Matthew T. Fitzsimmons

Matthew T. Fitzsimmons: Attorney with Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC AV stamp icon
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Matt Fitzsimmons practices in the areas of general civil and complex/commercial trial and appellate litigation. His practice includes business and commercial litigation, class actions and employment, product liability, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), real estate tax (ad valorem) and health care litigation.

Matt’s work in real estate tax cases has resulted in numerous significant reductions in the fair market value of commercial and industrial properties, including several seven-figure tax refunds for clients.

Since 2010, Matt has been selected annually to the Ohio Super Lawyers lists in business and commercial litigation. He receives many referrals from Cleveland's largest law firms and frequently serves as local counsel for major out-of-state firms.

Matt has substantial experience in both state and federal appellate courts.

Publications and interviews

•Author, “Settling Sexual Harassment Claims May Be More Difficult Under New Tax Law,” NGC Legal Insights (Fall 2018)
•Author, “AEDs in the Workplace,” Beach Cliff Beacon (July 2018)
•Author, “AEDs in the Workplace,” NGC Legal Insights (Winter 2017-2018)
•Author, “Ohio Quietly Eliminates Automatic Right to Appeal Decisions of Board of Tax Appeals to Ohio Supreme Court,” NGC Legal Insights (Fall 2017)
•Author, “ What if your company is the target of a union organizing campaign?, ” NGC Legal Insights (Summer 2017)
•Author, “ Confusion remains over federal overtime rules, ” NGC Legal Insights (Summer 2017)
•Author, “ Travel and Training Outside the Workday: Overtime or Not?, ” NGC Legal Insights (Winter 2017)
•Author, “ Overtime Compensation for Non-Exempt Employee Travel and Training, ” Beach Cliff Beacon (April 2017)
•Quoted, “ What’s Going on with the Final Rule Regarding Overtime Pay?, ” FingerCheck (Jan. 13, 2017)
•Author, “ New Rule on Overtime Compensation Scheduled to Take Effect December 1, ” NGC Legal Insights (Summer 2016)
•Author, “ Overtime Changes Proposed, ” NGC Legal Insights (Fall 2015)
•Guest, Kaleidoscope, WEWS-TV5 show featuring NorthEast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Inc. (NEON); segment begins at 7:20 minutes (April 2015)
•Profiled, “ Making a Difference: NEON’s Light Shines Bright, ” Beach Cliff Beacon (March 2015)
•Quoted, “ 4 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make, ” Intuit Small Business Blog (Dec. 19, 2013)
•Author, “ Before Litigation, Try Mediation, ” NGC Legal Insights (Summer 2013)
•Author, “ Climbing a Stairway to Heaven” (a tribute to the 343 New York City firemen who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001), Society & Culture, Notre Dame Magazine (Winter 2001-2002); Congressional Record, Extension of Remarks (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2001) (Statement of Rep. Kucinich)

Areas of Practice (8)

  • Complex litigation/class actions
  • Business and commercial litigation
  • Employment litigation
  • Products liability litigation
  • Health care law
  • Ad Valorem property tax litigation
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Sports law

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
216-939-5369  Phone
(216) 621-7227  Phone
University Attended:
University of Notre Dame, A.B., Government, with honors, 1975
Law School Attended:
University of Dayton School of Law, J.D., 1980
Year of First Admission:
1984, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; 1981, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio; 1983, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; 1980, Ohio; 1997, U.S. Supreme Court

Professional and civic activities

•Member, American Bar Association , Litigation and Labor and Employment Law sections
•Member, Federal Bar Association
•Member, Ohio State Bar Association , Labor and Employment Law section
•Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association , Litigation, Labor and Employment Law and Health Care Law sections
•Board member, Midtown Cleveland, Inc
•Trustee, board of trustees chair (2010-2015) and longtime volunteer board member, NorthEast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc . (also known as Hough Norwood Family Clinics, a federally qualified health center of seven clinics serving medically underserved persons of Greater Cleveland)
•President, First Friday Club of Cleveland (2004)
•Life member, Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District
•Board member, Notre Dame Lawyers Alumni Committee
•Member, Notre Dame Club of Cleveland
•Member, advisory group of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (2002-2008)
•Member, Ohio Supreme Court Committee for the Rules for Reporting of Opinions (1982-1983)

Birth Information:
Staten Island, New York
Reported Cases:
Representative Experience: General commercial and business/complex litigation and disputes, including contract litigation, class actions and litigation involving noncompete agreements, trade secrets, shareholder disputes and dealer terminations; Employment litigation and counseling (wrongful discharge claims, state and federal sexual harassment and discrimination claims and preparation of employee handbooks); Real estate tax litigation before the county boards of revision, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of property owners seeking reductions in property taxes or avoidance of property tax increases sought by school boards; Representation of a major steel company in a number of adversary proceedings and prosecution of more than 600 preference actions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio , yielding significant recoveries for the bankruptcy estate; Representation in product liability litigation of numerous pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers, including Merck & Co. Inc., Pharmacia & Upjohn, Carter Wallace, Johnson & Johnson, Scott Fetzer Co. and Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex Inc.; Representation in numerous employment and commercial/UCC cases for major corporations and financial institutions, including Wells Fargo Bank N.A., JPMorgan Chase, IBM, LTV Steel, L'Oreal USA Inc., Huntsman Corp., Premier Farnell Corp. and Bridgestone/Firestone; Representation of professional athletes and agents in player-agent contract disputes and related litigation Representative Cases: Loyd v. Huntington Nat'l Bank, 649 F.3d 492 (6th Cir. 2011) and 2009 WL 1767585 (N.D. Ohio) (representing Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in class action brought by Ponzi scheme victims seeking to create a discovery rule to toll the statute of limitations applicable to UCC's properly payable rule); Victory Sports Management Ltd. v. Leandro Barbosa, Case No. CV-09-689732, Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (representing NBA player in contract dispute with former agent); Bikkani v. Lee, 2008 Ohio 3130 (Ct. App. 2008) (Ohio R. Civ. P. 11 and R.C. 2323.51, Ohio's frivolous conduct statute); IMG v. Stuart Appleby, Case No. 1:06-CV-1231, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Ohio (representing PGA touring pro in contract dispute with agent); Evergreen Sports, Inc. v. Bill A. Duffy, et al., Case No. 1:03-CV-787, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Ohio (representing NBA agent in dispute over representation rights for NBA player); Miller v. Premier Industrial Corp., 136 Ohio App.3d 662 (8th Dist. 2000) (affirming summary judgment in age/disability discrimination claim); Soberay Machine & Equipment Co. v. MRF Ltd., Inc., 181 F.3d 759 (6th Cir. 1999) (Fed. R. Civ. P. 19, international contract dispute); Sutkowski v. Eli Lilly & Co., 82 Ohio St.3d 347 (1998) (representing Merck & Co. Inc. in case rejecting pharmaceutical market share liability); Bd. of Ed. of the Worthington City School District v. Bd. of Revision of Franklin County, 85 Ohio St.3d (1999) (real estate tax litigation); Kurczi v. Eli Lilly & Co., 160 F.R.D. 667 (N.D. Ohio 1995) (representing Merck & Co. Inc. in defeating motion for class certification in pharmaceutical product liability claim); Gries Sports Enterprises, Inc. v. Modell, 15 Ohio St. 2d 284 (1984) (conflict of laws/shareholder voting agreement); Columbus Bd. of Ed. v. JC Penney Properties, Inc., 11 Ohio St. 3d 203 (1984) (real estate tax litigation); OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. v. Kinney, 11 Ohio St. 3d 198 (1984) (real estate tax litigation); Columbus Bd. of Ed. v. Fountain Square Associates, Ltd., 9 Ohio St.3d 218 (1984) (real estate tax litigation); Wauseon v. Badenhop, 9 Ohio St.3d 152 (1984) (criminal law; appointed appellate counsel by Ohio Supreme Court); Perotti v. Ferguson, 7 Ohio St.3d 1 (1983) (Ohio R. Civ. P. 41); St. Clair Builders v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 81 Ohio App.3d 675 (8th Dist. 1992) (construction litigation); Total Health Care Plan, Inc. v. Tracy, BTA Case No. 94-J-38 (February 24, 1995) (obtained a real estate tax exemption for an HMO's headquarters)
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

  • 4.6/5.0 (1 review)
  • High ethical standing icon
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

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