We believe Teddy Roosevelt was right when he said “don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.” Litigation is expensive, time consuming and disruptive to day-to-day business and, as a general rule, you want to avoid it if possible.
But when litigation is necessary, make no mistake, we are trial lawyers experienced in front of the bench and jury. We are vigorous advocates, bringing to the table decades of experience in court rooms around the country from motion practice through trial and appeal.
Our clients include businesses of every size and corporate structure, including Fortune-ranked companies. They operate in a variety of industries and professions including manufacturing and processing, health care, law, accounting, construction, financial services, retail, real estate and communications.
Our practice covers a wide array of business issues arising out of contract disputes, business tort claims, and corporate control issues in a variety of contexts including (just to name a few):
- Banking and lending;
- Corporate governance and director and officer liability;
- Trade secrets and intellectual property;
- Professional negligence and attorney malpractice;
- Land use;
- Class actions;
- UCC; and
- Consumer protection.
Our business litigators are pragmatic and practical. We effectively utilize technology so that both large and small matters are handled efficiently with the client’s bottom line in mind.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Business Litigation.
We don’t just dabble in insurance recovery. It’s a big part of what we do and who we are. In fact, two of the first fourteen lawyers to be designated by the Ohio State Bar Association as certified specialists in insurance coverage law practice in our firm. An insurance practice of this range and depth explains why even the youngest lawyers in our insurance recovery group are experienced beyond their years.
We represent policyholders against insurers on a wide array of insurance policies. We have handled significant matters as lead counsel across the country, often representing Fortune-ranked corporations. We are proud to have helped shape the law on key issues, including those relating to the transferability of insurance rights in corporate transactions (Pilkington N. Am., Inc. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co., 112 Ohio St.3d 482, 861 N.E.2d 121 (2006)) and forum battles involving lawsuits proceeding simultaneously in more than one jurisdiction Continental Insurance Company v. Honeywell International Inc., et. al., 406 N.J. Super. 156, 967 A.2d 315 (2009)).
We are adept at untangling even the most complicated corporate lineage because we understand that the shape of a long-forgotten historical transaction can have a dramatic impact on an insurance claim. We understand the financial ramifications of retros, captives, and fronting policies. And we understand that positions taken in insurance coverage actions can affect related litigation, requiring us to work well with counsel in the underlying litigation.
We write and lecture on cutting-edge insurance coverage issues. And we are actively involved in state and national insurance-related groups, keeping us in touch with brokers, forensic accountants, risk managers, and data management and analysis experts.
We have significant experience in recovering insurance coverage:
- for mass-tort bodily injury liabilities, including those arising out of asbestos and other contaminants
- for environmental liabilities;
- for product liabilities;
- for professional liabilities;
- for first-party property losses including business interruption expenses;
- for commercial crime losses; and
- from insolvent insurers and state guaranty funds
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Insurance Recovery.
We have extensive experience managing the complex discovery issues that arise when lawsuits with similar allegations are filed in multiple jurisdictions across the country. We are up-to-date (and in the fray) on the emerging issues and technology associated with the preservation, collection, and review of electronically-stored information (ESI). Our litigation management practice group assists clients in:
- formulating a national defense strategy;
- preserving, collecting and reviewing information that is potentially responsive to discovery requests and information that supports the client’s position and strategy;
- creating electronically searchable databases and, in the process, identifying information protected by law from disclosure to third-parties;
- protecting trade secrets and commercially-sensitive proprietary information by obtaining and enforcing protective orders and redaction of core trade secret information;
- tracking the dissemination of proprietary information when courts allow discovery and collecting that information at the conclusion of the case;
- coordinating with trial counsel to ensure that consistent litigation strategies are employed and that all discovery responses and legal arguments are consistent, accurate and complete; and
- avoiding unnecessary costs by maintaining a database of legal memoranda, maintaining online dockets and calendars and communicating constantly with the client and trial counsel.
Members of our group also speak regularly on litigation management topics including strategies to manage results and control costs, discovery sanctions, use of expert witnesses, and the impact of venue on national defense strategies.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Litigation Management.
The attorneys in our employment law group have many years of experience in helping clients stay abreast of the ever-changing landscape of employment law. Our commitment is to provide our clients with swift but knowledgeable, innovative but reliable, thorough but cost-effective advice and, if need be, representation. This commitment, coupled with the range of experience of our attorneys, has allowed us to become an employer-trusted firm on employment-related problems.
To help our clients minimize the risks that can arise from legally troublesome policies and practices, whether in hiring or in the workplace, we offer our clients preventative counseling, employment audits, guidance in complying with the full range of federal and state law and regulations, drafting and review of employee-handbooks, and training seminars. Our employment law group is also frequently engaged in the following:
- negotiating executive employment contracts;
- drafting guidelines and policies affecting employees;
- conducting background investigations and compliance audits;
- advising on regulations and compliance standards affecting diversity in the workplace, temporary leaves, accommodations for disabilities, and return-to-work requests; and
- providing general counseling on hiring, promotion, discipline, and termination procedures and matters of FMLA, HIPPA, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, EPA OFCCP, and Title VII.
Sometimes preventative measures do not do the trick, however. When that happens, our attorneys routinely litigate employment cases on a wide array of topics including restrictive covenants, wrongful discharge, termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation against whistleblowers, privacy and wage-and-hour claims.
Reflecting their familiarity with existing law, trends, and evolving theory, the attorneys in our employment law group provide in-house seminars and training sessions, write articles, teach continuing-education classes, and speak at conferences regarding all areas of employment law.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Employment Law.
Corporate Governance & Compliance Investigations
Our corporate governance and compliance investigations practice provides our clients with the level of service and expertise that is ordinarily available only through large firms. Our lawyers ― some of whom formerly were members of national law firms ― have for decades advised private and public companies, boards of directors, individual directors and shareholders on matters involving corporate governance including the following:
- Sarbanes-Oxley investigations;
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance;
- accounting practices;
- self-reporting obligations;
- the utilization of special litigation committees;
- independent investigations;
- the rights of minority shareholders; and
- the indemnification of directors.
And our lawyers have comparable experience in representing those clients when litigation over corporate governance arises, including derivative actions by shareholders. Our experience includes, for example, litigation alleging violation of federal and state securities laws, breach of fiduciary duty, waste, violation of antitrust laws, business torts, and director and officer liability.
Our attorneys understand the pressures of shareholder litigation. We also understand that there is no formulaic solution to the web of complex issues that corporate governance claims produce. Thacker Martinsek is committed to working with its clients to craft the most effective and economical strategy for exercising corporate governance.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Corporate Governance.
Ranked by U.S. News as one of the top firms in Cleveland for municipal litigation, our public sector litigation practice includes both representation of public bodies—cities, villages, state authorities, and regional districts—and of private corporations in disputes with public bodies.
The public-sector disputes handled by our attorneys include contract disputes, state constitutional interpretation issues, questions involving municipal home rule rights, conflicts between public bodies, and land use regulation fights. Free from the conflicts of interest faced by many municipal lawyers who serve as city law directors, we are not a “government side” or a “private sector” firm in the municipal law field; rather, we bring both the experience and perspective of attorneys familiar with both sides of any public law question.
Our municipal litigators have successfully handled many types of public sector disputes, including:
- winning a declaratory judgment for a large public agency--after a three-week trial--validating its power to institute a major new program;
- recovering more than $30 million as special counsel for the Ohio Office of Insurance Liquidation for the liquidation estate of a large Ohio insurance company, including $10 million from the company’s auditors, nearly $9 million from its corporate attorneys, and more than $4 million from former officers and directors;
- winning the first case in the Ohio Supreme Court establishing the right of Ohio municipalities to charge impact fees to developers to pay for infrastructure necessitated by new development;
- settling a claim by a large public university for millions of dollars, paid by the supplier of faulty computer software to the university;
- representing a major developer in litigation seeking to prevent township and county officials from permitting the development of a project which would cause serious traffic problems for existing shopping centers.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Municipal Litigation.
Intellectual Property & Business Competition
Imitation, it is said, is the sincerest form of flattery. It can also expose the imitator to claims of legal liability for misappropriation of intellectual property or confidential information. We handle disputes over ownership, use, or theft of trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, etc. In businesses, these disputes are often part of a larger dispute between competitors or even contracting parties. Our lawyers represent manufacturers, developers, distributors, retail businesses, franchisees, museums, and individuals when those problems arise. As in all other areas of our practice, we are committed to providing our clients with swift, knowledgeable, innovative, reliable, thorough, and cost-effective advice — and, if need be, representation in mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
Our attorneys have decades of experience in:
- negotiating enforcement of non-disclosure agreements;
- litigation with former employees for violating non-compete and non-disclosure agreements;
- defending against allegations of defamation, trademark infringement and copyright infringement;
- evaluating fair-use and open-access issues;
- developing strategies for the protection of intellectual property;
- guiding clients in the use and marketing of trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks;
- registering trademarks and copyrights;
- negotiating licenses and other contract terms for the sharing of copyright and trademark rights;
- litigating to protect trade secrets;
- implementing best practices to protect trade secrets during the exchange of discovery in civil litigation;
- prosecuting and defending claims of tortuous interference with business relations;
- enforcing insureds’ rights under existing policies to coverage for intellectual property disputes.
We understand the importance of intellectual property and look forward to helping clients make the most of those assets.
Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in Intellectual Property & Business Competition.
Supreme Court Affirms Punitive Damages Only Available for Torts
In a recent case, Lucarell v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, 2018-Ohio-15, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed that punitive damages are only available as an award for tort claims under Ohio law. Rejecting the logic of several Ohio appellate courts, including the Seventh District Court of Appeals, the Court held there is no “exception” to the longstanding common law rule precluding the award of punitive damages for breach of contract.... Read More
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We at TRZ have much to be thankful for: exceptional clients, talented peers, valued friends of the firm, and colleagues who are like family. For all of you, we are grateful.... Read More
Assessing Advanced Cellphone Location Evidence
In recent years, all the major cellular providers have developed advanced technology that purports to determine the approximate locations of cellphones on the providers' networks, even without GPS. Law enforcement has been especially interested in this technology for locating a cellphone before, during, or after a crime. It offers the same promise in civil cases. Because this evidence is the product of complicated technological processes, jurors may be tempted to believe that the processes are infallible.... Read More