Robert E. Blackham

Chairman, Shareholder
Cleveland
1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
P 216.615.4839
F 216.623.0134
P 216.615.4839 | F 216.623.0134

Overview

As Roetzel’s Chairman, Bob devotes much of his time managing the firms’ environment to strengthen accountability, stability and preserve the firm’s culture. He also maintains a robust employer-side employment law practice. Clients rely on Bob for his quick and accurate answers to their most pressing problems. He knows how disruptive an employment situation can be for his client’s business and presents solutions before an issue develops into a lawsuit.

Bob has been with Roetzel for over 25 years – first as an Associate in 1994 and was named Partner two years later. Bob expanded the employer-side of Roetzel’s Employment Law group, representing employers in all facets of employment law and related litigation, handling numerous labor arbitrations for unionized employers on a local and national level. He counsels and represents Human Resources Directors, Safety Directors, and CEOs on workplace injury, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) claims, intentional tort, non-compete agreements, and employee discrimination matters.

Having taken on the role as Chairman in January 2017, Bob has continued to grow the firm. He truly enjoys practicing Employment Law and feels he has made a significant impact and contributes value to his clients with good, solid advice.

Experience
  • Defends management in all facets of employment-related litigation
  • Assists clients in implementing strategies designed to minimize exposure under laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), state fair employment statutes (i.e., the Ohio Civil Rights Act)
  • Performs on-site audits to ensure compliance with OSHA requirements
  • Statewide involvement in all aspects of defending workers' compensation claims for both self-insured and state-funded employers
  • Extensive experience before the Industrial Commission
  • Significant involvement in both civil litigation and appellate work in the workers' compensation area
  • Successful defense of numerous Violation of Specific Safety Regulation (VSSR) claims and intentional tort claims
  • Prepares and reviews employee handbooks, employment agreements, arbitration agreements, non-competition and confidentiality agreements and severance plans
  • Litigation of complex Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) charges before the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission
  • Successful defense of utility in a multimillion-dollar OSHA proceeding
  • Successful defense of a major tire company in a workplace death (jury verdict)
  • Successful defense of a contractor that received a willful citation from OSHA in a case involving the death of an employee
  • Successful defense of a stamping company in a sexual harassment case (jury verdict)
Languages
  1. Spanish
Services

Industries

Education

  1. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D.
  2. The Ohio State University, B.A., Political Science

Credentials

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

Recognitions

  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2020-2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2015)
  • Certified as a Workers' Compensation Law Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association
  • Board Certified as a Specialist in Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA)
  • Board Certified in Pre-Trial Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA)
  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Prevent Blindness Ohio, Person of Vision Award (2009)
  • Member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Fellows Committee
  • American Diabetes Association Father of the Year Award winner (2012)

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Akron Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio Self-Insurers Association (OSIA)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Charter Fellow of the American College of Board Certified Attorneys
  • Life Member of The Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District
Community Affiliations
  • Dollar Bank, Director
  • Aurora Baseball and Football Associations, Pro bono legal counsel (1994-present)
  • American Heart Association, Leadership Team (2010-2012)
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation, Board (2007-2010)

Insights

  1. Alerts
    The X Box: EEOC Announces Addition of Nonbinary Gender Option to Discrimination Charge (Mar 31, 2022)
    U.S. Supreme Court Shoots Down COVID-19 Shot-or-Test Rule (Jan 13, 2022)
    COVID-19 Update: The CDC Issues New Isolation Guidance (Dec 29, 2021)
    Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Rule (Dec 20, 2021)
    Federal Courts Block the Federal Contractor and Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandates for Certain States (Including Ohio) (Dec 1, 2021)
  2. Presentations
    Routinely presents to public and private companies on employment-related issues, including OSHA, EEOC, FLSA and workers' compensation practice and procedures
    Lectured on workers' compensation to the Ohio Self-Insurers Group
    Several presentations to self-insured and private employers' groups
  3. Firm News
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel’s Reopening America Readiness Team Formed to Help Businesses Reopen (May 5, 2020)
    Roetzel Transitioning to Virtual Work Environment (Mar 16, 2020)
    Bob Blackham Achieves Recertification by National Board of Trial Advocacy (Aug 27, 2019)

Overview

As Roetzel’s Chairman, Bob devotes much of his time managing the firms’ environment to strengthen accountability, stability and preserve the firm’s culture. He also maintains a robust employer-side employment law practice. Clients rely on Bob for his quick and accurate answers to their most pressing problems. He knows how disruptive an employment situation can be for his client’s business and presents solutions before an issue develops into a lawsuit.

Bob has been with Roetzel for over 25 years – first as an Associate in 1994 and was named Partner two years later. Bob expanded the employer-side of Roetzel’s Employment Law group, representing employers in all facets of employment law and related litigation, handling numerous labor arbitrations for unionized employers on a local and national level. He counsels and represents Human Resources Directors, Safety Directors, and CEOs on workplace injury, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) claims, intentional tort, non-compete agreements, and employee discrimination matters.

Having taken on the role as Chairman in January 2017, Bob has continued to grow the firm. He truly enjoys practicing Employment Law and feels he has made a significant impact and contributes value to his clients with good, solid advice.

Experience
  • Defends management in all facets of employment-related litigation
  • Assists clients in implementing strategies designed to minimize exposure under laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), state fair employment statutes (i.e., the Ohio Civil Rights Act)
  • Performs on-site audits to ensure compliance with OSHA requirements
  • Statewide involvement in all aspects of defending workers' compensation claims for both self-insured and state-funded employers
  • Extensive experience before the Industrial Commission
  • Significant involvement in both civil litigation and appellate work in the workers' compensation area
  • Successful defense of numerous Violation of Specific Safety Regulation (VSSR) claims and intentional tort claims
  • Prepares and reviews employee handbooks, employment agreements, arbitration agreements, non-competition and confidentiality agreements and severance plans
  • Litigation of complex Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) charges before the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission
  • Successful defense of utility in a multimillion-dollar OSHA proceeding
  • Successful defense of a major tire company in a workplace death (jury verdict)
  • Successful defense of a contractor that received a willful citation from OSHA in a case involving the death of an employee
  • Successful defense of a stamping company in a sexual harassment case (jury verdict)
Languages
  1. Spanish

Education

  1. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D.
  2. The Ohio State University, B.A., Political Science

Credentials

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

Recognitions

  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2020-2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2015)
  • Certified as a Workers' Compensation Law Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association
  • Board Certified as a Specialist in Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA)
  • Board Certified in Pre-Trial Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA)
  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Prevent Blindness Ohio, Person of Vision Award (2009)
  • Member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Fellows Committee
  • American Diabetes Association Father of the Year Award winner (2012)

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Akron Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio Self-Insurers Association (OSIA)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Charter Fellow of the American College of Board Certified Attorneys
  • Life Member of The Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District
Community Affiliations
  • Dollar Bank, Director
  • Aurora Baseball and Football Associations, Pro bono legal counsel (1994-present)
  • American Heart Association, Leadership Team (2010-2012)
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation, Board (2007-2010)

Insights

  1. Alerts
    The X Box: EEOC Announces Addition of Nonbinary Gender Option to Discrimination Charge (Mar 31, 2022)
    U.S. Supreme Court Shoots Down COVID-19 Shot-or-Test Rule (Jan 13, 2022)
    COVID-19 Update: The CDC Issues New Isolation Guidance (Dec 29, 2021)
    Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Rule (Dec 20, 2021)
    Federal Courts Block the Federal Contractor and Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandates for Certain States (Including Ohio) (Dec 1, 2021)
  2. Presentations
    Routinely presents to public and private companies on employment-related issues, including OSHA, EEOC, FLSA and workers' compensation practice and procedures
    Lectured on workers' compensation to the Ohio Self-Insurers Group
    Several presentations to self-insured and private employers' groups
  3. Firm News
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel’s Reopening America Readiness Team Formed to Help Businesses Reopen (May 5, 2020)
    Roetzel Transitioning to Virtual Work Environment (Mar 16, 2020)
    Bob Blackham Achieves Recertification by National Board of Trial Advocacy (Aug 27, 2019)