Trial Experience Makes a Difference
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure definitely applies to commercial disagreements. But in today’s business climate, most business will almost certainly need either to initiate or to defend litigation at some point. When that time comes, experienced business trial counsel is a must. And yes, there is a difference between litigation experience and actual trial experience. The clear statistical trend is that fewer and fewer business trials are being conducted and that means fewer business lawyers are obtaining the valuable experience necessary to properly represent companies in litigation.
Trials involving business disputes are not like the sensationalized dramas on TV programs or in the movies. They require meticulous preparation, attention to detail and, particularly when a jury is involved, a completely different psychological approach. The John W. Becker Law Firm has business trial experience with exactly the types of cases that involve large numbers of paper documents and where the witness testimony is by accountants, salespeople and corporate officers; cases in which the crucial issues that a jury must understand involve contracts, purchase orders, invoices, etc., and most importantly, money.
Professional Experience Details
John has over 20 years of law practice experience, focusing on disputes and litigation. Formerly a partner with the large Akron-based law firm Roetzel & Andress, he spent 12 years as a member of the Business Litigation Group with frequent cross-over work with both the Real Estate and Creditor’s Rights Practice Groups. He subsequently joined a corporate legal department managing the nationwide litigation docket for a local holding company, which included coordinating the defense of numerous class action lawsuits. He opened The John W. Becker Law Firm, LLC, in March of 2012.
John has extensive business/commercial law experience serving as lead trial counsel in matters ranging from business torts to general contract and sales disputes, employment, construction and intellectual property, as well as real estate. His real estate experience includes regular representation of landlords and tenants in an array of commercial real estate lease disputes and litigation, including representing large property management companies with shopping center portfolios, a national drug store chain’s surplus real estate division, a condominium association board, developers, surveyors, and other real property owners. He has also served as lead trial counsel representing banks, mortgage lenders and servicers in state and federal court in litigation involving residential mortgage lending and lender liability issues as well as commercial litigation involving business loan disputes.
Some other representative trial experience includes:
- Jury trial representing a metal fastener distributor enforcing contractual rights against a customer refusing to complete the purchase of 9 million custom parts. Obtained jury verdict in favor of client and successfully preserved the verdict on appeal. See NSK Industries, Inc. v. Bayloff Stamped Products Kinsman, Inc., 9th Dist. Summit No. 24777, 2010-Ohio-1171.
- Bench trial defending a marketing company against a former employee’s claims seeking severance pay pursuant to an employment agreement that was terminated for cause.
- Jury trial defending a nationally chartered regional bank against conversion and breach of contract claims involving the pledge of a corporate certificate of deposit as security for a loan and the bank’s subsequent application of the proceeds of the CD to pay off the loan upon default.
- Jury trial defending a leading national mortgage lender accused of statutory violations, breach of contract and tort in connection with the lender’s foreclosure on real estate and collection of a short-term “gap” loan after customer default.
- Trial defense of a premier regional business airport in a commercial leasing dispute with a fixed base operation hangar tenant over the interpretation of an exclusivity clause in the lease regarding maintenance performed by owners/operators of aircraft.
- Bench trial defending bank involving the right of banks to charge-back accounts of customers under the UCC and account agreements: See Chitty v. Bank One (July 5, 2000), Ohio App. 9th Dist., 2000 WL 877822, appeal not allowed, 90 Ohio St.3d 1472; also published at 422 Rep. Serv.2d 799.