Mike Cappel is a partner at Keating Muething & Klekamp, where his practice is concentrated in the area of litigation, with a focus on business and commercial litigation, general civil litigation, personal injury litigation, professional negligence, and appellate practice. He also has experience in personal injury litigation, wrongful death litigation, employer intentional tort litigation, real estate and construction litigation, and environmental litigation.
He has represented private companies, public companies, financial institutions, and individuals in a variety of legal matters, including corporate and partnership disputes, zoning disputes, fraud claims, breach of contract claims, and insurance disputes. Mike has litigated cases within federal and state courts, state appellate courts, and private and court-sponsored mediation and arbitration throughout the country, including Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas.
Mike is very involved with neighborhood redevelopment initiatives in Cincinnati, serving as the president of the College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) since 2008, as College Hill’s representative to Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United since 2008, a board member for HomeBase (formerly the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati) since 2015, a board member on the Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United since 2016, and appointed by Mayor Cranley and approved by Cincinnati’s City Council to serve on the City of Cincinnati’s Community Development Advisory Board since 2015 and serve on the City of Cincinnati’s Economic Inclusion Advisory Council since 2016.
As president of CHCURC, Mike has led the revitalization efforts of College Hill for the past 12 years. Mike has successfully submitted applications for CHCURC to be awarded more than $2.5 million in Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program grants for redevelopment projects in our business district (building acquisition and redevelopment, parking lot improvements, and façade improvements), has successfully worked with the City of Cincinnati on $4 million in land acquisition and demolition projects in College Hill to create a 7.5 acre development opportunity at Hamilton and North Bend and a 2.5 acre development opportunity at Hamilton and Marlowe, and successfully led a capital campaigns for CHCURC to purchase and renovate buildings in College Hill’s business district. CHCURC partnered with Model Group and Episcopal Retirement Homes on Marlowe Court, a $11.1 million mixed-use development at the 2.5 acre development opportunity at Hamilton and Marlowe that was completed in 2017, and working with Pennrose and D-HAS on College Hill Station, a $40 million mixed-use development at the 7.5 acre development opportunity at Hamilton and North Bend, which will break ground in 2019/early 2020. CHCURC has now purchased 23 buildings in the College Hill business district in various stages of redevelopment, landing the first new tenant for CHCURC in Brink Brewing Co. in 2017, and Tortilleria Garcia and Kiki in 2019.
Prior to joining KMK in 2007, Mike served as a law clerk in the Ohio First District Court of Appeals. Mike earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 2005. While in law school, Mike was a fellow with the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project and served on the editorial board for the University of Cincinnati Law Review. He earned his B.A. from Saint Louis University, magna cum laude, in 2002.
Mike received the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati’s Most Outstanding CDC Volunteer Award in 2012 and the Josh Weiser Community Service Award from the College Hill Forum in 2013. Mike was inducted into Working in Neighborhoods’ Hall of Fame in 2016, and was named to the Cincinnati Business Courier's Forty Under 40 in 2017.
Represents Rumpke in a variety of complex litigation matters, including contract disputes, environmental matters, and tort defense matters
Represents franchisor in contract and trademark disputes with franchisees, in which franchisor has more than 400 franchisees across the United States
Successfully obtained Writ of Mandamus from Ohio Supreme Court in election matter, successfully arguing that a township failed to comply with statutory requirements of R.C. 5705.03 when attempting to certify a tax levy for the ballot
Successfully appealed order of permanent injunction in which trial court had set restrictions on a dirt racetrack and declared the racetrack a private nuisance
Successfully appealed judgment against general contractor by subcontractor, for work contracted directly by owner
Successful defense of owner/general contractor in dispute with subcontractor
Successfully obtained Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions in landlord/tenant disputes
Representation of majority shareholders in minority shareholder/breach of fiduciary duty matters
Professional and Community Involvement
Cincinnati Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, Board President, 2008-present
Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United, College Hill Representative, 2008-present, Board Member, 2016-present
Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati, Board Member, 2015-present
City of Cincinnati Community Development Advisory Board, 2015-present
City of Cincinnati’s Economic Inclusion Advisory Council, 2016-present
Board Orientation & Leadership Development ("BOLD") Program, Steering Committee, (United Way, 2016-2018), (Leadership Council for Non-Profits, 2019-Present)
Cincinnati Bar Association’s Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL Program), Subcommittee Member for Session III – Leadership Skills: Influence, 2017
Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati, Advisory Board Member, 2015-present
Awards & Recognition
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2020-2022
Named to Ohio Rising Stars, 2015-2019
Cincinnati Business Courier's Forty Under 40, Class of 2017
Inducted into Working in Neighborhoods Hall of Fame, 2016
United Way, Board Orientation & Leadership Development Program, 2016
Cincinnati Bar Association’s Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL Program), 2014-present
College Hill Forum, John Weiser Community Service Award, 2013
Community Development Corporation of Greater Cincinnati, Most Outstanding CDC Volunteer Award, 2012
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's C-Change Program, Class VI, 2011
Mercy-McAuley High School, Board Member, 2019-present
News & Resources
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2005
B.A., St. Louis University, 2002, magna cum laude
- Ohio First District Court of Appeals, 2005-2007