Stern, chair of the firm’s Professional Responsibility practice area, is well-known throughout the state of Ohio for his experience in the areas of professional responsibility and legal ethics issues, including legal malpractice, litigation management and appellate work. He has been with Kegler Brown since 1997.
Geoff provides to his clients preventative consultation, expert witness consultation and testimony, and representation in disciplinary matters. He is also the only person to have served as both Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio and Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct. During his four-year term as Disciplinary Counsel, his office considered more than 14,000 grievances in regard to Ohio’s lawyers and judges. Geoff has appeared in nearly 200 cases before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Geoff served as National Coordinating Counsel for a period of ten years representing two clients who were defendants in asbestos litigation throughout the country. This national coordination involved more than 22,000 cases at any given time during the decade. Most of these cases concluded with settlement or judgment for Geoff’s clients, who were able to maintain their businesses during that time of massive litigation.
In 2015, Geoff was the recipient of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Eugene R. Weir Award for distinction in Ethics and Professionalism. Geoff has also been chosen by his peers as one of Columbus’ Top Lawyers in Business First’s “The Verdict,” and has been designated as a Top Lawyer by The American Lawyer. He has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law for twenty years and recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, as an Ohio Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine. He has also received the Columbus Bar Association Liberty Bell Award for service to the profession and community, and recognition by the Ohio State Bar Association for service to the profession through various continuing legal education lectures on ethics, professionalism, and substance abuse issues. He has made approximately 400 presentations throughout Ohio and the country, as well as internationally.
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D., 1968)
- Summa cum laude
- The Ohio State University (B.A., 1965)
- Cum laude
- American Bar Association, Center for Professional Responsibility, member
- American Bar Foundation, fellow
- Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, member
- Bexley, Ohio, City Council and Civil Service Commission, past president and member
- Columbus Bar Foundation, fellow
- Litigation Counsel of America, fellow
- Ohio Bar Foundation, fellow
- Ohio State Bar Association, Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct committee, former chair
- Recipient of the Ohio State Bar Association’s 2015 Eugene R. Weir Award for distinction in Ethics and Professionalism
- Selected as the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” in Columbus in the area of Ethics + Professional Responsibility Law by The Best Lawyers in America®
- Selected as the 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" in Columbus in the area of Professional Malpractice Law for Defendants by The Best Lawyers in America®
- Selected as the 2012 "Lawyer of the Year" in Columbus in the Appellate Practice by The Best Lawyers in America®
- Recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer® by Law & Politics magazine
Charitable + Civic Involvement
- Ohio Citizens Committee for the Arts, past trustee
- Ohio Optical Dispensers’ Board, past public member
Has made hundreds of presentations, including:
- Litigation Management and Legal Ethics, Practicing Law Institute, Boston, New York and San Francisco
- Numerous Ohio State Bar Association and Ohio law firm seminars on ethics and professionalism
- American Bar Association Commission on Substance Abuse, Minneapolis and Vancouver
- Legal Ethics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China