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Professional background
Biography image

Stephanie M.Chmiel

PartnerVice Chair, Business Litigation GroupFirmwide Vice Chair, Women's Initiative, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion InitiativeStephanie.Chmiel@ThompsonHine.com
Columbus

O 614.469.3247

Stephanie M.Chmiel

Partner
Vice Chair, Business Litigation GroupFirmwide Vice Chair, Women's Initiative, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion InitiativeStephanie.Chmiel@ThompsonHine.com
Columbus

O 614.469.3247

Focus Areas

The following is a sample of Stephanie’s experience:

Class Actions & Multidistrict Litigation

  • Defend companies specializing in responding to release of information requests in class actions regarding the companies’ charges for providing responsive documents.
  • Defeated class certification in defense of one of the country’s largest banks in claim alleging breach of trust indenture agreement.
  • Defeated Rule 23 certification of a proposed Fair Labor Standards Act class of freight dispatchers and obtained decertification of collective action.
  • Obtained dismissal of appeal by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals of decision denying class certification filed after class representatives accepted offers of judgment (writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court denied).
  • Defended a manufacturer of building materials in a proposed nationwide class action on behalf of consumers, preparing class certification opposition and Daubert motions.
  • Defended a manufacturer of side-by-side utility vehicles in MDL and related state court proceedings claiming personal injuries and product defect, ensuring consistency in pleadings, discovery and trial strategy among all cases.

Utility Litigation and Administrative Proceedings

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of electric cooperative where municipality claimed that it had the exclusive right under home rule authority to provide electric service to a non-resident who was located within the electric cooperative’s certified service territory and elected service from the electric cooperative.
  • Obtained dismissal of proceedings at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) in which municipality wrongly claimed that it had a service territory under the Certified Territory Act and/or could petition the PUCO to change the boundaries of the cooperative’s certified territory.
  • Represented public utility in lawsuit claiming that municipality was acting outside the scope of its home rule authority by seeking to provide electric service to select residents.
  • Represented electric cooperative in public utility personal property tax dispute before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA), disputing the Tax Commissioner’s claim that he is limited to a strict application of R.C. 5727.11(D).
  • Represented electric cooperatives in amicus brief filed with the Ohio Supreme Court regarding interpretation of Ohio Constitution Article XVIII, Section 6.
  • Assist electric cooperatives and public utilities in obtaining territory swaps at the PUCO.
  • Obtained dismissal of complaint against local telephone company arguing that claims fell within the PUCO’s jurisdiction, affirmance of dismissal on appeal, and denial of jurisdiction in Ohio Supreme Court.
  • Represented university in regulatory proceedings before the PUCO.
  • Represented electric cooperatives in regulatory proceedings before the PUCO.
  • Represented CRES provider in regulatory proceedings before the PUCO.

Business Tort & Employment Litigation

  • Represented company in suit by former independent contractor who claimed to be owed for business generation and company countersued for breaching non-compete and confidentiality contract provisions.
  • Represented LTL carrier and employees in defense of lawsuit claiming theft of trade secrets.
  • Represented company providing specialized linguists to U.S. military in multiple disputes with its chief competitor seeking to invalidate competitor’s non-compete agreements that significantly restricted already narrow applicant pool.
  • Obtained dismissal of discrimination action in which plaintiff had agreed to arbitrate any employment-related disputes, but nonetheless filed suit in federal court.
  • Represented LTL carrier in action to enforce restrictive covenants and protect its trade secrets where competitor was recruiting employees and trying to steal LTL carrier’s customers.

Other Notable Litigation

  • Represented LTL carrier in complex breach of contract and Ohio Corrupt Practices Act lawsuit, asserting that environmental cleanup service provider used network of contractors to provide excessive and unnecessary services, defrauding the company.
  • Represented school board in action brought by parent seeking to force school board to withdraw its mask mandate implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Defended bank in lawsuit claiming breach of fiduciary duties owed to a minor in management of trust.
  • Represented skilled nursing facility in defense of wrongful death, negligence and loss of consortium claims.
  • Defended retail business in defense of personal injury claim from customer who claimed an injury occurred on the leased premises.
  • Defended laboratory in personal injury actions relating to interpretation of test results.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of one of the country’s largest banks in action alleging breach of trust indenture where the plaintiff failed to timely move for an extension and lacked required expert support for his claims.
  • Defeated plaintiffs’ motion to compel production of privileged documents under a fiduciary-exception theory.
  • Defended one of Ohio’s largest landfills in appellate proceedings affirming award of state air and solid waste permits to install authorizing the doubling of the landfill’s disposal capacity.
  • Defended landfill in federal RCRA citizen’s suit, including obtaining orders denying request for expansive discovery of the company’s other landfills and dismissing several related entities for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Defended stop loss insurer and underwriter in multiple cases disputing coverage where insureds failed to properly disclose medical conditions of covered persons.
  • Represent electric cooperatives in contract disputes.
  • Defended former manufacturer of products containing asbestos in appellate proceedings involving open area of interpretation regarding pre-suit certification requirements in asbestos cases.
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings in state court action alleging adverse possession.
  • Selected as a Top Lawyer by Columbus CEO, 2015
  • Selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list, 2014

Professional Associations

  • Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellow Class of 2021-2022
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation, President 2017-2018; Vice President 2016-2017; Treasurer 2015-2016; Secretary 2014-2015
  • Chair of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, 2018-2019; 2016-2017
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, Inaugural Class
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), Columbus Steering Committee, Co-Chair
  • WELD, Columbus Chapter, Programming Committee, Co-Chair
  • WELD, Columbus Chapter, Emerging Professionals’ Series, former Co-
    Chair
  • Leadership Columbus, Class of 2015

Annual presenter on Special Issues Concerning Depositions and their Use at Ohio State Bar Association CLE on Effective Depositions

Education

  • Cornell University Law School, J.D., 2003
  • Miami University, B.A., 2000,
    magna cum laude
    ,

    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • 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 Pennsylvania