Chris Cotter


222 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308
P 330.849.6756
F 330.376.4577
1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
P 216.623.0150
F 216.623.0134

Chris Cotter


Phone: 330.849.6756
Fax: 330.376.4577

Mr. Cotter helps his clients navigate and solve legal problems. He primarily defends injury and business claims and advises on regulatory and compliance issues.

Mr. Cotter has the capability to address a wide array of claims and legal issues, including complex commercial motor vehicle accidents, products liability claims, professional liability claims, issues involving unmanned aircraft systems (drones), transportation contract drafting and review, insurance coverage disputes, employer intentional tort claims, regulatory compliance under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specialty insurance defense, premises liability, passenger claims against airlines, products liability, legal malpractice, claims against real estate agents, claims against insurance agents, Carmack Amendment claims, appeals, Federal Aviation Act compliance, maritime law, construction defects, oil and gas disputes, and real property tax valuation.

His clients are primarily in the following industries: transportation, retail, aviation, oil & gas, energy, manufacturing and distribution, real estate, and emerging technologies.

In addition, Mr. Cotter serves on Roetzel's Emergency Response Team to immediately address issues that may arise as a result of catastrophic injury events, industrial accidents, fires, and other catastrophes.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained defense verdict at trial for manufacturing client in an employer intentional tort case
  • Represented a motor carrier and insurance company at trial seeking to recover property damages arising out of a head-on collision between a sedan and a commercial truck. Obtained a jury verdict in favor of the motor carrier and insurance company for the full amount they were seeking
  • Obtained summary judgment for retail client in a case involving a third-party assault on the premises and successfully defended on appeal as well
  • Relying on the Montreal Convention, obtained partial summary judgment for a commercial airline in baggage damage claim
  • After a three day Arbitration, obtaining a decision in favor of my client on a breach of warranty claim arising out of the sale of a commercial motor vehicle
  • Succeeded in protecting a motor carrier's accident investigation materials from disclosure during the discovery phase of a lawsuit by implementing emergency response protocols immediately after the accident
  • Reviewed transportation contracts and advised companies on suggested revisions
  • Defended cargo claims lawsuits under the Carmack Amendment
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Department of Transportation employees in a wrongful death case based on qualified official immunity for governmental employees
  • Successfully prevented plaintiffs from obtaining damages for "preimpact fear" in multiple lawsuits
  • Obtained a declaratory judgment from the court limiting a $250,000 claim to $31,250 based on the correct application of the appropriate insurance policy
  • Obtained a defense verdict at trial on behalf of a roof shingle manufacturer in defense of product liability claims
  • Defended warranty claims asserted against the seller of a commercial vehicle in a three day arbitration hearing with the American Arbitration Association and obtained a decision in favor of my client on all claims


  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyers - Rising Star" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2014-2018)
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Thomas M. Rose of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Fall 2007)


  • J.D., University of Dayton School of Law
    • University of Dayton Law Review
  • B.S., Miami University

Professional Affiliations

  • USLAW Network
  • Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • SMU Air Law Symposium
  • Ohio Trucking Association, Safety Council
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Akron Bar Association

Community Affiliations

  • Boy Scouts of America, Assistant Cub Master & Den Leader
  • The University of Dayton School of Law Alumni Association



  • "Look! Up in the Sky! An Overview of Drone Law Relating to the Natural Resources Industry" - Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program: Industry Safety Training (2017)
  • "Navigating Claims of Negligent Hiring, Training & Retention...Is It Punitive?" - American Trucking Association: Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel (2017)
  • "The Expanding Survivorship Claim" - USLAW Transportation Law Exchange (2017)
    • Co-Chair of the USLAW Transportation Law Exchange, Presenter
  • "Litigating Against the Latest Efforts By The Plaintiffs' Bar to Misconstrue the FMCSA Regulations" - Panel Presentation, TLA Annual Meeting (2017)
  • "Defense Strategies for the Minor Accident Turned Catastrophic Loss, Staged Accidents, and Phantom Trucks" - DRI Trucking Law Seminar (2016)
  • "Navigating Claims of Negligent Hiring, Training, and Retention When Punitive Damages Are Alleged" - Public Transportation Claims + Safety Seminar (2015)
  • "Analyzing the Complexity of Crash Investigation, Driver Expectations and Next Steps to Litigation" - Arkansas Trucking Seminar (2015)
  • "Working with an FMCSA Regulations / Hiring and Retention Expert" - Defending Truck Litigation: A Primer for Young Lawyers Seminar (2015)
  • "Recent Developments in Montreal Convention Litigation" - SMU Air Law Symposium (2014)
  • "Transportation Law - Your Rapid Response Team and Discovery: How to Avoid Producing Your Investigative Team and File" - Corporate Counsel Forum (2013)
  • "Inherent Problems with Awarding Damages for Pre-Impact Fear" - DRI Annual Meeting (2013)
  • "Safety First: An Environmental and Logistics Perspective" - Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium's Logistics Conference (2013)
  • "Lay and Expert Witnesses and the Ohio Rules of Evidence" - National Business Institute
  • "Ohio Trucking Law Update" - Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium
  • "Civil Liability Update for 2011" - Ohio Trucking Association, Safety Council

Related Media

DOT Aims to Revise Truckers' Hours-of-Service Regulations
Ohio Supreme Court Rules on BWC Subrogation Interest in Tort Claim Insurance Settlements
Before You Write That Check!
Thirty Eight Roetzel Attorneys Honored as 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
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Significant Victory for Trucking Company in Admitted Negligence Case
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Driver Coercion Rule is Final and Effective January 29, 2016
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In Product Liability Case Alleging Personal Injuries, Southern District of Ohio Applies the Non-Economic Damages Cap and Rejects the Catastrophic Loss Exceptions
New Decision on Catastrophic Loss Exceptions to the Non-Economic Damages Cap: The Cap Applies As a Matter of Law
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