Brian M. Zets

Managing Partner

Phone: 614.221.2121
Direct Line: 614.221.2121
Fax: 614.365.9516


Kelli Lady

about Brian M. Zets

Brian serves as the Chair of the Automotive/Motorsport Practice Group and Chair of the Public Law Practice Group.

In his personal and professional life, Brian has a passion for all things automotive and motorsport. Whether it’s classic muscle or collector cars, the NHRA, corporate sponsorship, or the companies that supply aftermarket high-performance parts, like JEGS Automotive, Brian is an enthusiast and understands the industry. Brian has experience with drafting contracts, sponsorship agreements, and employment agreements. He also represents these clients in complex litigation and helps them navigate thru regulatory matters across the country.

In 2016, as Ohio became the next state to legalize medical marijuana, Brian began watching the rules develop and followed closely as the Medical Marijuana Control Program came into focus. He has spoken many times to various groups about all aspects of medical marijuana – from zoning issues to employment matters to licensure. Being at the forefront of this growing industry, Brian has the experience and knowledge necessary to help his numerous cultivator and dispensary clients succeed in the industry. Whether it is actual litigation or administrative hearings, Brian provides trusted advice and representation to the medical marijuana industry.

When not helping his private sector clients be successful, Brian works equally as hard in the public sector. He serves as Law Director for the City of Pataskala, Legal Advisor for two townships – Washington Township and Orange Township, and as Solicitor for a number of villages, including the Villages of Shawnee Hills, Thurston, Kirkersville, Thornville, Glenford, Brice, South Salem, Bremen, and North Baltimore. And, he has been retained as special counsel by the Cities of Upper Arlington, Gahanna, Groveport, Newark, and Wilmington. Brian has skillfully handled, and often lectures on, legal matters in the areas of municipal contracts, water and sanitary sewer agreements, zoning and land use, annexation, eminent domain, public meetings and public records law, administrative appeals, Mayor’s Court and municipal court prosecution, police liability, as well as Section 1983 and state tort litigation.

As a litigator, Brian has tried numerous state and federal bench and jury trials and has appeared before several administrative agencies, including the PUCO, the Board of Tax Appeals, and the Board of Revisions.  He has argued numerous appeals before the Tenth District and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Ohio Supreme Court.



education & admissions


  • Juris Doctorate, 1996; The University of Toledo College of Law
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 1993; The Ohio State University

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio, 1996
  • United States District Court – Northern District of Ohio, 1996
  • United States District Court – Southern District of Ohio, 1996
  • United States Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit, 1997

articles & presentations


  • HB 172 – the Fireworks Bill, Ohio Township News, January/February 2022
  • “Your BZA Better (Thoroughly) Discuss those Duncan Factors”, Isaac Wiles Blog April 2021
  • “If It’s Part of the Sidewalk, You Are Immune”, Isaac Wiles Blog, October 2020
  • “HB 197; Opening Up an Already Open Meeting,” Isaac Wiles Blog, April 2020
  • “Social Distancing and the Open Meetings Act; Can They Co-Exist?”, Isaac Wiles Blog, March 2020
  • “The Motion Matters – What is an Acceptable Purpose Under R.C. 121.22(G)(1)?,” Isaac Wiles Blog, January 3, 2020
  • “Watch What You Say; Statements Made After County Terminated Employee, Are NOT Immune from Liability,” Isaac Wiles Blog, August 6, 2019
  • “Chalking Tires Determined to be an Unreasonable Search,” Isaac Wiles Blog, August 6, 2019
  • “New Year, New Council; Same Old Executive Session Mistakes,” Isaac Wiles Blog, January 30, 2019
  • “New Credit Card Rules for Political Subdivisions,” Isaac Wiles Blog, September 14, 2018
  • “Township Cemetery Law: What You Are Dying to Know,” Ohio Township News, September/October 2018
  • “On-line Retail Sales Have Changed Forever,” Isaac Wiles Blog, June 25, 2018
  • “Summertime Hiring – Be Careful of These Pitfalls,” Ohio Township News, May/June 2018
  • “Knock-and-Announce Violation Does Not Mean Evidence Is Excluded”, Isaac Wiles Blog, March 12, 2018
  • “Medical Marijuana Cultivator License List Sparks Lawsuit,” Isaac Wiles Blog, January 4, 2018
  • “High School’s Protocol Requiring Searches of Unattended Book Bags Affirmed as Reasonable and Constitutional,” Isaac Wiles Blog, June 2, 2017
  • “What State’s Medical Marijuana Law Means for Ohio Employers,” Columbus Business First, February 2017
  • “Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law,” Ohio Township News, November/December 2016
  • “Pre-Suit Mediation: An Often-Overlooked Risk Management Tool,” Public Risk Magazine, February 2009
  • “The Ohio Supreme Court Agrees with Employers; Trade Secrets, Including Client Lists, Cannot Be Memorized and Used by Former Employees,” Courting Success, Spring 2008
  • “Wallace v. Kato: The Supreme Court Invites Even More Federal Lawsuits Against your Municipality and Police Officers,” Public Risk Magazine, March 2007
  • “To Enjoin or Not to Enjoin: The Supreme Court Will Decide,” E-Currents, 2006
  • “Tort Law Update,” Cities and Villages: Journal of the Ohio Municipal League January/February 2005


  • “What Does Ohio’s Open Meetings Act Really Say?”, Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority Communications Team Training Webinar, October 2022
  • Delaware County Township Officials Training “Employment Law Issues in 2022 – Vaccines and Masks Mandates,” December 2021
  • “Ask the Expert: Workplace Management in a Post-Vaccine World, Part II”, Ohio Judicial Conference Webinar, November 2021
  • “Ask the Expert: Workplace Management in a Post-Vaccine World”, Ohio Judicial Conference Webinar, July 2021
  • “The Ethical Public Official,” Mayors Association of Ohio Conference, June 2019
  • “Use of Competitive Bidding to Buy or Sell Township Property,” Ohio Township Association, Winter Conference, February 2019
  • “Ohio Township Cemetery Law,” Ohio Township Association, Winter Conference, February 2019
  • “Use of Competitive Bidding to Buy or Sell Township Property,” Ohio Township Law Directors CLE, December 14, 2018
  • “The Fourth Amendment – Arrest and Search/Seizure,” 2018 New Albany/Gahanna Citizens’ Police Academy, January 31, 2018
  • “Medical Marijuana Law Update,” 2017 Delaware County Township Trustee Training, November 18, 2017
  • “Understanding Medical Marijuana in Ohio and the Effects on Commercial Real Estate,” Co-presenter, NAIOP Central Ohio Chapter luncheon, August 9, 2017
  • “Case Law Update,” OMAA Spring CLE Conference, March 2017
  • “The Fourth Amendment – Arrest, Search/Seizure, Use Of Force,” 2017 New Albany Citizens Police Academy
  • “Dazed and Confused, Understanding Medical Marijuana,” Ohio Township Association Winter Conference, 2017
  • “Medical Marijuana in Your Township,” Ohio Township Association Law Directors CLE, December 2016
  • “Use of Executive Session,” Ohio Township Association Law Director’s Group Meeting & CLE, 2015
  • “Social Media for Public Entities,” Municipal Civil Law Institute, 2013

professional & community activities


  • Ohio State Bar Association – Young Lawyers Committee Board of Governors (1997 – 1999);
    • Labor and Employment Law Section; Litigation Section
  • Columbus Bar Association – Admissions Committee, Federal Court Committee, Labor and Employment Law Committee
  • Licking County Bar Association
  • Public Risk Management Association – Ohio Chapter Member
  • Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association
  • Ohio Township Association


  • Management Committee
  • Lateral Hiring Committee
  • Marketing Committee


  • Ohio Super Lawyer 2015 to present– State, Local, and Municipal
  • Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star 2009, 2010 & 2011 – Government / Cities / Municipalities
  • AVVO Rating – Excellent
  • Straits Farm Homeowners Association, Board of Trustee, President  (2017 to present)
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Development Board (2010 & 2011)
  • Pelotonia Bike Tour, benefiting The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Lead Volunteer in City of Athens, (2009, 2010, 2011), Bike Volunteer in Gambier, Ohio (2012 and 2013)
  • City of New Albany Cemetery Restoration Advisory Committee, Chair (2016 – present)
  • Village of New Albany Charter Review Commission (2008 – 2009)
  • New Albany Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees (2005 – 2007, 2010 and 2011); 2010 Chairman – Board of Trustees; 2007 Vice Chair & Legal Advisor; 2006 Executive Recorder & Legal Advisor; 2005 Golf Classic Chair
  • OSBA Ohio Mock Trial Program State Competition Judge (2003 – 2005, 2009)
  • City of New Albany Board of Tax Appeals, Vice Chair (2007 – present)
  • New Albany Community Foundation – Advancement Committee Member (2005 – 2007)
  • Adventures for Wish Kids, Miracles & Magic Committee Chair (2007 & 2008)
  • Komen Columbus Race for the Cure Event Volunteer (2000 – 2005)
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association – MDA Telethon Volunteer (1998 – 2001)


AVVO Rating – Excellent
Ohio Super Lawyers®, 2015-2021 State, Local, and Municipal
Ohio Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, 2009-2011 Government, Cities, Municipalities