Industries & Practices

Litigation

Court of appeals victory on greenhouse tax valuation

Represented Green Circle Growers, a family-owned company with one of the largest greenhouse operations in the United States, in a tax appeal relating to the classification of commercial greenhouses as real or personal property. In 2018, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals agreed with Green Circle Growers and classified the greenhouses as business fixtures, which are a type of personal property. Local officials appealed that decision, and on March 29, 2021, Ohio’s Ninth District Court of Appeals sided with Green Circle, rejecting arguments from the local officials, who had “ask[ed] for greenhouses to be included in property valuations as real property.” The Court’s decision cited binding precedent from the Ohio Supreme Court in an earlier case, Metamora Elevator Co. v. Fulton Cty. Bd. Of Revision, which Brollier had also successfully led.

The decision resulted in a roughly 75 percent reduction in annual real property taxes. The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals ruled in favor of Bricker’s client, finding the greenhouses constitute personal property, not real estate, and therefore the property owner should not pay real property tax on them.

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Customized technology solutions

In 2017, Bricker & Eckler’s litigation support team developed a highly-customized technology solution for a natural gas distributor involved in an interstate pipeline project. Using Relativity as the basis and layering multiple applications, we organized both electronic and physical information related to thousands of easements, leasing agreements and other transactional documents and managed the data of more than 1,200 landowners, 3,600 tracts and a significant number of lawsuits in real-time. The system allowed Bricker’s litigation group and the client to generate all documents needed to initiate the necessary legal processes with a click of a button – a noteworthy success, considering the various sources and formats of the required information.

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Bricker’s “Petition Analyzer” provides innovation solution

Recently, using Relativity software as a basis, the firm’s litigation support team built a custom solution, “Petition Analyzer”, to help a client address out-of-state interests engaged in questionable practices while collecting the 305,000 signatures needed to get a proposed Constitutional Amendment issue on the November 2018 general election ballot. The team developed a highly-automated application to fully review part-petitions on behalf of the client. The application identifies deficiencies by scanning the petitions against other data sources, including ID and address records. Key data can be extracted and useful reports can be generated, allowing attorneys to investigate large-scale trends generated by the system and build their case using accurate statistics. This system allowed our attorneys to review over 300,000 signatures on 20,000 part petitions filed all over the state of Ohio in just 4 days. Read more >>

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National insurance company defense

Successfully argued before Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals on behalf of a national insurance carrier in a lawsuit by a former agent challenging the cancellation of their agency agreement. The favorable decision received on behalf of the client clarified several points under Ohio law that impact commercial disputes. 

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Class action lawsuit victory

Successfully argued before the Eleventh District Court of Appeals on behalf of the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in a case in which the plaintiff attacked the validity of a previously settled class action alleging that ODNR had unlawfully taken the private property of more than 13,000 property owners along Lake Erie’s coast by incorrectly identifying the public/private boundary along the shore. The Court upheld enforcement of the settlement agreement and the civil contempt order.

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Landmark court decision ends "eviction by affidavit" practice

Assisted Bricker lawyers with successfully filing an amicus curiae brief to highlight and end the dehumanizing and negative ramifications of a decades-old “eviction by affidavit” practice on behalf of a number of organizations that serve vulnerable and underserved populations. For more details, please view Bricker’s recap of the case.

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Exclusive representation law challenge rejected by Sixth Circuit

Successfully defended the Marietta City School District Board of Education in a lawsuit brought by a public school teacher who attempted to expand the reach of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and argued that Ohio’s exclusive union representation violates the First Amendment. The Sixth Circuit rejected this challenge and granted a summary judgment to both the union and school district.

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Landmark court decision ends “eviction by affidavit” practice

Bricker lawyers successfully filed an amicus curiae brief to highlight and end the dehumanizing and negative ramifications of a decades-old “eviction by affidavit” practice on behalf of a number of organizations that serve vulnerable and underserved populations. For more details, please view Bricker’s recap of the case.

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Secured a $42 million court award for three Ohio school districts

Secured $42 million judgment, plus interest, for Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo city school districts after the Ohio Department of Education unlawfully deprived the districts of the funding they were entitled to receive. For more details, please view Bricker’s full recap of the case.

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Prosecution of business dispute

Successfully prosecuted a business client’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference with business relationship against a departing member and an outside consultant who secretly set up a competing business. 

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Successful defense of business client

Obtained a favorable jury verdict for a business client in federal court in which the client had been wrongfully accused of unfair competition, unlawful use of trademarks and breaches of franchise agreements in multiple states. 

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$2.5 million jury verdict for Ohio municipality

Obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict for an Ohio municipality in a construction-related lawsuit after a two-week jury trial. Attorney fees were also recovered.  

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