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MRR Attorneys Frank Scialdone and Todd Raskin Chalk up an Appellate Court Win for Chester Township

Todd Raskin

Frank Scialdone

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder (“MRR”) attorneys Todd Raskin and Frank Scialdone earned a unanimous appellate decision in favor of an Ohio township that had been improperly subjected to a probate court’s authority.

Ohio’s Eleventh District Court of Appeals reversed and vacated the Geauga County Probate Court’s ruling that invalidated a contractual agreement between a park district and Chester Township. In re Creation of Park Dist. Within Chester Twp., 2017-Ohio-4031. The agreement defined the scope of the park district’s involvement with the township’s park lands. The Eleventh District also rejected the probate court’s imposition of costs on the township for the probate court’s use of a master commissioner that consulted with a park district on allegations of financial misconduct. MRR founding partner Todd Raskin and partner Frank Scialdone handled the case on behalf of MRR’s client, Chester Township.

The heart of the case involved whether the probate court had jurisdiction over Chester Township. Probate Court Judge Timothy Grendell had initially invoked the probate court’s “continuing jurisdiction” over the township based on its role in the creation of the park district in the early 1980s. In 1984, the Chester Township Board of Trustees (“Trustees”) had applied to create the Chester Township Park District (the “Park District”) in the probate court. The primary question on appeal was: Did the probate court maintain jurisdiction over the Trustees and the township as a political entity either through the exercise of its plenary power to enforce the terms of the 1984 order creating the Park District or, otherwise, through the probate court’s continuing jurisdiction over the Park District as provided in R.C. Chapter 1545.

The unanimous Eleventh District answered that question with a resounding no. The appellate court agreed with MRR’s arguments that the probate court exceeded its jurisdiction.

In this unique and complex matter, MRR’s Raskin and Scialdone asserted that probate courts have sharply limited responsibilities over Chapter 1545 park districts. In accord with MRR’s arguments, the Eleventh District held that there are no statutory provisions allowing a probate court “a general supervisory power over park district matters or [] any additional jurisdiction over a party or entity other than the park district’s board of commissioners.”

The probate court’s effort to exercise broad jurisdiction over non-parties (the Township) was in part based on the court’s mistaken belief that it had “plenary power,” or complete power, over these matters.  MRR asserted, and the Eleventh District held, that while “plenary power” exists in some instances not applicable to the present dispute, those matters must still be “properly before the Court” or based on a statutory grant of jurisdiction.  The probate court exceeded its jurisdiction when it tried to interfere with and alter the terms of a contract entered into between the Trustees and the Park District, an agreement between two independent public entities that had been in force for decades. The Eleventh District rejected the probate court’s belief that the 1984 order gave it continuing authority. The 30-plus-year-old order did not impose any duties on the Township and the appellate court explained “there are no terms of that order to be enforced in perpetuity.”

The probate court also attempted to impose on the Township a portion of the almost $40,000 in fees of the “master commissioner” who the probate court used to investigate the conduct of the Park District Commissioners.  The Eleventh District expressly rejected the imposition of fees because the probate court did not have jurisdiction.

After reviewing extensive briefing and hearing oral argument, the Eleventh District concluded that Chester Township was “not a party over which the probate court has continuing jurisdiction – the township has no authority to remove or appoint any of the Commissioners. The master commissioner’s fees imposed as costs against the township were improper.”

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Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Announces 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A., today announced that seven of its Ohio-based attorneys have been selected to the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. In the firm’s Cleveland office, Todd Raskin, John McLandrich, and Frank Scialdone were named to the Super Lawyers list, while Tami Hannon and Cara Wright were included in the ranks of Rising Stars. In the Columbus office, Doug Holthus earned Super Lawyers honors and Stacy Pollock was named a Rising Star. Each year, no more than five percent of lawyers in the state are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more 2.5 percent are selected to the Rising Stars list.

Todd M. Todd RaskinRaskin is a founding partner of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder, Co., L.P.A., and is based in the firm’s Cleveland office. He has a diverse legal practice with an emphasis on civil rights and government liability defense, as well as the defense of employers, both public and private. He has tried more than 100 cases to conclusion in 35 years of private practice in many courts throughout Ohio and the Midwest and is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, and the Litigation Counsel of America. Todd earned his Super Lawyer rating for his work in State, Local & Municipal Law, Employment Litigation: Defense, and Professional Liability: Defense.

 

John McLandrichJohn T. McLandrich is a partner and Chairman of the Board. John’s practice focuses on the representation of municipalities, including defending cases on behalf of police and public entities accused of violations of civil rights and in employment matters. For over 28 years he has handled matters including claims of jail suicide, police pursuit, false arrest, excessive force by police officers, and failure to properly train police officers. He has represented civil defendants in federal and state courts throughout Ohio, serving as lead trial counsel. He has represented clients in class action matters, including municipalities relating to class action sewer cases. His appellate experience consists of handling and arguing matters before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has argued over 100 cases, as well as hundreds of cases before many of Ohio’s Courts of Appeal, including the Ohio Supreme Court, where he has won eight favorable decisions. John earned his Super Lawyer rating for his work in Appellate Law, State, Local & Municipal Law, and Civil Rights Law.

 

Doug HolthusDoug Holthus is listed as a Super Lawyer for his work in Civil Litigation: Defense, Employment Litigation: Defense, Construction Litigation, and Civil Rights Law. His primary areas of focus are professional negligence defense, civil rights and government liability, corporate law, employment, and general liability matters. He has tried, advocated and or arbitrated nearly one hundred cases before civil juries, administrative licensing (and other) boards and arbitration panels throughout Ohio (and California), in both state and federal court. Among other professional and civic activities, Doug is immediate past-Chair of the Columbus Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee (by appointment) and is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Liability Defense Federation.

 

Frank SciadoneFrank H. Scialdone is a partner in the firm’s Cleveland office and focuses his practice on appellate advocacy in state and federal courts with an emphasis on employment law, constitutional torts (Section 1983), public entity defense, and insurance defense. He has handled more than 200 appellate cases in the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio’s intermediate appellate district courts, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He routinely consults with trial attorneys on error preservation and pre-appeal strategy. Frank has prosecuted and defended original actions (e.g., mandamus, prohibition, etc.) and has submitted amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of clients and organizations. Frank is also one of the first attorneys to be certified as a specialist in appellate law by the Ohio State Bar Association. He is listed as Super Lawyer in the categories of Appellate Law, State, Local & Municipal Law, and Civil Rights Law.

 

Tami HannnonTami Zupkow Hannon is a partner in the firm’s Cleveland office and is a listed Rising Star in State, Local & Municipal Law, Employment Litigation: Defense, and Civil Litigation: Defense. She focuses her practice on defending governmental entities, their employees and elected and appointed officials, particularly those in law enforcement and corrections. Tami also practices extensively in the field of employment law, providing personalized and comprehensive guidance to address not only the direct employment issue at hand but also the larger civil liability context. In addition to providing guidance during the critical decision making process, Ms. Hannon assists in later defending decisions should they be challenged before the courts or an administrative agency. She also provides timely and personalized training in various employment matters, and has experience under the ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, Title VII, and their state-law counterparts.

 

Stacy V. Pollock, an associate in the firm’s Columbus office, focuses her practice on employment and labor law and has been a certified Professional in Human Resources since 2013. She advises public and private employers in matters involving leave and discipline issues, personnel policy matters, and labor negotiations and arbitrations. 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. Stacy also has considerable experience in education law, representing schools and school administrators in matters involving employee and student discipline. Stacy is listed as a Rising Star for her work in Employment & Labor Law and Workers’ Compensation Law.

 

Cara WrightCara M. Wright, a Cleveland associate, represents counties, municipalities, and their employees in a variety of cases, including claims related to alleged violations of the United States Constitution, violations of Ohio’s public record laws, and state law tort claims. She has successfully defended clients in cases involving the use of deadly force, jail suicides, and claims that inmates were provided inadequate medical care while incarcerated in county jails. Cara also represents public and private employers in cases alleging employment discrimination. Additionally, her experience includes representing professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, behavioral health specialists, accountants and attorneys, in claims of professional negligence. In addition to her representation of clients in state and federal court, she has also appeared in cases before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Cara earned the designation of Rising Star for State, Local & Municipal Law.

Super Lawyers and Rising Stars have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

Raskin, McLandrich, and Pollock Named to 2017 “The Best Lawyers in America”© List

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. (MRR) is pleased to announce that three attorneys have been named to the 2017 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 Todd M. Raskin (Civil Rights Law), John T. McLandrich (Civil Rights Law) and Stacy V. Pollock (Education Law) for being named among The Best Lawyers in America© for 2017.

 

Todd Raskin is a founding partner of MRR and has tried more than 100 cases to conclusion in 35 years of private practice. His diverse practice focuses on civil rights and government liability defense, as well as the defense of both public and private employers. He has defended clients in state and federal courts throughout Ohio and surrounding states, including in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court.

 

 

 

John McLandrich

 

John McLandrich, MRR’s Chairman of the Board, has defended civil claims in federal and state courts throughout Ohio for more than 25 years. He has also served as lead counsel on over 100 public entity appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court.

Both Todd and John have consistently been named Best Lawyers® for Civil Rights law, in addition to each being selected as “Lawyer of The Year” by Best Lawyers® for Civil Rights Law in Cleveland, Ohio—John in 2014 and Todd in both 2013 and 2017.

 

 

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Stacy Pollock, is named a Best Lawyer® for her work in Education Law. She is a Certified Professional in Human Resources who represents and advises public and private employers in labor and workers’ compensation matters, including schools and school administrators.

 

 

 

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.

 

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News Release: MRR attorneys named 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

MRR is pleased to announce that two of its Ohio attorneys have been selected as 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers and another four have been named 2016 Ohio Rising Stars by Super Lawyers magazine.

The Super Lawyers selection process evaluates lawyers based upon multiple criteria, including professional achievement and peer recognition; honors and awards; firm and bar involvement and leadership; scholarship and professional writings; community service and pro bono activities; and other outstanding achievements.

“Rising Stars” are the top up-and-coming attorneys who have been practicing for no more than 10 years. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

MRR’s attorneys selected as 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers:

Cleveland: Todd M. Raskin and Frank H. Scialdone

Todd Raskin

Raskin

Frank Sciadone

Scialdone

 

 

 

 

 

 


MRR’s attorneys selected as 2016 Ohio Rising Stars:

Cleveland: Tami Z. Hannon, Mary Beth Klemencic, and Cara M. Wright.

Columbus: Stacy V. Pollock

Tami Hannnon

Hannon

Mary Beth Klemencic

Klemencic

Cara Wright

Wright

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Pollock

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Three MRR Attorneys Named to 2016 “Best Lawyers in America” List

2016 Best Lawyers firm logoMRR is pleased to announce that three attorneys have been named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review 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 Todd M. Raskin (Civil Rights law), John T. McLandrich (Civil Rights law) and Stacy V. Pollock (Education law) for being named among the Best Lawyers in America for 2016.

Todd Raskin is a founding partner of MRR and has tried more than 100 cases to conclusion in 35 years of private practice. His diverse practice focuses on civil rights and government liability defense, as well as the defense of both public and private employers. He has defended clients in state and federal courts throughout Ohio and surrounding states, including in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court.

John McLandrich, MRR’s Chairman of the Board, has defended civil claims in federal and state courts throughout Ohio for more than 25 years. He has also served as lead counsel on over 100 public entity appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Both Todd and John have consistently been selected Best Lawyers for Civil Rights law, in addition to each being selected as “Lawyer of The Year” by Best Lawyers in America for Civil Rights law in Cleveland, Ohio, respectively, in 2013 and 2014.

Stacy Pollock, a first-time recipient, is an associate in MRR’s Columbus office selected for her work in Education law. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources who represents and advises public and private employers in labor and workers’ compensation matters, including schools and school administrators.

About Best Lawyers®
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). For more information, visit bestlawyers.com.