In addition to providing advice and counsel to businesses and individuals, I am a trial lawyer. Good trial skills are earned through training and experience. Great trial skills are acquired by learning from the best lawyers - first in the classroom, then in the courtroom. I have been fortunate to learn from some of the best lawyers in the country. One important thing I have learned is that great lawyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some come from large firms, some from solo practices. Some are public defenders and civil rights advocates - and some routinely handle bet the company litigation for major corporations. During my career, I've gone to trial against lawyers from some very large and well-respected law firms, including: Baker Hostetler, Ice Miller, Vorys Sater, Barnes and Thornburgh, The Ohio Attorney General, and Dinsmore and Shohl. I have also litigated hundreds of cases short of trial against lawyers from some of the largest law firms in the country, including: Littler Mendelson, Winston Strawn, Seyfarth Shaw, Morgan Lewis, Squire Patton - just to name a few. Many of the lawyers I've faced at these firms were very talented - many were not. The lesson is, you can never judge a trial lawyer by the name of the firm under his/her signature or the law school he/she went to. This is especially true at trial. Once jury selection begins, those things simply don't matter - the lawyer's talent and skill does.
In addition to actual first, second and third chair trial experience, I have received extensive training in trial techniques from many of the best lawyers in the country. I have attended the following well-regarded programs taught by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA): NITA 9-day National Session Trial Skills Seminar (Boulder, CO), NITA Advanced Trial Skills Seminar (District of Columbia). I have also attended numerous trial skills courses taught by the American Association for Justice at conventions in the following cities: Montreal, Palm Springs and Boca Raton. Because of my practical trial experience and training, I have been sought out by other lawyers in Ohio and elsewhere to co-counsel complex employment and commercial litigation cases.
Disability Discrimination Cases
Jury Verdict for Former Employee. After a five-day disability discrimination trial, the jury returned a verdict for my client. The judgment, attorneys' fees and costs after the verdict total in excess of $500,000.
Jury Verdict for Former Employee - $423,000. After a three-day disability discrimination trial, the jury returned a verdict for my client, awarding him $73,900 in back pay and $350,000 in compensatory damages. The employer had made no settlement offer prior to trial. Brian Williams v. Sims Bros., Inc., 3:11-CV-00332 (Northern District of Ohio).
Settlement before trial - This was a disability discrimination case for a former long-term warehouse supervisor. The case settled for $147,000 shortly before trial.
Settlement before trial - This was a disability discrimination case for a former long-term health-care worker. The case settled the day before trial for $205,000.
Settlement before trial - This was a disability discrimination case for a former factory worker. The case settled a few weeks before trial for $175,000.
Sexual Harassment Cases
Arbitration Award for Former Employee - $476,176. After a five-day sexual harassment arbitration, the Arbitrator found in favor of my client, awarding the client back pay, front pay, pecuniary damages, emotional distress damages and attorneys' fees. The employer's last settlement offer before arbitration was less than $150,000.
Age Discrimination Cases
Settlement during trial - After the start of an age discrimination trial, the employer agreed to pay my client over $200,000 in a confidential settlement agreement. The employer's last offer before trial was approximately $50,000.
Settlement before trial - Early in the case, I obtained a settlement of $105,000 for my client, an advertising executive.
Pregnancy Discrimination Cases
Settlement during trial - After the start of a gender discrimination trial, the employer agreed to pay my client in excess of $75,000. The employer's last offer before trial was $1,500.
I successfully settled a case for a family-owned, Columbus health care supply company that was sued for pregnancy discrimination. After representing the company before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, I was able to settle the claims on terms very favorable for the company.
ERISA Cases - Failure to Pay Health or Long-Term Disability Benefits
ERISA Class Action Settlement - My firm filed a lawsuit against the fiduciaries of a self-insured health care plan to force the fiduciaries to pay unpaid medical bills. After the plan stopped making payments, the medical providers began collection proceedings against plan beneficiaries. As a result of the lawsuit brought by my firm, the fiduciaries personally guaranteed payment and eventually paid or settled every medical claim. The total amount of medical bills paid as a result of the class action settlement exceeded $600,000. Furthermore, the plan beneficiaries never had to pay a dime for legal services as the Defendants agreed to pay the class member's attorneys' fees.
After taking over for another firm, I successfully defended a family owned transportation company in a lawsuit brought by an agency of the State of Ohio for medical claims totaling approximately $1,000,000. The company had been fraudulently induced to pay for stop-loss insurance that didn't exist. I pursued the company's former insurance broker for negligence and obtained enough money to satisfy the debt to the State of Ohio.
COBRA case - My client's former employer refused to pay for over $125,000 in health care claims after my client retired, as required by COBRA. I pursued the employer in court and forced it to pay all of the medical bills. Not only did this save my client financially, but the hospital benefitted by obtaining payment it otherwise never would have received.
Long-Term Disability Case - A major disability insurance company refused to pay my client her long-term disability benefits claiming that she wasn't disabled. Early in the case, I obtained a settlement for my client of $125,000.
Before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, I argued an appeal in an ERISA class action case involving a major uranium enrichment contractor that was represented by a major Washington, D.C. law firm.
Race Discrimination Cases
Jury Verdict for Former Employee - $549,000. This was a race discrimination case tried in Franklin County, Ohio. The trial team consisted of Greg Mansell, Derek Walden and Danny Caudill. After a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for our client. $200,000 of the award was for punitive damages. Don O. Smith v. Superior Production LLC, 11CV-015815 (Franklin County Common Pleas Court).
I defended an Ohio non-profit company in a race discrimination charge filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission by a former employee. I was able to achieve a settlement that was very favorable for my client at a minimal cost.
Religious Discrimination Cases
I successfully defended a non-profit, charitable organization in a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination. The court judgment dismissing the case was upheld in the appeals court.
Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Cases
I successfully defended an Ohio company and its owner, who were sued for alleged tortious interference with contract, theft of trade secrets and breach of a non-compete agreement. Although a TRO had been issued against my client prior to my involvement, I was able to mount a defense that resulted in a settlement whereby my client was able to retain the very customers he was accused of stealing.
I successfully defended an Ohio company in a breach of non-compete agreement case brought in Jacksonville, Florida by a Florida transportation company. The Plaintiff in the case attempted to use the lawsuit to discover my client's entire book of business, which would have given the Plaintiff an unfair competitive advantage. I achieved the client's goal of settling the case, without ever permitting the Plaintiff to obtain any of my client's customer information.
I successfully prosecuted a preemptive declaratory judgment action in a California court on behalf of my client against a national transportation logistics company.
I successfully defended a Texas businessman, who was sued in an Ohio court for breach of a non-compete agreement and tortious interference with contract. Taking over the case from a large, regional law firm, I was able to achieve the settlement my client desired at a much lower cost than his former firm would have had to charge.
I cannot guarantee any particular result in any case. The cases above are merely examples of verdicts, judgments and settlements I have obtained for clients in the past. Every case is different.