John M. Alten


As a trial lawyer, John has taken clients across a wide range of industries to trial and in many different jurisdictions. He represents public and private companies and individuals in all aspects of business litigation, including disputes related to contracts, trade secrets, securities, product liability, insurance, consumer law, and corporate control. John has first-chaired numerous jury trials, bench trials, injunction hearings, and arbitrations, while his appellate practice takes advantage of his background as a writer. John believes in building candid, results-focused relationships with his clients. He has been named to The Best Lawyers in America© in Commercial Litigation every year since 2013. John also serves as Ulmer’s Director of Associate Development.

Education & Admissions


  • Northwestern University

    (B.S., Journalism, 1994)

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law

    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999)
    Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Case Western Reserve Law Review


  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado



  • Obtained a favorable judgment for an independent distributor/installer after a federal court trial in a “business divorce” with an international manufacturer.
  • Acted as first-chair counsel for a variety of banks, broker-dealers, custodians, and other financial firms in non-compete/non-solicit disputes and cases involving claims of advisor wrongdoing, including in jury trials, industry arbitrations, and emergency injunctive proceedings.
  • Successfully defended class actions in the insurance, financial services, and utilities industries.
  • Served as coordinating counsel for a major materials producer in toxic tort litigation.
  • Managed a defect inquiry before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Obtained a successful jury verdict on a Federal Employers Liability Act claim defending a railroad subsidiary of the world’s largest steelmaker.
  • Won dismissal on behalf of a title insurer in a putative class action in connection with the “largest real estate scam in Maryland history.”
  • Product liability work has included defending manufacturers and suppliers of valves, gas cylinders, electrical equipment, soldering equipment, automotive parts, raw materials, minerals, road-marking equipment, and paint products in product liability and wrongful death claims.
  • Substantial experience with federal multidistrict litigation proceedings (including in welding fume, securities, opiate, and other pharmaceutical MDLs) and other complex, multiparty actions.


  • Werner v. Progressive Preferred Ins., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 2995 (6th Cir. 2009)
  • Fowler v. Ohio Edison Co., 2008 Ohio 6587 (Ohio App. 2008)
  • Proctor v. Metropolitan Money Store et al., 579 F. Supp.2d 724 (D.Md. 2008)
  • Moorjani v. Mid-Ohio Secs., 2008 Ohio 2727 (Ohio App. 2008)
  • Trebilcock v. Elinsky, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38416 (N.D. Ohio 2007)

Publications & Presentations


  • “Confidentiality Provisions and Sealing of Court Records,” chapter co-author, Settlement Agreements in Commercial Disputes:  Negotiating, Drafting & Enforcement, Aspen Law & Business (2020 ed.)



  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Cleveland Law Library Association (Board of Directors)


  • Community Resource Services (Board of Directors, Secretary)


  • Associate Development Director



  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (2013-2024)
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2010-2012)