5800 Monroe Street Building H, Suite H-1 Sylvania, Ohio 43560
Judicial Clerkships & Internships
I believe you should know more about your lawyer than simply what cases he or she likes to handle. Personally, I grew up in Findlay, Ohio, received my undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Cincinnati in 1990, went directly to the University of Toledo College of Law and graduated with law degree in 1993. I was admitted to the State Bar of Ohio in 1993, and Michigan in 1994. During law school, I served an internship with Federal Magistrate Judge Robert Steinberg in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and still credit Judge Steinberg with teaching me to write persuasively. Thank you, Judge. I then finished my law school career with a Municipal Court clerkship and accepted a position as an Associate Attorney at the law firm of Wagoner & Steinberg, eventually making partner. In 2000, I left private law firm practice to put my experience to work representing Forrest and Michael Cousino, and their Cousino Construction Inc. family of companies (now The Cousino Group, Inc). In my nearly 20 years as their Chief Legal Counsel, these companies have delivered over 24,000 construction projects of all shapes and sizes, in the fast-paced and highly competitive industry of disaster response and fire, water and wind insurance claims. Of course, every case is different but I am proud to say that The Cousino Group has never suffered a major adverse legal setback.
My entire legal career has focused on civil litigation, which means resolving primarily money damages suits either through negotiation, trial or arbitration. I spent the first 7-8 years primarily representing plaintiffs in personal injury, worker’s compensation, social security disability, and consumer violation claims, learning medical-legal issues and how to develop case evidence into a compelling story. I estimate I’ve resolved over 1000 civil disputes, including hundreds of residential and commercial construction disputes, through a combination of negotiation, trial, and arbitration. While I have handled a wide range of cases over my career, I have developed a passion for helping people and businesses resolve construction project disputes and building damage claims. This is where I have the most experience, both as a construction and consumer law attorney, and a contractor and construction manager.
In addition to representing clients I’ve taught Construction Law and Contracting in Bowling Green State University’s accredited Construction Management program, and I’ve personally served as an Arbitrator on over 120 cases involving construction and consumer claims, lemon law claims, and financial industry regulation claims. I’ve also lectured on “Best Practices” for handling property damage insurance claims to the Ohio State Bar Association and the Toledo Professional Remodeler’s Organization about Ohio’s consumer protection and mechanic’s lien statutes. Finally, I serve as a Director on the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan’s Board of Directors, and have served as the Chair of the Toledo Bar Association’s Building Committee since 2014.
When I’m not practicing law, being an Arbitrator or serving in these posts, I like to spend time with my 3 sons and play violin in the Sylvania Community Orchestra.