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LAW OFFICE OF SUZANNE BELOT NORTON, MAUMEE, OHIO BONA FIDES: Duquesne University School of Law, 1983. Admitted in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 1983. Admitted in Ohio in 1984. TYPE OF PRACTICE: Belot Norton represents employers in workers’ compensation matters before courts and administrative bodies. She has been certified by the Ohio State Bar as a specialist in workers’ compensation law. KEY MEANS OF GETTING BUSINESS: Networking, lawyer referrals, client recommendations, word-of-mouth. GETTING STARTED: Before going into solo practice, Belot Norton was the first woman to hold the position of city solicitor of the city of Wheeling, W.Va. After many years in private practice there and in Ohio, she began her solo practice in 1997 in Ohio, when a corporation asked her to represent it in workers’ compensation matters. “After much soul-searching, I decided to give solo practice a try,” she says. GROSS REVENUES: More than $100,000. START-UP TIP: Belot Norton advises, “Don’t be afraid to try it. Organization and drive are keys [to success].” And it’s important to ride out the start-up fears over whether one will do well, and to keep in mind that a solo practice has an ebb and flow: “At times, it is hectic. At times, it is slow.” SUPPORT EMPLOYEES: While Belot Norton has a secretary, paralegals and clerks, she notes that “all support is part-time and on an independent contractor basis.” KEY RESEARCH TOOLS: Belot Norton uses Anderson’s Law on Disc, OSBA Online CaseMaker service, the Internet and various publications and journals. “My library contains the resources I regularly use, such as court rules, workers’ compensation laws and regulations, and the Ohio Administrative Code,” says Belot Norton. And “with the availability of online and electronic legal and medical research,” she notes, “my need for use of the public library has been diminishing.” MOST USEFUL LEGAL BOOK: Fulton’s Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law, 2d ed. MOST USED ONLINE SERVICE: OSBA CaseMaker. SQUARE FOOTAGE OF OFFICE: 144 square feet, plus storage and filing areas. MONTHLY RENT: None (she works out of a home office). HARDWARE/SOFTWARE: IBM Aptiva E Series computer, with CD-ROM, CD Writer and related software for word processing, billing and scheduling. Acer is her backup computer system. She also has Dictaphones, a fax/copy machine and a scanner. “I frequent the copy stores with high-volume projects,” says Belot Norton. FAMILY PROFILE: Married 17 years to Matt Norton. They have two children: Michael, who is in the seventh grade, and Emily, who is in kindergarten. The family has a dog, Britt the Brittany. SHINING MOMENT: “I enjoy litigation,” says Belot Norton. “Doing well before a jury is always a thrill, be it that ‘first one’ or those that followed. To me, presentation of my client’s case in front of a jury is truly the art of advocacy. Practicing before an administrative agency is another art. To be effective, you have to be able to know, condense and present your case in a relatively short period of time.” HAD IT TO DO OVER? Belot Norton would “definitely go solo.” Indeed, she wishes she had started her solo career sooner. “For me, it is a great balance between my professional and personal life. I pretty much guide my own destiny.”

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