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James D.Robenalt


O 216.566.5755

James D.Robenalt


Focus Areas

Major Contract Litigation

  • Lead counsel to Solvay in Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; American Arbitration Association ($68 million award to Solvay); award confirmation in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (confirmed); appeal to U.S. Sixth (affirmed at 442 F.3d 471).
  • Lead counsel, Skurka Aerospace v. Eaton Aerospace LLC, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio (jury trial) (contract dispute)
  • Lead counsel, Three Rivers Orthopaedic & Spine Products, Inc. v. Villers, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio (non-compete contract dispute) (grant of preliminary injunction)

Trade Secret Litigation

  • Co-lead counsel to Avery Dennison in Avery Dennison v. Four Pillars; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio ($80.1 million jury verdict for Avery Dennison including attorney fees); appeal to U.S. Sixth Circuit (affirmed) Avery Dennison Corporation v. Four Pillars Enterprises Co., 45 Fed. Appx. 479 (6th Cir. 2002). This civil case followed the first prosecution under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, United States v. Yang, et al., 281 F.3d 534 (6th Cir. 2002), 144 Fed. Appx. 521(6th Cir. 2006). Related lawsuits filed in Taiwan and the Peoples Republic of China are pending.
  • Lead counsel PolyOne Corporation v. Kutka, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio (jury trial and verdict)
  • Lead counsel PolyOne Corporation v. Yun Martin Lu, et al., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Tax Litigation

  • Litigation counsel for Fortune 20 company in connection with a $500 million plus investment tax credit dispute with IRS involving telecommunications.

Professional Malpractice

  • Litigation counsel to major accounting firm involving $30 million claim for services and $500 million counterclaim for accounting and consulting malpractice.
  • Litigation counsel representing major Chicago and Cleveland law firms in attorney malpractice actions; also litigation counsel on behalf of former clients suing major Cleveland law firm on attorney malpractice claim.


  • Litigation counsel on $200 million TRW headquarters facility (Lyndhurst, Ohio), Benedictine High School renovation, and Gateway Development Corporation.
  • Litigation counsel to owner of Pierrepont Office Tower in Brooklyn, New York, involving dispute with tenant, Morgan Stanley, over readiness of building to accept worldwide computer operations.
  • Arbitration counsel to owner of Liberty Center Office Tower and Vista Hotel Tower in Pittsburgh.
  • Litigation and arbitration counsel to owner and developer of Tower City Avenue, Ritz-Carlton and Skylight Office Towers.
  • Litigation counsel to general contractors on various water and wastewater treatment facilities in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Youngstown, Ohio.

Arbitrator Experience

  • ArcelorMittal USA Inc. v. The Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, AAA (contract dispute).
  • The Drees Company v. Barson, AAA (contract dispute).
  • Miscellaneous Construction Cases, AAA (contract disputes).
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006 for Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Construction, and Litigation and Controversy-Tax; named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Litigation-Construction “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland
  • Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list, 2004-2023
  • Selected as a “Leading Lawyer” for Inside Business magazine, 2007 to 2010
  • Selected for inclusion in the Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers for 2007 (Lawyers who received the highest point totals in the 2007 Super Lawyers balloting, research and blue ribbon review process.)
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation, Ohio, 2009 to present
  • Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2012 to 2024

Professional Associations

  • Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition, chair, five bar associations
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Board of Trustees 2003 to 2006; former chair of the Judicial Selection Committee
  • American Arbitration Association, Panel Member, 2022
  • Appointment to Merit Selection Committee by U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, for selection of U.S. Magistrate Judge

Continuing Legal Education Programs


  • The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1981,

    Order of the Coif

  • Miami University, A.B., 1978,

    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • German