Dispute resolution

Offering a diverse set of litigation services, the Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff team holds practice area expertise in commercial, product liability, construction & real estate, securities, and unfair competition litigation. Despite the firm’s presence in offices around the country, it is Benesch’s Ohio locations in Cleveland and Columbus that stand out as its most formidable.

From the firm’s Cleveland office, executive chair of litigation and vice chairman of Benesch Joseph Castrodale litigates complex commercial and securities matters on the behalf of corporate clients – including, inter alia, class actions, business torts, product liability matters, contract disputes, and shareholder derivative suits. Also from the Cleveland office, Gregory Phillips is recognized for his complex commercial abilities both at trial and on appeal.

Ciano & Goldwasser

Cleveland litigation boutique Ciano & Goldwasser is a team of four attorneys well versed in handling a variety of health care, general commercial and personal injury matters. A client who hired the firm for a dispute resolution describes the partners as “good big-picture thinkers, clear communicators, diligent workers, [and] results-oriented,” all while operating in a timely manner. Phillip Ciano is name partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his work in sports law, representing player agents in baseball, basketball, football and golf. A new addition to this year’s list is Brent Silverman, who has over 20 years of experience in high stakes business litigation. Ciano and Silverman recently served as lead counsel for a sports agency in a dispute with another agency over a former employee’s use of contacts and business opportunities. Fellow name partner Andrew Goldwasser focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, focused on serious injury and wrongful death claims. In addition, Goldwasser also takes on a number of specialty torts involving a variety of irregular business disputes. Among his recent cases, Goldwasser is leading the team representing the estate of a late painter in a matter determining the rightful ownership of artwork.

DiCello Levitt

In the five short years since its inception in 2017, plaintiff shop DiCello Levitt has for three years in a row been recognized by Benchmark as a Top Plaintiff firm. With offices in New York, Chicago, Birmingham, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C., DiCello Levitt may bear the formal features of a boutique but its team of litigators continues to outpace the competition within its supposed weight class year after year. The firm, staffed by a broad range of area specialists, is recognized for its diverse arsenal of litigation capabilities across numerous practice areas, a unique trait among firms of its size. DiCello Levitt’s practitioners are applauded by clients for their “strong, enthusiastic, and dedicated approach to representation,” and for “going the extra step to present the best solutions possible.” The firm recently made a push in the antitrust area, with the auspicious addition of New York's Greg Asciolla to the firm from plaintiff shop Labaton Sucharow, which made a strategic decision to return to its core areas of securities class actions.

Firm mainstays and founding partners Adam Levitt of Chicago and Cleveland’s Mark DiCello continue to serve at the firm’s helm in pivotal regards. Levitt, a complex commercial and securities specialist, is identified by a client as “exceptionally bright and creative,” the same client also noting that, “He gets along well with people and is committed to the highest ethical standards. His work is first rate.” Levitt’s practice centralizes complex multidistrict commercial matters, public client representation, and class-action representation across industries. DiCello, on the other hand, is recognized for his personal injury and mass tort expertise.

In Chicago, Amy Keller serves as DiCello Levitt’s privacy, technology, and cybersecurity practice chair, her focuses accordingly lying on data security and consumer privacy matters. Notably active in the class actions space, a client recalls that, “She was very patient with me, explaining everything in non-legal language. She was always accessible.” Keller is additionally a central figure in the maintenance of the firm’s foothold in the Midwestern market and is recognized by Benchmark as one of the nation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation.


Faruki PLL

Litigation boutique Faruki has an established presence in the Buckeye state, with two locations in Cincinnati and Dayton. In particular, the firm has a growing reputation for handling complex business litigation as well as contentious matters involving data privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property, and class actions.
     Based in Dayton, Erin Rhinehart is a star practitioner and leads the firm’s media and communications practice. Rhinehart, who is also recognized in Benchmark Litigation’s 40 and Under Hot List, handles a variety of disputes regarding the First Amendment, defamation, intellectual property, in addition to defending a number of companies in class action suits at both the state and federal level. Notable clients of hers include Cox Media Group, Procter & Gamble, and Cargill. D Jeffrey Ireland also operates out of the firm’s Dayton office and has over 40 years of experience litigating complex business disputes in Ohio as well as across the country. Ireland, who serves as managing partner at the firm, worked alongside Rhinehart in defending Procter & Gamble in a consumer class action case as well as another dispute involving breach of contract claims. Highly respected partner Jeffrey Cox has a comprehensive litigation practice that has recently focused on data privacy and intellectual property disputes. Among his recent matters, Cox represented Procter & Gamble in a patent infringement case the company brought against Coca-Cola regarding the chemical composition of its beverage products. In addition, Cox defended British information conglomerate Reed Elsevier in front of the Federal Trade Commission in an investigation involving federal data protection compliance. 

Thompson Hine

Full-service law firm Thompson Hine is equipped with a team of litigators who routinely represent clients in some of the most complex product liability and business disputes. With offices in Georgia, Illinois, DC, and New York, along with a significant footprint in Ohio via four distinct locations, Thompson Hine has developed a reputation of obtaining favorable results throughout the region. 

Cleveland-based product liability litigator Elizabeth ‘Missy’ Wright is national counsel for a major commercial food equipment manufacturer, a major power tool manufacturer, an aviation component manufacturer, and an automotive manufacturer, and also serves as national lead trial counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in hormone replacement therapy litigationTimothy Coughlin is a fellow Cleveland partner who chairs the mass & toxic tort group and leads chemical industry group. He is lead counsel to BASF Corporation in a product liability litigation related to a railcar release of a chemical compound toluene diisocyanate, allegedly causing pulmonary issues in a claim brought by a vendor employee. New to the litigation star list is Jennifer Roach who, along with Robert Ware, make up the lead counsel team representing a manufacturing company in a business litigation originally filed back in November 2020 in Delaware.  

Dayton-based Christine Haaker serves as the vice-chair of the group for the office. Haaker serves as defense counsel to several high-profile entities in numerous business disputes. Fellow Dayton partner Scott King focuses on representing financial corporations and institutions in a wide range of actions. He most recently represents a private investment company in an ongoing consumer finance dispute that has garnered national attention. 

In the group’s DC office, Eric Heyer has emerged as one of that office’s brightest younger stars. Heyer represented Vapor Technology Association, for whom Heyer triumphed in obtaining a temporary restraining order after, in September 2019, New York then-Governor Cuomo directed his Department of Public Health to publish an emergency rule banning the possession and sale of flavored vaping products. The restraining order was granted one day before the ban was due to take effect and was entered in January 2020. 

Ulmer & Berne

Ulmer & Berne offers a wide array of litigation services throughout Ohio, with offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. The firm is highly regarded for its team of experienced litigators, especially in thefinancial services industry. Clients have expressed their appreciation for the firm’s expertise in the business and finance field; one describes the team as “extremely knowledgeable” and another highlights the firm for its “excellent counsel on restrictive covenants and business litigation.” 

     A member of the elite list of Top 100 Trial Lawyers and chair of the firm’s litigation group, Michael Ungar is one of the backbones of the firm’s business litigation practice. He is an all-purpose business and commercial trial lawyer, well known for representing financial institutions, among others. Recently, he has led a high-stakes commercial arbitration, defended a whistleblower action in Arizona federal court, and represented several trustees in various commercial actions. In one such case, he leads the team alongside Frances Floriano Goins, who serves as co-leader of the firm’s financial services and securities group, as well as the dedicated cybersecurity and privacy group.In recent litigation, she successfully defended thetrustee of certain revenue bonds, Huntington National Bank, in a declaratory judgment action, in which the plaintiffs sought judgment regarding the rights of the client and bondholders versus the rights of the plaintiff to manage and operate a parking garage now owned by the issuer of the bonds. Floriano Goins obtained a judgment on the pleadings which dismissed the case. Amanda Martinsek serves clients in the private and public sector. She has previously represented school districts, as well as counties, in litigation. She has recently been engaged in representing county commissioners in financial disputes. Cincinnati-based partner Jeffrey Peck is a product liability specialist recently involved in matters related to the high-profile opioid litigation. 

Labor and employment
Ulmer & Berne

While Ulmer & Berne is especially known for its business and commercial litigation, the firm maintains an exceptional labor and employment practice that is seasoned in complex disputes. The practice is especially wellsuited to handling disputes that encompass elements of business, commercial and employment litigation.The Cleveland office houses the firm’s largest concentration of employment lawyers. William Edwards leads the group and dedicates his practice to representing clients in employment litigation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission through federal courts. Jeffrey Dunlap is the group’s go-to for employment-related Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations, as well as American Arbitration Association (AAA), including one alleging Title VII discrimination, hostile work environment, defamation, and Family and Medical Leave Act interference. He also recently represented a client in a whistleblower matter on appeal before the Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law in New Jersey. Stephanie Harley maintains a practice entirely dedicated to labor and employment, with experience in handling allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual harassment for clients operating in a variety of industries.