Overview

Brett represents insurers, lenders, transporters, manufacturers, and other business entities in all aspects of litigation in the federal and state courts, and before various arbitration venues. He has tried to verdict, before juries and courts, class actions, insurance, product liability, lender liability cases, commercial, trucking, real estate, and other business disputes. He has defended insurers in all aspects of commercial, life, health and disability coverage. He has tried or negotiated lender disputes involving letters of credit, repurchase agreements, revolving credit agreements, mortgage priority issues, usury and point disputes, and participation agreements. He has defended lenders in nearly all aspects of consumer claims, including class actions. Brett is a frequent speaker at lender, trucking, insurance, and other litigation seminars. He appears before the Supreme Court of Ohio and various federal circuit courts. He is also an experienced American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitrator, having been involved in numerous commercial and insurance arbitrations, with formal training both by the AAA and the Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Practices

    • State-wide counsel for major consumer and commercial lender, defending both consumer and commercial claims.
    • State-wide counsel for the country’s largest disability insurer, defending life and disability claims.
    • Defends trucking companies against claims resulting from Ohio accidents.
    • Defends insurance agencies against claims of negligent placement of insurance.
    • Defends retailers against claims of lease breaches by landlords.
    • Represents large businesses in insurance coverage claims where insurer declines coverage.
  • Education

    • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1972
    • University of Dubuque, B.A., with Highest Honors, 1969

    Admissions

    • Supreme Court of the U.S.
    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and Southern District of Ohio
  • Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association—Member (1972-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association—Member (1973-Present)
    • Defense Research Institute—Member (1973-Present)
    • The Federation of Defense Corporate Counsel—Former Member
    • ALFA International Global Legal Network—Board of Directors, Executive Committee & Treasurer (2014-Present); Insurance Roundtable Program—Chair, New York City (2017)
    • The British-American Chamber of Commerce (2013)

    Community Involvement

    • Red Oak Camp—Past Trustee
    • Cleveland Play House—Past Trustee and Past President of Men’s Committee
    • Church of the Western Reserve—Past Elder
    • Pepper Pike Civic League—Past Trustee

    Firm Involvement

    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2006-2018)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Commercial Litigation (2005-2019) and Litigation—Insurance (2018-2019)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Recipient of the Professional Achievement Award from the University of Dubuque (2015)
    • "Commercial Legal Risk, Legal Concerns in Cyber Security & IT," British-American Business Council's Transatlantic Conference, Birmingham, UK (June 2018)
    • “Politics and the U.S. and U.K. Supreme Courts and Judiciaries,” British American Legal Group, Chicago, IL (May 2017)
    • “Driving the Risk Highway to Success: Are You on Auto Pilot Or Are You in Control?” ALFA International, New York, NY (March 2017)
    • “Starting Strong to Finish First: Legal Strategies for Equipping Global Corporate Success,” ALFA International, Palm Springs, CA (2016)
    • Program Moderator, “What’s New in the Transatlantic Legal World,” British American Legal Group, London, UK (2016)
    • “Effectively Managing Litigation,” Frantz Ward Litigation Seminar, Cleveland, OH (2015)
    • “Finding Practical Solutions in a Shrinking Global Economy," ALFA International,  Scottsdale, AZ (2015)
    • “Skillfully Utilizing the Business Record Hearsay Exception,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2015)
    • “Insurance Coverage Law in Ohio,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2010; 2014)
    • “Bad Faith Litigation in Ohio,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2010; 2013)
    • “Representing Your Client in Federal Court,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2013)
    • “Practice Updates, Guidance, and Strategies for Insurance Professionals,” ALFA International, New York, NY (2013)
    • “Comparative Dispute Resolution in the UK and USA: Which Country Does More to Encourage Litigation,” British American Business Counsel, Birmingham, UK (2013)
    • “Handling Rambo Litigators in Ohio,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2012)
    • “Real-Life Resolution Strategies of Bad Faith Claims,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2011)
    • “Representing Your Client in Federal Court,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (2011)
    • “U.S. Jurisdiction and Venue,” Royal & Sun Alliance, Chelmsford, England (2011)