June 23, 2023 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that two of its lawyers, Michael N. Ungar and Steven S. Kaufman, have been awarded the Living Legacy award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA). In conjunction with the CMBA’s 150th anniversary celebration, the Living Legacy Award honors lawyers who have made significant contributions to the legal, business, and civic arenas in Greater Cleveland.
“The committee worked diligently to select honorees who are remarkable attorneys, leaders, and community advocates,” said Larry W. Zukerman, 2022-23 Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation President. “Each honoree has made an indelible mark on our Bar Association, the legal profession and the Greater Cleveland community.”
Part of CMBA’s Legacy 150, the Living Legacy Award recognizes the extraordinary leadership, innovation, and professional excellence of lawyers who have made a lasting impact on the community. Ungar and Kaufman, along with their co-honorees, will be recognized at Rock the Bar, happening on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Ungar, who serves as Ulmer’s Litigation Department Chair, has a long history of leadership in the CMBA. His past and current roles include President (2010-2011), Board of Trustees (2007-present), Strategic Planning Steering Committee member, Executive Committee member, Chair of Judicial Selection Committee (2005 and 2006), and Chair of Presidential Special Committee on Judicial Excellence (2011-2012). Ungar is also a Member and Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Past President of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and a former City Councilman for the City of Cleveland Heights (2016-2021). Ungar is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who is trusted by his clients to handle their most critical disputes. His practice is focused on complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on commercial and financial services matters. His outstanding track record has resulted in his recognition as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States, among many other honors.
“Mike is tenacious, he’s dedicated to his clients, and he is truly deserving of this tremendous honor,” said Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner of Ulmer & Berne. “We couldn’t be happier to see him recognized for his outstanding accomplishments and his commitment to Cleveland and the legal community.”
Kaufman served as CMBA President in 2003-2004, the culmination of more than five years of leadership on the Board of Trustees. He also served as President of the Ohio Metropolitan Bar Association Caucus (2003-2004), Co-Chair of the Real Estate Litigation Committee for American Bar Association’s Litigation Section (2012-2016), and as a Master Bencher and Member of the Celebrezze Inn of Court (1995-present). Kaufman was instrumental in local government initiatives, serving as co-chair of the Cuyahoga County Government Reform Ballot Initiative (2009), and as general counsel to the Cuyahoga County Government Transition Team (2010). He has been involved in the local community through leadership roles with various organizations including the Shaker Heights School District Board of Education (1997-2006) serving his final two years as President. Kaufman is a nationally recognized first-chair trial attorney known for his leadership and client service in complex litigation matters, and has extensive experience as lead trial counsel in state and federal courts across the U.S. Prior to joining Ulmer in 2020, Kaufman founded, managed, and grew two boutique litigation law firms in Cleveland (Kaufman & Cumberland, 1982-2002; Kaufman & Company, LLP, 2011-2019).
“This award is an incredible honor that speaks to the huge impact Steve has had on Cleveland’s legal community throughout his prestigious career,” said Patricia A. Shlonsky, Ulmer’s Cleveland Partner-in-Charge. “He is an unbelievably talented litigator and a dedicated community advocate who I’m honored to have as a colleague.”