Jeffrey A. Brauer

Partner
jabrauer@hahnlaw.com 216.274.2371

Summary

Jeff is a partner is Hahn Loeser’s Cleveland office, where he practices business litigation with a focus on construction and financial disputes. He has first chaired matters in federal court, state court and arbitration, and often handles matters involving difficult engineering, accounting and technical disputes in bet-the-company controversies. Jeff also helps clients avoid litigation by developing policies and procedures to minimize litigation risk and resolves disputes early, before the commitment of significant time and cost.

At Hahn Loeser

As a member of Hahn Loeser’s construction group, Jeff represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors and other construction professionals, and serves as an arbitrator and mediator. He has extensive experience as a construction attorney in handling matters from claim development through discovery, mediation, trial and appeal. Jeff has helped pioneer innovative ways of evaluating construction claims, including developing a patented claims matrix, which offers construction clients a fast, comprehensive, consistent and cost-effective preliminary evaluation of construction claims.

Jeff also frequently represents banks and other secured and unsecured creditors in various proceedings, including commercial foreclosures and receiverships to enforce lenders’ rights. In handling these matters, he often crafts creative resolutions to maximize recovery and minimize creditor risk. Jeff also has extensive experience litigating matters in bankruptcy court.

Jeff’s trial work also involves litigation of contract disputes, business torts, business divorces and shareholder disputes. He is often called upon to obtain immediate and emergency injunctive relief, such as enforcement of time-sensitive noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements.

Jeff serves as Hahn Loeser’s Ethics Partner and advises Hahn Loeser and outside attorneys on the ethics and professionalism rules that govern attorney conduct. He is actively involved in several organizations that address ethics, professionalism and malpractice.

Community

Jeff is chair of the board of the Fine Arts Association, where he has served as a board member for many years. The Fine Arts Association is the leading provider of arts education in Lake County, immediately east of Cleveland. Jeff is committed to the promotion of the arts throughout Northeast Ohio.

Jeff also is founder of the Ohio Chapter of Wills for Heroes, which he ran between 2007 and 2013. Wills for Heroes provides free estate planning services for first responders, such as police, fire and EMS, at dozens of events across Ohio. Wills for Heroes served more than 1,000 first responders and family members during Jeff’s involvement.

In addition, he is a co-founder of the Charenton Theater in Cleveland, which performs offbeat but well-known plays at many venues in Cleveland. Jeff served on its board between 2000 and 2006.

In addition, he has been a member of the Alumni Admission Council of the Northwestern University Alumni Association of Cleveland since 2002. He also was a celebrity dancer at the Lake County Dancing Under the Stars event in 2010.

At home

Jeff is married and lives in Kirtland with his wife and three sons. He is a runner when the weather is warm, and a skier and snowboarder when the weather is cold. He likes to cook and perform do-it-himself home construction projects large and small.

  • Representation of a general contractor in a highly contested claim that it was wrongfully terminated by a steel mill on a multimillion-dollar project. Following a three-and-a-half week jury trial, the jury found in favor of Hahn Loeser’s client, awarding $3.5 million and rejecting the steel mill’s counterclaims
  • Representation of an owner in a multimillion-dollar claim for improper work by a general contractor in the conversion of a long-abandoned warehouse into luxury apartments. The dispute involved engineering disputes about roofing, drainage, elastomeric concrete coating, masonry installation, window installation and HVAC design. After Hahn Loeser’s client presented its case in chief over two weeks to a jury, the matter was resolved on confidential terms.
  • Representation of parties in a business divorce. The matter arose following the buyout of a former owner’s interest, who retained certain leasehold and income rights of the operating company. The matter was resolved on confidential terms.
  • Resolution of a performance bond claim against an electrical subcontractor by a contractor in a nationally significant and time-sensitive public project. This matter was resolved on confidential terms.
  • Enforcement of a foreign judgment for a large out-of-state investment bank against a highly visible public figure who took great care to protect assets. The matter was resolved on confidential terms.
  • Representation of a receiver in an action in which a tenant of the receivership property surreptitiously engaged in criminal activity, including converting the property to a dump site and ultimately destroying property. All claims were dismissed against the receiver.
  • Representation of several purchasers of secured debt in dozens of matters located throughout Ohio, frequently involving complex and novel means of collection avoidance, including frequent use and abuse of bankruptcy proceedings in an effort to stall foreclosure and collection efforts. The matters often involved the use of receivers in an effort to protect collateral and provide greater leverage against borrowers.
  • Representation of an agricultural lender in a string of matters involving dairy farms throughout the Midwest. The matters involved related guarantors who structured loans to make collection challenging. These matters posed additional complexity because the health of the primary collateral – the livestock – had to be maintained. The matters frequently were litigated in bankruptcy court.

Credentials

Education

Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1994

Honors and activities: Associate Justice, Vanderbilt Moot Court Board; American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Responsibility; Firm Giving Program representative, 2008 to present

 

Northwestern University, B.S. Communications, 1990

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association

  • TIPS: Business Litigation Committee, chair 2016-17; Corporate Counsel Committee;  Outreach to Young Lawyers Committee; Membership Committee
  • ABA House of Delegates: Ohio delegate, 2003-05
  • Young Lawyers Division (2000-2005): Litigation Committee, chair, 2004-05; YLD Liaison to TIPS; Membership Committee; Resolutions Committee; Credentials Committee; Professional Development Team; Future of the Profession Committee; YLD Assembly: parliamentarian and delegate

 

Ohio State Bar Association: OSBA Council of Delegates, elected delegate, 2005-17; Membership Committee; Committee and Section Advisory Council; New Lawyer Training Task Force; New Lawyers Section, chair, 2003-04; Litigation Section

 

Ohio State Bar Foundation: Life Fellow; Fellows Class of 2005; Membership Committee

 

Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers

 

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Litigation Section, Section Council, 2011-16;. The 3Rs (Rights, Responsibilities, Realities), Instructor at Cleveland South High School, 2006

 

National Institute for Trial Advocacy, National Session, July 5-19, 2003

 

William K. Thomas Inn of Court (formerly Harold H. Burton Inn of Court): associate, 1999-01

 

NITA Great Lakes Deposition Training Program: faculty, 2011-14

 

CMBA/NITA Trial Advocacy Institute: faculty, 2004, 2006-10

Bar Admissions

Admitted to the Ohio Bar, 1998

 

Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1994

 

Admitted to practice before the following United States District Courts: Northern District of Ohio, Southern District of Ohio, Northern District of Illinois, Central District of Illinois, Eastern District of Michigan, Western District of Pennsylvania, Southern District of Indiana, Western District of Tennessee, District of Colorado, and Southern District of Texas

 

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

 

Awards & Distinctions

Super Lawyer, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2014-17

 

Top Rated Lawyer, Cleveland’s Legal Leaders, 2012-16

 

Statewide and County Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under, Ohio State Bar Foundation, 2009

 

Ohio Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2005-07

 

Up and Coming Lawyer, Ohio Lawyers Weekly, 2004

 

AV® Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell