Eric H. Zagrans

Managing Partner
Cleveland +1.216.771.1000
Washington D.C. +
New York +1.212.995.8400

Eric Zagrans is the managing partner of Zagrans Law Firm LLC. He is a nationally-known trial and appellate lawyer whose more than 35 years’ experience in complex business litigation and sophisticated transactional matters includes prior service as Associate General Counsel of Ernst & Young, national director of litigation at its predecessor firm, Ernst & Whinney, and partner at two prominent large (AmLaw 100) national law firms. His practice concentrates in cases and class actions involving securities, ERISA, antitrust, accounting and auditing liability, bankruptcy, director and officer liability, corporate investigations and white-collar defense, intellectual property, policyholder rights and other “bet-the-company” complex litigation in the financial services, capital markets, health care, high-tech and manufacturing industries.

Zagrans has successfully represented Fortune 500 companies and other clients in significant litigation in most state jurisdictions and in 25 federal districts throughout the United States, and has tried over 40 jury trials and countless bench trials. He also maintains an active appellate practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits, as well as in the Supreme Court of Ohio. In just the last few terms of the U.S. Supreme Court, he has argued a precedent-setting case concerning the scope of federal removal jurisdiction and filed certiorari and merits briefs on behalf of parties and amici curiae in five other cases.

Eric formerly served as law professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he became a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, class actions, evidence, constitutional law and Section 1983 litigation, and law director of the City of North Ridgeville, Ohio. He is one of an elite handful of lawyers currently in private practice who were formerly in-house counsel at one of the Big Four accounting firms at the partner level.

Zagrans’ honors include peer ratings as Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent for the last 26 consecutive years, selection in Ohio SuperLawyers for Business Litigation each year since 2010, inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Chambers USA Guide for 2012 and 2013, and being named the winner of the first annual “Iron Lawyer” award for best jury summation presented in 2008 by the judges of the Northern District of Ohio and the Federal Bar Association. He is a Life Member of the American Law Institute and the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

United States Supreme Court

  • Grable & Sons Metal Products v. Darue Engineering, 545 U.S. 308 (2005) (oral argument in case establishing removal jurisdiction for federal questions arising under Internal Revenue Code)
  • DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332 (2006) (amici curiae brief on behalf of four Ohio municipalities in support of constitutionality of Ohio’s investment tax credit)
  • Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 550 U.S. 516 (2007) (amici curiae brief on behalf of the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities and the Autism Society of Ohio in support of parental right to represent autistic child in litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Local No. 93 Int’l Ass’n of Firefighters v. City of Cleveland, 478 U.S. 501 (1986) (merit brief on behalf of City of Cleveland seeking to uphold affirmative action plan as part of collective bargaining agreement with union of municipal workers)

United States Courts of Appeals

  • Leimkuehler v. American United Life Ins. Co., 713 F.3d 905 (7th Cir. 2013)
  • Mell v. Anthem, Inc., 688 F.3d 280 (6th Cir. 2012)
  • G.G. Marck and Associates, Inc. v. James Peng, 2012 WL 695628 (6th Cir. March 6, 2012)
  • G.G. Marck and Associates, Inc. v. James Peng, 309 Fed. Appx. 928 (6th Cir. 2009)
  • Molina Crespo v. United States Merit System Protection Board, 547 F.3d 651 (6th Cir. 2008)
  • Weitzel vs. SMS Acquisition Inc., 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 24278 (2nd Cir. 2008)
  • Mikulski v. Centerior Energy Corp., 501 F.3d 555 (6th Cir. 2007) (en banc)
  • Mikulski v. Centerior Energy Corp., 435 F.3d 666 (6th Cir. 2006)
  • North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation v. FCC, 437 F.3d 1206 (D.C. Cir. 2006)
  • Keller v. Central Bank of Nigeria, 277 F.3d 811 (6th Cir. 2002)
  • Rybarczyk v. TRW Inc., 235 F.3d 975 (6th Cir. 2000)
  • Costantino v. TRW, 13 F.3d 969 (6th Cir. 1994)
  • In re: Garver, 116 F.3d 176 (6th Cir. 1997)
  • Simiele v. Cleveland Board of Education, 57 F.3d 1070 (6th Cir. 1995)
  • City of Cleveland v. Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, 734 F.2d 1157 (6th Cir. 1984), aff’g
  • 538 F. Supp. 1240 (N.D. Ohio 1981) and 538 F. Supp. 1227 (N.D. Ohio 1980)
  • Record Revolution No. 6 v. City of Parma, Ohio, 709 F.2d 534 (6th Cir. 1983), rev’g 638 F.2d 916 (6th Cir. 1980), and aff’g 492 F. Supp. 1157 (N.D. Ohio 1980)
  • Phelps v. Sgt. Anderson, 700 F.2d 147 (4th Cir. 1983) (appointed by Fourth Circuit)
  • Hanna v. Toner, 630 F.2d 442 (6th Cir. 1980) (amicus brief)

United States District Courts

  • Ormond v. Anthem, Inc., 799 F. Supp.2d 910 (S.D. Ind. 2011)
  • Leimkuehler v. American United Life Ins. Co., 2012 WL 28608 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 5, 2012)
  • Jorling v. Anthem, Inc., No. 1:09-cv-798-TWP, 2011 WL 6755157 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 23, 2011)
  • Leimkuehler v. AUL, 752 F. Supp.2d 974 (S.D. Ind. 2010)
  • Mell v. Anthem, Inc., No. 1:08-cv-715-SAS, 2010 WL 796751 (S.D. Ohio March 3, 2010)
  • Mell v. Anthem, Inc., 264 F.R.D. 312 (S.D. Ohio 2009)
  • Ormond v. Anthem, Inc., No. 1:05-cv-1908-DFH, 2009 WL 3163117 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 29, 2009)
  • In re Extended Stay, Inc., 418 B.R. 49 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2009) (Consol. Case No. 09-13764-JMP)
  • Ormond v. Anthem, Inc., 1:05-cv-1908-DFH, 2008 WL 906157 (S.D. Ohio March 31, 2008)
  • Molina Crespo v. United States Merit System Protection Board, 486 F. Supp.2d 680 (N.D. Ohio 2007)
  • In re: International Total Services, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66798 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 10, 2007)
  • Schick v. Ernst & Young, 141 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1992)
  • The Erie Dock Company v. Erie Lackawanna, Inc., 688 F. Supp. 1556 (Sp. Ct. R.R.R.A. 1988)
  • The Erie Dock Company v. Erie Lackawanna, Inc., 635 F. Supp. 875 (Sp. Ct. RRRA 1986)
  • White Consolidated Industries, Inc. v. Whirlpool Corp., 619 F. Supp. 1022 (N.D. Ohio 1985), mod’y 612 F. Supp. 1009 (N.D. Ohio 1985), aff’d 781 F.2d 1224 (6th Cir. 1986)

Ohio Supreme Court

  • City of Elyria v. Lorain County Budget Comm., 128 Ohio St.3d 485, 2011-Ohio-1482
  • City of Elyria v. Lorain County Budget Comm., 117 Ohio St.3d 403, 2008-Ohio-940
  • In re All Kelley & Ferraro Asbestos Cases, 104 Ohio St.3d 605, 2004-Ohio-7104
  • In re All Kelley & Ferraro Asbestos Cases v. Amchem Products, 105 Ohio St.3d 287, 2005-Ohio-1650
  • State ex rel. Committee v. Norris, 99 Ohio St.3d 336, 2003-Ohio-3887
  • State ex rel. Crobaugh v. White (2001), 91 Ohio St.3d 470
  • LaCourse v. Fleitz (1986), 28 Ohio St.3d 209 (amicus brief)
  • Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Marsh (1984), 15 Ohio St.3d 107

California Supreme Court

  • Navarro v. LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1072, 12 Cal.Rptr.3d 356, 88 P.3d 81

Concluded Class Actions

  • Recovered over $200 million in damages for clients in cases in which I have served as lead trial and/or appellate counsel, and I have also successfully defended clients in other cases from damage claims aggregating in excess of $5 billion, including:
  • Ormond v. Anthem, S.D. Indiana No. 1:05-cv-01908-TWP ($90 million settlement, one of the largest recoveries in the history of the Southern District of Indiana)
  • Rybarczyk v. TRW Inc., 235 F.3d 975 (6th Cir. 2001) (settled for over $50 million – largest recovery in any labor, employment or ERISA case in the country for that year, as reported by Corporate Counsel magazine, July 2001)
  • Lowe v. Sun Refining & Marketing, Lucas Cty. [Ohio] C.P. No. 88-0630 (major toxic tort class action arising from an underground pipeline spill in western Ohio, settled for over $30 million); see Lowe v. Sun Refining & Marketing Co. (Lucas Cty. 1992), 73 Ohio App.3d 563
  • Costantino v. TRW, Inc., 773 F. Supp. 34 (N.D. Ohio 1991), aff’d as mod., 13 F.3d 969 (6th Cir. 1994)
  • Taylor v. Amerifoods Companies, N.D. Ohio No. 1:92CV1715
  • Schick v. Ernst & Young, 141 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1992)
  • Schick v. Ernst & Whinney, 1991 WL 8543 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)
  • In re: Bay Financial Securities Litigation (Bay Financial v. Ernst & Young), District of Massachusetts

Current Class Action Cases

  • Estate of Mikulski v. Centerior Energy Corp., Cuya. Cty. (Ohio) C.P. No. CV-01-457866 (J. Sutula)
  • Estate of Mikulski v. Cleve. Elec. Illumin. Co., Cuya. Cty. (Ohio) C.P. No. CV-02-490019 (J. Ambrose)
  • Estate of Mikulski v. Centerior Energy Corp., Cuya. Cty. (Ohio) C.P. No. CV-02-490020 (J. Mason) 8th Dist. No. 94536, 2011-Ohio-696, rev’g 2010-Ohio-6167
  • Estate of Mikulski v. Toledo Edison Co., Lucas Cty. (Ohio) C.P. No. G-4801-CI-200206364 (J. Bessey)

Practice Areas

Complex Business Litigation and Class Actions

Securities Litigation

Appellate and Supreme Court Practice

Auditor and Accountant Liability

Shareholder Litigation and Corporate Investigations

ERISA and Pension Benefit Litigation

Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Bankruptcy and Restructuring Litigation

Insurance Recovery – Policyholder Litigation

Intellectual Property and Deceptive Trade Practices Litigation

Governmental Liability, Municipal Law and Section 1983 Civil Rights Actions

Director and Officer Liability Claims

SEC investigations and FINRA arbitrations

Professional Liability (medical and legal malpractice)

White-Collar Defense

Industry/Sector Experience
Financial Services

Capital Markets

Health Care




Distribution and Franchising


Private Equity/Venture Capital


Real Estate/Development

Environmental/Toxic Chemical Spills

Media and Entertainment

Sports and Entertainment


Harvard Law School, J.D., 1977 (national champion and winner of “Best Advocate” award, National Mock Trial Competition, Houston, 1976)

University of Notre Dame, A.B. magna cum laude, 1974

Bar Admissions

Ohio (1977)

District of Columbia (1978)

United States Supreme Court (1981)

United States Courts of Appeals

  • D.C. Circuit (1978)
  • Second Circuit (2003)
  • Fourth Circuit (1978)
  • Sixth Circuit (1980)
  • Seventh Circuit (2012)
  • Ninth Circuit (1999)

United States District Courts

  • District of D.C. (1978)
  • District of Maryland (1978)
  • Northern District of Ohio (1978)
  • Southern District of Ohio (2006)
  • Southern District of New York (1990)
  • Eastern District of New York (2002)
  • District of Arizona (1996)
  • Eastern District of Tennessee (1997)
  • Southern District of Indiana (2006)
  • District of Colorado (2012)

Accolades & Honors

Life Member, American Law Institute

Life Member, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Selected in Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2014

Selected in Chambers U.S.A. Guide, 2012-2013

Selected in Ohio SuperLawyers for Business Litigation, 2010-2014

Selected in Cleveland’s Best Lawyers, 2013

Selected in Cleveland’s Top-Rated Lawyers for Business Litigation, 2012-2013

Board certified, Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1997

Winner, first annual “Iron Lawyer” award presented by the judges of the Northern District of Ohio and the Federal Bar Association for best jury summation

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, 1978-present (Sections of Litigation, Business Law, Antitrust Law and Tort & Insurance Practice) (Section of Litigation Committees on Appellate Practice, Corporate Counsel, Federal Procedure, Professional Liability, Trial Evidence, Trial Practice and Class Actions)

Ohio State Bar Association, 1978-1992, 2006-present

District of Columbia Bar Association, 1978-present

Cleveland Bar Association, 1978-present

Member, Advisory Committee on Local Rules for the Northern District of Ohio under the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1991-1994

Approved ADR panelist, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1992-1998

American Corporate Counsel Association, 1988-1992

Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, 1981-1988


Under Color of What Law: A Reconstructed Mode/ of Section 1983 Liability, 71 VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 499-598 (May 1985)

“Successfully Defending the White-Collar Client” BEST PRACTICES FOR WHITE COLLAR LITIGATION (Inside the Minds Series) (Aspatore Books 2006)

“Civil Rights Actions Against State and Local Governments, Agencies and Officials,” CLEVE. BAR ASS’N (1985)

KOYKKA’S OHIO APPELLATE PRACTICE, Anderson Publishing Co. (2nd ed. 1988) (co-author)

“Federal Civil Rights Liability of Local Governments and Their Employees Under Section 1983,” OHIO MUNICIPAL LAW, Chap. 41A, Gotherman and Babbit, ed. 1986 (co-author)

“Liability of Council Members Under 42 U.S.C. 1983,” 33 THE PRACTICAL LAWYER 83-88 (Mar. 1987) (co-author)

“Liability of City Council Members,” TRIAL, July 1986 (co-author)

“Councilmanic Liability: Highlights of the Law,” OHIO CITIES AND VILLAGES, July 1986 (co-author)

ANTITRUST CONSENT DECREE MANUAL, American Bar Association (1980) (contributor)

Book Review, Trial Techniques with Irving Younger, Litigation News, July 1980

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