Tabitha Justice

Biography                                                                   Tabitha_Justice-AV-Rating

Tabitha Justice is an “AV Rated” attorney with a broad range of experience in civil litigation matters in both state and federal courts. Her practice primarily emphasizes representation of schools, municipalities, and insurance entities.

Before joining Subashi & Wildermuth and while still in college, Tabitha served with the Ohio Army National Guard for eight years and interned with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

After law school, Tabitha became an associate at Subashi & Wildermuth, where she represented individuals, political subdivisions, and corporations in defense of a broad spectrum of claims. Her first, substantial trial experience was a three-week multi-claim discrimination jury trial that ended with a defense verdict. She also argued numerous state appellate cases and several important arguments before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In May 2008, she moved to Washington D.C. to accept a position as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice. While with the Department of Justice, Tabitha tried a major medical malpractice case in federal court in addition to handling a wide variety other litigation-related matters, including work on the now-infamous Iqbal case.

She recently returned to the firm of Subashi & Wildermuth after her successful stint with the federal government – essentially taking up where she left off – litigating a wide spectrum of cases ranging from Section 1983 and political subdivision liability to Title VII and other employment law.

Tabitha is also actively involved in a number of legal and professional organizations. She has written articles on litigation topics, including governmental liability, federal and state immunities, and electronic discovery – in addition to speaking at seminars on related topics. She also serves as a mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program and works with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity in her spare time.

Education

  • J.D., University of Dayton School of Law (2002)
  • B.A., Ohio University (1998)

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court Southern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court Northern District of Ohio

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association (Committees: Federal Practice, Judicial Administration and Legal Reform, and Education Law)
  • Dayton Bar Association (Committees: Labor and Employment)
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
  • Defense Research Institute (Committees: Transportation Law)
  • Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court

Activities

Primary Practice Areas

  • Education Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Municipal and Police Liability
  • Transportation Law

Representative Experience

Employment & Labor

  • Turner v. Hamilton City School District (Oct. 2010), Butler Cty. Case No. 2009 CV 3044. Summary judgment in favor of school district in case alleging termination was the result of age and disability discrimination. The decision was not appealed.
  • State ex rel. Moeller v. City of Miamisburg, 2nd App. No. 22261, 2008 WL 867728, 2008-Ohio-1612. Summary judgment in favor of municipal employer in case alleging age discrimination and violations of the civil service rules in the selection of the City’s Fire Lieutenant.
  • Sandberg v. John T. Crouch Co., Inc.(Dec. 28, 2007), 2nd App. No. 21579, 2007 WL 4615952. Court affirmed the defense verdict we obtained after a three-week jury trial. The plaintiff brought a lawsuit in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court alleging sexual harassment, retaliation, defamation, breach of contract, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment. The jury took less than an hour to reject all his claims.

Municipal and Police Liability

  • Ashcroft v. Iqbal, E.D.N.Y. No. 04 CV 1809 JG SMG. Participated in trial team defending the United States of America against tort claims filed by illegal immigrants who were detained after 9/11.
  • Bethel v. United States,(Mar. 13, 2009), D. Colo. No. 05-cv-01336-RPM, 2009 WL 690301. Tried a three-week major medical malpractice case to Judge Richard Matsch in a federal court in Colorado.
  • Hale v. CSX Transp. (Oct. 31, 2008), 2nd App. Nos. 22546, 22547, 22592, 2008 WL 4763483, 2008-Ohio-5644. A driver and the families of his deceased passengers brought actions against the city, railroad company, and county commissioners arising out of a collision between a train and an automobile stopped on a railroad crossing. Municipal defendants were granted summary judgment.
  • Dearth v. Stanley (Feb. 8, 2008), 2nd App. No. 22180, 2008 WL 344124, 2008-Ohio-487. Summary judgment in a negligence and breach of duty case against a police officer who took an intoxicated man home. While polite with the police officer at the time, tragically, the man took the life of his girlfriend later that evening. The claims against the office and the municipality were barred by the public duty doctrine and immunity.
  • Kidwell v. City of Union, Ohio (2007), 550 U.S. 935, 127 S.Ct. 2258, 167 L.Ed.2d 1092. Summary judgment a First Amendment case in which the certain taxpayers sued city claiming it was unlawful for the city to spend public money to oppose citizen initiatives and to promote proposed tax levies. The plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case as a matter of great public importance. At the urging of the City of Union, the Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition.
  • Treinen v. Village of Greenhills (Sept. 12, 2007) S.D. Ohio Case No. C-1-05-448, 2007 WL 4661292. Summary judgment in favor of a police officer, the police department, and the municipality in a police officer use of force that also included a Monell policy and practice claim.
  • Buxton v. Nolte (Feb. 12, 2007), S.D. Ohio Case No. 3:05-cv-121-TMR. Summary judgment in a wrongful arrest and police officer use of force case involving a Village of Russia police officer.
  • Hubbell v. City of Xenia, 115 Ohio St.3d 77, 873 N.E.2d 878, 2007-Ohio-4839. Convinced the Ohio Supreme Court to overrule existing appellate precedent to find that a trial court’s decision denying a motion for summary judgment on the issue of sovereign immunity was a final appealable order regardless of whether the trial court stated the decision was due to the existence of genuine issues of material fact.
  • Foubert v. Lyons (2004), 543 U.S. 1033, 125 S.Ct. 808, 160 L.Ed.2d 596. This was a police officer use of force case in which the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. However, when qualified immunity was denied them several times in the trial and appellate courts, the defendants petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review. In a rare summary decision, the United States Supreme Court granted the police officer’s petition for certiorari and overturned the decision in favor of the plaintiff all at the same time.

Other Cases

  • Insurance – Lofts at Graydon Place v. Middle Earth Developers, Hamilton County No. A0905304.  Plaintiffs sued for defective workmanship of a high-end condominium building in downtown Cincinnati.  They alleged numerous claims against the developer defendants based on the construction of an underground garage, leaking, and miscellaneous problems arising from transitioning a historic office building into modern residential one.  Nationwide Insurance filed a declaratory judgment action on the question of whether there was insurance coverage for the type of claims alleged in the case.  When it looked like Nationwide’s claim was about to prevail, the plaintiffs accepted a nuisance value settlement.

Publications

  • Legal Implications of Arming School Employees, January 2013
  • Liability Insurance: When Bad Facts Make Bad Law, February 2011. Co-authored with Brian Wildermuth.
  • Last Man Standing: Defending the Police Officer in a Section 1983 Trial, February 2011. Co-authored with Nick Subashi.
  • E-Discovery Challenges Traditional Rules And Practice, Summer 2006.
  • Free to Learn but Pay to Play – An article on pay-to-play provisions in public school districts. Co-authored with Lynnette Ballato.

Presentations

  • House Bill 153 Update, Legal Issues for School Personnel, 2012
  • Ohio School Boards Association, School Liability and Immunity, Summer 2010
  • The National Advocacy Center, Federal Tort Claims Act, Summer 2009
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, Political Subdivision Immunity Update, Winter 2007

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