Christine M. Haaker
Practice Group Vice Chair, Business Litigation
Hiring Partner, Dayton Office
"My objective as a litigator is to determine my clients' goals and to meet those goals as efficiently, intelligently, and creatively as possible. My passion is learning about our clients' businesses, digging deep, and building the background, knowledge, and relationships to allow me to best serve our clients’ needs. Success for me is when I can combine a client’s goals with that background and knowledge to serve as a trusted counsel in a way that relieves burdens, creates opportunities, and both advances and protects the client's interests, and achieves the client's definition of success.” - Christine
A two-time award winner of BTI's prestigious Client Service All-Star Award and recipient of 2019 Best Lawyers of the Year - (Dayton) Litigation honor. Christine is a partner in the Business Litigation Practice Group and serves as the Vice Chair of the group for the Dayton Office. She also provides litigation services to the Personal and Succession Planning, Product Liability, and Intellectual Property Practice Groups.
Christine's practice focuses on complex business and product liability litigation, including: representing clients in large-scale litigation; management and handling of litigation cases for clients nationwide; product liability litigation; breach of contract; shareholder disputes; trade secrets and unfair competition litigation; fiduciary and trust litigation; franchisor/franchisee litigation; federal statutory claims; business torts, including intentional tort actions; national and international arbitration and mediation; emergency response investigation and handling of claims related to commercial accidents; and appellate representation before state and federal courts, including the representation of amici.
Christine represents clients throughout Ohio and nationwide in conjunction with local counsel or on a pro hac vice basis.
Related to litigation, and founded in her extensive litigation experience of what can and will go wrong, Christine also provides significant pre-litigation and best practices counseling regarding: risk management; national litigation coordination and management services; the retrieval and analysis of electronic evidence; establishing and updating in-house litigation hold and dispute readiness processes and procedures; contract terms and conditions, with a focus on risk analysis, compliance, and documentation; the protection of confidential and proprietary information, including non-disclosure and non-compete agreements; and document management, creation, and retention programs.
Christine is admitted to practice before the following courts:
- Ohio, various courts of original and appellate jurisdiction
- United States District Court
- Northern District of Ohio
- Southern District of Ohio
- Eastern District of Michigan
- Western District of Michigan
- District of Colorado
- United States Court of Appeals
- Fifth Circuit
- Sixth Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
Christine has also been admitted pro hac vice in various courts across the United States as clients' needs have required.
In addition, Christine has represented clients in mediations and/or arbitrations before the following:
- American Arbitration Association
- International Chamber of Commerce
- Numerous non-affiliated mediators and arbitrators
The vast majority of complex business disputes end in settlement, and the vast majority of those settlements are confidential. For this reason, the results of many matters, while excellent results, are confidential and not disclosed here.
Complex Contract Disputes
- Representation of businesses in contract disputes, whether counseling behind the scenes at the first sign of an issue, preserving disputed issues based on contractual notification and cure procedures, providing opportunities for effective and creative resolution prior to formal litigation, or asserting clients’ rights in court, arbitration or mediation.
- Representation of parties to the sale of a business or assets in post-sale disputes, including successful representation of purchaser in fraudulent misrepresentation of financials.
- Representation of partners and members in partnership and limited liability company disputes among owners.
- Representation of manufacturer in a dispute with a supplier alleging that the manufacturer had agreed to a requirements contract.
- Successful representation on multiple occasions of companies that contract for repairs, installations or additions to industrial equipment.
- Successful representation of an owner in dispute with contractor that performed repairs to industrial equipment.
- Successful representation of a general contractor in arbitration of dispute with an owner on a commercial construction project.
- Successfully represented a toll manufacturer of components in dispute with equipment manufacturer involving disputes over quality and specifications.
- Successfully represented a long-term lessee of a commercial building against claims for damage to building.
- Defense of manufacturer of industrial manufacturing equipment in breach of warranty action.
- Representation of bank clients in breach of duty/contract disputes.
- Representation of estates, beneficiaries, and fiduciaries in estate, competency, and undue influence disputes.
- Representation of beneficiaries in trust and will interpretation disputes.
- Successfully obtained a settlement in the amount of $35 million on behalf of a pharmaceutical client in a multi-jurisdictional, multinational litigation based on claims of patent infringement, and for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy.
- Protection of trade secrets of third parties brought into litigations.
- Enforcement of non-competition and non-disclosure covenants against employees; advise clients regarding documentation and protection of trade secrets.
- Successfully enforced non-compete and non-disclosure covenants against Director of Research and Development on behalf of a franchisor, including obtaining temporary and preliminary restraining orders.
Federal Statutory Claims
- Defense of law firms against Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims and businesses against Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of an employer sued for vicarious liability after one of its senior employees pulled a credit report of a former spouse and the former spouse sued for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and successfully defended appeal, resulting in no liability.
- Defense of a contractor from claims of discrimination in awarding contracts in violation of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations.
Shareholder and Securities Litigation
- Representation of shareholders in disputes among shareholders in closely held corporations, business “divorces” and minority shareholder freeze-outs; representation of companies and directors in securities litigation.
- Obtained dismissal of putative class action brought against company and directors to block a $2.5 billion merger, claiming breach of fiduciary duty and violations of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- Obtained jury verdict awarding damages on a breach of contract claim between physician shareholders of a close corporation.
- Successful representation of minority shareholder in freeze-out action against fellow shareholders.
Product Liability Litigation
- Representation of businesses in product liability litigation, from large scale construction equipment to juvenile furniture products, including rapid deployment of incident investigation, recalls, customer alerts, and advice in quality and process improvement.
- Defense of a major automotive manufacturer in product liability actions involving fire damage.
- Representation of businesses in franchise disputes, including breach of franchise agreement and related agreements, and intellectual property disputes.
Intellectual Property Litigation
- Representation of businesses in disputes involving intellectual property, including copyright infringement, trademarks, patents and licensing rights.
- Representation of licensees in disputes regarding the breadth and scope of licenses and in disputes regarding royalty payments owed, including scope and calculation of royalties.
- Successful representation of client in enforcement of patent rights, including out of court resolutions and patent litigation.
- Successful representation of client in enforcement of trade secret and patent rights in a process.
- Defense of a national pet supplies retailer against false advertising, trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, and violation of the Sherman and the Robinson-Patman Acts claims.
- Successful representation of a coalition of park districts as amici before the Ohio Supreme Court on the constitutionality of Ohio's Recreational User Statute.
- Routine representation and counseling of mental health organization regarding privacy and privilege issues, including response to and opposition of requests for information and subpoenas.
- Successful opposition of defense for lack of personal jurisdiction over out of state, non-resident corporation.
- Representation of clients on complex commercial collection cases and execution on judgments.
- Counsel to a condominium association and representation of an association in a variety of litigation matters.
- Defense of insurer in bad faith and breach of duty to insure actions.
- Representation of a business in action against a former accounting firm for professional malpractice.
- Defense of an engineering firm against professional negligence claim.
- Defense on behalf of an insurer of toxic tort action, asserting claims for infliction of multiple chemical sensitivity.
- Representation of landlords in various commercial leasing disputes and eviction actions; representation of commercial tenants in commercial leasing disputes.
Various client presentations regarding attorney-client privilege, liability risks inherent in sales of products, terms and conditions of purchase/sale, e-mail pitfalls, litigation holds, risk management, risk minimization, contracting, product liability, electronic discovery, document retention and other topics as requested.
- "Who Gets to Own Tomorrow What’s Been Built Today: Planning Business Succession & Avoiding Ownership Disputes," Cleveland
- "Electronic Discovery – Navigating Preservation, Collection and Production in a Federal Court Action," Federal Bar Association, Dayton Chapter
- "Enterprise Content Management: Tools Necessary to Efficient and Effective Management In An Electronic Age"
- "Litigation Holds: When and How"
- "E-Discovery – Preservation: From Dispute to Decision," Federal Bar Association, Dayton Chapter
- "Document Lifecycle Management"
- "Engaging Large Law Firms: A Bar Only a Large Law Firm Could Love," COMBA Conference
- "The Attorney-Client Privilege: In-House Considerations," Association of Corporate Counsel
- "Electronic Discovery and Changes in the Federal Rules," Federal Bench Bar Conference
- "You've Got Mail and a Whole Lot More – Dealing With Digital Discovery," 12th District Court of Appeals, Judicial Conference
- "Complaint to Verdict: Discovery," Dayton Bar Association
- Recipient of the 2018 Federal Service Award from the Federal Bar Association – Dayton Chapter
- Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 as Best Lawyer of the Year – (Dayton) Litigation
- Included in Women in Business Law 2017 edition
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016 to 2019
- Recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star, 2011 and 2013
- Recognized as a Dayton Dragons Community All-Star, 2013
- Dayton Bar Association, Foundation Fellow
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2010 to 2019
- Selected for inclusion in Rising Stars by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2005 to 2009
- Dayton Business Journal 40 under 40 Award, 2008
- Walter E. Stebbins High School, Outstanding Alumnus Award, 2008
- Dayton Business Journal, "Who's Who in Law" Award, 2007
- Dayton Business Journal, Best of the Bar Award, 2004
- Federal Bar Association, Dayton Chapter; Board of Trustees, 2012 to present; President, 2015-2016; President-Elect, 2014-2015; Vice President, 2013-2014; Treasurer, 2012-2013
- Federal Bar Association, Chair, National Bench Bar Committee, 2016-2017
- Federal Bar Association, Annual Meeting and Convention, 2016 Installation Banquet Chair and Emcee
- Dayton Bar Association Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2012 to present; President, 2012-2013
- Dayton Bar Association, Past President, 2009-2010; President, 2008 to 2009; First Vice President, 2007 to 2008; Second Vice President, 2006 to 2007; Co-Chair, Bench Bar Conference, 2003; Chair, Civil Trial Practice Committee; Vice-Chair, Civil Trial Practice Committee
- United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Committee on Discovery of Electronic Data
- Dayton Lawyers Club, member
- Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court, member
- Diabetes Dayton Board of Trustees, 2014-present and Chair of Big Brews & Blues, 2015 and 2016
- Dayton Art Institute, Associate Board Member, 2006-2010
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Greater Dayton, 2006, 2007 and 2012 Gala Chair and Board of Trustees, 2006-2012
- Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, Ongoing Participation
- United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton, Board of Trustees, 1998-2004