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Sanford E. Watson

Partner
Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.2385 | F 216.592.5009
overview

Sanford Watson is a trial lawyer practicing in the areas of business litigation, medical products liability, and public law.

He devotes a significant portion of his practice to defending distributors and sales representatives in products liability, pharmaceutical, and medical products cases. His experience with sales representatives includes preparing them for and defending them in depositions and at trial and counseling them on discovery issues and best practices to limit exposure.

Sanford has tried to verdict cases involving business acquisitions, contract disputes, and eminent domain. His first trial experiences were as a prosecutor for the City of Cleveland. As first chair, Sanford tried more than a dozen jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials. Later in his career, he returned to the City to serve as Chief Prosecutor, where he supervised and trained assistant prosecutors and reviewed internal affairs and use of deadly force investigations. Sanford also clerked for the Honorable Patricia Ann Blackmon in the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Judicial District.

The value Sanford provides clients extends beyond the courtroom. A former Director of Public Safety for the City of Cleveland, he brings real-world experience that allows him to provide practical public law counsel. Clients benefit from his experience negotiating government contracts and handling police misconduct matters, including use of deadly force policy.

education & admissions

education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1988); Order of the Barristers; Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team; Moot Court Barristers' Council
  • Morehouse College (B.A., 1985); Phi Alpha Theta

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1988

federal admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Government
  • Hospitals
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Pharmaceutical & Medicine
experience

Representative Matters

  • Represented medical device company in product liability MDL involving hip implant system; defended company sales leadership, distributors, and national sales force in discovery depositions in federal and state courts; and served on trial team in six-week jury trial resulting in defense verdict (jury trial)
  • Represented pharmaceutical company in product liability MDL involving birth control products; defended company sales leadership and national sales force in discovery depositions in federal and state courts
  • Represented municipality in tort liability claims and successfully secured summary judgment on the basis of governmental immunity
  • Represented hospital in breach of contract action arising out of the sale of a medical practice (jury trial)
  • Represented transportation agency in government contracts case and successfully secured summary judgment on all claims
  • Represented municipality in multiple eminent domain claims and served as trial counsel to municipality in eminent domain cases (jury trial)
  • Represented corporation in real estate case and obtained favorable declaratory judgment (bench trial)
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Mentors vs. Sponsors," Norman S. Minor Bar Association Second Annual Law Student Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (September 2017)
  • "Navigating the Muddy Waters of Law School," Norman S. Minor Bar Association Law Student Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (September 2016)
  • "On Being a Catalyst for Reform: A Conversation with the Monitor of the Cleveland Police Consent Decree," Federal Bar Association 2016 Annual Meeting and Convention, Cleveland, Ohio (September 2016)
  • "Creating and Sustaining Successful Pipeline Programs – Stepping Stones to a More Diverse & Inclusive Profession," Webinar, Federal Bar Association (July 2016)
  • "Diversity and Inclusiveness," Ernst & Young LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2015)
  • Tucker Ellis Ethics, Professionalism & Substance Abuse Seminar (December 2013)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Career Fair, Panelist (November 2013)
  • "Starting a Diversity Pipeline Program," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 5th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference (March 2012)
  • "Is the Business Case for Diversity Dead?," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 4th Annual Diversity Networking Conference, Conference Co-Chair and Panel Moderator (March 2011)
  • "Ethical Issues to Beware Of," Institute for Paralegal Education (June 2009)
  • "The Record," Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals, Appellate Walk-thru Seminar

Publications

honors

Awards & Professional Recognition

affiliations
in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • Ohio Board of Professional Conduct, Vice Chair
  • Karamu House, Board of Directors
  • Judicial Conference of the Ohio Eighth District, Life Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, Board of Directors
  • Norman S. Minor Bar Association, Past President (NBA Cleveland Chapter)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
  • Tucker Ellis Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Chair
  • Defense Research Institute
  • National Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center, Board of Directors (2006-2015)
  • William K. Thomas Inn, American Inns of Court (1991-2004)
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Assistant Adjunct Professor (2001, 2003)