Paul R. Harris

Partner | Co-Group Leader, Business Litigation

Paul has litigated a wide range of business and employment matters, and he has extensive experience in both state and federal courts in and outside of Ohio. He has obtained both plaintiff and defense verdicts as lead counsel or second chair, and obtained dismissals or favorable settlements in other matters. He also has significant appellate experience, including successful oral arguments before Ohio Courts of Appeals. He represents various types and sizes of businesses in litigation, but also counsels businesses on practices to avoid litigation. Paul was designated a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation and has been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. [VIDEO: Business Litigation leaders discuss Ulmer & Berne’s approach for achieving success for clients.]

Education & Admissions


  • The Ohio State University

    (B.A., summa cum laude, with honors in the Liberal Arts, 2001)
    Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Kappa Phi

  • University of Notre Dame Law School

    (J.D., cum laude, 2005)
    Recipient, International Trial Lawyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art of Advocacy

  • University of London, Royal Holloway

    (M.B.A., International Management, with distinction, 2011)


  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • 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, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado



  • Won unanimous reversal from the Supreme Court of Alabama of denial of motions to compel arbitration of claims by seven customers who alleged that their signatures on the account agreements containing the arbitration provisions had been forged. Successfully argued the customers were equitably estopped from avoiding arbitration because their claims depended on the existence of the account agreements containing the arbitration clauses. The Alabama Supreme Court agreed and rejected the plaintiffs’ attempt to avoid arbitration based on their forgery allegations.
  • Successfully prosecuted and defended claims on behalf of various companies in business, employment, and other litigation matters in both state and federal courts.
  • Obtained substantial jury verdict, including an award of punitive damages, as plaintiff’s counsel in matter involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and other tortious activity, and successfully argued to Court of Appeals to affirm the underlying award.
  • Obtained jury and bench verdicts as defendant’s counsel for various businesses facing a wide range of contractual, tort and business-related claims.
  • Successfully defended multinationals in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA), including decision in favor of a multinational technology company on all claims brought by a former employee and a decision in favor of a multinational securities firm and its regional management team on all claims seeking over $2.7 million, as well as a finding in favor of the securities firm on its counterclaim. Successfully argued to Court of Appeals to uphold underlying award in favor of financial services multinational.
  • Successfully argued in several hearings before Ohio courts for enforcement of arbitration clauses and dismissal of individual and class action cases to arbitration, and obtained appellate court rulings upholding trial court decisions.
  • Argued various issues to the Eighth District Court of Appeals, including defense of class action and consumer claims.
  • Extensive experience in federal courts, including the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Extensive experience defending claims brought against suppliers under Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), including bench trial that resulted in dismissal of certain claims brought against supplier and for those claims upon which the judge found against the supplier, obtained reversal from Court of Appeals.
  • Extensive experience defending class action claims, including class claims under the CSPA.
  • Extensive experience defending discrimination and other employment claims brought by current and former employees.
  • Represented former NFL players in actions brought against them by another former NFL player who claimed he loaned them money. Obtained dismissal of each case.
  • Litigated numerous asbestos-related claims from inception through resolution as Special Counsel for the Ohio Attorney General representing the Defendant Administrator, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
  • Participant in legal aid and court-sponsored pro bono programs.


  • Equity Tr. Co., et al. v. Morris, et al., No. 1200551, 2022 WL 3572609 (Ala. Aug. 19, 2022).
  • Sophie Tracy v. AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co., et al., No. A-1-CA-39250, 2022 WL 831884 (N.M. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2022) (affirming the trial court’s summary judgment ruling on all claims asserted against a major insurance company).
  • Magnum Steel & Trading, LLC, et al. v. Gerald Mink, et al., 2013-Ohio-2431, 2013 WL 2713268 (9th Dist. 2013) (affirming judgments rendered by the court and the jury in a tortious interference and trade secret misappropriation case).
  • UBS Financial Services, Inc. v. Albert V. LaCava, Jr., 2013-Ohio-1669, 2013 WL 1798021 (8th Dist. 2013) (affirming denial of motion for relief from judgment).
  • Veltri v .DFS Services, LLC, No. 2:09-cv-416, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, 2011 WL 3667447, August 22, 2011 (granting summary judgment on disability discrimination claims).
  • Wallace, et al. v. Ganley Auto Group, 2011-Ohio-2909, 2011 WL 2434093 (8th Dist. 2011) (affirming granting of motion to stay proceedings pending arbitration in putative class action).
  • Olah v. Ganley Chevrolet, Inc., 191 Ohio App.3d 456, 946 N.E.2d 771 (8th Dist. 2010) (reversing rescission and attorneys’ fee award pursuant to the parol evidence rule).
  • Bridge v. Midas Auto Experts, #322, 2010-Ohio-4681, 2010 WL 3813962 (8th Dist. 2010) (standing, Consumer Sales Practices Act).
  • Osadciw v. Ganley Chrysler Jeep, et al., No. 1:09-cv-00486, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, 2010 WL 3767590, Sept. 24, 2010 (granting summary judgment on age discrimination claims).
  • Ingrassia v. Ganley Management Co., 2010-Ohio-3883, 2010 WL 3279191 (8th Dist. 2010) (affirming dismissal of class action claims under the Consumer Sales Practices Act and finding that request for injunctive relief on tax claims belonged before the Court of Claims).
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. v. Maxxum Group, LLC, et al., No. 10-1143, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2010 WL 2925092, July 21, 2010 (granting motion to dismiss in part and transferring to Ohio federal court).
  • Fields v. NCR Corp., 683 F.Supp.2d 980 (S.D. Iowa) (granting motion to compel arbitration).
  • Konarzewski v. Ganley, Inc., 2009-Ohio-5827, 2009 WL 3649787 (8th Dist. 2009) (class action, Consumer Sales Practices Act).
  • Eppert v. Swank, No. 3:07-cv-221, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, 2008 WL 474424, Feb. 14, 2008 (denying motion to remand and dismissing case).
  • Seals v. General Motors Corp., No. 1:06-cv-1592, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, 2007 WL 2579401, Aug. 30, 2007 (granting summary judgment on workplace intentional tort claim and dismissing product liability claim).

Publications & Presentations


  • “Gauging EU and US Investor Confidence Post-Crisis,” Law360 (October 2011)


  • “All Together Again,” Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) Fall Conference (November 2022)
  • The Huntington National Bank 2022 Legal Roundtable Summit (October 2022)
  • “Forum-Selection Clauses: How to ‘Knock Out’ Challenges to Enforcement,” Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) Spring Conference (March 2021)
  • “Ulmer’s Front-Line Insights on the Class Action Landscape in Ohio & What it Means for You,” Ulmer Litigation Conference (September 2017)
  • “Minimizing Liability in Problematic Civil Cases (Rule 68 Offers of Judgment & Other Methods),” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Federal Court Training Seminar (June 2013)
  • “Managing E-Discovery for the Insured – Costly to Perform and Costly to Perform Incorrectly” and “How to Produce Fully but Control the Costs at the Same Time,” National FETTI Conference (October 2008)
  • “Lead Climate and Case Law,” The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (October 2007)



  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (Litigation Section Council, 2011-2014; Chair, Fundamentals of Practice in the Northern District of Ohio, 2013)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Leadership Cleveland (Member, Class of 2021)
  • Ohio State Bar Association Leadership Academy (Class of 2012)
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders (Member, Class of 2015)


  • Lutheran Hospital (Board of Trustees, 2014-present)
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio (Associate Board, 2011-present)
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio (Founding Board Member & Treasurer, 2008-2013)
  • St. Ignatius High School Alumni Executive Council (President, 2018-present; Officer, 2006-2018)
  • Cardinal Robert Bellarmine Committee (Member, 2006-2017; Chair, 2011-2017)


  • Co-Group Leader, Business Litigation



  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2022-2023)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation – Labor and Employment (2020-2023)
  • Named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation (2019-2023)
  • Named to Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List (2017-2020)
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2010-2019)
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated – Martindale-Hubbell®

Benchmark Litigation 2023


Paul is an active member of several nonprofit boards including in the fields of medicine and education. He studied in England at the University of Bristol and earned an MBA from Royal Holloway, and at home he is a proud graduate of several great institutions including St. Ignatius High School, The Ohio State University, and the University of Notre Dame where Paul won the Bengal Bouts – started long ago by Knute Rockne and Dominic (“Nappy”) Napolitano – as a welterweight boxer. Paul and his wife, Stephanie, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, have three children and live on the West Side of Cleveland. Paul enjoys running, getting outside with the kids, and travel, although that was much more of an option before the kids. His favorite trip remains a trip to Africa that included being on the receiving end of an unforgettable headbutt from a great white shark in the waters off of Cape Town, South Africa.