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Co-Editors
    Scott J. Stitt Partner

    Scott Stitt’s national litigation practice focuses on three overlapping areas: ERISA and employee benefits disputes, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) matters, and business and employment litigation.

    Scott chairs both the Tucker Ellis ERISA Litigation and ESOP practices and is the Partner-in-Charge of the Columbus office.

    As lead trial counsel, Scott has represented corporations, ESOP and defined benefit plan trustees, physicians and medical practice groups, Fortune 500 companies, and individuals in complex class-action litigation in Ohio, New York, Illinois, California, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, and other jurisdictions.

    Scott’s ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes ERISA criminal and civil disputes; DOL and IRS audits and investigations; benefit claim disputes; breach of fiduciary duty claims regarding issues such as defined benefit plan collections and calculations and the fees incurred in 401(k) plans; alleged prohibited transactions; and executive compensation issues, such as disputes regarding bonuses and deferred compensation.

    Scott’s extensive ESOP experience includes representing ESOP trustees, selling shareholders, ESOP companies and Boards of Directors, private equity firms that have purchased ESOP-owned companies, ESOP valuation firms, and other ESOP professionals as litigation counsel and sometimes special counsel in scenarios including ESOP purchases, ESOP sales, administrative disputes, litigation filed by the DOL, class-action litigation filed by participants, and special investigations, among others.

    Scott also litigates employment and business disputes in state and federal courts, including claims for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, product liability claims, claims for accounting or legal malpractice, and disputes over the value of privately held businesses and other assets.

    Ranked in Chambers USA in the area of Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio), clients comment that Scott is "a great litigator" and "extremely knowledgeable, efficient and practical, and his response time is very quick."

    Scott and his wife Aimee reside in Powell, Ohio, with their golden retriever Pippa.

Contributors
    Corine R. Corpora Counsel

    Corine Corpora has been serving the employee benefits community for over 25 years.

    Corine’s client service experience includes representing all sizes of privately and publicly held organizations in the manufacturing, health care, financial, food and beverage, and entertainment industries, among others. She counsels clients with respect to qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, welfare and fringe benefit plans, and executive compensation, as well as incentive and stock-based compensation and rewards programs. She also advises clients on the complex rules governing employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), represents diverse parties in ESOP corporate transactions, and counsels several wholly and partially ESOP-owned clients. Corine works directly with corporate executives and senior human resource and benefits personnel, as well as clients’ accountants, actuaries, and other service providers to resolve corporate and benefits-related issues in an effective, efficient, and understandable manner. Corine also assists clients with mergers and acquisitions, various corporate governance and financial matters, and serves as counsel to various Board committees.

    Chambers USA-ranked in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio), one client remarks that Corine is "very helpful, very collaborative and willing to listen," while another client praises her as "a wonderful practitioner, who is very responsive and provides great client service."

    Corine is proud to give back to the employee benefits community through her involvement in the Worldwide Employee Benefits (WEB) Network, a national not-for-profit organization devoted to the development and education of employee benefits professionals. At both the local and national levels, Corine is devoted to providing meaningful educational and networking opportunities to employee benefits professionals at all experience levels.

    Peter E. Jones Counsel

    Peter Jones advises business owners, companies, and fiduciaries on employee stock ownership plans, transition strategies, corporate governance, employee benefits, executive compensation, and mergers and acquisitions.

    Pete’s significant experience includes representing companies and trustees in the formation of ESOPs, the sale of ESOP-owned companies, and acquisitions undertaken by ESOP-owned companies. He also advises clients on regulatory compliance and defends them in connection with audits and investigations by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service. Active in national and regional ESOP organizations, Pete is a frequent speaker on issues related to ESOPs.

    Before joining Tucker Ellis, Pete served as a trust officer and voting member of the fiduciary committee of an institutional ESOP trustee. Tasked with leading valuation reviews and ensuring that the institution met the highest standard of care under the law, he has a practical understanding of the ERISA prudence requirement and the processes necessary to avoid non-exempt prohibited transactions.

    When not assisting clients, Pete enjoys spending time with his sons and daughters.

    John Q. Lewis Partner

    John Q. Lewis is a lead trial lawyer and strategist responsible for achieving successful results for clients in high-stakes, complex disputes throughout the world. 

    John often works on high-profile and newsworthy matters, including cases implicating clients’ most significant business interests or, for some individual clients, involving life-altering or literally life-or-death scenarios. In John’s view, no client matter is too complex to take on or too difficult to solve.

    Whatever the legal dispute, John’s litigation philosophy begins first with fully understanding the client’s dilemma. Next, he works alongside the client to outline achievable goals and outcomes that consider both business and legal interests. Then John carefully designs and executes legal strategy to accomplish pre-defined success.

    John prepares for the possibility of trial from Day One and follows through to verdict when necessary. He has secured trial wins for public and private company clients against America’s top trial lawyers in jurisdictions as far west as California, as far south as Florida, as far east as Delaware, and as far north as his home state of Ohio. But trial wins are only a fraction of John’s courtroom success for clients, as he frequently has spearheaded innovative legal strategies that have led to early pre-trial exits for clients at the motion to dismiss or summary judgment stages of litigation. In many instances, clients have achieved early or impactful victories in broader industry-wide litigation resulting in savings of millions of dollars in litigation expenses and verdicts when compared to industry competitors represented by other law firms.

    While proud of these court wins, John realizes that the price for such outcomes may be cost-prohibitive to some clients who might be better served – and still achieve their business goals – with a favorable settlement or resolution. When called upon to do so, John has delivered uniquely creative resolutions to complex disputes, including large-scale business solutions, protective court-approved class action settlements, and global resolution of all or major parts of multidistrict litigation. On multiple occasions, John successfully defended against challenges to class settlements by objectors claiming the settlements were too favorable to clients, including the U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general.

    Clients engage John on both plaintiff-side and defense-side matters. On the defense side, John co-chairs the firm’s Class Action Litigation Group and often heads up trial teams and national coordinating counsel representations in product liability, class action, and contract-related lawsuits, including those involving FDA-regulated devices and medicines, consumer products, recurring contract and property-related claims, and environmental and toxic tort actions. He also leads defense-side legal teams in one-off sophisticated commercial disputes, including transaction-related shareholder derivative and class actions, employment litigation related to non-compete and trade secret matters, professional liability and ethics-related claims, and complex supply and distribution agreement disputes.

    On the plaintiff side, John is responsible for securing tens of millions of dollars for clients and their legal departments in various types of contract and business tort matters, including joint venture, LLC and corporate governance disputes, post-closing disputes involving commercial transactions, pre-closing private equity and sophisticated shareholder class actions, professional negligence claims, trade secret and intellectual property litigation, and vendor and customer supply disputes. John co-founded the Tucker Ellis Commercial Asset Recovery & Protection group and utilizes the firm's longstanding reputation for developing cutting-edge alternative fee arrangements to create win-win scenarios for clients and the firm.

    A champion of the justice system, John dedicates a significant amount of time to community and pro bono causes. He has served on several community non-profit boards and represented numerous indigent clients, including tenants in wrongful eviction disputes and wrongfully imprisoned capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings. He has been lead or co-lead counsel in three successful Ohio death penalty matters, including obtaining release and a complete bar of reprosecution through federal court proceedings for an Ohio Death Row inmate that has captured regional and national media attention throughout the past several years.

    John serves on the Northern District of Ohio’s Advisory Group, a court-appointed committee of attorneys charged with assisting the court with implementing court-adopted programs and bringing to the court’s attention matters of interest to the bar and the community. In that capacity, he co-chairs the Access to Justice Committee and is also a member of the Civil Rules Committee.

    Ranked in Chambers USA, John is described as a "very talented lawyer" who is "very insightful and has a lot of appeal with juries."

    The proud father of three and grandfather of two, John resides in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

    Christine M. Snyder Partner

    Christine Snyder assists public and private employers in navigating complex employment laws and regulations.

    She offers employers practical, preventive advice to help them avoid employment law claims and ensure that their policies and practices comply with ever-changing federal and state labor and employment laws. She also defends employers before administrative agencies and in state and federal courts.

    Christine defends employers in litigation matters including wage and hour class actions and discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, and wrongful discharge disputes. She also has extensive experience with non-compete and trade secret litigation and representing clients in ERISA disputes, including ERISA class action matters.

    Christine conducts investigations of employee complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and defends clients in employment discrimination and sexual harassment matters. She advises large and small public and private employers on employee and manager training, and prepares policies and procedures on topics including leave, separation and severance agreements, and releases of claims, as well as non-compete agreements, social media use, drug testing, and wage and hour matters. Christine defends private employers against employee charges filed with the EEOC and the OCRC and advises clients on compliance with FMLA and ADA rules and regulations.

    Christine and her husband Bill live in Shaker Heights with their extremely spoiled Labradors Chelsea and Gunner. In her free time, she enjoys painting, traveling, and renovating her century-old home.

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