Dispute resolution

Benesch’s litigation expertise covers a wide variety of practice areas, including commercial litigation, product liability cases, construction and real estate disputes, securities litigation, and unfair competition matters. Although litigators span across several offices, its Ohio locations in Cleveland and Columbus offer the most prominent group of litigators. Litigation practice chair and vice chairman Joseph Castrodale successfully defended IMG College in a putative antitrust class action filed by former collegiate and professional football star Christopher Spielman, alleging antitrust violations for price fixing and concerted refusal to deal violations of the Lanham Act; and violations of state right-of-publicity laws. The plaintiff not only sought damages, but also challenged the structure of the relationship between student athletes and the NCAA colleges, bringing the case significant media attention. The district court granted Castrodale’s motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff’s appeal was also dismissed. Gregory Phillips serves as the vice chair of the litigation department and the co-chair of the business litigation practice. He is representing FirstEnergy and its subsidiary Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) at the Ohio Supreme Court. Acting as plaintiff on behalf of the client, Phillips filed a suit challenging the City of Cleveland’s Cleveland Public Power (CPP). The lawsuit alleges that CPP is violating Ohio constitution’s limits on extraterritorial sales by municipal utilities by competing with CEI in its territory. Phillips prevailed at the court of appeals, reversing the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of CPP. He also convinced the Ohio Supreme Court to take jurisdiction to review the court’s new constitutional standard. The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments in April.  

Labor and employment

Benesch is a full-service firm featuring a labor and employment practice comprised of lawyers who practice in both traditional labor and employment litigation. The Ohio labor and employment lawyers are located in two of the state’s major cities: Cleveland and Columbus.

Eric Baisden and Margo Wolf O’Donnell co-chair the labor and employment practice group. Baisden has been exceedingly active, representing Shearer’s Foods in a number of matters spanning eight states. He has assisted the client in OSHA investigations in Iowa and Ohio, a discrimination lawsuit filed in Oregon, and a wrongful death lawsuit that was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. In addition to his extensive list of matters for Shearer, Baisden also recently favorably settled two separate matters for other clients, both for significantly lower amounts than what plaintiffs sought in each case. O’Donnell obtained a dismissal of disability claims against nationally known client Quest Diagnostics. She also received a dismissal of a FLSA lawsuit based on enforceable arbitration agreements and the matter is in process of settling. Peter Kirsanow was brought in to defend Arizona Logistics in a lawsuit alleging minimum wage and overtime wage violations brought by the Secretary of Labor. The matter is ongoing with pending cross motions for summary judgement.