Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Going to court is only one way to resolve a dispute. Another method, which has become increasingly popular over the past few decades, is what is called “Alternative Dispute Resolution” or “ADR.”

ADR can take many forms – arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation, are just a few. The common element to virtually all ADR processes is that it is administered by a third party, who is neutral. This neutrality allows the third party to impartially assess each side’s strengths and weaknesses, and convey those impressions to the parties.

Participation in an ADR process is usually voluntary, though some courts do require litigants to engage in some sort of ADR process. ADR’s popularity owes to several appealing features. First, ADR gets results – the success rate in helping the parties reach a resolution is significant. Second, ADR also provides a confidential alternative to the public forum that a courtroom entails. Third, ADR often proves more efficient and cost effective than protracted litigation. Fourth, given the variety in the types of ADR processes that are available, and the adaptability of the processes themselves, creative processes and solutions can be utilized.

All of the attorneys at Connelly & Collier are well-versed in the use of ADR. Further, Steve Collier performs ADR services.

Mr. Collier offers mediation services for a variety of disputes. His mediation experience includes business, probate and personal injury cases. He has been a trial lawyer for the past 32 years and currently serves as the President of the Ohio Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocacy, an organization of both plaintiff and defense attorneys dedicated to the preservation of the jury trial.

Mr. Collier is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as Civil Trial Advocates.

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Business Litigation

The business litigators at Connelly & Collier have been resolving disputes involving business since the inception of the firm. We represent individuals, companies, governmental agencies, public institutions, and other business entities, both in the profit and not-for-profit sectors, in the resolution of business disputes. Our clients have included publicly traded companies such as Chrysler, Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois, Norfolk Southern Corp., Libbey, Inc., KeyBank, Pilkington, N.A. and PNC, as well as privately owned regional companies such as Rudolph/Libbe, Inc., GEM Industrial, Inc., and Willis Day Properties, Inc.

Our mission and philosophy at Connelly & Collier is to serve our clients, both large and small, with a personal touch. We are large enough to provide the knowledge, technology, and depth necessary to adequately maintain and track multiple cases, while being small enough to understand the business goals of our clients. We represent each and every client vigorously, while at the same time being as cost-effective as possible.

The types of business disputes we have handled vary widely and encompass a number of areas including conflicts between shareholders, particularly with respect to shareholders of closely-held corporations; breach of contract; employment matters, including covenants not to compete; predatory lending; and fraud. We have extensive experience in matters arising under statutes such as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Fair Housing Act, Title VII, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We represent clients throughout Northwest Ohio. Our proven trial experience involving complicated business disputes has enhanced our clients’ ability to achieve prompt, cost-effective, and efficient results.

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Government Liability

When a person is injured as a result of the negligence of governmental employees, the recovery is often limited by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Essentially, sovereign immunity limits the ability of a citizen to sue the Government. Therefore, if one is injured by the conduct of a Government employee performing as a policeman, road worker, bus driver or garbage truck driver to name a few, the recovery
may be more difficult, but not necessarily impossible.

Connelly & Collier has taken on these cases over the years which have resulted in both settlements and Court decisions for those injured as a result of government conduct. Some of the Court decisions are listed below:

  • Kertesz v. Fulton County, No. 2006-Ohio-3178 (Ohio Ct. App. June 23, 2006)
  • Beck v. Adam Wholesalers of Toledo, Inc., No. S-00-038, 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 4400 (Ohio Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2001)
  • Siebenaler v. Montpelier, 113 Ohio App.3d 120 (1996)
  • Crawford v. State, Div. of Parole & Community Services, 57 Ohio St.3d 184 (1991)
  • Yardas v. United States, 899 F.2d 550 (1990)
  • Howe v. Jackson Twp. Brd. of Trustees, 67 Ohio App.3d 159 (1990)
  • Sawicki v. Ottawa Hills, 37 Ohio St.3d 222 (1988)
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Insurance Coverage

Attorneys at Connelly & Collier represent policyholders to obtain insurance coverage for a wide range of liabilities and losses. Our insurance coverage clients include organizations and individuals involved in banking, construction, food service, manufacturing, medicine, law, government, and warehousing.

Our work in obtaining insurance coverage arises in many contexts: asbestos, environmental contamination, professional and fiduciary liability, business interruption, construction, fire, directors and officers liability, mold damage, property damage, and intentional torts. Our emphasis is upon obtaining the maximum benefits to which our clients are entitled under the applicable insurance policies. When possible, this means working with the insurance companies to procure fair and reasonable settlements without litigation. When litigation cannot be avoided, we have prosecuted insurance-coverage lawsuits in federal and state courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court of Ohio. For some clients, our efforts include the search to identify historical insurance coverages in order to maximize their application to the client’s present liabilities. This work involves knowledge of how multiple layers of coverage over many years can be accumulated to provide the best protection possible for a particular client.

Our experience has taught us that on occasion, insurance carriers have denied coverage to clients when, in fact, coverage was warranted by the existing insurance policy. Without the guidance our lawyers can offer, clients might be inclined to accept these denials. Clients who seek our advice have often found that the insurance carrier’s initial coverage denial was misplaced and the client was entitled to receive the protection provided by the insurance. We are available to assist attorneys and their clients with an analysis of insurance policies to determine coverage obligations, whatever the circumstances or policies.

We pride ourselves on our depth of experience in these wide-ranging areas and the breadth of the clients we represent. We have represented Owens Corning, Pilkington, N.A., Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Lake Local School District, and others, for insurance coverage issues.

Steve Smith is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in insurance coverage law. He is one of only 17 lawyers in Ohio who have received this certification. Mr. Smith was the lead attorney on the case Fed. Ins. Co. v. Executive Coach Luxury Travel, Inc., 128 Ohio St.3d 331, 2010-Ohio-6300, in the Supreme Court of Ohio which secured $21 million of insurance coverage for the families of those injured in the charter bus crash involving the Bluffton University baseball team.

Call us if you or your clients have insurance coverage questions.

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Local Counsel

Connelly & Collier is frequently called upon by national law firms and their clients to act as local counsel and co-counsel in guiding them through the intricacies of practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division and the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas. Our firm’s attorneys have practiced extensively in both the federal and county court located in Toledo, both of which are within walking distance of the firm.

The firm’s long and close relationship with these courts enable our lawyers to provide insightful practice tips and guidance to out-of-state counsel. This has led to the firm’s involvement as local counsel in numerous significant cases involving intellectual property, contract, multidistrict litigation, and business disputes pending before these courts.

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Mass Torts

Sometimes when tragedy strikes, only one person is injured or killed, yet the impact ripples throughout the family of the victim. When a number of people are injured or killed through the wrongful conduct of another, the impact is magnified.

The lawyers at Connelly & Collier have dealt with both circumstances. We have represented hundreds of individuals in cases where only one or two persons were injured, and represented victims of this area’s largest disasters.

When the Lonz Winery patio collapsed in July, 2000, Connelly & Collier had an active role in representing several individuals who were harmed. Steve Collier, one of our firm’s partners, was intimately involved in the plaintiffs’ discovery committee which gathered the information necessary for resolution of these cases.

When a crane collapsed in February, 2004, during the construction of the Skyway Bridge in Toledo, we were actively involved in the resolution of legal claims that followed.

Three years later when scaffolding on the bridge gave way and claimed another life, Connelly & Collier was again involved on behalf of the family who suffered this terrible tragedy.

Most recently, on March 2, 2007, when the Bluffton University baseball team had its bus go off an overpass killing five members of the team and injuring several others, our lawyers were again actively involved in representing the family of one of the young men who died as well as coordinating much of the litigation that followed. Most significantly, Connelly & Collier won a case in the Ohio Supreme Court that afforded $21 Million Dollars of additional insurance coverage for the injured and families of the deceased.

The lawyers at Connelly & Collier were also involved in the representation of several young women who were injured as a result of using the Ortho-Evra birth control patch. The cases were handled through multidistrict litigation that was presided over by Judge David Katz in the Federal District Court in Toledo. Our lawyers participated in several aspects of plaintiffs’ committee work in bringing about resolution of these injury cases.

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Medical Malpractice

Connelly & Collier has extensive experience in evaluating and litigating medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice cases are often complex and, therefore, require careful analysis and review. We have contacts with health-care professionals to assist in the case analysis.

If you or a family member have suffered an injury which you believe may be related to medical negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately. Generally, a medical malpractice case must be filed within one year from the date of the malpractice.

If you have a valid claim, we will work with medical experts who can effectively, and forcefully, help a jury understand why you are entitled to compensation. Medicine is both science and art, so the opposing party will no doubt be able to find an opposing expert. As a result, you need to find an attorney with the resources and contacts to employ only the best expert witnesses.

Many of our medical malpractice cases were referred to us by other attorneys: that means you can rest assured that we have a reputation in the legal community for ethical, aggressive, and thorough representation of our clients.

If you or a family member has been injured by medical negligence, or you are an attorney with a medical claim beyond your present expertise, call us at 419.243.2100, so we can help you.

Sample Cases

  • Lucas County – Failure to diagnosis and appropriately treat thyroid cancer
  • Lucas County – Failure to diagnose cervical cancer despite three different pap-smears
  • Lucas County – Failure to diagnose brachial artery occlusion resulting in below the elbow amputation
  • Lucas County – Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism
  • Lucas, Seneca, Hancock, Allen Counties – Birth injury cases
  • Lucas County – Negligently performed breast replacement surgery
  • Seneca County – Negligently performed bilateral carpal tunnel surgery resulting in permanent injury
  • Allen County – Failure to surgically resect cancerous lung tumor
  • Allen County – Negligent injection caused permanent damage to arm
  • Seneca, Allen Counties – Negligently performed laparoscopic cholecystectomy
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Personal Injury

Connelly & Collier has a proven record of obtaining substantial jury verdicts and settlements for those who have suffered wrongful death or personal injury.

Throughout Northwest and North Central Ohio, we have represented injured people on claims involving car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, dog bites, and work-place injuries. We pride ourselves on representing each client zealously, regardless of the severity of the injury.

We are a small, focused firm, and that means that your claim will get the personal attention that it might not enjoy at a larger firm. And that personal attention can mean the difference between fair compensation and no compensation when you present your claim to a jury.

We have represented individuals injured in numerous tragedies affecting Northwest Ohio residents, including the 2007 Bluffton University bus crash in Georgia, Veteran’s Glass City Skyway crane and scaffolding collapses (2004 and 2007), and the Lonz Winery patio collapse in 2000.

We have had cases against many trucking companies based both in the U.S. and Canada, including: C&R Prescott Trucking; Can-Truck, Inc.; Covenant Transport; Estes Express Lines Trucking; Fort Worth Carrier Corp.; Homan Transportation, Inc.; M&A Transport Service, Inc.; Overnight Express, Inc.; Sylvester Material Co.; T-Line Service Limited; U.S.A. Truck, Inc.; and Verspeeten Cartage Limited.

The Federal Highway Administration has regulations that may have particular application in a truck case, and it is important to be familiar with these rules.

Many cases are referred to the firm by other lawyers, which demonstrates the respect Connelly & Collier enjoys in the legal community.

If you have been injured, or someone in your family has been injured or killed due to the negligence of someone else, call us now so that we can help you receive fair compensation.

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