Kathleen M. Minahan



  • Proven history of success as experienced first-chair litigator in defending public and private entities against pre-litigation claims, administrative charges, and civil suits (commercial litigation, civil rights, labor and employment, and constitutional claims), including trials and appeals.
  • Expert in managing litigation activities, including fact investigation, analysis and strategy, drafting legal briefs and motions, taking and defending depositions, expert discovery, oral arguments, alternative dispute resolution and trials. Highly skilled at administering outside counsel relationships: staffing, litigation strategy, budgets/invoices, compliance with outside counsel guidelines, and work product.
  • As general counsel, officer, executive team member, and business advisor to publicly traded corporation, negotiated critical contracts with suppliers and distributors, managed litigation brought by and against company; ensured compliance with SEC regulations. Key contributor to due diligence process, negotiation, and closing of company’s asset sale and later merger.

Representative Matters

Defend public entities and personnel in state and federal actions relating to employment discrimination, civil rights, and government liability, including multiple high-profile matters, as first-chair trial lawyer. Defend employers against administrative charges filed by employees with EEOC and OCRC. Guide government agencies on human resource matters. Develop and strengthen professional relationships with clients.

Key Contributions:

  • Awarded sanctions of dismissal with prejudice, attorney fees and costs after proving that plaintiff conspired with current and former inmates to bring false charges of excessive force against county jail.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment against claims by inmates of excessive force and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.
  • Appointed by federal judge to advisory panel for U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Managed litigation operations of three to five associate counsel. Dealt with overall state and federal litigation against GCRTA. Litigated state and federal cases in support of GCRTA and management personnel involving employment discrimination and constitutional claims, breaches of construction contracts, wrongful death, personal injury, injunctions, and appeals. Personally defended GCRTA and supervisory personnel in all employment litigation in place of insurer’s panel counsel. Guided safety department on environmental matters: settlement of administrative complaint filed by EPA, negotiation of fines, and creation of supplemental environmental program.

Key Contributions:

  • Reduced ~ $1M in outside counsel fees by defending employment discrimination lawsuits in house.
  • Mitigated potential liability associated with fatality caused by work exposure to legionella bacteria by engaging immediately and transparently with internal stakeholders, experts, and administrative agencies.

Directed legal and human resource departments of a publicly traded company. Acted as secretary to board of directors. Delivered legal counseling to management and resolved legal issues related to general corporate and commercial matters, securities, environmental health and safety, real estate, marketing, regulatory, and employment. Supported negotiation of merger with John Deere Landscapes.

Key Contributions:

  • Promoted to V.P. chief administrative officer from V.P. general counsel & secretary and senior corporate counsel positions.
  • Negotiated and drafted assignment of 15-year lease for corporate headquarters in order to relocate operations.
  • Contributed to divestiture of company’s multi-million-dollar manufacturing assets to private equity firm.
  • Secured president’s club award in 2005.
  • Negotiated and prepared multi-million-dollar supply contracts for raw materials and finished goods.


  • Inducted into the Court of Nisi Prius.
  • Certified in National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Appointed in 2021 to the Northern District of Ohio Advisory Group.


  • The Update (Spring 2020); Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys; “Overview: Employment Considerations, Ohio Emergency Legislation and COVID-19
  • MRR.com (January 18, 2021): H.B. 352 Clarifies and Modifies Ohio’s Employment Discrimination Statutes

Bar Admissions

  • Licensed in Ohio
  • Northern District of Ohio
  • Eastern District of Michigan and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • J.D. – Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) – Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH