Overview

Bill is the former practice group leader of the firm's 100 lawyer Business Litigation practice group. Bill has devoted more than 35 years of practice to litigating complex business matters. His business litigation practice typically involves significant cases with multiple parties, multiple claims and often multiple proceedings in federal and state courts.

Bill focuses his practice on financial services disputes, real estate and land use litigation, business contract, business tort, fiduciary duty, trade secret, intellectual property, eminent domain, white collar crime, and antitrust investigations.

Prior to entering private practice, Bill served as a judicial law clerk to John V. Corrigan of the Eighth District Court of Appeals from 1976 to 1978. From 1978 to 1987 he held several positions with the Federal Trade Commission, including staff attorney, assistant to the executive director, and assistant director and then director of the Cleveland Regional Office.

 

Experience

Financial Services

  • Represented the FDIC as receiver for a failed bank in numerous lawsuits resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars for losses arising from fraudulent mortgage schemes involving closing attorneys, title agents, title insurers, straw buyers and mortgage brokers.
  • Represented financial institution in obtaining multi-million dollar recoveries on fidelity bond claims involving dishonest employees and fraudulent instruments.
  • Successful representation of a large Ohio bank in the trial of two cases concerning the bank's purchase of residential mortgage loans from correspondents and brokers to require repurchase of loans and to recover damages arising out of misrepresentations and inaccuracies in the loan origination process.
  • Successful defense and settlement of an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court involving the fraudulent transfer of business and family trust assets.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims in the representation of a securities dealer against allegations of improper day trading.

Real Estate and Land Use Litigation / Eminent Domain

  • Represented owners in an eminent domain proceeding obtaining enhanced valuation for uniquely situated and uniquely configured commercial property.
  • Represented commercial property owners to obtain compensation for permanent and temporary takings in road widening cases.
  • Successful representation of Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority in acquisition of 18 acre site for $230 million water-front mixed use development.
  • Multimillion dollar jury verdict on valuation of industrial land appropriated for rail intermodal terminal.
  • Obtained a verdict in favor of the City of Cleveland after a three-week trial resulting in the then-largest eminent domain challenge in Ohio, which preserved property for future airport expansion

Contract and Business Tort

  • Jury verdict in favor of an automobile franchisor defeating a challenge by a franchisee dealership for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Successful representation of a national, publicly held provider of commercial and residential landscaping and tree trimming services in a dispute with an international provider of enterprise software systems, for claims arising out of installation and implementation problems.
  • Successful representation of the then-largest independent franchisee of hotels, in defense of fraudulent transfer, breach of contract and fraud claims brought by federal banking authorities.
  • Representation of a minority shareholder in breach of fiduciary duty and breach of shareholder agreement regarding employment termination and stock repurchase.
  • Successful representation of franchisees against one of the nation's largest sellers of automotive parts for breach of franchise agreement.
  • Successful representation and settlement of a free-standing CT center against a large Northeast Ohio hospital to resolve breach of contract claims.
  • Successful representation of a radiology practice in breach of contract case involving the sale of the business.

Trade Secret / Intellectual Property

  • Successful representation of an inventor in patent infringement and trade secret dispute with international manufacturer of home health care products
  • Obtained injunctive relief to safeguard trade secrets, intellectual property, and to enforce non-compete and non-solicitation agreements for founding industry client.
  • Obtained orders upholding the validity and enforceability of various patents and defended against monopolization and attempt to monopolize claims for a client in the packaging industry.

Antitrust / White Collar

  • Obtained a trial verdict and Third Circuit appellate decision upholding indemnification for members of ASTM arising from antitrust claims.
  • Successfully defending a manufacturer of CT equipment against monopolization and attempt to monopolize claims.
  • Obtained judgment for municipality to defeat claims of monopolization of water system.
  • Several successful representations of clients both in enforcing and in challenges to non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Multiple successful grand jury representations to obtain immunity for corporate executives and to defend companies in the soft drink bottling, dairy, scrap and metal building industries, with no guilty plea or convictions.
  • Provided antitrust counseling and compliance advice to clients in a variety of industries.
  • Represented many Fortune 500 companies in merger investigations in the paint, refinery, pipeline, elevator, aircraft parts, lubricant, airline, automobile and paper industries.
  • Served as outside general counsel for two national trade associations.

Selected Cases

  • American Society for Testing Materials v. Corpro Companies, et al., 478 F.3d 557 (3rd Cir., 2007)
  • City of Brook Park v. Brook Park Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, et al., Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Probate Division
  • Ohio Savings Bank v. Buckingham Mortgage Corporation, Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Ohio Savings Bank v. Congressional Funding, Inc., Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Committee on Professional Ethics & Conduct of the Iowa State Bar Assn. v. Humphrey, 355 N.W.2d 565; (Iowa, 1984)
  • Phoenix Concrete v. Reserve-Creekway, Inc., 100 Ohio App. 3d 397; 654 N.E.2d 155; (10th Dist., January 24, 1995)
  • National City Bank v. Plechaty Cos, 104 Ohio App. 3d 109; 661 N.E.2d 227; (8th Dist., April 27, 1995)
  • Tri-State Hotels, Inc. v. FDIC, 79 F.3d 707; (8th Cir., 1996)
  • Rabin v. B & M Realty Corp. In re: Plechaty, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 1276
  • Cleveland Bar Association v. Misch, 82 Ohio St. 3d 256; 695 N.E. 2d 244; (1998)
  • Cleveland Elec. Illuminating Co. v. Better Meat Prods. Co., No. 74495, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 3248; (8th Dist., July 8, 1999)
Distinctions
  • ABA Section of Ligation Outstanding Sub-Committee Chair, Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee
  • Louis D. Brandeis Award for Complex Litigation
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016 and 2018
  • Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2017
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine each year since 2006
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Federal Bar Association, Cleveland Chapter
  • Former Federal Bar Association 6th Circuit, Vice President
  • Former Federal Bar Association, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section, Chair
  • Federal Bar Association, Northeast Ohio Chapter, former President
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust and Litigation Sections
  • Ohio Bar Association, Antitrust and Litigation Sections
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Litigation Section

Professional Activities

  • Vice Chair, Programs for Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee of ABA Section of Litigation
  • Great Lakes Theater Festival, Board of Trustees, former Board President
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation, Trustee
  • Federal Bar Foundation, Trustee (Charter)
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