Christopher C. Koehler Photo

Christopher C. Koehler



Chris helps clients navigate disputes. On the front end, he provides proactive solutions to limit enterprise and litigation risk. When litigation does occur, he represents clients vigorously but efficiently, with a focus on the client’s business goals.

Chris’ trial and litigation work centers on the staffing, manufacturing and service industries, managing business disputes involving business torts, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, distribution agreements, and breach of contract and warranty claims. He also has extensive experience in the defense of product liability and toxic tort claims.

Chris’ litigation work has led to regular counseling of clients across a broad spectrum of industries on how to avoid disputes, including counseling on internal policies, management of risk, development of sales contracts, contract review and other best practices to minimize the likelihood of litigation and increase the odds of success when litigation occurs.

Chris is very active in his community, with multiple leadership roles in his parish and several local nonprofit organizations. Most significantly, he is an advocate, volunteer and Past-President of the Board of Directors of the West Side Catholic Center, which serves the homeless and puts them on Episode 13 the path to self-sufficiency.



    • Representation of national staffing companies in litigation and day-to-day counseling on non-compete programs, trade secrets and other contractual issues.
    • Trial counsel for individual partner in successful lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud related to real estate investments; obtained $1.8 million jury verdict.
    • Defense at trial of a Global 500 manufacturer against a $50 million claim for breach of an agreement to develop and sell military products.
    • Trial counsel for Silicon Valley pressure sensor manufacturer in successful defense of breach of warranty and breach of contract claims.
    • Trial counsel for beer manufacturers in multiple cases under Ohio Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act related to franchise terminations and valuations.
    • Day-to-day counseling of multiple manufacturing companies on business and risk issues including sales agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete/non-solicitation programs.
    • Representation of a Fortune 100 consumer products company in defending a $55 million claim for fraud and breach of contract related to sale of one of its large divisions.
    • National coordinating counsel supervising nationwide litigation for manufacturer of asbestos products.
    • Statewide representation of automobile manufacturer in all consumer and warranty litigation.
    • Defense of leading health care insurer in its Ohio litigation involving breach of contract and bad faith involving controversial, experimental medical treatments.
    • Frequent counseling of employers and individuals on drafting and enforcing non-compete agreements, contracts and other business issues.
    • Review and drafting of standard sales, warranty and other applicable Uniform Commercial Code provisions for multiple manufacturers and service providers, and regular counseling of client on implications of terms and conditions and other contractual provisions proposed by its business partners for purposes of risk analysis and negotiations.
    • Counsel to steel industry trade association, providing advice on governance and antitrust issues.
  • Education

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1992
    • College of the Holy Cross, B.A., 1989


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

    • Ohio State Bar Association—Member (1992-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association—Member (1992-Present)
    • Defense Research Institute—Member (1994-2020)
    • American Arbitration Association—Expedited Commercial Panelist (2011-Present)
    • ALFA International, Business Litigation —Steering Committee
    • Metals Service Center Institute, Northern Ohio Chapter—Counsel (2016-Present)

    Community Involvement

    • Cleveland Leadership Center, Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2017)
    • Leadership Cleveland 2 (LC2)—Fellow (2017-2018)
    • College Now Greater Cleveland —Mentor (2019-Present) 
    • West Side Catholic Center—President of the Board of Directors (2017-2018); Board of Directors (2013-2018; 2021-Present); Various committees (2012-Present); Volunteer (2003-Present)
    • Gesu Parish—Parish Pastoral Council (2018-Present); Finance Council (2012-2018); Athletic Advisory Committee (2011-Present)
    • The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland—Volunteer Attorney (2011-Present)
    • Supreme Court of Ohio, Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program—Mentor (2014-2015)
    • John Carroll University Entrepreneurs Association—Member (2014-2016)
    • Kinship Caregiver Legal Assistance Workshop—Volunteer Attorney (2014-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 3Rs Program—10th Grade Social Studies Instructor (subjects related to law and the Constitution)
    • Named to Chambers USA: A Guide to Leading Lawyers in Business in the area of Litigation: General Commercial (2022-2023)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Commercial Litigation (2015-2024)
    • Our Lady of the Wayside Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year, Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service (2018)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2019-2024)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyes Rising Star list (2005-2007)
    • “Legal and Practical Considerations for Search Consultants,” The Network of Nonprofit Search Consultants Fall Meeting (October 2023)
    • "Litigation Considerations in Internal and External Investigation," The Institute of Internal Auditors Northeast Chapter "NEO Fraud Day" (February 2023)
    • "Terms and Conditions with a Specific Focus on Force Majeure Clauses in Today's Environment," (Co-Presenter) Frantz Ward ACC Seminar (August 2022)
    • "Ask the Expert: Getting Back to Business in the COVID-19 World," Ohio Staffing and Search Association Annual Conference, Webinar (June 2020) 
    • "COVID Commentary: Back to Business - Part 2: Resuming Your Business Operations," Frantz Ward Webinar (April 2020)
    • “COVID Commentary: Back to Business – Returning to the Workplace in the COVID-19 World,” Frantz Ward Webinar (April 2020)
    • "Contractual and Workforce Issues Related to the Coronavirus Outbreak," Construction Employers Association (CEA) Webinar (March 2020) 
    • "Exploring Non-Competes, Restrictive Covenants and Employment Agreements," Ohio Staffing and Search Association Webinar (October 2019) 
    • "Navigating a Business Divorce," Frantz Ward Litigation Seminar, Cleveland, OH (September 2019)
    • "Protecting Your Confidential Information - Best Practices for Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements," Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (September 2018)
    • “Effective Communication During Crisis Events,” Panelist, Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (November 2017)
    • "Negotiating Key Contract Terms and Conditions," Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (June 2017)
    • "Best Practices for Preparing and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants," St. Louis, MO (May 2017)
    • “Protecting Your Confidential Information—Best Practices for Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, Webinar (June 2016)
    • “Minimizing Risk and Improving Litigation Readiness: How to Better Prepare Your Company for Litigation,” Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (October 2015)
    • “Best Practices for Medical Spa Contracting—Preventive Medicine in Order to Avoid Disputes,” American Med Spa Association, Cleveland, OH (October 2015)
    • “Avoiding the Runaway Train: How to Effectively Manage Your Company’s Litigation Costs,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, Cleveland, OH (November 2014)
    • “Managing Litigation Costs,” Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (February 2013)
    • “Record Retention in the Age of Electronic Discovery,” Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (June 2012)
    • “A Collection of Closing Arguments: Your Last Stand,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Convention (May 2012)