Biography

Mel is an experienced trial lawyer and represents businesses and individuals in civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has been with Kegler Brown since 1982.

Litigation

Mel has extensive experience in handling complex business disputes involving claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of covenants not to compete, unfair competition, defamation, insurance coverage issues and professional liability. Throughout his forty-year career he has tried more than seventy-five cases to decision, many by jury verdict. His extensive experience includes not only jury trials and bench trials, but also hearings on motions for temporary restraining orders, motions for preliminary injunctions, administrative hearings, arbitrations, and appeals before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, many of Ohio’s Courts of Appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits.

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D., 1973)
  • The Ohio State University (B.A., 1969)

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Trial Practice committee and Litigation sections, member
  • Columbus Bar Association, Federal Court committee, member
  • Ohio State Bar Association, member

Special Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating of AV
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006; currently recognized for Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Intellectual Property, and Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer® by Law & Politics magazine since 2004

Trial Experience

Has successfully represented many corporate and other clients as trial and appellate counsel in hundreds of cases. A sample of reported decisions in cases in state and federal courts includes:

  • Represented group of insurance companies in claims against former district manager for breach of contract, and in defense of counterclaims for race discrimination and breach of contract (Farmers Insurance Exchange v. West, No. Civ. 11-2297, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55611 (D. Minn. Apr. 18, 2013))
  • Represented group of insurance companies in claims against former agent and defense of counterclaim for age discrimination (Farmers Insurance Exchange v Tomczik, No. A11-451, 2011 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 276 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 12, 2011))
  • Represented group of insurance companies in defense of claim by terminated agent for breach of contract and miscellaneous torts (Chuparkoff v. Farmers Insurance of Columbus, Inc. 9th Dist. No. 22712, 2006-Ohio-3281, 2006 Ohio App. LEXIS 3198)
  • Represented cable television provider in appeal to Ohio Supreme Court from Board of Tax Appeals’ decision concerning sales tax dispute (Time Warner Entertainment v. Wilkins, 111 Ohio St.3d 559; 2006-Ohio-6210, 2006 Ohio App. LEXIS 3411)
  • Defended group of insurance companies against claim by terminated agent for breach of contract, upheld on appeal after favorable jury verdict (Kirkwood v. Farmers Ins., 8th Dist. No., NO. 82485, 2003-Ohio-5386; 2003 Ohio App. LEXIS 4844)
  • Represented major clothing retailer in action for trade dress infringement in United States District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. v. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., 280 F.3d 619 (6th Cir. 2002))
  • Appealed to Ohio Supreme Court, winning reversal of Board of Tax Appeals’ assessment of sales tax against business (Rowe-Reilly Corporation v. Tracy, 85 Ohio St.3d 625 (1999))
  • Appealed trial court’s refusal to enforce arbitration provision in commercial agreement (Harsco Corporation v. Crane Carrier Company, 122 Ohio App.3d 406 (1997))
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in action against investment banking company for breach of fiduciary duty, ultimately settled for $20 million. (GenCorp Inc. v. Shearson Lehman Brothers, Inc., 766 F.Supp. 1460 (S.D. Ohio 1991))
  • Represented board of directors of closely held corporation in shareholder dispute before Ohio Supreme Court (Cullen v. Milligan, 61 Ohio St.3d 352 (1991))
  • Represented group of insurance companies in defense of action for fraud and breach of contract (Lewelling vs. Farmers Insurance of Columbus, Inc., 879 F.2d 212 (6th Cir. 1989))
  • Defended State of Ohio in action for medical malpractice (McCrory v. State of Ohio, 67 Ohio St.2d 99 (1981))

Publications

  • Products Liability: 50 State Handbook (Ohio Chapter), West Publishing Company, 1994-95 Ed., co-author