Complex Business and Related Litigation
- 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. Equity Tr. Co., et al. v. Morris, et al., No. 1200551, 2022 WL 3572609 (Ala. Aug. 19, 2022).
- Won summary judgment on all claims asserted against a major insurance company by an insured alleging that her policy was improperly terminated after she was allegedly misled into taking out loans against the cash value of her life insurance policy, and the trial court’s summary judgment ruling was affirmed by the New Mexico Court of Appeals. 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).
- Defended a multinational natural resources company, as part of a litigation team, in a $100 million breach of contract and tort action, assisting in all phases of litigation and appeal, and developing the defense strategy.
- Defended a retail pharmacy in an unfair competition and trade secrets matter, and after obtaining transfer to the Eastern District of Michigan for lack of personal jurisdiction, drafted a motion to dismiss that resulted in a dismissal with prejudice of most of the plaintiff’s claims. (Prescription Supply, Inc., et al. v. Moussa “Mark” Musa, et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-12070 (E.D. Mich. February 27, 2017)).
- Served as the lead associate on a team representing Plain Local School District in a successful constitutional challenge of an Ohio statute that allowed residents of certain communities to more easily change their assigned school district, eliminating preexisting statutory safeguards meant to prevent racial and socioeconomic segregation, and drafted key filings including winning summary judgment briefs. (Plain Local School District Board of Education v. Mike DeWine, No. 2:19-CV-5086, 2020 WL 5521310 (S.D.OH Sept 11, 2020)).
Trust, Estate & Fiduciary Litigation
- Represented an executor, as part of a litigation team, and prevailed at the Supreme Court of Ohio in a precedent-setting matter regarding the requirements for the presentation of a claim against a decedent’s estate. (Wilson v. Lawrence, 150 Ohio St.3d 368, 2017-Ohio-1410).
- Defended and obtained favorable resolutions for corporate fiduciaries facing a variety of fiduciary-related claims in probate courts throughout Ohio.
- Primary drafter of successful motion to dismiss claims asserted by trust beneficiaries in Cuyahoga County Probate Court.
- Represented a self-directed IRA custodian in a putative class action alleging aiding and assisting a Ponzi scheme in violation of the Ohio Securities Act, and served as the primary drafter of the appellate briefs in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio, which resulted in a seminal decision from the Supreme Court on a certified question of first impression on the reach of secondary liability under the Ohio Securities Act. (Boyd v. Kingdom Trust Co., 154 Ohio St. 3d 196 (2018)).
- Defended a national bank in litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the Ohio Uniform Fiduciary Act, and obtained summary judgment on all claims in a decision that was affirmed by the Fifth District Court of Appeals. (Tsepas v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, 2017-Ohio-1272 (Ohio 5th Dist. Ct. App.)).
- Defended a self-directed IRA custodian in numerous cases in and outside of Ohio against customer claims under state and federal securities and consumer protection laws, along with tort and contract claims.
- Defended major financial institutions in customer disputes, in FINRA arbitration, and in state court, including defending against claims under state and federal securities and consumer protection laws, common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and similar allegations.
- Handles immigration matters including employment and education-based immigration and enforcement, and represents clients in removal and bond proceedings in the immigration courts.
- Successfully represented a client at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bond hearing after the client had been detained due to the expiration of her F-1 Student Visa.