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Litigation

Appeals (Matthew T. Fitzsimmons, chair)

Whether defending a judgment or overturning an erroneous decision on appeal, attorneys at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper (NGC) have the skills and experience to zealously and effectively represent and guide their clients through the appeal process on the local, state and federal levels.  NGC’s attorneys regularly appear on behalf of their clients before county boards of revision and appellate courts throughout Ohio, including the Ohio Supreme Court.  We also argue before the 6th – U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

To locate the NGC attorney with the education and experience best suited for your legal issue, contact our office and we will arrange for an initial consultation.

  • Administrative appeals
  • County board of revision property valuations
  • Federal and State – see Practice Areas
  • Real estate tax exemptions
  • Zoning disputes

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Alternative dispute resolution (Richard G. Witkowski, chair)

Mediation and arbitration have increasingly become the means for NGC’s business clients to effectively resolve their commercial disputes.  Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating fair and effective alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provisions, and when disputes subject to ADR provisions arise, we have the experience and know-how to effectively and efficiently assist clients in the selection of neutrals, acquire and present the evidence and the law, and present arguments to the neutrals.

Our litigation attorneys regularly represent clients in ADR proceedings in their areas of practice.

Attorney Richard G. Witkowski, practice area chair, is a member of the Commercial Arbitration Panel of the American Arbitration Association and has specialized training and experience in regard to arbitration. Contact Rich or any other attorney at the firm for an initial consultation.

  • Consultation regarding selection of arbitrators and ADR procedures
  • Negotiation of effective ADR language in contracts
  • Representation in commercial, contractual, insurance and employment disputes involving arbitration, mediation and other forms of ADR
  • Third-party arbitration and mediation services

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Commercial/business litigation (Matthew T. Fitzsimmons, chair)

NGC has extensive experience representing a wide array of business clients in both routine and complex commercial and business litigation.  While we aggressively assert our clients’ rights, we also seek the most cost-effective solutions for them.  We understand business and our clients’ needs.

Our litigation attorneys successfully defend and prosecute claims in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.  Contact any of our attorneys regarding any of the following matters, and we will arrange for an initial consultation.

  • Complex, multiparty business and commercial litigation
  • Contested stock valuations/appraisals
  • Contract disputes
  • Buy/sell disputes
  • Dissenters’ rights disputes
  • Force outs
  • Uneven distributions and breaches of contract or fiduciary duty
  • Employment disputes
  • Financial investigations and equitable actions for an accounting
  • Franchisor/franchisee litigation
  • Fraud, misappropriations and breaches of fiduciary duties
  • Intentional interference with contract claims
  • Misappropriations of trade secrets and confidential information
  • Real estate transaction disputes
  • Securities law violations
  • Unfair competition
  • Uniform Commercial Code claims (secured transactions, sales and negotiable instruments)

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Debtors’/creditors’ rights litigation (John D. Sayre, chair)

The firm represents a wide array of clients in the enforcement of debtors’ and creditors’ rights. Our business and litigation attorneys work together to evaluate business options and, if necessary, defend and prosecute lawsuits.

Contact any of our attorneys for an initial consultation on debtors’ or creditors’ rights issues.

  • Acquisition, enforcement and defense of security interests
  • Attachments and garnishments
  • Creditor bad faith claims
  • Enforcement and defense of business debts
  • Loan documentation reviews

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Domestic relations (John D. Sayre, chair)

The firm has represented hundreds of clients in a range of domestic relations matters.  Contact John Sayre, practice area chair, or any other NGC attorney to arrange for a consultation.

  • Custody disputes
  • Divorces
  • Post-divorce decrees
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Separation agreements

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Education litigation (Arthur L. “Tim” Clements III, chair)

NGC attorney Arthur L. “Tim” Clements III has extensive administrative and civil litigation experience representing clients on issues involving education and charter school regulation.  Our business and litigation attorneys are available to assist with evaluation of claims and their defense and prosecution.  We represent clients in administrative hearings as well as in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.

Contact Tim or any other NGC attorney to arrange for a consultation.

  • Disciplinary actions – public and private schools
  • Students with disabilities special needs claims

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Employment litigation (James H. Grove, chair)

Employment litigation constitutes one of the largest caseload segments of the federal courts.  Reports also show that enhanced enforcement efforts have contributed to increases in employment discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Now more than ever, corporations and in-house counsel rely on NGC’s significant experience and employment law counsel to successfully avoid or defend employment based claims.

Trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation account for a substantial portion of our practice.

Jim Grove heads a team of experienced litigators in a proven employment litigation practice.  Contact Jim or any other NGC attorney to arrange for a consultation.

  • Class action discrimination defense
  • Defense and prosecution of theft of trade secrets and confidential information
  • EEOC claim management and defense
  • Employment discrimination claims of all types (age, race, gender, disability, religion, national origin and ethnicity)
  • Employment retaliation claims
  • Enforcement and defense of restrictive employment and non-competition agreements
  • Labor disputes
  • Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) claim management and defense
  • Unemployment compensation claims

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Fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and misappropriations litigation (Richard G. Witkowski, chair)

The firm frequently represents clients who have been victimized by fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and theft. Our attorneys’ unique qualifications and experience enable them to provide cost-effective alternatives to the defense and prosecution of these types of claims.  Our litigation attorneys have successfully defended and prosecuted claims in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.

Attorney Richard G. Witkowski, practice area chair, is a certified public accountant (inactive) and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  In addition to his experience as a litigator, Rich has more than 10 years’ experience as a financial statement and internal auditor.

Contact Rich or any other NGC attorney for an initial consultation.

  • Pre-suit investigations and evaluations of frauds, breaches of fiduciary duty and thefts
  • Prosecution and defense of claims of fraud in financial statements, financial projections and business valuations
  • Prosecution and defense of claims of misappropriation, theft, and embezzlements

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Insurance law litigation (Richard G. Witkowski, chair)

NGC frequently represents business clients and insurance carriers involved in insured property and liability claims and disputes over insurance coverage.  Our attorneys’ unique qualifications and experience enable them to evaluate and prosecute or defend against these types of claims in a cost-effective manner.  We have successfully prosecuted and defended against claims in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.

Attorney Richard G. Witkowski, practice area chair, has extensive experience representing insureds and insurance carriers in litigation involving insurance coverage and has represented numerous insurance carriers over the past 20 years in defense of bad faith claims and claims for coverage. Rich is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and previously worked as an insurance risk manager at BP America Inc. Contact Rich or any other NGC attorney for an initial consultation.

  • Bad faith litigation
  • Coverage analysis, arbitration and litigation
  • Representation regarding retrospective premium audits and assessments

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Municipal law litigation (Michael E. Cicero, chair)

The firm continues its history in municipal law, with NGC attorneys serving municipalities and councils of government throughout Northeast Ohio law director, prosecutor and legal advisor. From the preparation of legislation and municipal policies through the defense of police liability cases, our Municipal Law Group attorneys, Michael E. Cicero, L. James Juliano Jr. and Vincent A. Feudo, have a combined 80 years of experience in their craft.

While our municipal attorneys engage in a wide variety of litigation matters, we emphasize the defense of political subdivisions and their employees in tort-related and civil rights litigation.  Our defense of law enforcement agencies and police officers is at the forefront of our attorneys’ expertise.  We have successfully defended numerous governmental clients in administrative, state and federal court actions and have developed a reputation for obtaining favorable results for clients in an efficient manner.

Our attorneys also provide guidance and counsel in drafting and revising policy manuals, general order, and standard operating procedures.  We also frequently present seminars and other presentations to law enforcement clients on the changing state of the law in areas such as drunk driving and search and seizure.

  • Election cases
  • Eminent domain
  • Extraordinary writs
  • Misdemeanor prosecution
  • Nuisance abatement
  • Public sector labor negotiations
  • Zoning disputes

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Professional liability/malpractice litigation (Richard G. Witkowski, chair)

The firm has extensive experience representing a wide array of professionals regarding ethics complaints and allegations of professional malpractice, employment agreement disputes, shareholder disputes and licensing issues.  We are also frequently retained to assist in risk management issues and subpoena compliance.  Our litigation attorneys successfully defend and prosecute claims in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.

  • Compliance regarding legal, professional and ethical obligations to clients, third parties and regulators
  • Defense and prosecution of malpractice claims involving accountants, attorneys, insurance agents and brokers and financial advisors
  • Defense of professionals against ethics complaints and in disciplinary proceedings
  • Legal counsel regarding management of breaches of confidential client financial information
  • Professional liability insurance coverage reviews, analysis and litigation
  • Representation of design professionals and subcontractors in Ohio
  • Risk management and pre-claim assistance to prevent or minimize the severity of claims
  • Subpoena response (grand jury, civil and administrative subpoenas)

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Real property litigation (Bruce L. Waterhouse, Jr., chair)

NGC attorneys assist clients in all forms of litigation relating to real property, whether a financial institution seeking to foreclose, a commercial entity protecting a valuable easement, a lender defending its interest in tax increment financing or defending a client against alleged zoning violations. Contact any of our litigation attorneys for an initial consultation.

  • Boundary and title disputes
  • Defense of agency enforcement actions
  • Eminent domain prosecution and defense
  • Environmental matters
  • Foreclosures, both commercial and residential
  • Nuisance abatements
  • Permitting and background investigations
  • Prescriptive easement and adverse possession claims
  • Purchase agreement enforcement and defense
  • Remediation cost recovery
  • Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund (UST) claims
  • Zoning disputes

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Representative matters