Representative Cases

     The following cases represent the type of experience our attorneys bring to the resolution of business issues:

Contract Litigation
Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation v. TL-Columbus Associates, LLC, et al., Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 07-CVH-07-10080 (Pfeiffer, J.) - Representation of community redevelopment corporation (managed by CEO's of the fourteen largest Columbus businesses) in termination of the master lease on a two square block downtown shopping mall so that the City of Columbus could redevelop the site.  Settled on the day before trial was to commence on terms equivalent to the relief the client could have obtained by prevailing at trial.

American Greetings Corporation, et al. v. DIC Entertainment Corporation, et al.
, Case no. 1:08-CV-01533-SO, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Oliver, J.) - Defended Century City entertainment company in a lawsuit brought by American Greetings Corporation seeking to thwart an $85 million sale of client to a competitor of American Greetings based on restrictions under a license agreement.  Expedited discovery in preparation for a preliminary injunction hearing forced favorable resolution that permitted merger to be consummated.

Bank One, N.A. v. Echo Acceptance Corporation, et al.
, United States District Court, Southern District if Ohio, Eastern Division, Case No. C2-04-318 (Marbley, J.) Represented Bank One (now, JPMorgan Chase) in week long trial on claims against a satellite receiver sales organization seeking recovery in excess of $18 million under a written indemnity agreement based upon bank's payments in its settlement of a national class action alleging deceptive sales and financing practices by  dealers.

Franklin Publications, Inc. v. General Nutrition Corporation, United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Case No. 2-05-1062 (Frost, J.) - Defense of breach of contract action claiming in excess of $25 million.

Citicasters Company v. Bricker & Eckler, LLP, 149 Ohio App.3d 705 (Ohio App. 1st Dist. 2002) — Successfully defended a fraud action arguing that evidence of verbal representations cannot form the basis of a fraud claim where an agreement is memorialized in an integrated writing and the representations are not contained in the writing.
Election Litigation
State of Ohio, ex rel. Dana Skaggs, et al. v. Jennifer L. Brunner, Secretary of the State of Ohio, et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Case No. 08-4585 (November 25, 2008) - Representation of Franklin County voters, on behalf of U.S. House of Representatives candidate Steve Stivers, in an original action filed in the Ohio Supreme Court seeking a Writ of Mandamus to compel Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to enforce statutory requirements for evaluation and counting of provisional ballots under Ohio law.  Secretary Brunner removed the action to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Secretary improperly removed the case to federal court because, among other reasons, the matter involved only state law claims.  Click Here for Opinion.

The State, ex rel. Skaggs, et al. v. Brunner, Secretary of State, et al., Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2008-2206 (December 5, 2008) - After remand by the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued the requested Writ of Mandamus.  Click Here for Opinion.
Fiduciary Duty and Trust Litigation
Bank One Trust Company, N.A. v. Ronald E. Scherer, Sr. et al., Franklin County Probate Court, Case No. 430379-C (Sheward, J.) - Trial counsel defending Bank One (now JPMorgan Chase) in $49 million case for alleged breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty.  Following two-week trial, client prevailed on all claims brought against it and, in addition, obtained $6.2 million judgment in its favor. 

Securities Litigation and Arbitration

In the Matter of: Eric Zipfel, et al. v. Fifth Third Securities, Inc., National Association of Securities Dealers, NASD No. 05-02520 - Defamation action, by three claimants, relating to Uniform Submission Agreement filed with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.  Damages sought in excess of $3 million.  Case tried to defense verdict.

The O.N. Equity Sales Company - Representation of Ohio National Life Insurance, a Cincinnati-based national life insurer, on a series of selling-away cases involving the unauthorized and undisclosed activities of an investment representative who raised approximately $20 million from investors for a Ponzi scheme investment fund.  Involved fifteen separate arbitrations (venued in 11 states), 22 related lawsuits (filed in 18 separate United States District Courts) and, 18 appeals (filed in 10 separate United States Circuit Court of Appeals).  Initial arbitration tried to completion; case settled while awaiting decision.

Limited Liability Companies and Business Association Litigation

McConnell v. Hunt Sports Enterprises, 132 Ohio App.3d 657, 725 N.E.2d 1193 (Ohio App. 10th Dist. 1999) — This case is credited with bringing professional hockey to Columbus. In a dispute regarding the construction of a new arena, this case established fiduciary law as to limited liability companies in Ohio. This case is commonly cited in law school Business Associations textbooks.

Amicus Curiae Representation

Cleveland Bar Assn. v. CompManagement, Inc., 104 Ohio St.3d 168 (2004) — Counseled more than 75 business associations representing in excess of 25,000 Ohio businesses that employ upwards of 1,000,000 Ohioans as amici in action that determined that third party administrators practicing before the Industrial Commission were not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. 

Antitrust Litigation

In Re: Foundry Resins Antitrust Litigation, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Case No. 2:04-md-1638 (Frost, J.) - Co-counsel in defense of antitrust class action alleging price fixing in foundry resin market.  Settled after class was certified.

ERISA Litigation

Hunter v. Caliber Systems, Inc., 220 F.3d 702 (6th Cir. 2000) — Consolidated class action arising under ERISA. Obtained summary judgment on class action breach of fiduciary duty and failure to diversify claims.

Insurance Litigation

United HealthCare/Ohio Department of Insurance Proceedings - Representation of major national health insurer in investigation and related lawsuits regarding undisclosed override payments to agents.  Successfully negotiated consent order with Ohio Department of Insurance and successfully defended individual actions threatened or brought against client.

Bellman, et al. v. American International Group, et al., Ohio Supreme Court, Case No. 05-2162 -
Successful appellate defense of  statewide class action seeking recovery of post-settlement interest on all claims settled on behalf of insureds throughout Ohio since 1987.  Case culmination in recent Ohio Supreme Court decision, reported at 113 Ohio St. 3d 323 (2007), holding that where an insurance company settles with a third party who was injured by an insured tortfeasor, the injured person must bring a claim for post-settlement interest against the tortfeasor, not the tortfeasor's insurance company.

The Housing Advocates, Inc. v. American Fire & Casualty Company, et al., Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District, Case Nos. 05-AP-086444 and 05-AP-087305 - Successful defense of statewide actions brought by housing advocacy group alleging difference in insurance homeowners' rates in urban and rural areas  as a result of racially discriminatory insurance redlining.  Plaintiffs sought damages of $6 million.

R.F. Mlasofsky & Co., Inc. v. Riggs Distler & Co., Inc., et al., Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Case No. 01-CVH-02-1138 - Defense of insurer in a bad faith claim predicated on a construction surety bond.  Contractor asserted client's conduct resulted in collapse of business causing damages in excess of $10 million.  Following discovery and filing a motion for summary judgment challenging whether a duty of good faith existed under a surety bond, the matter was settled.

Media Litigation

A.)     State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Louden, 91 Ohio St.3d 61 (2001) — The Supreme Court issued a Writ of Mandamus ordering that proceedings in juvenile delinquency kidnapping case must be open  to the media.  The court also compelled production of un-redacted transcript of proceedings to the media.
B.)     State ex rel. Consumer News Services, Inc. v. Worthington City Board of Education, 97 Ohio St.3d 58 (2002) — Obtained a Writ of Mandamus from the Supreme Court of Ohio "to compel [Worthington City Board of Education] to provide access to requested public records in accordance with R.C. 149.43(B)(1)." Id. at 67. The court awarded client their attorney fees.
C.)     Holley v. WBNS 10TV, Inc., 149 Ohio App.3d 22 (Ohio App. 10th Dist. 2002) — Summary judgment obtained in a libel claim action  arising from a broadcast describing an ex-husband's removal of his son from a day care as an "abduction."

Ohio Tobacco Funds Litigation

Board of Trustees of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation, et al. v. Richard Cordray, Treasurer of State, et al., Common Pleas Court of Franklin County, Case No. 08-CVH-05363 (Fais, J.) - Representation of national anti-smoking foundation created as a result of nationwide tobacco settlement in challenge to Ohio General Assembly’s effort to reallocate $190 million of tobacco use prevention funds for a political initiative.
Professional Legal Liability Litigation
Komar Industries, Inc. v. Thompson, Hine & Flory, LLP, 2005 WL 1413348 (Ohio Com. Pl. May 25, 2005) — Successfully defended law firm in an action for legal malpractice. In granting law firm summary judgment, the court held that the law firm did not commit malpractice in advising client to exercise self-help remedies to repossess secured collateral. Law firm eventually recovered on counterclaim for unpaid legal fees.
Real Estate Tax Valuation Disputes
Nationwide Arena, LLC, et al. v. Franklin County Auditor, et al., Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Case No. 04CVF01-253-61  (Schneider, J.) - Trial and appellate counsel in successful challenge overturning County Auditor's $129 million valuation for real estate tax purposes of Nationwide Arena (home of the Columbus BlueJackets NHL team), resulting in reduction of the tax valuation by more than $100 million.  Settled after appeal set valuation at $44 million.