association's panel of arbitrators for private employment disputes. Before attending law school, Bruce had served as a teacher and school principal, earning his undergraduate degree from Anderson College in Indiana in 1965 and his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1970.


Bruce won praise from judges, arbitrators and NLRB staff members, and from representatives of labor and management alike, not only for his professional skill and expertise but also for his unfailing courtesy, warmth and, especially, good humor. He was perhaps best known for his ability to relate to and make a friend of nearly everyone with whom he came in contact – the term “people person,” so often used, certainly was meant to describe Bruce – and for his talent for lightening even the most tense hearing or negotiation session. Bruce was a genuine “good old boy,” in the best sense of the term; whether a client, a colleague or simply an acquaintance, when you were with him, you couldn't help but share in the smile on his face and the twinkle in his eye.


Bruce was a big man – tall, and just “one Big Mac shy of 300 pounds,” as he used to say – with an almost child-like zest for life and enjoyment of all its pleasures. He delighted in being the man at the center of a family of women – his wife, Carolyn, their three daughters and five granddaughters, whose photos filled his office and whose presence filled his life. Bruce's family tells the story of a Hilton Head vacation when Bruce volunteered to stay behind with a young granddaughter, heartbroken because she was too small for a planned outing of horseback riding. When the rest of the family returned and began to thank Bruce for staying with his granddaughter, now peaceful and happy, he interrupted, telling them with a serene smile and genuine humility: “It's not a chore; it is my great privilege to care for her.”


Bruce felt the same way about his clients – that it was a high calling and great privilege to represent working men and women. In so many ways, Bruce was the quintessential union lawyer. He was a vigorous and effective defender of his clients’ interests with a strong sense of fairness and justice, a fine lawyer with an extraordinary way of obtaining the best results for his clients. For most of Bruce's clients, he also became as much a friend as an attorney, one in whom they could confide and seek advice on the most personal of matters. Bruce also taught his colleagues and associates the meaning of trust and integrity, helped bring the proper perspective to any problem – which usually seemed less difficult after a talk with Bruce – and set an incomparable example of how to face any situation with grace and humor.


Anyone who ever met or worked with Bruce knew that, despite his devotion to his clients and his practice, he never took himself too seriously, with an often whimsical and carefree approach to work and to life in general. He could be heard whistling in the office hallways as he strolled past his sometimes frenzied and cranky colleagues. Despite the fast pace of the firm's work, and the inherently adversarial nature of a labor-law practice, he never seemed to feel a moment's stress.


During Bruce's illness, he and his family received innumerable cards and letters – from clients, friends, judges, arbitrators and, most tellingly, opposing counsel and members of management – as well as gifts ranging from flowers sent by large law firms, to catered dinners ordered by a small industrial union, to pies, home-made by the wife of a union president who drove 125 miles each way to deliver them. Seeing this outpouring of respect and affection, his wife, Carolyn, said she forgave Bruce all the long days away from home and the late nights spent at the bargaining table, “because now I know how many people he touched, and how much his work meant.” We all should leave such a legacy.

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