Michael J. Frantz Photo

Michael J. Frantz



For over forty years, Mike’s practice has been devoted to the exclusive representation of employers and their management teams in dealing with the full range of labor and employment issues. He has represented employers in contract negotiations with virtually every major union in the U.S. and Canada. Throughout his career he has focused on representing health care and higher education institutions, as well as manufacturing companies and service organizations.

Mike’s practice also includes serving as outside general counsel for a number of his clients. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors or in other corporate positions for many clients. Nothing gives Mike greater satisfaction as a lawyer than to become known as a trusted advisor to those clients.

Mike currently serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee that is charged with the responsibility of focusing on the strategic planning and overseeing the day-to-day administration of the firm. He has been recognized at the highest ranking, Band 1, in the area of Labor and Employment by Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers in Business and designated Best Lawyers’ "Lawyer of the Year" in Education Law (2019) and Labor Law-Management (2018) in Cleveland. Mike is continuously named to The Best Lawyers in America and the Ohio Super Lawyers lists.



    • Represented a leading federal contractor in the renegotiation of a major collective bargaining agreement at the Goddard Space Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
    • Represented major health care institutions in northeast Ohio in contract bargaining with the United Steelworkers and the Ohio Nurses Association.
    • Developed a new corporate-wide strategy for utilizing independent contractors following major changes by the National Labor Relations Board.
    • Developed several new initiatives for dealing with the Affordable Care Act in collective bargaining, including dealing with potential Cadillac Tax issues.
    • Represented a large multi-state platform company with all labor and employment issues while divesting several portfolio companies.
    • Represented a multi-employer group in national bargaining involving the oldest collective bargaining agreement in the United States.
    • Represented several employers in the determination and resolution of multi-employer plan liability under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
    • Represented college and university clients in governance issues, labor and employment disputes, student affairs issues, and significant collective bargaining negotiations.
    • Represented numerous social service agencies in employment litigation and collective bargaining.
  • Education

    • Georgetown University, J.D., 1976
    • University of Notre Dame, B.A., magna cum laude, 1973


    • 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

    • The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers—Fellow (2018-Present)
    • Director of Secure State LLC, The Father's Table LLC and Three D Metals, Inc.
    • American Bar Association, Labor Law Section - Member
    • General Counsel for The Ohio Cast Metals Association
    • Secretary of Eagle Bridge, Inc.
    • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor Law Section - Member
    • Ohio State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Council – Member (2018-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Labor Law Section—Former Chairman
    • National Association of College and University Attorneys - Member
    • American Arbitration Association— Panelist
    • Defense Research Institute, Labor Relations Committee - Member
    • Journal College and University Law—Member of the Editorial Board (1997-1999)
    • Labor Relations Advisory Committee - Member
    • Ohio Management Lawyers Association - Member

    Community Involvement

    • Karamu House, Inc.—Board of Directors 
    • St. Vincent Charity Medical Center—Board of Trustees
    • The Father’s Table Foundation—Board of Trustees
    • St. John Medical Center—Leadership Council
    • Boy Scouts of America, Greater Cleveland Council—Board of Trustees
    • Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation—Advisory Board
    • Catholic Charities Services Corporation—Board of Trustees; Member of Human Resource Committee
    • Hanna Perkins School—Board of Trustees; Executive Committee; Former President
    • Anny Katan Foundation—Board of Trustees
    • Notre Dame Club of Cleveland—Advisory Committee
    • University of Notre Dame, National Monogram Club—Athletes of Notre Dame Board of Directors, Secretary and Legal Counsel
    • Human Resource Consulters to the Secretariat for Catholic Charities Health and Human Services—Member
    • Cleveland Leadership Center, Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2004)
    • Greater Cleveland Partnership (formerly the Greater Cleveland Growth Association)—Former Trustee
    • St. Malachi Center—Former Board of Trustees; Former Executive Committee; Former President
    • Saint Joseph Academy—Former Board of Trustees; Former Executive Committee; Former Chairman of Human Resources Committee
    • St. Raphael Parish Council—Former President; Member of Finance Council
    • Saint Ignatius High School—Former Member and Chairman of the Board of Regents

    Firm Involvement

    • Management Committee—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to Crain’s Cleveland Business Notable Leaders in Employment & Labor Law (2023)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Employment Law-Management; Labor Law-Management (2006-2023); and Education Law (2019-2023)
    • Named to the highest rank, Band 1, by Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor and Employment (2003-2023)
    • Designated Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Education Law in Cleveland (2019); Labor Law—Management in Cleveland (2018); and Employment Law—Management in Cleveland (2016)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2004-2023)
    • Recognized as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Ohio and one of the Top 50 Attorneys in Cleveland by Ohio Super Lawyers
    • Elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Association College of Employment and Labor Lawyers - Class of 2018
    • Listed in The Legal News’ Top 1% of Attorneys in the Nation
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Recipient of the St. Thomas More Award—The Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (2016)
    • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
    • "Employment Arbitration Agreements After the Epic Systems Opinion," Ohio State Bar Association's Midwest Labor and Employment Conference, Columbus, OH (October 2019) 
    • "Regulatory Agency Updates: Judicial and Legislative Branch Updates and Implications," Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2019) 
    • "A View from the Bench - Pretrial and Trial Practice Issues," Midwest Labor & Employment Law (October 2018)
    • "Ironing Out the Wrinkles: NLRB, DOL and Other Agency Developments and Updates Under the Trump Administration," Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2018)
    • “Labor and Employment Update Under the Trump Administration,” Ohio Cast Metals Association, Columbus, OH (July 2017)
    • “Labor and Employment Update Under the Trump Administration,” Ohio Cast Metals Association Human Resource Committee, Columbus, OH (June 2017)
    • “Going on a Safari: Developments in Labor & Employment Law Under the New Congress and the Trump Administration,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2017)
    • “The Trump Era Begins: What to Expect,” Ohio Cast Metals Association Quarterly Meeting, Columbus, OH (February 2017)
    • “Employment Law: Rights, Benefits, and Emerging Issues,” Sterling Education Services, Inc., Cleveland, OH (November 2016)
    • “Hard Bargaining with Soft Skills: Getting It Done Without Being a Jerk!,” National Labor-Management Conference, Chicago, IL (August 2016)
    • “Update on Healthcare Union Organizing and Related Labor Issues,” Aultman Hospital and Aultcare, Canton, OH (June 2016)
    • “New DOL, NLRB and EEOC Developments,” Ohio Cast Metals Association, Columbus, OH (June 2016)
    • Guest Lecturer, Labor Relations, Cleveland State University and Oberlin College
    • California Business Institute, Council on Education in Management
    • Ohio Cast Metals Association, Annual Human Resource Seminar
    • Ohio CLE Institute, Annual Employment Law Seminar
    • “Private Sector Unfair Labor Practices,” Cleveland State University
    • “Negotiating A Business Acquisition in the Sale of a Unionized Business,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Ohio CLE Institute, Health Care Law Update
    • “What’s New From the NLRB,” The Latest in Labor Law
    • Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminars