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8 Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Lawyers Named to 2020 Best Lawyers® List

MRR is pleased to announce that eight (8) lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America© list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

MRR would like to congratulate the following lawyers named to the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list:

Elisabeth “Lisa” Gentile (Columbus), Medical Malpractice – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; and Transportation Law

Doug Holthus (Columbus), Commercial Litigation; and Insurance Law

Thomas S. Mazanec (Cleveland), Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

John T. McLandrich (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. (Cleveland), Transportation Law

George V. Pilat (Cleveland), Insurance Law

Stacy V. Pollock (Columbus), Education Law

Todd M. Raskin (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law – Lawyer of the Year

Joe Nicholas Named 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Transportation Law by Best Lawyers

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA (MRR) is proud to announce that attorney Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. has been chosen Cleveland’s 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in Transportation Law by Best Lawyers. Only one lawyer in each practice area from each of the major metropolitan areas in Ohio is honored as “Lawyer of the Year.” Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting thousands of confidential peer-review surveys. Lawyers honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings by earning the respect of their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Joe is President and Managing Partner of MRR, which has offices in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, and Lexington, Kentucky. He has a diverse legal practice with an emphasis on handling commercial trucking (long haul and short haul) and commercial coach carrier matters. His practice also includes the defense of professionals including lawyers, accountants, doctors, dentists, architects and insurance agents and brokers throughout his career.

In addition, he has significant experience litigating bad faith claims as well as defending various third-party matters, including general liability, product liability and construction defects. Joe has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and was also selected as a Best Lawyer in America for Transportation Law in 2018.

Prior to being named President and Managing Partner in 2012, Joe served as the firm’s Administrative Partner of its Cleveland office from 2000-2012.

Active in a number of professional organizations, he is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association; the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; the Professional Liability Defense Federation (Past Chair of Insurance Agents & Brokers Committee); Claims and Litigation Management Alliance; the Trucking Industry and Defense Association; and Your House Counsel, in which he currently serves as the Group Chair.

MRR Attorneys named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America® list

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA (MRR) is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been named to the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America© list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise.

MRR would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list:

Todd M. Raskin (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

John T. McLandrich (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

Thomas S. Mazanec (Cleveland), Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. (Cleveland), Transportation Law

George V. Pilat (Cleveland), Insurance Law

Elisabeth “Lisa” Gentile (Columbus), Medical Malpractice – Defendants

Stacy V. Pollock (Columbus), Education Law

 

About Best Lawyers®

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 12 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” For more information, visit bestlawyers.com.

Liability for Cruel and Unusual…Driving? The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Weighs In…

By: Ami Imbrogno & Tami Hannon

Deputies and corrections officers are faced with many situations and decisions which potentially expose them to liability.  They are required to make split second decisions on whether and how much force to use.  They are required to evaluate whether there is a good basis to arrest someone.  Based on new law from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, they are also now potentially liable to those in their custody for allegations of reckless driving.

In Scott v. Becher, a prisoner brought various constitutional claims surrounding injuries he allegedly sustained during a transfer to another facility.  Specifically, Scott alleged that the transportation officer drove over the speed limit, swerved, and “laughed and accelerated” in response to inmates’ pleas to him to slow down.  Scott plead in his complaint that, as a result of Becher’s reckless driving, the bus hit a bump, became airborne, and threw Scott into the air, allegedly causing him injury to his head, neck, and back.  He alleged that the reckless driving constituted a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and was deliberately indifferent to his safety.

The officer defended on the basis that he was entitled to qualified immunity – that is, he may only be held liable in civil suits for civil rights violations if they violate a plaintiff’s clearly established Constitutional right.  While courts in other circuits have considered whether reckless driving states a viable claim, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had not weighed in on this issue. First, the Court found that a claim of reckless driving would constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment as “a ‘rough ride’ is a particularly cruel means of punishment.”  The Court then went on to find that the officer had “fair warning” from other courts that his actions may be improper such that he was not entitled to qualified immunity despite the Court never before addressing this question.  Specifically, the Court found that “in light of the obviousness of the constitutional violation, Becher could not reasonably have believed that driving recklessly while Scott and the other prisoners were not wearing seatbelts was lawful.”

Scott also claimed that the officer violated his Constitutional rights after he sustained the injury by taking him to the destination prison instead of directly to a hospital, despite Scott’s requests for immediate medical attention.  However, the Court of Appeals agreed that Becher was entitled to qualified immunity on the deliberate indifference to medical needs claim.  It stated “we cannot say that any reasonable officer would have known that the Constitution required Becher to drive the prison bus immediately to the hospital.”

In light of this, law enforcement officials should ensure that they are properly training their officers on vehicle operations, and safely securing inmates or passengers during transport.  Discipline should be issued for improper driving or violations of the policy.


For more information or questions regarding this article, contact Ami Imbrogno at aimbrogno@mrrlaw.com or Tami Hannon at thannon@mrrlaw.com.

Ami Imbrogno

Tami Hannon

Stacy Pollock to present “Texts, Tweets, and Tags – A Look at Public Officials’ Digital Communication” at OHPELRA’s Annual Training Conference on February 6, 2018

MRR Columbus Partner Stacy V. Pollock will present “Texts, Tweets, and Tags – A Look at Public Officials’ Digital Communications” at the 34th Annual OHPELRA Training Conference in Columbus on February 6, 2018.

Stacy is a certified Specialist in Employment and Labor law and a certified Professional in Human Resources. She advises public and private employers in matters involving leave and discipline issues, personnel policy matters and labor negotiations and arbitrations. When necessary, she defends them in state and federal court. She has experience representing clients before various governmental administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the State Personnel Board of Review, the State Employment Relations Board and the Ohio Department of Education. Ms. Pollock regularly speaks to the OHPELRA membership at trainings and seminars throughout the year.