Christopher G. Keim Photo

Christopher G. Keim

Managing Partner | Management Committee

Overview

Elected by fellow partners to the first-ever Management Committee and inaugural Managing Partner at Frantz Ward, Chris is involved in establishing the firm’s strategic direction and its day-to-day operations for the growing needs of the firm and the expanding needs of the firm’s clients.

In addition to his Management Committee responsibilities, Chris’ legal practice focuses on civil litigation matters, including general business disputes, product liability claims, transportation law, employment litigation, and corporate investigations. He has extensive experience in successfully defending businesses through trial and arbitration throughout the U.S., with over seventy-five bench and jury trials to date. This includes representing closely held and publicly traded companies and their insurers in routine and catastrophic litigation.

Chris practices law because as early as the sixth grade he knew he wanted to be in the courtroom and help people. He realized his dream early in his career as a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor which brings a valuable government perspective to his practice. In his role as prosecutor, he was a first-chair trial attorney in adult felony cases, including white collar crime, drug trafficking and capital murders. He also led corporate investigations and investigations into criminal enterprises.

Chris is passionate about helping clients solve their problems and building long-term client relationships, whether this involves helping them avoid lawsuits or successfully advocating on their behalf in trial.

Chris is named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list and is consistently rated AV Preeminent, the highest ranking, for attorney professional and ethical excellence by Martindale-Hubbell. 

Practices

    • Obtained $750,000 in damages for a regional health care client in a dispute involving the defendant’s failure to make payments under several contractual agreements between the parties, including counterclaims by the defendant that were completely dismissed by the arbitrator.
    • Secured a defense verdict on behalf of a major medical center involving the alleged wrongful termination and malicious prosecution claims of a former employee who was found not guilty of allegedly assaulting one of her employer’s private police officers.
    • Secured a defense verdict on behalf of a major medical center involving an employee-police officer that claimed he had been wrongfully terminated for allegedly enforcing the laws of Ohio.
    • As the sole trial lawyer for the defendant, successfully obtained a directed verdict after cross-examination of the plaintiff on a case where a bankrupt brewery was suing an angel investor for causing the bankruptcy and seeking over $2 million in damages.
    • As the sole trial lawyer for the defendant, received multiple defense verdicts on behalf of an automobile manufacturer on product liability claims in state courts throughout Ohio.
    • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of a billion-dollar diversified energy company involving one of its semi-trucks being in a horrific collision with the defendant’s semi-truck, including overcoming the defendant’s driver’s assertion of the sudden emergency defense.
    • Successfully resolved a matter before trial for a nine billion-dollar manufacturer after being retained a mere six weeks before trial to replace the manufacturer’s counsel in a case involving a multimillion dollar exposure arising out of an alleged defective product that caused permanent injuries to the plaintiff.
    • Successfully resolved potential litigation involving a national product recall claim for a major national provider of commercial truck bodies so that another company in the supply chain had to ultimately take on responsibility and indemnification for the recall.
  • Education

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1996
    • The Ohio State University, B.S., 1993

    Admissions

    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and Southern District of Ohio
  • Professional Affiliations

    • ALFA International —Steering Committee, Transportation
    • Cleveland Metropoitan Bar Association, Leadership Academy for Established Leaders (Class of 2019)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Litigation Section—Member
    • Ohio State Bar Association, Litigation Section—Member
    • American Bar Association, Litigation Section—Member
    • Cleveland Association of Civil Trial Attorneys—Member
    • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys—Member
    • Judicial Conference of Eighth Judicial District—Life Member
    • Defense Research Institute—Member
    • Transportation Lawyers Association—Member

    Community Involvement

    • Greater Cleveland Sports Commission—Trustee (2018)
    • Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP)—Board Member (2016-Present)
    • Leadership Cleveland 2 (LC2)—Fellow (2015-Present)
    • Cleveland Leadership Center, Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2015)
    • Metro Catholic School—Board Member (2011-Present)
    • Lakewood Board of Zoning Appeals—President (2001-2006)

    Firm Involvement

    • Managing Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
      Management Committee—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Litigation-Labor and Employment (2019)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2018)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2006; 2009; 2011)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Selected as a Fellow in the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Litigation Council of America (2010-Present)
    • "Lessons From the Trenches with The Honorable Janet R. Burnside and The Honorable John J. Russo," Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (September 2018)
    • “Trial Tactics,” Frantz Ward’s How to Outsmart the Reptile Theory in All Phases of Litigation Advanced Training, Cleveland, OH (March 2018)
    • “How to Protect Your Company and Corporate Representative Against the Reptile Theory,” Moderator, Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (November 2017)
    • “Tools to Tell the Company’s Story: Effective Use of Drivers, Safety Directors and the Company’s Safety Records,” ALFA International Transportation Practice Group Seminar, Scottsdale, AZ (May 2017)
    • “Corporate Investigations – An Instant Replay of (Potentially) Illegal Procedures,” Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (October 2016)
    • “Swinging the Sword: Conducting Effective/Proactive Internal Investigations,” ALFA International—International Client Seminar, Palm Springs, CA (March 2016)
    • “Effective Internal Investigations: From Workplace Harassment to Criminal Conduct and Everything In-Between,” The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Cleveland, OH (July 2015)
    • “Conducting Effective Internal Investigations in the U.S. and Abroad,” Northeast Ohio Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (March 2015)
    • “Effective Internal Investigations: From Workplace Harassment to Criminal Conduct and Everything In-Between,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, Webinar (December 2014)
    • “The EOBR Embrace: Knowledge Is Power As EOBRs Revolutionize The Industry,” ALFA International, Tucson, AZ (May 2013)
    • “What Was That Jury Thinking? Here’s Your Chance to Get the Real Scoop,” ALFA International, Amelia Island, FL (May 2012)