We don't do everything — but we do quite a bit.
We believe in the lawyer as general practitioner. And we are proud to have practiced in a fair number of areas during our careers. In an age of specialization, no-one does everything. Here are the fields in which we have the experience to help.
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Federal & State Litigation
Litigation is what we do every day. We prepare, file, prosecute and defend lawsuits, in state and federal court, involving the subject areas described on this page, and more. Partner Ray Vasvari has devoted tens of thousand of hours to the nuts and bolts of litigation – performing research, crafting legal strategies, attending court, conducting discovery, taking and defending deposition, writing briefs and trying cases. The vast majority (over 98%) of lawsuits settle before trial. How they resolve depends on diligence, preparation and experience. We are committed to delivering excellent, efficient work in every case.
When your license and livelihood are on the line, you need counsel whose experience in legal ethics is broad and deep. For twenty years, partner Ann Zimmerman served as General Counsel to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. In that capacity she supervised the investigation of thousands of attorney grievances, and the initial prosecution of hundreds. Ann also taught Professional Responsibility at two law schools. She knows the process, the players and the rules inside out. When you need ethics counsel, you need all the experience you can get. Call Ann.
Few small firms have the depth of experience we do when it comes to constitutional litigation. As former Legal Director of the Ohio ACLU, and as a partner in a well-respected First Amendment firm with a national practice, Ray Vasvari has litigated dozens of cases involving free speech and religious liberty. He has helped to set significant precedents in disputes that gained national and international attention. Ray also taught First Amendment at two law schools. Complex and vast, First Amendment cases demand the sort of experience Ray brings to the table.
State licensing boards set the parameters for obtaining and renewing professional license for a host of professionals, including doctors, nurses, realtors, dental hygienists, veterinarians and others. Most boards are staffed by lawyers, and having experienced counsel when you deal with licensing issues is always a good idea. Whether the question is continuing education, alleged substance abuse, complaints from difficult clients, or unrelated criminal charges, we can help you negotiate or contest a license action, and protect the investment in your career.
The Constitution and laws of the United States promise freedom, equality and respect for human dignity. Too often those promises are honored the breach. While the courts are the ultimate guardians of our liberties, suits to enforce civil rights are complex. Our partners have helped find justice for those denied their rights to free expression, religious freedom, equal protection and due process, and for victims of excessive force by police and corrections officers. We have also represented small businesses accused of violating the rights of others.
We have assisted both employees and employers with a range of workplace problems. Ray Vasvari has represented employees in discrimination and harassment suits, and defended administrators and supervisors in similar cases. Ann Zimmerman has advised employers – including non-profits – drafting workplace policies and employee handbooks, consulting on hiring and termination, and providing advice on a variety of topics, including wage and hour laws, unemployment and workers compensation claims, and on insurance and retirement plans.
Reputation is priceless. So is free speech. The lines between protected expression and defamation can be uncertain. We have twenty-five years experience in First Amendment and defamation litigation. We have defended authors, bloggers and public officials. If your reputation has been tarnished, or if you have been accused of libel or slander, we can help protect your rights in a sort of litigation that is often emotionally charged, legally complex and fact intensive.
Good fences don’t always make good neighbors. Disputes over boundaries, noise, maintenance, dangerous activities and even harassment can make your house feel more like a jail than a home. We have helped property owners assert their rights and protect their investment, defend against lawsuits for damages, and resolve disputes over investment properties too.
We have represented professors, students, administrators, members of Board of Education and others in all sorts of disputes arising in academic settings. We have experience with harassment, discrimination, disability rights, religion in the public schools, intra-board disputes, and in defending lawsuits brought by teachers against both administrators and board members.
Local Litigation Counsel
Our partners have represented clients in fourteen states and two provinces, and have both served as, and relied upon, local counsel in many cases. We know what it means to depend on a trusted partner far from home, and we strive to provide the diligence, availability, turnaround and local knowledge that we expect from our own local litigation partners. Our offices are located near both the state and federal courthouses, and are exceptionally well appointed, providing a productive, convenient and impressive home away from home when your case load takes you to Northeastern Ohio.
Zoning & Land Use
Commercial property can represent a significant investment, and using it to its full potential often means navigating a maze of zoning and regulatory restriction. Partner Ray Vasvari has helped highly-regulated businesses, billboard advertisers, adult cabarets, hotels and others work with, and sometimes litigate against local governments intent on shutting them down or limiting their earning potential.
Elections & Public Office
We have been involved in a number of election related cases over the years, involving ballot access for independents, campaign speech by candidates for judicial office, the recall of public officials, and one of only a handful of lawsuits brought to force a special Congressional election after a midterm vacancy. Ray Vasvari served as counsel in a statewide challenge to Ohio voting systems under the Help America Vote Act, after the presidential election of 2000, and helped conduct a major investigation into threats to ballot access during the election of 2004.