- Of counsel, The Lefton Group, LLC (November 2015 to present).
- Principal, Max W. Thomas, LLC (Established July 2015 to present).
- Associate Attorney, Ulmer & Berne, LLP (August 2004 to July 2015).
- Assistant Professor of English Literature, University of Iowa (August 1993 to June 2000).
Successful solutions in the following areas:
- Extricated investment entities from complex multi-entity health care joint venture involving multiple lawsuits through motion practice and dispute resolution, and drafted transactional documents following “business divorce.”
- Achieved significant monetary settlement in favor of discharged executive who was the subject of regulatory investigation and extensive campaign of disparagement by former co-workers.
- Negotiated multi-party settlement on the eve of 10-day trial (first-chair), avoiding expense and potential liability for client, after contentious two-year discovery process in dispute involving cross claims for defamation and invasion of privacy.
- First-chaired multi-day administrative due process hearing and obtained ruling in school districts’ favor; first-chaired subsequent discrimination lawsuit in federal court, managing all aspects of discovery, including depositions, summary judgment briefing, and trial preparation, to maximize benefit of due process ruling.
- Second-chaired two-week medical malpractice trial and obtained complete defense verdict in favor of treating physician in action with seven-figure exposure.
- Successfully arbitrated commercial non-competition dispute, achieving zero award on behalf of Defendant manufacturer in multi-day AAA Arbitration.
- Served as senior associate responsible for all aspects of discovery, summary judgment practice, and mediation briefing, achieving exceptionally favorable settlement for major national bank facing multi-million-dollar securities fraud and unsuitability claims in relation to defaulted commercial paper transaction.
- Managed discovery and drafted key briefing in case presenting “triple threat” legal issues (regulatory investigation, shareholder class action dispute, and securities fraud lawsuit), achieving “global” resolution to terminate all litigation; proceeded with highly favorable class settlement, and avoided regulatory investigation.
- Leveraged summary judgment briefing and decision involving complex issues of workers’ compensation immunity into advantageous settlement on behalf of security services provider against manufacturer.
- Served as key member of team obtaining complete victory for Ohio-based national manufacturer in non-competition litigation against former executives and competitor that hired them.
- Successfully defended national bank against defamation claims brought by fixed income sales persons who misused corporate balance sheet in FINRA arbitration and through
settlement and FINRA expungement proceedings.
- Contracted with Thomson Reuters to help edit and prepare state-specific litigation materials for Practical Law resource (2017).
- Served as contract attorney for The McCleery Law Firm in New Philadelphia, providing litigation and estate/probate services for wide variety of clients, including individuals and
- Supreme Court of Ohio.
- U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio.
- U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- U.S. Supreme Court.
- B.A., Case Western Reserve University.
- Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania.
- J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Honors & Awards:
- SuperLawyer Rising Star designation in 2010 and 2012.
Professional Affiliations and Activities:
- Akron Bar Association, member, 2015 – present.
- Vice-Chair of Solo and Small FirmPractice Group.
- Ohio Bar Association, member, 2004 – present.
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member, 2004– present.
- Perspectives on Starting & Managing Your Own Law Office & Managing Your Daily Workflow, Dec. 6, 2018, New Lawyer Training, Akron Bar Association.
- Starting and Managing Your Own Law Office: Practical Advice for New Attorneys, Dec. 15, 2017, New Lawyer Training, Akron Bar Association.
- Best Practices for CyberSecurity at Work, Sept. 15, 2017, 2017 Small Firm/Solo Exposition, presented by Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Akron Bar Association.
- Board of Directors, GroundWorks Dance Theater, 2011 – present.
- Board of Directors, Beck Center for the Arts, 2008-2016.
- National Down Syndrome Society, member, 2012 – present.
- Stand Up for Downs D.A.D.S. Group, member, 2012 – 2018.