Peter J. Brodhead, Professional Biography

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Each and every client who has suffered injustice or harm has been affected in a unique way. It is my duty to best serve each client by taking the time and effort to know and appreciate every important detail about how and why this harm occurred and to see that they receive the full measure of justice the law allows.

Outside the Courtroom

Peter and his wife, Ellie, have four sons. He sings in the adult choir at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Gates Mills and plays keyboard in a band composed of attorneys and judges. The band plays charity and non-profit organization events free of charge.

Peter is also a long-time supporter of the American Red Cross and donates platelets and plasma regularly. 

He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Little Sisters of the Poor which provides a nurturing living environment and skilled care for the elderly poor in Cleveland.

Peter also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Institute of Music and North Coast Community Homes, which provides safe, comfortable and affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. In 2010, North Coast recognized Peter and Ellie's commitment to the organization with its Philanthropy Award. In 2011, the pair co-chaired North Coast's biennial "Home Sweet Homes" fundraiser. The event raised over $500,000 for this worthy cause.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Employment
    • 1980-present Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP - Partner
    • 1979-1980 Law Clerk to the Honorable James J. Carroll and the Honorable Harry A. Hanna, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
  • Education
    • 1979 Cleveland State University - Cleveland-Marshall School of Law (J.D.)
    • 1976 Denison University (B.A. w/honors, History)
    • 1972 St. Ignatius High School
  • Admitted to
    • 1979 Ohio Supreme Court
    • 1980 U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
    • 1982 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 1992 United States Supreme Court
  • Leadership Positions - Bar Activities
    • Board of Trustees, Ohio Trial, 1995-present, Editorial Board Member, Ohio Trial, 1996-2006
    • President, Ohio Association for Justice, 2003 – 2004
    • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association, 1997-1998
    • Chair, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1997-1998
    • Co-Chair, Gadolinium Litigation Group, American Association for Justice (2007-2011)
  • Professional Memberships
    • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys
    • Ohio Association For Justice (formerly, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers)
    • Leaders Forum, American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA)
    • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
    • Master Bencher, John Manos Inns of Court
    • Lifetime Member, Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District of Ohio
    • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • American Bar Association
  • Recent Lectures
    • Actos: Medical and Scientific Literature – What Does It Say And Where Do We Stand Today? Mass Torts Made Perfect, Philadelphia, PA, February 2012
    • Omniscan: Chemistry and Toxicology Overview. Mass Torts Made Perfect, Las Vegas, NV, June 2010
  • Awards and Recognition
    • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2008 through 2012
    • “Ohio Super Lawyer “ – Nominated and Published by Law and Politics and Cincinnati Magazine and Northern Ohio Magazine, 2006-2012
    • Listed as Leading Lawyer in Inside Business Magazine, 2005-2012
    • Top 100 Trial lawyer, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2009-2012
  • Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Litigation Experience
    • Breast Implant
    • Fen-Phen
    • Albuterol (Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Co-Discovery Chair/Trial Counsel)
    • Sulzer Hip (subclass counsel)
    • Medtronic Pacemaker
    • Welding Fumes
    • Gadolinium (Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel/Member: Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee/Science and Daubert Committees/Trial Counsel)
    • Tylenol
    • Fosamax
    • Actos
    • Crestor
    • Medtronic Infuse
    • Pradaxa
    • Granuflo/NaturaLyte
  • Civic Organizations
    • Trustee, North Coast Community Homes
    • Trustee, Cleveland Institute of Music
    • Advisory Trustee, Little Sisters of the Poor, Cleveland, Ohio

Attorney Biography

  • Overview

    Following a judicial clerkship, Peter Brodhead joined Spangenberg Shibley & Liber in 1980 and has been a partner since 1988.

    "At Spangenberg, I have had the privilege of learning from and working with some of the finest trial lawyers in this area," he says. "After thirty years here, I still feel that there is no finer group of attorneys that work so skillfully and diligently on behalf of their clients and their causes."

  • Tireless Advocacy on Behalf of Clients

    Over the span of three decades, Peter has handled a broad range of cases involving both traumatic injury as well as disease and illness due to toxic exposure from harmful chemicals and, in some instances, unsafe pharmaceutical products. Such matters have included:

    • asbestos exposure resulting in asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma;
    • fatal cancers resulting from substances such as benzene and vinyl chloride monomer fumes;
    • respiratory disease due to metalworking fluid overexposure; and
    • serious lung complications arising from asthma medication contaminated with harmful and potentially fatal bacteria.

    Peter served as Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel in the Federal Multidistrict Litigation 1909: In Re: Gadolinium-based Contrast Agent Product Liability Litigation.

    He has also litigated:

    • cases on behalf of victims who suffered catastrophic injuries arising from vehicular and trucking collisions, as well as defective machinery and other products;
    • civil rights matters primarily involving the unconstitutional use of excessive force; and
    • multiple pharmaceutical injury cases involving Fosamax, Actos, and Tylenol.

    Peter has penned "Ten Myths and Facts about Defective Drug Injury Claims: What Every Consumer Needs to Know." For a free copy of this informative guide, please click here.

    In recent years, Peter has handled matters involving patent infringement and represented clients who were denied insurance coverage.

  • Why Spangenberg

    When people ask why they should choose Spangenberg, the short answer is that you won't find a more experienced, more accomplished and more knowledgeable group of attorneys anywhere else. In addition to being among the most highly decorated, accomplished, and recognized attorneys in the State of Ohio and throughout the country, our attorneys are passionate about representing plaintiffs. Our firm has the resources and wherewithal of a sophisticated large firm, but with the sensibilities and personal service of a small office or personal counsel. As true trial lawyers, our firm can handle any type of case.

    Spangenberg Shibley & Liber is a boutique civil litigation trial firm in downtown Cleveland, Ohio handling cases on a statewide and nationwide basis. The firm's trial practice is diverse and sophisticated. It includes a wide array of consumer healthcare issues including medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, health insurance claim denials, dangerous drugs, and defective medical devices. In addition to its consumer health care litigation practice, Spangenberg lawyers represent individuals who have been seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents, on the job, through exposure to dangerous chemicals/mold, by defective consumer and household products such as automobiles, motorcycles and power tools, tainted food and many other situations. The firm also represents those who have been injured or harmed by law enforcement engaged in the violation of a citizen's civil rights.

    Apart from its personal injury practice, Spangenberg has a committed consumer rights practice litigating claims of marketing fraud, deceptive business practices, and violation of warranty for all sorts of consumer products.

    Finally, Spangenberg Shibley & Liber represents businesses and entrepreneurs for all types of business litigation situations where the individual or business has been wronged in a business transaction.