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Brian J. Laliberte

Counsel
Columbus, OH | D 614.358.9309 | F 614.358.9712
overview

Brian Laliberte is a versatile and experienced first-chair business and commercial trial lawyer.

He loves the courtroom and prepares each case with the objective of winning at trial. He works tirelessly to identify and develop the relevant issues, facts, and witnesses and to craft an effective trial strategy. Brian’s pre-trial diligence translates into focused, zealous, and persuasive trial advocacy.

As the chair of Tucker Ellis’s Financial Services Litigation Group, Brian draws upon the firm’s diverse practice capabilities, cross-functional teams, and national platform to meet the needs of financial services clients in any litigation context. This approach leverages the combined strength of our trial, business banking, and regulatory practices into one closely coordinated team. It derives from Brian’s experience forming mortgage fraud task forces, leading consumer lending practices investigations, and participating in multi-state financial services industry working groups during his tenure as a chief deputy attorney general in Ohio.

Brian defends and prosecutes civil claims arising from alleged securities and financial fraud. He has represented broker-dealers and registered representatives in matters including unsuitability, overconcentration, churning, switching, fraud, and trading away. He has litigated and tried cases involving closely held companies and allegations of self-dealing, waste, fraudulent or false business valuation, shareholder lockouts or force-outs, fraudulent accounting practices, breaches of contract, and fiduciary duty claims.

Brian represents privately held and publicly traded companies in complex business and commercial litigation. He has tried contract, business tort, trade secret, and fraud cases. He has defended statutory and common law consumer claims brought by individual plaintiffs and state attorneys general arising from allegedly unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices in various industries.

Brian’s experience also includes two years of service as a federal judicial clerk for the Honorable Peter C. Economus, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, where he was assigned to civil, criminal, and death penalty habeas corpus cases.

Brian’s trial and litigation experience informs his role as a strategist and counselor to corporate leadership and legal teams. He is relied upon as a trusted advisor to assess and avoid risk and to balance competing business objectives and legal considerations. Brian’s business advisory practice has grown and evolved as litigation clients have come to trust his judgment and demonstrable skill at navigating complex and sensitive issues.

education & admissions

education

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., 1999); Teaching Fellow; Federal Judicial Extern
  • University of Michigan (B.A., 1996); Mortar Board Honor Society; Michigan Union Board of Representatives

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1999

federal admissions

  • United States Tax Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court, District of Colorado
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Broker / Dealer & Securities
  • Consumer Protection
  • Data Security
  • Financial Institutions
  • Financial Investment Companies
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Public Agencies
experience

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel in Delaware Chancery Court litigation between joint venture partners in a technology start-up involving alleged claims of trade secret misappropriation, breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices
  • Lead defense trial counsel in a consumer lawsuit against three financial services providers arising from the use of pre-foreclosure asset preservation services
  • Lead plaintiff’s trial counsel for the claimant in a FINRA arbitration that resulted in full recovery of the claimant’s direct economic loss
  • Lead plaintiff's trial counsel in a complex personal injury case that resulted in an $850,000 jury verdict
  • Lead counsel, for both plaintiffs and defendants, in employment discrimination cases involving race, age, national origin, gender, and disability claims
  • Lead counsel for a corporate joint venture partner that resulted in the return of $5.5 million, which represented a full recovery of its capital investment
  • Lead plaintiffs’ trial counsel in a real estate fraud case that resulted in the third-largest plaintiffs’ jury verdict in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2012
  • Lead plaintiffs’ trial counsel for a group of shareholders in litigation filed against a closely held company and its board of directors involving the alleged intentional devaluation of company shares and a punitive forced buy-out at below fair value
  • Lead trial counsel in a complex commercial contract and trade secret dispute for an international office equipment company that resulted in full recovery of the company’s damages, which were in excess of $500,000
  • Lead counsel for a group of defrauded investors in litigation filed against a real estate investment firm that fabricated financial information as part of a private placement memorandum to solicit investment capital
  • Defended an investment company sued as a co-defendant in a securities fraud case arising from a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by another entity, which used a single herd of cattle as collateral (instead of the multiple herds it falsely represented it owned) for sequential multimillion-dollar loans; the investment company raised capital for the loans by selling private security interests in the herds it believed the other entity owned
  • Lead counsel for the trustee and health care attorney-in-fact in a probate court trial involving (1) allegations that the principal was incapacitated and subject to undue influence at the time of executing the trust documents and health care power of attorney, and (2) allegations of elder abuse, false accounting, and theft of trust assets
  • Conducted a pre-suit investigation concerning the fraudulent use of a private placement memorandum to solicit and obtain investment capital for a mixed-use real estate development project that ultimately failed
  • Lead plaintiffs’ trial counsel for minority shareholders in lockout/force-out/buyout cases involving privately held Ohio companies
  • Lead defense counsel in a case brought by the Internal Revenue Service against a company accused of obtaining federal tax refunds through unlawful, unfair, and deceptive acts and practices
  • Co-counsel in a $30-million commercial contract arbitration involving the construction and performance of an oil and gas well and the alleged theft of confidential geological and seismic surveys
  • Co-counsel in a multimillion-dollar natural gas requirements contract case involving the transmission of natural gas through Ohio pipelines
  • Directed litigation related to a $75-million fraud perpetrated on the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, resulting in more than $12 million (of approximately $20 million in remaining unrecovered funds) being returned to the State of Ohio in a 12-month period
  • Defended the chief financial officer of a large insurance company in a federal criminal tax and insurance fraud prosecution that originally alleged a loss of more than $50 million but ultimately resulted in a plea agreement to one count of the superseding indictment, a loss calculation of less than $300,000, and a significantly reduced term of imprisonment
  • Defended a financial advisor in a parallel administrative investigation involving alleged claims of unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices arising from the sale of securities and other investment products, resulting in no finding and closure of the case
  • Defended an investigation by the Ohio Department of Insurance into allegedly fraudulent sales acts and practices by an insurance brokerage firm, resulting in no finding and closure of the case
  • Defended an investigation by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities, and FINRA into embezzlement claims made by a bank against a registered representative, resulting in no finding and closure of the cases
  • Defended FTC and state attorneys general investigations and litigation arising from a data breach involving the theft of credit card, debit card, and checking account information from a national retailer
  • Lead counsel for the State of Ohio in high-profile and politically sensitive litigation during a one-year appointment in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; directed the operations of the Criminal Division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which had the largest operational budget of any of the office’s divisions
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Regulatory Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives Affecting Investment Professionals," Keynote Speaker, Wealth Management of Northwest Ohio Quarterly Meeting (November 2017)
  • "Who's on First? Regulatory and Enforcement Priorities for the Trump Administration Affecting Investment Professionals," CFA Society Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio (September 2017)
  • "Preparing In-House Counsel and External Lawyer Advocates for Effective and Good Faith Mediation of M&A and Other Business Disputes," American Bar Association Business Litigation Section Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (September 2017)
  • "Drafting Organizational Documents to Avoid Litigation," Business Law Conference, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (May 2017)
  • "Quick Expert Cross-Examination," Ohio State Bar Association webinar (December 2016)
  • "Top 10 Employment Law Risks," Hot Topics in Employment & Employee Benefits Law, Tucker Ellis LLP, Columbus, Ohio (November 2016)
  • "The Business Trial Lawyer’s Tool Kit – Practical Steps for Preparing and Filing a Case Under Exigent Circumstances," Ohio State Bar Association webinar (November 2016)
  • "Balancing the Active Transportation Network," Panelist, 2016 Regional Trails Summit Making the Economic Case for Trails, Cincinnati, Ohio (August 2016)
  • "Trial Evidence and E-Discovery," Columbus Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (September 2015)
  • "Criminal Health Care Fraud Enforcement," 2015 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Symposium, Columbus Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (May 2015)
  • The Ohio State University
    • Fisher College of Business (2010, 2011)
    • Moritz College of Law (2009-2011)
  • "Federal Criminal Tax Issues," Moderator, Columbus Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (2009)
  • "The Modern Rubric for Attorney Fees," Moderator, Axelrod LLC, Columbus, Ohio (2009)
  • "Sunshine Week 2009: Your Right to Know," Moderator, ACLU Ohio Chapter, Columbus, Ohio (2009)
  • Voter Notification Panel Discussion Leader, Ohio Election Conference, Columbus, Ohio (2009)
  • "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Trends, Red Flags and Effective Compliance Programs," Deloitte Financial Advisory Services Alumni Club, Columbus, Ohio (2008)
  • Ohio Supreme Court Summer Law & Leadership Institute, Columbus, Ohio (2008)
  • "Election Day Troubleshooting," Ohio Democratic Party, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio (2008)
  • "State Attorneys General Powers and Duties," Association of Corporate Counsel, Central Ohio Chapter, Columbus, Ohio (2008)
  • "State Enforcement Issues," 5th Annual Pharmaceutical Marketing Compliance Congress, Center for Business Intelligence, Washington, D.C. (2008)
  • "Evidentiary Foundations," Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Columbus, Ohio (2007)
  • "Client Relations Strategies," Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Columbus, Ohio (2007)
  • "Litigating for the Ohio Attorney General," Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Columbus, Ohio (2007)

Publications

Media Quotes

  • "Ohio’s Payday Problem," Crain’s Cleveland Business (March 2017)
honors

Awards & Professional Recognition

  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2015-2018)
  • Ohio Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers (2012, 2013)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars® (2006, 2007, 2011-2013)
  • "Forty Under 40," Columbus Business First (2008)
affiliations
in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section, Business & Corporation Litigation Committee
      • Financial Institutions Litigation Subcommittee, Vice Chair
      • Business Divorce Subcommittee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Columbus Bar Association
    • CLE Advisory Board, Chair (2014-2016)
    • Judicial Screening Committee (2004-2007, 2008-2010)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Litigation Section Council
  • American Inns of Court, Thomas J. Moyer Inn (2013-2016)
  • Yay Bikes!
    • Board of Directors (2015-present); Vice Chair (2016-2017)
  • Pelotonia (a 180-mile annual bicycle tour to raise funds for cancer research) (2011-2015)
  • VeloSano (a 230-mile cycling event to raise funds for cancer research) (Inaugural 2014 Ride)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Central Ohio Chapter, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Investigations and Litigation: Preventing and Defending Whistleblower Claims Seminar, Organizer (2015)
  • Leadership Columbus (2006)