Scuttlebutt Featured

9:52am EDT July 22, 2002

George Jenkins, partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease

Some years ago, Jenkins received a phone call out of the blue that could have changed his legal career entirely. On the line was none other than Larry Flynt, a fledgling entrepreneur at the time, who had heard about Jenkins’ stellar reputation as a corporate attorney.

“He asked me to come over and talk about representing him,” Jenkins recalls. “He was just starting out and I didn’t know much about him except he had this club on West Gay Street. He was just starting to work on the magazine [Hustler] and was looking for someone to help him structure the business activities of the bar and, ultimately, the magazine.”

Although Jenkins agreed to meet with Flynt and spent a couple weeks pondering his offer, “I thought about it, and, for a variety of reasons, some of which are obvious, I decided not to do it.”

Paula Inniss, president, Ohio Full Court Press

“I always wanted to be a veterinarian. My parents built a house when I was going into fourth grade. I went to the pond and brought home snakes, mice. I’d bury the dead animals and have a service with the neighborhood kids and read from the Bible.”

Todd Appelbaum, co-owner, Cup o’ Joe coffee and dessert houses

A Cleveland native, Appelbaum was a child when his father took him, dressed in a Browns hat and coat and waving a team pennant, on the rapid transit to watch his beloved team.

“It is something we used to do together as father and son,” Appelbaum says. “I have warm memories of that ... I’m a passionate Browns fan — through thick and thin.”

That explains Appelbaum’s fervor when Art Modell announced the exodus of the team in November 1995.

“I spent $300 faxing every NFL owner — twice,” he says, adding that he also called or sent letters to congressmen, senators and the governor to prevent what became the inevitable. He also collected 300 signatures on a petition at Cup o’ Joe.

“It was an immoral action. Art Modell was wrong. He said, ‘As long as I own the Browns, I will never leave Cleveland,’” Appelbaum says.

Now that the team is returning, Appelbaum says, they’re still his Browns. He’s making plans with seven friends to take a limo to watch the team’s first game this fall.

“We kept the colors, kept the history, kept the name. We’re still in the same division,” Appelbaum says. “It’s fine. I’m OK.”