We’re not just solutions driven, we’re “practical” solutions driven. The proof is in the case studies below, which showcase a portfolio of our team’s successes and some of our defining moments. Browse through them and you’ll find recent victories and favorable settlements, as well as a few industry-defining and landmark cases.
Truth is Successful Defense for Racehorse Rescue Activist in Defamation Lawsuit
Isaac Wiles provided a successful pro bono defense of a thoroughbred rescue activist, who found that her passionate advocacy for retired racehorses is not without risk.
When she discovered a horse in the kill pen with a telltale lip tattoo, she traced it back to a breeder and trainer who races horses in northern Ohio. Many tracks have agreements with racehorse owners stipulating that horses will not be sent to slaughter after their racing days are over. She reported it to the track, which barred the breeder from racing there.
The activist also asked the breeder for money for veterinary care. He denied that he had sent the horse to the kill pen and claimed she was extorting money by threatening to ruin his reputation. She took the case to social media to raise awareness of the horse’s plight. The breeder took her and the racetrack to court.
The extortion claim was quickly dismissed, and Isaac Wiles partner Maribeth Meluch argued in U.S. District Court that defamation and false light claims were baseless because the activist spoke the truth. The court agreed, granting summary judgment on the track and activist’s motion and bringing the case to a close.
Sheriff’s Documentation Overcomes ‘He Said, She Said’ Claims in Discrimination, Harassment Lawsuit
In workplace discrimination lawsuits built on “he said, she said” accusations, male defendants often find it difficult to prevail. The keys for a favorable outcome are demonstrating credibility for the defendant’s side of the story and providing careful documentation of all aspects surrounding a harassment claim.
Isaac Wiles partner Maribeth Meluch and associate David Moser demonstrated the importance of these approaches as they successfully defended a county sheriff’s office from a discrimination lawsuit by one of its employees. A female deputy claimed she was sexually harassed by a fellow deputy and then unjustly fired from her job. The acting sheriff said in her termination letter that she failed to satisfactorily complete her probationary period. The firing was the female deputy’s third law-enforcement job lost in five years and coincided with a pattern of workplace harassment claims she had made against her employers. The defense provided a long line of supportive witnesses and documentation that undermined the plaintiff’s stories. The Isaac Wiles team helped to get the wrongful termination claim, based on sex discrimination, dismissed on summary judgment.
After a three-day jury trial in federal court on hostile work environment and retaliation claims, the jury unanimously sided on behalf of the sheriff’s office. The case provides an important reminder for employers: Claims of hostile work environments and sexual harassment should be taken seriously, and employers should document conversations with employees and steps taken to address accusations. Failing to address employee complaints when they happen can have severe consequences if a case goes to court.
New project uses king grass and eucalyptus plants to provide electricity to underserved areas.
Isaac Wiles represented the developer of a renewable energy project in Honduras in Central America. The system generates electricity by creating methane by processing king grass and eucalyptus plants in anaerobic digesters. Isaac Wiles is also paving the way for the same client to do a similar project for the US Virgin Islands.
After a nine-day hearing, court rules that daughter can stay in Ohio
A child’s father, an Isaac Wiles client, was locked in an interstate custody dispute with the mother, a Colorado resident. The ruling came down in favor of the father.
Over a course of a nine-day hearing, the evidence revealed a pattern and practice of the mother’s attempts to keep their daughter from her father, the daughter not performing well in school while in the mother’s care, and an overall lack of appreciation by the mother for father’s role in his daughter’s life.
After the ruling, the child’s mother chose not to appeal.
Ruling in favor of husband comes despite multiple challenges
Isaac Wiles provided stalwart representation for a husband who sued for divorce. After his wife ignored the Complaint, the husband was granted an uncontested divorce at the final hearing. When the now ex-wife re-appeared to challenge the divorce, it was affirmed in a hearing before the trial court. When the wife appealed the ruling, Isaac Wiles attorneys argued vigorously before the Tenth District Court of Appeals, and the trial court’ s decision was upheld.
Issues included business valuation, custody of minor children, spousal and child support, and separate property tracing
Isaac Wiles successfully represented a wife in an unusually complex divorce case. In dispute were a variety of custody and support matters, as well as intricate business interests and the division of property. The case went to trial for 7 days, and involved numerous expert witnesses. The result was a successful outcome, as neither party appealed the trial court’s decision.
Isaac Wiles client can defend against increase after decision by Tenth District Court of Appeals
Isaac Wiles successfully argued before the Tenth District Court of Appeals that spousal support may not be modified upwards without first giving the payer the opportunity to defend against the increase.
Our client’s ex-wife, the support recipient, never asked the court for an increase in spousal support, only arguing against a decrease. In the trial court’s decision, spousal support was retroactively increased for one year.
On appeal, the appellate court reversed the increase, ruling that the husband was not afforded “due process” because the issue of support increase was never raised at the trial level, negating any opportunity to defend against it.
Ruling for Isaac Wiles client came after a two-day trial
Recently, Isaac Wiles successfully represented a wife in a divorce case in a dispute over spousal support. Married for 27 years, both parties had resolved all other financial issues but were far apart on the support duration. During the status conferences with the Judge, the wife indicated that she would agree that the support could be terminated after 9 years, but the husband was adamant about a 6-year time frame. After a short two-day trial, the court ordered the husband to pay spousal support indefinitely.
County government employee had alleged allergies were not accommodated
In federal court, Isaac Wiles successfully defended a county department of job and family services against an employee who sued alleging that her allergies had not been accommodated. The employee claimed that as a result of her allergies, she could not work in her newly assigned workspace or perform several of her prior duties. The employee also alleged retaliation when taking leave due to her allergies. The court determined that the employer properly accommodated the employee’s allergies and otherwise had legitimate reasons for all of the actions it took, issuing judgment in favor of the employer.
No finding of violation found in alleged data theft
Isaac Wiles worked successfully for a dismissal on behalf of a former employee charged with violations of Federal RICO and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The defendant was alleged to have stolen customer data and provided them to a new business partner. The dismissal was granted in the Southern District court.
Complaint had alleged fraud, CSPA violations, breach of warranty and negligence
Isaac Wiles successfully defended a 2012 complaint filed against a luxury homebuilder. The allegations were of fraud, CSPA violation, breach of warranty and negligence. A $50,000 settlement offer was declined, and the case went to trial recently in Ashtabula County. After eight days of trial, the jury ruled for the defense on all claims.
Statute tested when rider sued trainer for serious injuries during jumping lesson
Isaac Wiles provided ongoing advice, consultation and assistance in a personal injury case and insurance coverage case. Plaintiffs argued that a trainer had no protection under the Ohio Equine Immunity Statute without a written release, and regardless, was guilty of wanton and willful conduct making the Statute’s protections inapplicable. The case was settled, leaving the question of whether you need a written release under the Immunity Statute for another day.
Ruling seen as a win for local government entities throughout Ohio
Public bodies sometimes struggle to do business when privacy is warranted during deliberations. In this case, a school board had to consider the dismissal of an employee who was accused of data-rigging to falsely enhance the district’s performance.
The board met in a closed executive session to consider the dismissal, despite an open meetings law requiring boards to meet publically when asked by the employee. The employee had requested a public meeting and the board refused.
Isaac Wiles filed a brief on behalf of the Ohio School Boards Association arguing that the board could meet in private to deliberate because the employee had no right to require a public hearing on his firing. The court ruled in favor of the Association, and as a result, public employers run by boards, including counties and townships and cities, may deliberate privately before deciding whether to discipline an employee.
Detailed study demonstrates urgent need to community to facilitate growth and quality of life
In 2012, as the real estate market began to heal, Isaac Wiles real estate attorneys recognized that regional sewer infrastructure was not being planned and funded to support commercial and residential growth opportunities in key portions of Delaware County.
It was a classic disconnect between the returning private development market demand and the lack of governmental infrastructure necessary to fulfill such demand. It was clear the coming demand would need to be demonstrated, quantified and documented to attract support for the necessary public and private investment.
Through the leadership of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio and in coordination with several private developer clients, Issac Wiles lawyers worked with public policy researcher and economist Dr. Howard Fleeter to produce the “Estimated Economic Impact of the Sawmill Parkway Corridor in Liberty Township, Delaware County.” The study was done in cooperation with the Delaware County Commissioners, the County Regional Sewer District and Liberty Township leaders.
The study quantified the positive impact that an investment by the county of approximately $5 million in main line sewer infrastructure to open the Sawmill Parkway Corridor, including increases in property values, new county sewer revenues, and job growth.
Forensic accountant found questionable transfer of assets
Isaac Wiles successfully reached a settlement with a debtor on behalf of a creditor client after registering a sizeable judgment that was issued overseas in the Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio. The debtor attempted to defeat the judgment registration, but the Court ruled in our client’s favor and the judgment was entered here. In the process of executing on the judgment, a forensic accountant was hired and found questionable asset transfers. In response, Isaac Wiles brought a separate action for fraudulent transfers on behalf of our client, which ultimately led to an advantageous settlement.