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Benjamin Grant Chojnacki

Partner

Ben Chojnacki

Overview

Learn about Benjamin

Ben Chojnacki is a partner at Walter Haverfield and a member of the firm’s Public Law, Litigation, and Sports Law groups in Cleveland, Ohio. He counsels municipalities, public entities, planning commissions and private corporations on all aspects of public law while maintaining a robust litigation practice that focuses on labor and employment, land use, eminent domain, tort defense, and constitutional disputes. Chojnacki rounds out his practice with a focus on matters unique to college athletics, Title IX, and electronic gaming (e-sports).

Ben currently serves as the Law Director for the Village of Cuyahoga Heights, the Law Director for the City of Chardon, and as the Village Solicitor for the Village of Lakemore. He has previously served as Law Director for the City of Huron, Assistant Law Director for the Village of Hunting Valley, Assistant Law Director for Orange Village, and Prosecutor for the Village of Richfield, Ohio. In these roles, Ben finds great pride in providing sound legal advice and direction to different branches of local government, which ultimately impacts the economic development of several communities.

Ben previously worked as an associate at a boutique law firm that exclusively represented hospital systems in disputes with the federal government, state governments, and insurance carriers. Prior to entering private practice, he served as a Law Clerk to the Administrative Law Judges in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.

Recognition

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EXPERIENCE

PUBLIC LAW
  • Law Director, Village of Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio (2018-present).
  • Law Director, City of Chardon (2019-present).
  • Village Solicitor, Village of Lakemore (2018-present).
  • Counsel to local communities on land use, labor and employment, fair housing, and environmental issues, as well as matters relating specifically to local governments (public records, open meetings, emergency services, ethics law, elections law, firearms law, etc.).
  • Negotiated tax incentive agreement on behalf of local government to encourage out-of-state steel company to build a $153,000,000.00 melt shop in the community.
  • Negotiated confidential settlement between local government and water utility monitoring system manufacturer over alleged product defects.
  • Negotiated various agreements with private landowners and public agencies to allow for a community improvement corporation to redevelop a landfill.
SPORTS LAW
  • Represents college athletic conference in antitrust litigation.
  • Represented college athletic conference in successful defense of employment lawsuit.
  • Represented college athlete in successful defense of felony criminal matter.
LITIGATION
  • Represents local communities and landowners in eminent domain and employment proceedings.
  • Defends cities and public officials in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 litigation.
  • Represents private entities in business disputes, employment litigation, and adversary proceedings.
  • Dawson v. City of Richmond Heights, 2018-Ohio-1301 (8th Dist. 2018).
    • Successful defense of constitutional challenge to local government’s storm and sanitary sewer ordinance and a constitutional challenge to its execution of an administrative search warrant on private property.
  • Maple Heights News v. Lansky, et al., 2015 WL 4730737 (N.D. Ohio 2015).
    • Successful defense of City Mayor in lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations over the removal of a video camera and a City Council Member from a public meeting, and alleging that the Mayor violated a City Council Member’s right to privacy after the Mayor disclosed that a City Council Member failed to pay his local income taxes.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION
  • City of Vermilion v. Captain Michael Reinheimer, City Service Commission Case No. 2015-01.
    • Successful defense of local government’s termination of Police Captain for conduct unbecoming.
  • City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-00440-6.
    • Successful defense of City’s termination of Patrol Officer for engaging in sexual activity while on-duty.
  • City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-51053.
    • Successful defense of City’s termination of Police Dispatcher for off-duty conduct.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE
  • Felony and misdemeanor defense.
  • Healthcare fraud and abuse defense.
HEALTH CARE AND BIOSCIENCE LITIGATION
  • Defended hospital in lung transplant coverage lawsuit against insurance carrier (admitted pro hac vice to the Commonwealth of Kentucky).
  • Represented hospital in breach of contract lawsuit against state psychiatric facility.
  • Negotiated defensive settlement for Ohio hospital in breach of contract and malicious prosecution lawsuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of hospital against alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
  • Negotiated settlement between four hospital systems and distressed ERISA plan.
  • Assisted hospital in appeal of government-determined reimbursement rate for workers’ compensation claims.
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ASSOCIATIONS

  • Member, Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association.
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Government Attorneys Section
  • Former President, Cleveland Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
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PRESENTATIONS

  • Public Protest Law and its Challenges,” Cleveland-Marshall Law Zoom Town Hall, 2020
  • Social Media Use by Municipalities: Developing and Enforcing Policies for Public Employees and Officials,” Strafford Live Webinar, 2019
  • Advanced Sunshine Law,” Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association,  2019
  • “Social Media and Cyber Security,” Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association,  2018
  • Social Media and Cyber Security for Local Governments,” Mayor’s Association of Ohio, 2018
  • Local Government Law from Start to Finish: Strategic Code Enforcement Best Practices,” National Business Institute, 2015
  • Federal and State Law Update,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Medical/Legal Summit, 2014
  • “The Affordable Care Act Meets Revenue Cycle: What to Expect?” Mount Carmel Health System,  2013
  • “State Law Update,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Medical/Legal Summit, 2013
  • “Navigating the Medicare Appeals Process,” Akron General Medical Center, 2012