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Michael L. Scheier


Mike Scheier is a trial lawyer who also helps our clients manage their litigation risks and achieve cost-effective non-litigation solutions. His practice is concentrated on valuation and shareholder disputes, and in the defense of ESOP fiduciary duty and other ERISA-related claims, lender liability and other financial services claims, and defending corporate directors and officers in state law actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duties. Mike also focuses his practice in enforcement of creditor's rights, and has developed extensive experience in bankruptcy court and state law insolvency and collection disputes.

For many years Mike has represented firm clients such as Fifth Third Bank, Cintas Corporation and Great American Life Insurance Company.  Mike has also represented high ranking corporate officers and directors when they have been named in lawsuits, including our clients' CEOs and Board members.  According to Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Mike is an "excellent lawyer who expresses professionalism at every turn.  He is also a trial lawyer with notable experience in the courtroom."

Mike has held several positions in firm management, including tenure as Leader of the KMK Litigation Group.  Mike also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he teaches trial technique and practice.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended ESOP fiduciaries as lead trial counsel in 15-week bench trial resulting in complete defense judgment on all claims by plaintiff class seeking over $200 million for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA Section 404 and other ESOP related ERISA violations
  • Obtained summary judgment for several selling shareholders in large private company against claims alleging company overpaid for their shares in a corporate redemption filed in federal court in Cincinnati
  • Lead trial counsel to several former board members, including Board Chair, the former CEO, COO and President, of privately held companies leading to defense judgements seeking damages of over $100 million arising out of a second stage ESOP transaction
  • Lead litigation counsel representing company CEO and Board Chair in summary judgment on ESOP breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking in excess of $100 million in Federal Court in Chicago
  • Prosecuted claims for institutional ERISA trustee Fifth Third Bank for breaches of fiduciary duties by predecessor trustee
  • Defended institutional ERISA fiduciaries for breaches of duty in denying participant benefits claims resulting in no liability
  • Successfully tried defense of lender liability claim against Great American Life Insurance Company in Delaware Federal Court
  • Defended lender liability claims against Fifth Third Bank brought by prominent racing horse stable in New Jersey
  • Multi-million dollar settlement for a financial institution in a high profile lender liability and bank fraud case pending in both state and federal courts in Ohio and Kentucky
  • Unanimous jury award for a plaintiff-financial institution in a state court bank fraud case against multiple defendants
  • Successfully defended several trusts and individual creditors against an equitable subordination claim under Bankruptcy Code section 510(c) involving claims in excess of $50 million
  • Lead defense counsel to Cintas Corporation, its CEO, and other officers, in a $150 million breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit by a bankruptcy trustee in a state court outside of Ohio resulting in favorable settlement days before jury trial was set to begin
  • Defended and prosecuted successful appeals in the Second (New York), Third (Philadelphia), Fifth (New Orleans), Sixth (Cincinnati), Seventh (Chicago), Ninth (San Francisco) and Eleventh (Atlanta) Federal Courts of Appeal, and in the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio State Appellate courts
  • In a case tried to a jury in state court, obtained a $1.3 million judgment, an award of attorneys' fees for bad faith breach of contract, judgment of specific performance in regard to the transfer of real property, and a directed verdict on the defendant's $2.5 million counterclaim
  • Defense verdict in a multi-million dollar claim for breach of a commission contract and punitive damages tried to a jury in state court
  • Defense verdict in a multi-million dollar claim for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice tried to a federal court jury
  • Jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor in a UCC Article 3 forged endorsement and conversion case involving a major regional bank
  • Represented creditors' committees, and secured and unsecured commercial creditors, in insolvency related disputes
  • Represented the Celotex and UNR asbestos trusts in litigation matters
  • Served as litigation counsel to creditor groups in mass tort bankruptcy cases including G-I Holdings, Babcock and Wilcox Company, Dow Corning, Armstrong World Industries, Eagle Picher Industries, and Wallace & Gale Company

Awards & Recognitions

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2010-2018
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2015-2019
  • Named to Ohio Super Lawyers, 2009-2019; Named one of the Top 50 attorneys in Cincinnati, 2017
  • Fellow, Litigation Council of America Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Fellow, Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers
  • Named to Cincy Leading Lawyers, 2018


Speaking Engagements


  • Lessons for Boards and ESOP Fiduciaries from the Antioch Case, NCEO Issue Brief, July 2017


  • Hebrew
Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
One East Fourth Street
Suite 1400
Cincinnati OH 45202
TEL: (513) 579-6952
FAX: (513) 579-6457

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Cincy Leading Lawyers

Practice Areas

Blog Contributions

Bar & Court Admissions
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1991; Order of the Coif, Editor-in-Chief of Law Review
  • B.A., Hobart College, 1983