Litigation & Dispute Resolution


With more than 100 attorneys, Ulmer & Berne’s litigation team has a strong tradition of solving problems and delivering excellent results for a diverse group of clients. Our litigation practice is the largest in the firm and we have extensive experience handling matters in trial and appellate courts, and before alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the country.

The litigation practice is recognized among the country’s most prestigious by, amongst others, Chambers USA and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” A number of our lawyers have been named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers and many are routinely recognized by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America. Ulmer’s Litigation Department was named the 2022 “Ohio Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation and previously earned the same designation in 2014 and 2017-2021.

In 2020, Ulmer announced the addition of renowned and industry-recognized trial boutique Kaufman & Company to its litigation practice, creating an elite Midwestern litigation group with first-chair trial expertise. To read a feature article about the combination of Ulmer and Kaufman & Company in Crain’s Cleveland Business, please click here.

June 3, 2022 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Brett J. Geschke to the firm’s Chicago office where he joins the firm’s nationally recognized Business Litigation Practice Group. Geschke is an experienced commercial litigator who has tried multiple cases to verdict and assists clients with wide-ranging...

Ulmer Partners William D. Edwards, Amanda Martinsek, and Daniela Paez were published in Law360’s Access to Justice section with their article, “One Subject Rule Strategy Can Defeat Dangerous State Laws.” To read the full article, click here.

April 1, 2021 – Ulmer & Berne LLP established itself again as the leading litigation firm in Ohio earning Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 “Ohio Firm of the Year” award for the fifth year in a row and the sixth time in eight years. Recognized for its strong litigation practice and innovative...

October 22, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP and 11 of its partners received honors in the 2021 edition of Benchmark Litigation. Consistently recognized by clients and peers as a firm well suited to handle complex, high-stakes litigation, Ulmer has earned Benchmark’s highest possible ranking – “highly recommended” in Ohio...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi is my go-to destination for all things Reg BI.  Here’s a quick, but really helpful, update from her. –  Alan This week OCIE issued twin alerts relating to the upcoming implementation of Reg BI. A lot of the statements are...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Forced to sit at home under government-ordered decree, and having finished binge-watching Season 3 of Ozark and Season 4 of Money Heist on Netflix, what’s left to do except prey upon scared investors – particularly seniors – who have been watching the...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I think that most lawyers who handle arbitrations, no matter what side of the table they occupy, would agree that one of the most important components of the case – perhaps the most important – is the selection of the arbitrators who comprise the...

March 10, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that the firm and its Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing have been honored in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 12th annual Diversity Leader Awards issue, which recognizes organizations and individuals who are working every day to expand and improve diversity, inclusion,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper A couple of years ago, I complained here about FINRA’s Office of Disciplinary Affairs, or ODA. I am here to report that…nothing has changed. Let me explain. I am defending a FINRA Enforcement case that is scheduled to go to hearing in a...

Ulmer attorneys Frances Floriano Goins and Michael Davis Hoenig recently updated the Ohio Domestic Privacy Profile for “Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security.” In the update, the attorneys discuss emerging issues including recent legislation like SB 194, which was passed by the Ohio Senate in December 2019 to protect Ohio...

Ulmer attorneys are adept at efficiently and effectively handling eDiscovery matters for our clients, using sophisticated tools that place us at the cutting edge of this technology area. The firm uses Relativity, the premier eDiscovery platform, as part of an overall eDiscovery strategy that allows our attorneys to provide world-class...

In the most recent edition of The Business Journal, Ulmer Partner Stephanie Harley is quoted regarding employee handbooks and best practices for employers in order to protect themselves and their employees. To read the full article, click here.

With the rise of streaming services, mergers in the entertainment industry seem likely. In a recent article for The Hollywood Reporter, Ulmer Partner Richard Hamilton, Jr. is quoted discussing this possibility and how the industry has evolved in the last several years. To read the full article, click here. In...

January 29, 2020 – Five attorneys from Ulmer & Berne LLP’s Chicago office have been named to the 2020 list of Illinois Super Lawyers, which features the top attorneys in the state who are chosen for their demonstrated excellence in the practice of law. Super Lawyers Kenneth F. Berg, Securities Litigation Thomas...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi continues to stay on top of developments relating to Reg BI. – Alan Just in case you’ve not yet seen them, both the SEC and FINRA, over the last week or so, have released a series of documents that touch, partly or entirely,...

January 8, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce key leadership changes across the firm’s Business and Litigation Departments. Ulmer named Howard Groedel as Chair of the Business Department, Jeffrey S. Dunlap as Vice Chair of the Litigation Department, David D. Black as Vice Chair of the Business Department, Marie C. Kuban and Douglas K. Sesnowitz as Co-Group Leaders...

Ulmer Partner Rachael L. Rodman recently provided her professional perspective to Bloomberg Law in her article, “Reasonable Measures Under the DTSA.” In the article, Rodman examines the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the factors courts consider in evaluating sufficient reasonable measures to protect the secrecy of information, and also provides...

Combination Bolsters First-Chair Trial Expertise and Expands Firm Footprint to New York and Washington, D.C. Ulmer & Berne LLP today announced the addition of renowned and industry-recognized trial boutique Kaufman & Company to its award-winning litigation practice, creating an elite Midwestern litigation group with first-chair trial expertise. The combination will...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce the addition of Counsel Alvin E. Mathews, Jr., to its Columbus office. Recognized as a lawyer’s lawyer, Mathews represents major law firms, in-house counsel, and solo practitioners on a variety of ethics and professional liability matters. “We are excited to welcome Alvin to...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the election of three partners to the firm, effective January 1, 2020. This class of new partners includes attorneys with backgrounds in diverse legal disciplines and who reflect Ulmer’s commitment to providing sophisticated advice and counsel. “We are happy to welcome Kristin,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper As I have mentioned before, several times, PIABA is deathly concerned with the fact that sometimes customers who prevail in arbitrations are unable to collect their awards, which typically happens when the respondent firm and/or the RR leaves the industry (thus eliminating...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Last year, for the first time, FINRA produced a statistical report designed to provide some perspective on the firms that comprise its membership. I blogged about it, and concluded at the time that the report basically demonstrated the following: FINRA is still mostly...

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its proposal to amend its regulations regarding “white collar” exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime requirements. The DOL estimates that this amendment would allow 1.3 million employees who are presently exempt to become entitled to overtime compensation....

Earlier this week, David Leopold published an op-ed on Medium.com titled, “Bearing Witness at the Southern Border.” In the piece, David details his recent travels to the southern border and the reality he witnessed as a result of the Trump administration’s asylum policies. To read the full op-ed on Medium.com,...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that the Cleveland Jewish News has named Associate Michael Davis Hoenig to its 2019 list of “18 Difference Makers,” which honors and celebrates individuals making invaluable contributions for the betterment of Northeast Ohio’s Jewish community. The “18 Difference Makers” awards were created to recognize...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I have written a few times about FINRA’s ceaseless interest in bringing cases against registered reps who fail to update their Form U-4 in a timely manner to disclose the fact that a tax lien has been filed against them. Or several...

Meat remains a staple of the American diet. But, despite the joys of a crispy piece of bacon, traditional meat production methods have several drawbacks. Raising cattle or poultry is resource-intensive. It creates a lot of, shall we say, unpleasant waste. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the treatment and welfare...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Associate Michael Davis Hoenig has joined the Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Cleveland regional office, which serves Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. The ADL is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and threats to our democracy, including cyber hate, bullying, bias in...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Once again – twice again, actually – FINRA has used Rule 8210 as a cudgel, beating the poor unfortunate recipients of the “request” for documents and information into submission, or worse. This has got to stop. The first case is a repeat...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing has been recognized by The National Law Journal (NLJ) in its inaugural Equality Trailblazers list. This new list highlights the accomplishments of those who have made significant strides in the fight for gender and LGBTQ equality. “I...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I read an article this week in Investment News with the following headline: “Brokerage Customers Winning More FINRA Arbitration Cases.” As a guy who defends customer cases, I was naturally intriguied by this. According to the article, “brokerage customers who do file...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Rightly or wrongly, I don’t know much about cryptocurrencies or digital coins. But that’s ok. What is worrisome, on the other hand, is that I am increasingly concerned that FINRA doesn’t either. And while my own ignorance will have exactly zero impact...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper FINRA loves to tout its supposed intent to bring meaningful cases, cases that matter to the investing public, rather than enforcing “foot faults,” as it has been accused of doing over the years. My own experience with FINRA suggests that while it...

Ulmer Partner Richard Hamilton was featured during the June 7 episode of “Nightly Business Report,” a national news program produced by CNBC that airs on PBS. Offering his insider perspective as a former attorney in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Hamilton was interviewed regarding the Justice Department’s antitrust probe of Google and...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Rachael L. Rodman was recently appointed as a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which is dedicated to establishing organizational focus around and executing programs based on diversity and inclusion. As one of IPO’s Management and...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Reading Reg Notice 19-17 makes me think of the legal arguments that I’ve recently read regarding whether a president can be found guilty of obstructing justice if the actions in question were taken out in the open, for everyone to see. Here, FINRA’s proposed...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I apologize for all the posts this week, but I am traveling and am in a different time zone, so I am awake at hours when, ordinarily, I would be asleep, giving me time to muse.  Anyway, given that, I will not...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that over my last few posts, I have been talking about an increasingly visible effort by FINRA to turn its regulatory eye from rogue brokers – who have been an...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I told you two weeks ago in my blog post that this would happen. I told you that when Robert Cook announced the topics to be taken up at the February/March FINRA Board meeting in Boca Raton, he slipped and used the new phrase...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Michael A. Gross Does FINRA have jurisdiction over me? This is a question that I regularly field at the outset of regulatory engagements. My answer differs depending on a number of factors, including the nature of a person’s role and duties at a firm, his...

Ulmer Partner Alan M. Wolper was recently interviewed by PLANADVISER in an article entitled, “B/D Attorney: Don’t Be Distracted by FINRA Examination Priorities Letter.” Wolper provided his insights into the recently published FINRA 2019 priorities list, which he thinks is interesting, but ultimately not all that informative when it comes...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper In what has become an annual, but hardly exciting – I mean, it’s not like anxiously awaiting the day that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training – tradition, with the turning of the calendar to the new year, FINRA has...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper About a year ago, the SEC offered investment advisors the unique opportunity to report themselves to the SEC if they sold mutual funds to their clients that offered a lower priced share class than the class actually selected by the advisor,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Michael A. Gross It is not a wise career move for a registered rep to leave his broker-dealer – thereby abandoning his customers, and affording competitors the opportunity to make his customers their own – and then to begin the long, expensive, and uncertain process...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper What exists at the point where PIABA’s transparent self-interest in getting paid and FINRA’s historical lack of transparency about who is actually driving its agenda regarding arbitrations? This: a late December decision by FINRA to propose a rule that prohibits non-lawyers from...

Susan L. Joplin

Susan L. Joplin

Practice Area Attorney

Representative Experience