Bill Merry grew up around the law and understood the seriousness of the calling at a young age. His father was an attorney and municipal judge for over 30 years.
While in high school, Bill would spend summers filling in for the court bailiff, serving papers and sitting in on hearings, and observing the profession in more detail. By the time he reached college, he was anything but certain that the practice of law was his destiny. Between semesters, while at Miami University, he worked with his hands digging ditches and loved being outdoors. Still, the promise of intellectual challenge and variety would eventually lure him into law school at Ohio State. The rest is history.
Bill has served generations of families in Southeastern Ohio. In addition to Bill’s “brains,” his commitment to expert legal craftsmanship defines his successful legal career of nearly 40 years, guiding individuals and companies in legal matters related to real estate, business, banking, collections, bankruptcy, and more. He says he is fortunate to have learned quite a bit over the years and that his clients are the beneficiaries of his wide-ranging experience.
“I have dealt with some of the most basic lawyering work and some of the most complex,” Bill explains. “And because of that, I am just as comfortable working with the neighbors fighting over their vegetable garden as I am helping successful business people negotiate million dollar deals. Everybody needs a lawyer at some time, and the vegetable garden is just as important to me as closing the business deal.”
Bill says that having satisfied clients is the most rewarding aspect of his career. Whether the work involves taking a flawed deal and turning it around into something successful or talking a client out of a decision that would result in undesirable consequences, Bill focuses on helping people get through essential transactions—both business and personal.
Bill also tells people that he’s one of those attorneys that help people in the present so that they don’t need an attorney in the future.
“I receive a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that my guidance and advice has made, or will make, a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”
Over the years, Bill has helped family farmers keep the farm, small business people thrive, and homeowners avoid foreclosure. He has assisted a local water authority in acquiring additional property to secure needed water supply and protect the watershed from a very corrupt out-of-state business that was involved in multiple criminal and bankruptcy proceedings.
Today, Bill mostly handles real estate deals, deeds, purchase contracts, and easements. He also helps people form business entities, reviews or drafts their contracts and represents banks in title work, collections, foreclosures, and bankruptcies.
Many of his clients have known and trusted him with their essential or complex legal needs for many years. They find him very approachable and easy to talk to. They relate to Bill because he’s a straight-talker.
“I like to ask my clients as many questions as they ask me,” says Bill. “My approach is simple—if I get to know my clients, I can understand their goals more completely and provide the specific assistance they need to succeed.”
Graham & Graham
Bill has great respect for his clients and his colleagues at Graham & Graham. He explains, “I can’t imagine a better firm to work with, nor better partners to have as colleagues, or more exceptional staff members to support our client matters. Our small town roots and big city quality is truly unique. Although each attorney at Graham & Graham covers certain areas, we all work together when a client needs extra attention or when an unusual case or difficult facts surface. We share our knowledge and experience, freely, which is a great advantage for our clients.”
Graham & Graham is one of the oldest Southeastern Ohio-based law firms. Together, its lawyers have represented generations of families. They handle nearly every possible legal need, and Bill adds, “and you are assured of personal, attentive service, too.”