Marvin L. Karp

Retired Partner

Marvin L. Karp

Retired Partner

Marvin retired in 2016 after 56 years with Ulmer. He focused his practice on business, corporate, and insurance litigation. An accomplished trial lawyer, Marvin earned numerous accolades from legal publications, bar associations, and other organizations during his career for his skill as a litigator and for his years of service to the legal community.

Education & Admissions


  • Yale University

    (B.A., summa cum laude, 1955)

  • Yale University Law School

    (J.D., 1958)


  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio



  • Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism (Chair 2013)
  • American Bar Association (Chair, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, 1990-91; Member, House of Delegates, 1992-present; Chair, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, 2001-2004; Task Force on Implementation of Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002-2003; Advisor, Joint Commission on Revising Model Codes of Judicial Conduct, 2003-present; Former Chair, President’s Task Force on Membership,1995-96; Member, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, 1993-1996; Member, Working Group on Lawyers’ Representation of Regulated Clients, 1992-1993; Former Chair, Tort and Insurance Practice Section (“TIPS”), 1990-1991; Former Chair, Tort and Insurance Practice Section Committee on Professionalism, 1987-1988)
  • ALI-ABA Professional Responsibility Advisory Panel
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (Board of TrusteesFormer President, 1988-89; Former Chair, Special Committee on Professionalism, 1987-1988; Former Chair, Ad Hoc Commission on ABA Proposed Model  Rules of Professional Conduct, 1980-1982; Former Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, 1978-1979)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Life Member)
  • Harold Burton Chapter of the American Inns of Court, Cleveland (Founder and First President)
  • Joint Project on Professionalism of four national defense organizations (Defense Research Institute, Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Federation of Insurance and Defense Counsel, and International Association of Defense Counsel) (Chair, 1996-1997)
  • Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel (President, 1994-95; Chairman of the Board, 1995-96)
  • Supreme Court of Ohio Special Committee on Creeds of Professionalism (Member, 1989-90)


  • The Park Synagogue (Executive Committee; Former President, 1986-1990)


  • Recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Supreme Court of Ohio, Appointment by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism (2013)
  • Ranked as one of Ohio’s leading General Commercial Litigation lawyers by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers(2003-2014); Chambers USA: Client Guide 2004
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated – Martindale-Hubbell®
  • American Bar Association’s 2010 Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award
  • Appointed to the Task Force on the Code of Judicial Conduct by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer to serve on a Supreme Court of Ohio panel that will revise and improve the rules governing the conduct of Ohio judges (August 2007)
  • Recipient of the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor, The Ohio Bar Medal (2007)
  • From letter from a Common Pleas Court Judge following a jury trial (October 1994): The jury… made an unusual request. They requested that I convey to you their sincere respect for you personally and their appreciation for the professional manner in which you conducted yourself at trial. I fully agree with the jury’s evaluation of your performance. It is a pleasure as a judge to witness a skilled trial lawyer present a thoroughly investigated, prepared case. I was impressed by your ability to capture the jury’s interest for three weeks on complex issues in what most juries would regard as a very dry subject matter. Your jury, however, was fascinated by the problems of insurance contract clauses. The jury truly enjoyed the experience. That is quite an accomplishment.
  • Listed in every annual edition of  Best Lawyers in America, Business Litigation; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation, Woodward/White
  • Named “Top 10 lawyer in the state of Ohio” by Ohio Super Lawyers(2004, 2005 and 2006)
  • Named “Top 100 lawyer in the state of Ohio” (2007) and a “Top 50 lawyer in Cleveland” by Ohio Super Lawyers(2007 and 2008)
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyerslist (2008-2011; 2014; 2015)
  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” in Northeast Ohio in a survey of lawyers by Inside Business Magazine(2001-2011*) *2011 final year of survey
  • Recipient of the American ORT Jurisprudence Award for his many contributions to the community and to
    the legal profession (2004)
  • Named a “Top Lawyer” by Northern Ohio Live Magazine(August 2003)
  • First recipient of the William K. Thomas Professionalism Award presented by The Cleveland Bar Association (2001)
  • Named by The National Law Journalas one of the 25 best insurance defense attorneys in the United States (September 1999)
  • Andrew M. Hecker Memorial Award for Professionalism (Tort and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association) (1998)
  • Named by Cleveland Magazineas one of the six best trial lawyers in Northeastern Ohio (August 1994)