Stephen Hartman

Stephen D. Hartman

About Stephen

Steve joined the firm in April of 2019 after two years of running his own solo practice and fifteen years of firm experience prior to that. His practice consists of civil litigation, criminal defense, and election law. Areas of significant experience include business litigation, construction litigation, crisis management, probate litigation, commercial disputes, civil rights law, and election law. On the criminal side, Steve has extensive experience in federal criminal defense, having tried numerous cases ranging from white-collar crime to drugs to terrorism. He also practices criminal defense in common pleas and municipal courts.

Steve earned a B.A. in political science and an M.B.A. from the University of Toledo before settling on the law as a career. Having earned his law degree from UT as well, he has been practicing since 2002. Steve has always been an active member of the Toledo Bar Association has served on its Board of Trustees, as chairman of its Federal Court Committee and he’s currently on the Grievance Committee. He was honored to be chosen for 20 Under 40 in 2007, awarded the Toledo Bar Association’s Trustee’s Award in 2009, and named a Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation that same year.

Education

  • University of Toledo (J.D.)

  • University of Toledo (M.B.A.)

  • University of Toledo (B.A., Political Science)

Bar Admissions

  • All Ohio Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Practice Areas

Accidents (Auto)

Our attorneys represent plaintiffs in connection with liability claims arising from auto accidents. As soon as possible after medical treatment has been received, we recommend that you contact a Spengler Nathanson attorney to discuss your case. We have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and help you maximize your recovery of compensation from responsible parties.

Appellate Practice

A decision in the trial court is rarely the end of the litigation process. When selecting an attorney for an appeal, it is vital to obtain counsel who will be successful at the appellate level. Our attorneys routinely prosecute and defend appeals in the Ohio Supreme Court, various Ohio intermediate appellate courts, and administrative appeals in a variety of judicial and regulatory forums.

Banking Disputes

Financial institutions are heavily regulated, creating the potential for claims by overseeing governmental bodies and members of the public. Our attorneys are familiar with the myriad of regulations which affect the banking industry and can respond to these claims effectively and efficiently.

Business and Corporate Law

Our attorneys assist clients with entity formation and the drafting of organizational documents for such businesses as limited liability companies, for-profit corporations, and non-profit entities. We also counsel new and established businesses and corporations regarding mergers, acquisitions, compliance, taxation issues, corporate governance, and a variety of other areas.

Civil Rights

Our attorneys are skilled in defending clients who are sued or named in administrative proceedings in connection with alleged civil rights violations including claims based upon disability, age, race, ethnic origin, and religion. In addition, Spengler Nathanson has represented numerous public entities in connection with Sections 801 and 830 civil rights claims, including a number of county and municipal law enforcement agencies.

Commercial Disputes

Commercial law regulates corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales of consumer goods. Our attorneys provide valuable legal counsel when commercial disputes arise. We have effectively represented corporations, partnerships, agencies, joint ventures and franchises in a myriad of disputes.

Commercial Law

Commercial law is a body of law that regulates the conduct of persons, merchants, and businesses who are engaged in trade, sales, and commerce. Also known as business law, our commercial law attorneys are experienced in a subject that interacts with many other areas of law .

Constitutional Rights

Public sector clients must be aware of the constitutional rights of their employees and members of the public. Our attorneys assist clients in handling many types of constitutional rights claims including: First Amendment claims (religion, free speech, right to participate in union activities), due process and equal protection claims, and claims against law enforcement personnel, child protection agencies, park districts, and publicly operated nursing homes.

Contract Disputes

Our attorneys have considerable experience representing clients in connection with all types of contract disputes, written or verbal. If you think you have a contract and feel the other party has not lived up to their end of the deal, we will help you to determine whether a contract exists and whether or not it is capable of enforcement.

Criminal Defense

Under the U.S. Constitution, everyone accused of a crime has the right to a lawyer’s defense. Our attorneys represent defendants in and out of court to insure a fair and zealous representation.

Discrimination (Administrative Charges)

Our attorneys represent employers in administrative proceedings brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and other administrative bodies in matters which involve the employers’ compliance with a broad variety of civil rights statutes.

Election Law

Our attorneys are experienced in areas of campaign finance and election laws at the local, state, and federal level. We work with candidates, issue campaigns, parties, political action committees, and corporations to ensure compliance.

Employee Discipline

Our experienced employment attorneys often counsel employers on whether proposed employee discipline or discharge is likely to withstand challenge in any number of forums available to employees. We have secured for employers the dismissals of hundreds of claims regarding employee discipline, in court, in grievance arbitrations, and before agencies such as the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio State Employment Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Board.

Employee Handbooks

Employee handbooks are excellent tools for outlining consistent employer practices, and for preserving employer flexibility and management rights such as employment at will. Our attorneys frequently review employee handbooks for compliance with federal and state employment laws, and recommend language and policies to protect employers and their businesses.

Employment Claims

In addition to representing employers in unemployment and workers’ compensation claims, our attorneys advise employers on compliance with local, state, and federal laws affecting employment, including the American with Disabilities Act, Title VII, Ohio’s civil rights law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and applicable wage and hour laws. We also advise employers on terminations and represent employers against claims brought by terminated employees.

Employment Discrimination Defense

Our attorneys frequently defend employers facing charges or lawsuits alleging employment discrimination. Although the law is well-intended to protect employees from workplace discrimination, it is unfortunately common for employers to have to defend against unfounded claims of employment discrimination. Our lawyers have secured the dismissals of hundreds of employment discrimination claims before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in state and federal courts.

ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.

Governmental Liability

Governmental entities in Ohio are subject to a number of statutory requirements not applicable in the private sector, such as the Public Records Act, the Sunshine Law, and the Ohio Student Records Act. When sued, counties, townships, municipalities, and school districts and their employees have a number of defenses not available to private litigants. Our attorneys have long represented governmental entities and public employees and we are familiar with applicable requirements and defenses.

Insurance Coverage Disputes

The interpretation of an insurance policy often means the difference between coverage or no coverage. Our attorneys have effectively represented clients in insurance coverage litigation. From motion practice to trial, our clients are well represented.

Insurance Defense

Spengler Nathanson attorneys have defended insureds for over 40 years as panel counsel for such insurance companies as St Paul Insurance, Travelers Insurance, CNA Insurance and HAS. Counsel, the insured, and the claims handler work together to bring the claim to a desirable outcome.

Intentional Tort Claims

Over the years, the General Assembly and the courts have struggled with the elements of a workplace intentional tort. Our thirty-plus years of defending employers against these claims uniquely qualifies Spengler Nathanson attorneys to provide you the representation needed in this type of litigation.

Landlord/Tenant

Our attorneys have experience handling various aspects of landlord/tenant relationships—both residential and commercial. From drafting and advising on leases, renting policies, tenant notices, counseling landlords as tenant issues arise, and handling eviction proceedings and litigation. We can be a resource for both landlords and tenants alike.

Mediation/Arbitration

Spengler Nathanson attorneys have mediated innumerable disputes before court-appointed mediators and mediators selected and retained by the parties to a dispute. Mediation can often result in a resolution of a claim and our attorneys are experienced in all phases of the mediation and arbitration process.

Personal Injury

Injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, swimming pools, and other premises liability situations are a daily occurrence. Our attorneys have successfully represented the injured party and the defendant in countless personal injury cases. Our attorneys have solid expertise in federal and state courts throughout the state.

Political Subdivisions

A large percentage of our litigation and labor practice involves advising and representing political subdivisions such as counties, townships, cities, villages, police agencies, park districts, fair boards, county nursing homes, and schools districts and in representing these clients in administrative and court proceedings. We have expertise in the laws and regulations that apply to political subdivisions and their employees.

Premises Liability

Premises liability law is the body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises. A premises owner faced with a lawsuit should notify his insurance carrier. Our attorneys have successfully defended premises owners against such claims for years.

Public and Administrative Law

Our attorneys enjoy a rich history representing public clients in Northwest Ohio, including school boards, port authorities, park districts, municipalities, counties, townships, airport authorities, and more. Our firm has been home to two former City of Toledo Law Directors, a former counsel to the Ohio Department of Commerce, and a former State Senator. We know the legal problems confronting local public bodies both as lawyers and as participants in the political process.

Public Records and Open Meetings

Spengler Nathanson’s extensive representation of school boards and other local and state governmental bodies has given us a wide range of experience dealing with Ohio’s public records and open meetings laws.

Public Sector and Public Employee Defense

Public employers and their employees are subject to liability for a broad array of claims that private employers and employees don’t face. Spengler Nathanson’s attorneys have expertise in these areas of the law.

School Law

Our decades-long representation of area school boards has given Spengler Nathanson the opportunity to deal with most legal issues faced by schools. We deal regularly with teacher and administrator contracts, student discipline, special education, competitive bidding, public records and open meetings, religious expression, FERPA, attendance and tuition, and a host of other school concerns.

White Collar Criminal Defense

A white collar crime is a criminal offense that takes place within a business, corporate, or political setting. Whether you have been accused of embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, or any other white collar crime, our attorneys will provide the support and guidance necessary for a zealous defense.

Will Contests

A will contest is a court proceeding in which a court is called upon to determine the validity of a will. Understanding what’s involved in bringing a will contest requires a general understanding of wills, estates and the probate process. Spengler Nathanson attorneys can help you understand the process and what can be expected in bringing a will contest.