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Overview

Calfee’s Business, Corporate and Commercial Litigation attorneys work with public and privately held enterprises on a diverse range of business needs. Our attorneys have extensive experience in financial litigation including banking, lender liability, and credit disputes. They counsel clients on issues and disputes arising out of the purchase or sale of a business, contracts, and the Uniform Commercial Code.

Our litigation attorneys have prosecuted and defended numerous trade secret actions and matters involving non-compete covenants. They also have defended claims of business defamation and disparagement, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.

Noteworthy

Chambers USA Band 3 Ranking in Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio)

For well over a decade, our Litigation group and individual litigation attorneys have been ranked and recognized by Chambers USA. In 2021, Chambers USA researchers noted that the team "Frequently advises on plaintiff and defense-side commercial litigation matters, offering considerable strengths in securities, product liability, antitrust and construction disputes. Also offers experience in criminal litigation, defending a range of individuals and businesses facing regulatory enforcement actions. Acts for clients in sectors including healthcare, financial services and manufacturing." 

A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers commented, "The entire team provides outstanding legal services." Another adds, "The team as a whole is fantastic."

Calfee's Vice Chairman and Litigation Partner, Mitchell G. Blair, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 2 for Litigation: General Commercial in Ohio. A source interviewed by Chambers USA researchers relayed, "He is very diligent, careful and thoughtful. He is also very good at strategizing - he thinks several steps ahead before taking any action." Another interviewee adds, "He is very collegial and has great instincts."

Litigation practice Co-Chair, Christopher S. Williams, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 3 for Litigation: General Commercial in Ohio. A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers remarked, "He is the ultimate relationship partner." Another client said, "[Chris is a] phenomenal lawyer." 

Litigation practice Co-Chair, Maura L. Hughes, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 1 for Antitrust in Ohio. Clients and sources interviewed by Chambers USA researchers said the following regarding Maura's Antitrust experience and counsel: "She is well respected in the antitrust Bar," "She provides practical advice and is extremely smart," and "She is a trusted adviser."

Litigation Partner and leader of the Insurance Coverage and Insurance Recovery practices, K. James Sullivan, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 1 for Insurance in Ohio. Chambers USA researchers noted, "James Sullivan is held in high esteem as 'one of the best policyholder lawyers' in Ohio. He is also praised for his 'sophisticated and diplomatic' approach to complex recovery claims, which sees him handle a wide range of coverage disputes." A source reported to Chambers USA researchers, "He does an excellent job in analyzing situations and getting a good result. He is smart, well respected and capable in the courtroom."

Litigation Partner and leader of the White-Collar Defense and Investigations practice, Fritz E. Berckmueller, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 2 for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations - Ohio. Chambers USA researchers stated, "Head of department Fritz Berckmueller is well regarded for his expertise in white-collar work. He acts for clients in a range of matters including FCA investigations, whistleblower claims and investigations into bribery and corruption." A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers mentioned, "[Fritz] is very easy to work with - he's accessible, responsive, smart and capable. He's always on top of his game."

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2022 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Commercial Litigation (National Tier 2, Regional Tier 1 Cleveland, Regional Tier 1 Cincinnati, Regional Tier 2 Columbus)

Benchmark Litigation Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion by Benchmark Litigation 2022 as a Highly Recommended Law Firm in Dispute Resolution and as a Recommended Law Firm in Labor and Employment Litigation in Ohio. Additionally, 14 of Calfee's Litigation attorneys have been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as "Local Litigation Stars in Ohio" and as “40 & Under Hot List Honorees in the Midwest.”

Professionals

Professionals

Fritz E. Berckmueller
Leader, White-Collar Defense and Investigations

Experience

Experience

  • Obtained $3.8 million jury verdict against business broker for intentional interference with buyer’s prospective purchase of business.
  • Defended a multi-million dollar claim against a distributor of medical products for alleged breaches of distribution agreement.
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous trade secret actions and matters involving covenants not to compete.
  • Defended numerous lender liability claims, including obtaining summary judgment dismissing lender liability claims against a foreclosing bank.
  • Successfully defended against a $200 million action for breach of lease filed by major parking garage operator.
  • Represented partners in dissolution action against charges of breach of agreement.
  • Won fraud judgments against sellers of businesses.
  • Defended against and resolved multi-million dollar claims against a medical equipment manufacturer for successor liability and fraudulent transfer in connection with the purchase of the assets and business of another medical product manufacturer.
  • Frequently retained at the appellate level to seek reversal of unfavorable verdicts, including obtaining a reversal of a jury verdict against a utility for alleged violations of public utility laws.
  • Represented Swedish textile manufacturer in jury trial in which the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods was applied to a dispute involving the sale of products to a national distributor.
  • Obtained $9 million jury verdict for fraud in termination of a shopping center lease.
  • Represented financial institutions in proceedings to obtain relief from the automatic stay to enforce claims against secured collateral.

Services

Services

  • Protect trade secrets and confidential business information
  • Enforce and contesting non-compete covenants
  • Uniform Commercial Code issues
  • Financial litigation, including banking, lender liability and credit disputes
  • Tortious interference with business relations
  • Contractual disputes
  • Business sale or purchase disputes
  • Partnership issues, disputes and dissolutions
  • Business defamation, disparagement and unfair competition
  • Fraud and negligent misrepresentation
  • Adversary proceedings and appeals
  • Claims litigation and appeals
  • Bad faith and relief from stay motions
  • Dischargeability litigation
  • Preference litigation
  • Proceedings to sell estate property
  • Lien determination and priority proceedings

Client Feedback

Client Feedback

"Calfee litigators resolve issues efficiently with the proper balance of appropriate strength and effective negotiation."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"I've been very impressed with Calfee. They are always quite responsive and provide "business-ready" responses."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"Calfee, Halter & Griswold provides excellent litigation services. They are well-equipped to handle complex issues involving financial matters."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"Calfee, Halter & Griswold is my go-to law firm, in an emergency as well as for longer-term strategic planning. Jim Lang is a consummate professional, an excellent trial lawyer, and the state's best public utility regulatory lawyer. Their team always gets the job done quickly and efficiently and helps develop creative and effective strategies."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"I have had the opportunity to work with various members of Calfee, Halter & Griswold's Litigation team over the last several years. Regardless of matter size/complexity, Calfee has staffed the matters appropriately and provided responsive, business-focused advice. They provide support in the pre-litigation resolution of matters effectively and efficiently."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"Calfee, Halter & Griswold attorneys are extremely client focused. They are patient and engaged to make sure clients are fully heard, understand their options and are part of the strategy."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"Calfee, Halter & Griswold has excellent lawyers who strive for practical solutions."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report

News & Events

News

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Related Industries/Sectors

"The entire [Litigation] team provides outstanding legal services."

Client quote from the Chambers USA 2021 Guide

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