Overview

Tom is a partner in the firm's Business Litigation practice group.

He represents businesses and individuals in a wide variety of subjects, including commercial contract disputes, oil and gas rights and mineral lease disputes, fiduciary duty litigation, director and officer liability; consumer finance litigation, trademark and copyright infringement, employer intentional tort, real property tax appeals, construction contract disputes, shareholder derivative actions, and product defect litigation.

Tom has significant experience in the following matters encountered by banks, land acquisition companies, major manufacturers, and franchisors: all aspects of consumer finance litigation; oil and gas lease disputes and contract negotiations, prosecuting and defending federal trademark infringement and dilution actions; enforcing non-compete and non-disclosure agreements; obtaining temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in both federal and state court, and defeating employer intentional tort actions.

Tom also practices before multiple appellate courts, has argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, multiple state panels, and authored a victorious Petition for Writ of Certiorari before The Supreme Court of the United States.

Tom is admitted to practice in Ohio, in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, the United States District Court for Eastern District of Michigan and in the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit.

Experience
Significant Fiduciary Duty and Personal Injury Litigation
  • Defended former president and director of state regulated financial institution against claims for breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Defeated motion for temporary restraining order at hearing. Achieved judgment defeating all of the plaintiffs' claims and winning client's indemnification counterclaim. Resolved criminal investigations conducted by the Federal Reserve Board and Ohio Department of Financial Institutions. See North Valley Bancshares, Inc. v. Raines, 2009-Ohio-5772.
  • Defended international manufacturer of copper wire and copper parts against multiple workplace injury lawsuits, including an exposure to cobalt dust causing hard metal lung disease and heart failure, and the explosion of manufacturing equipment causing an employee to be showered with molten copper. Won one defense on summary judgment and successfully defended judgment on appeal. Successfully resolved three other actions in alternative dispute resolution reaching confidential settlements. See Russell v. The Nippert Co., 2003-Ohio-6016.
Consumer Finance Litigation
  • Repeatedly represent largest bank and mortgage servicer in the United States in multiple matters at the forefront of consumer finance law.  This experience includes setting favorable legal precedent in Ohio, managing a docket of greater than forty cases staffed by a team of eight attorneys working out of three offices, multiple appellate arguments, and advising client of best practices to comply with state law and federal regulations.

Reported decisions include:

    • Bank of Am., N.A. v. Valentine, 2015-Ohio-3733
    • Carter v. Standard Guaranty Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98355 (S.D. Ohio 2015)
    • Carter v. Standard Guaranty Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66546 (S.D. Ohio 2015)
    • Bank of Am., N.A. v. Valentine, 2015-Ohio-1107
    • Buckner v. Washington Mutual Bank, 2014-Ohio-5189
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Koonts, 2014-Ohio-3904
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Allton, 2014-Ohio-3742
    • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Reaves, 2014-Ohio-3556
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Snedeker, 2014-Ohio-1593
    • Chase Home Finance, LLC v. Lindenmayer, 2014-Ohio-1041
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Fallon, 2014-Ohio-525
    • Citibank, N.A. v. Slorp, 2013-Ohio-5331
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Ackerman, 2013-Ohio-5010
    • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Elliot, 2013-Ohio-3690, jurisdiction denied at 2014-Ohio-176
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Carroll, 2013-Ohio-5273
    • Chase Home Finance LLC v. Byrd, 2013-Ohio-3217
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Heckler, 2013-Ohio-2388 
    • Chase Home Finance LLC v. Byrd, 2013-Ohio-2076
Significant Contract Disputes
  • Repeatedly represented and advised Ohio based international landscape contractor. Most significant representation was defense against Fortune 500 international retail conglomerate and property owner asserting claims for product defect, breach of service contracts, and breach of implied warranties based upon the death of hundreds of trees at a regional shopping center. After largely successful motions to dismiss, settled the matter for one-tenth of the plaintiff's alleged damages. Multiple representations regarding golf course construction defect and golf course maintenance.
  • Represented company that develops isometric therapies used to reduce hypertension in the U.S.D.C. for the District of Idaho. Defenses and counterclaims involve numerous contract issues, violations of FDA regulations, disputes over the scope of intellectual property to be assigned as part of stock purchase, tax exempt status of stock purchase, lapse of patent rights, potential patent infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, and a shareholder derivative action. Obtained confidential settlement. See CardioGrip Corp. v. MD Systems, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist LEXIS 913 (Idaho).
  • Part of the team that successfully resolved the issue whether a property owner’s claims directly against a subcontractor for breach of an implied warranty to perform a service absent privity of contract is barred by the economic loss doctrine in the Ohio Supreme Court. See Corporex Dev. & Constr. Mgt., Inc. v. Shook, Inc. (2005), 106 Ohio St.3d 412.
Oil and Gas Disputes
  • Represented member of joint venture that had secured over $80 million in oil and gas leases against other members and against production company to leverage the client’s multi-million dollar buy-out from the joint venture.  Defended same client in quiet title action.
  • Represented lease broker and current lessee in lawsuit based upon former lessee reporting false information to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to try to hold forfeited lease by production.
  • Represented lease acquisition company in contract dispute against seller of defective acreage to negotiate buy-back of invalid leases and leases that were not drill ready.
  • Advised lease holders and property owners on application of Ohio Dormant Mineral Act and reversion of mineral rights vesting with surface estate.
  • Represented lease acquisition companies and bank in quiet title actions.
Real Property Tax Litigation
  • Represented telecommunications companies and other business entities before trial courts, courts of appeals, and the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals successfully challenging the overvaluation of real property throughout Ohio.  This experience has netted clients tens-of-millions of dollars in combined tax refunds and future savings.

Reported decisions include:

    • Olentangy Local Schs. Bd. of Educ. v. Del. County Bd. of Revision, 2015 Ohio Tax LEXIS 2802
    • Olentangy Local Schs. Bd. of Educ. v. Del. County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 4069
    • Trilogy Real Estate Holdings, LLC v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 3118
    • Bd. of Educ. of the Olentangy Local Schs. v. Del. County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 2838
    • Groveport LLC v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 1686
    • Algoma Props. LLC v. Del. County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 1819
    • Frontier North, Inc. v. Lorain County Bd. of Revision, 2014 Ohio Tax LEXIS 142
    • MCI Int'l, Inc. v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision, 2013 Ohio Tax LEXIS 7148
    • Wickliffe City School District Bd. of Educ. v. Lake County Bd. of Revision, 2013 Ohio Tax LEXIS 6539
    • Euclid Realty LLC v. Lake County Auditor, 2012-Ohio-5332
    • Revere Local Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Summit County Bd. of Revision, 2012 Ohio Tax LEXIS 5440
    • Verizon North, Inc. v. Athens County Bd. of Revision, 2012 Ohio Tax LEXIS 2295
    • Verizon North, Inc. v. Tuscarawas County Bd. of Revision, 2012 Ohio Tax LEXIS 371
    • Verizon North, Inc. v. Medina County Bd. of Revision, 2011 Ohio Tax LEXIS 1872
    • Bd. of Educ. v. Franklin County Bd. of Revision, 2010 Ohio Tax LEXIS 345
    • North Royalton City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Cuyahoga County Bd. of Revision, 2008 Ohio Tax LEXIS 16
 Other Reported Decisions
  • Sogg v. Zurz, Director, Ohio Department of Commerce, 2011 Ohio 81
  • SEC v. One Equity Corp., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71868 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Furman v. Codiam, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39084 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Williamson v. Recovery Limited Partnership, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99670 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Williamson v. Recovery Limited Partnership, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99671 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Stanley Electric Co., Inc. v. Crawford Equip. and Engineering Co., 249 F.R.D. 267 (S.D. Ohio  2008)
  • 1st Choice Auto Brokers, Inc. v. Credit Acceptance Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5194 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Foreman v. Fortis Benefits Ins. Co., 2005 U.S. Dist LEXIS 45313 (S.D. Ohio)
  • Miles v. United States, 544 U.S. 1059 (2005)
  • United States v. Robinson, 116 Fed. Appx. 646 (6th Cir. 2004)
  • Sharp v. Patterson, 73 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1481 (S.D.N.Y.  2004)
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Ohio Oil and Gas Association
  • Ohio Chemistry Technology Council
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Professor, Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Appellate Advocacy, 2007

Community Activities

  • Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, Director
  • Franklinton Board of Trade, Trustee and President
  • Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Mobilize the Public Committee
  • The Black Tie Ball, Inc., Corporate Sponsor, Co-Chair, 2011 to 2012; Board Chair, 2013 to 2014
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