Located in Columbus, we represent clients across Ohio with a focus on public entities and officeholders, municipalities, small businesses and corporations, risk pools and insurance companies.

Decades of helping clients anticipate and navigate the thousands of ever-changing employment regulations have built our reputation among Ohio’s public and private employers as the “go to” firm for all labor relations matters.

Administrative Law

Fishel Downey Albrecht & Riepenhoff LLC represents private and public employers before a variety of administrative agencies.

These agencies include the State Employment Relations Board, State Personnel Board of Review, National Labor Relations Board, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Unemployment Compensation Review Commission, Ohio Industrial Commission, Municipal Civil Service Commission and Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. FDAR attorneys draw on their broad range of experience and knowledge to achieve successful resolution in a broad range of complex matters. Our experience representing many different types of clients throughout Ohio gives our attorneys unique skill sets that enhance their ability to navigate the complex issues and rules associated with different administrative agencies. Understanding and sharing the goals of our clients not only gives us the ability to more zealously represent our clients before an administrative agency, but it also allows us to negotiate practical solutions, if appropriate.


Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution, also known as ADR, has become an integral component in the practice of law.

Whether it’s by a court of law, administrative agency or provision in a contract, parties with disputes are encouraged to participate in the ADR process so they can quickly and efficiently resolve their disputes and obtain a “win-win” result. FDAR attorneys have significant experience representing clients in ADR for all types of claims and issues. FDAR attorneys use their experience to “think outside the box”, so they can achieve a resolution that promotes the goals of our clients, while also reducing the costs, time, disruption and energy associated with litigating a claim. The experience and skills of FDAR attorneys allows our clients to continue running their businesses and managing their workforce, while also achieving beneficial mediated results.

Appellate Practice

FDAR attorneys are highly respected and successful in appellate matters.

FDAR attorneys have appeared before both state and federal courts of appeal.

Additionally, due to the firm’s broad experience and solid reputation, attorneys have been asked to prepare and file amicus curiae briefs on controversial issues.

Business Law

Whether you are just starting a business, or have a company that has been passed down through your family for generations, FDAR has an attorney who can assist you with all aspects of your business operation.

FDAR attorneys are experienced in helping Ohio employers with comprehensive services, including preparing the appropriate filings to begin their business, assisting with the drafting of policies, procedures and other handbooks, preparing transfer and other transactional documents, and developing business and succession plans. Not only do FDAR attorneys have significant experience in resolving day-to-day legal issues, we have also worked in, and with, family-owned businesses. Regardless of the issue, FDAR attorneys are always committed to obtaining a successful outcome for our business clients in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Civil Litigation

Call on FDAR’s proven litigators to defend your interests in court.

Our experienced, proven litigators are called upon by clients to navigate complex court cases and to defend their interests. Clients look to us for litigation defense because of our capabilities and our ability to effectively evaluate and litigate their claims, while keeping in mind their goals.

We defend clients in cases involving Breach of Contract, TRO/Injunction, Trade Secrets/Non-Compete, Employment Law, Constitutional Rights, Government Liability, Auto, Personal Injury, Construction Defects, and other civil claims.

The history and reputation of FDAR attorneys has led to ongoing relationships with clients who consistently rely on us for preliminary case investigation and evaluation, as well as representation before administrative agencies and in court.

Collective Bargaining

If you want experience dealing with a labor issue, FDAR attorneys have it.

Our entire team becomes engaged in negotiation strategy, whether we’re bargaining at the table or advising in the background. We draft proposals, prepare comparable information and respond to media requests. FDAR attorneys have extensive experience assisting employers in avoiding unfair labor practice allegations during a campaign for a union election. If required to bargain in good faith, FDAR attorneys have negotiated more than 1,000 collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, FDAR attorneys have represented employees in over 500 arbitrations resulting from grievances filed alleging violations of a collective bargaining agreement. In the event of a strike or picketing, FDAR attorneys have successfully obtained injunctions to limit strike activities. FDAR attorneys have also effectively assisted clients in strike preparation. In short, on a daily basis FDAR attorneys assist clients with labor issues related to union organizing, negotiations and contract administration. Attorneys from FDAR have represented clients in unfair labor practice matters before both the State Employment Relations Board and National Labor Relations Board. In fact, when decisions of the administrative agency have been appealed to courts for additional review, FDAR attorneys actively represented our clients.

Discrimination Law

As both federal and state laws prohibiting harassment and discrimination in the workplace continue to expand and broaden, FDAR attorneys are prepared to respond on behalf of employers.

FDAR attorneys defend employers before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in state and federal courts, against allegations of discrimination and harassment. Our attorneys have experience representing clients in all matters related to discrimination and harassment, including retaliation. FDAR attorneys also have expertise in providing a thorough investigation in response to an employee claim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Consistent with our desire to be proactive with our clients, FDAR attorneys have reviewed and drafted numerous policies and procedures for clients, and have provided training to prevent unlawful harassment or discrimination in the workplace. As needed, FDAR’s highly experienced mediators can provide mediation services to resolve claims of workplace harassment and discrimination.

Employment Disputes

In today’s complicated business environment, employers frequently run the risk of facing employment disputes.

Representing employers exclusively, FDAR attorneys have a proven history of effectively defending employers in disputes that include breach of contract claims, negotiated employee severance agreements, litigated and drafted non-compete provisions, and assisted in overtime and wage matters. FDAR attorneys draft and prepare employee handbooks, policies, employment agreements and non-compete clauses in clear, compelling terms. FDAR prepares policies, procedures and contract provisions to help employers avoid future disputes, and they provide daily advice and counsel for clients. Contacting FDAR early in a business relationship can often help prevent disputes from occurring. If it becomes necessary to engage in litigation over a dispute, FDAR has successfully represented employers both in court and arbitration.

Insurance Defense

Regardless of the preventative measures taken, it is sometimes inevitable that a lawsuit will be filed.

When a client has been sued or litigation is inevitable, FDAR attorneys have solid recognition for defending clients and assisting them in the lawsuit process.

In defending clients, FDAR works with insurance companies, third-party administrators and risk pools.

Both clients and insurers look to FDAR attorneys for insurance litigation defense because of our capabilities and understanding of the facts and circumstances giving rise to claims.

Our history, experience and reputation have given FDAR the opportunity to develop strong relationships with insurance defense companies and risk pools; as a result, we are frequently appointed to defend law suits ranging from alleged violations of an individual’s civil rights to Section 1983 claims involving an alleged excessive use of force.

Labor and Employment

FDAR has distinguished itself in its labor and employment law practice.

FDAR represents employers in state and federal courts, administrative agencies, at arbitrations and the bargaining table. As a firm, FDAR consists of attorneys who represent employers in issues related to labor and employment. FDAR attorneys take the responsibility to be proactive for clients, reducing the situations when our clients need to turn to an attorney. Our attorneys have experience working with both human resources professionals and family businesses, and as a result they understand that they provide a service that limits workplace disruptions. We take our role with our clients very seriously, and we educate them so they can continue to provide high-quality services to their consumers.


FDAR attorneys draw on their extensive appellate, insurance defense and dispute resolution experience to provide successful outcomes for clients.

We evaluate cases early on to determine the best possible outcome for our clients. Our firm has established a successful track record in state and federal courts. For the firm’s recent history of defense verdicts, see our Trial Successes page.

From drafting a compelling brief to arguing before a state or federal court, our firm has the skills and knowledge to expertly handle all facets of a lawsuit or appellate process. Our litigation services include, but are not limited to Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice and Insurance Defense.

Public Records

Ohio Sunshine Laws are an intimidating and potentially costly issue for Ohio’s public employers.

Because of FDAR’s skill and knowledge related to Ohio’s Public Records Law, our attorneys are often asked to speak at training sessions and seminars regarding Chapter 149 of the Ohio Revised Code. Additionally, FDAR attorneys frequently assist public employers in drafting public records policies, as well as retention schedules. If litigation becomes necessary, FDAR attorneys have successfully represented public employers in litigation related to Ohio’s Public Records Law.

School Law

FDAR attorneys regularly work with boards of education regarding matters related to school law.

Our firm’s attorneys frequently work with superintendents and other administrators to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with unions, and to assist school boards in other legal matters including student and employee records, school safety, employee discipline and labor arbitration.

FDAR attorneys also defend school administrators individually. Our experience in school labor and employment issues ensures that administrators receive the best possible results.

Training, Policies & Manuals

FDAR actively trains and educates our clients.

A guiding FDAR principle is that our firm educates clients to help prevent allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace. FDAR attorneys draw on their years of experience as they educate clients regarding a wide range of labor and employment subjects, including: the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Discipline and Standards of Conduct, Collective Bargaining Updates, Legal Updates, Ohio Public Records Law, Absenteeism, Fair Labor Standards Act, Civil Service Law and other legal and personnel issues. FDAR attorneys provide training in a variety of ways:

  • FDAR attorneys train clients and their staff directly.
  • Our attorneys educate members of associations and organizations during membership events.
  • Our firm offers periodic invitation-only training sessions for clients at our offices.
  • FDAR provides clients with an informative quarterly newsletter that focuses on the legal issues that can impact them.

Unemployment Compensation

For most employers, it’s inevitable that there are times when they will need to sever their employment relationship with an employee.

When an employee is separated from employment, they are likely to seek unemployment benefits. FDAR attorneys provide assistance and representation to help clients achieve a positive outcome in unemployment compensation issues. FDAR attorneys get involved in unemployment matters either very early by assisting with the preparation of paperwork or later during the appeals process. Regardless of when we get involved, FDAR attorneys always take a practical approach to help you minimize the risk of having to pay unemployment benefits.

Wage & Hour Law

FDAR attorneys are well versed in the wage and hour issues facing Ohio’s employers.

Our attorneys have many years of experience in advising clients regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as assisting clients with Department of Labor audits. Our attorneys also assist clients in determining an employee’s overtime status. We also provide advice regarding record-keeping requirements, pay plan development, and assistance with vacation and sick leave policies. If litigation should become necessary, FDAR attorneys have in-depth experience representing clients in both federal and state court. In short, FDAR attorneys assist employers in all aspects of wage and hour law to ensure Fair Labor Standards Act compliance.

Workers’ Compensation

FDAR attorneys have the knowledge and experience to make workers’ compensation “workable” for employers.

We are experienced in providing clients with the advice and representation they need on all facets of their workers’ compensation claims. At the outset, FDAR attorneys assist employers in preparing policies and procedures that help them minimize the risk of workplace injuries and exposure. When workplace injuries occur, we provide employers with advice on how to conduct effective injury investigations. After a workers’ compensation claim is filed, FDAR defends employers before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Commission as well as in court. FDAR attorneys work closely with employers and their third-party administrators to determine the most effective and efficient strategies for defending claims. We also provide employers with advice on the best ways to effectively manage their workers’ compensation claims and the employees who are impacted. As we work with clients, FDAR’s goal is to ensure employers receive sensible advice and effective representation to resolve and administer workers’ compensation matters.