Benjamin G. Chojnacki

Shareholder
Cleveland
1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
P 216.377.1492
F 216.623.0134
P 216.377.1492 | F 216.623.0134



Overview

Ben counsels municipalities, public entities, planning commissions and private corporations on all aspects of public law. He 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. In these roles, Ben provides sound legal advice and direction to different branches of local government, ultimately impacting the economic development of several communities. In addition, he handles matters unique to college athletics, Title IX, and electronic gaming (e-sports).

Ben also maintains a litigation practice focused on labor and employment, land use, eminent domain, tort defense, and constitutional disputes. 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.

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
  • Former Law Director, City of Huron
  • Former Assistant Law Director, Village of Hunting Valley
  • Former Assistant Law Director, Orange Village
  • Former Prosecutor, Village of Richfield

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
  • 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. Dawson v. City of Richmond Heights, 2018-Ohio-1301 (8th Dist. 2018).
  • 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. Maple Heights News v. Lansky, et al., 2015 WL 4730737 (N.D. Ohio 2015).

Employment Litigation

  • Successful defense of local government’s termination of Police Captain for conduct unbecoming. City of Vermilion v. Captain Michael Reinheimer, City Service Commission Case No. 2015-01.
  • Successful defense of City’s termination of Patrol Officer for engaging in sexual activity while onduty. City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-00440-6.
  • Successful defense of City’s termination of Police Dispatcher for off-duty conduct. City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-51053

Health Law

  • Healthcare fraud and abuse defense
  • 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
Services

Industries

Education

  1. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D.
  2. Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A.

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  2. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyers - Rising Star" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine
  • Selected to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law (2021-2024); Entertainment and Sports Law (2021-2024); and Land Use and Zoning Law (2021-2024)

Affiliations

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

Insights

  1. Alerts
    Legislation Introduced in Ohio General Assembly to Increase Minimum Teacher Salaries (Apr 3, 2024)
    Sixth Circuit Throws Out Minimum Wage Standards for Employees Who Drive Their Own Vehicles for Work (Mar 18, 2024)
    City of Columbus Bans Consideration of Salary History in the Hiring Process (Feb 29, 2024)
    U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases 4 New Resource Documents Addressing Students With Disabilities Under Section 504 (Feb 21, 2024)
    Is the Title IX Final Rule Finally Coming? (Feb 6, 2024)
  2. 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)
  3. Firm News
    15 Roetzel Attorneys Named Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 17, 2023)
    Roetzel Continues Strategic Growth with Addition of Over 30 Attorneys in 12 Months (Jan 3, 2023)

Overview

Ben counsels municipalities, public entities, planning commissions and private corporations on all aspects of public law. He 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. In these roles, Ben provides sound legal advice and direction to different branches of local government, ultimately impacting the economic development of several communities. In addition, he handles matters unique to college athletics, Title IX, and electronic gaming (e-sports).

Ben also maintains a litigation practice focused on labor and employment, land use, eminent domain, tort defense, and constitutional disputes. 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.

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
  • Former Law Director, City of Huron
  • Former Assistant Law Director, Village of Hunting Valley
  • Former Assistant Law Director, Orange Village
  • Former Prosecutor, Village of Richfield

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
  • 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. Dawson v. City of Richmond Heights, 2018-Ohio-1301 (8th Dist. 2018).
  • 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. Maple Heights News v. Lansky, et al., 2015 WL 4730737 (N.D. Ohio 2015).

Employment Litigation

  • Successful defense of local government’s termination of Police Captain for conduct unbecoming. City of Vermilion v. Captain Michael Reinheimer, City Service Commission Case No. 2015-01.
  • Successful defense of City’s termination of Patrol Officer for engaging in sexual activity while onduty. City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-00440-6.
  • Successful defense of City’s termination of Police Dispatcher for off-duty conduct. City of Vermilion v. Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, FMCS Case No. 16-51053

Health Law

  • Healthcare fraud and abuse defense
  • 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

Education

  1. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D.
  2. Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A.

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  2. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyers - Rising Star" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine
  • Selected to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law (2021-2024); Entertainment and Sports Law (2021-2024); and Land Use and Zoning Law (2021-2024)

Affiliations

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

Insights

  1. Alerts
    Legislation Introduced in Ohio General Assembly to Increase Minimum Teacher Salaries (Apr 3, 2024)
    Sixth Circuit Throws Out Minimum Wage Standards for Employees Who Drive Their Own Vehicles for Work (Mar 18, 2024)
    City of Columbus Bans Consideration of Salary History in the Hiring Process (Feb 29, 2024)
    U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases 4 New Resource Documents Addressing Students With Disabilities Under Section 504 (Feb 21, 2024)
    Is the Title IX Final Rule Finally Coming? (Feb 6, 2024)
  2. 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)
  3. Firm News
    15 Roetzel Attorneys Named Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 17, 2023)
    Roetzel Continues Strategic Growth with Addition of Over 30 Attorneys in 12 Months (Jan 3, 2023)