- Ohio, 1992
- Michigan, 1995
- U.S. District Courts:
-Northern District of Ohio, 1993
-Eastern District of Michigan, 1993
- U.S. Courts of Appeals:
-Sixth Circuit, 1993
-Third Circuit, 1999
- Federal Court of Claims, 2008
- Hon. Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
University of Toledo College of Law, J.D. magna cum laude, 1992
Ashland University, B.A. magna cum laude, 1989
“To Kill a Mockingbird says ‘Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.’ I try to live this way in my practice and daily life.”
Matthew D. Harper represents clients in a wide range of business, construction, land use and real estate disputes. He is a member of Eastman & Smith’s Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights, Business Litigation, Construction Law, Aggregates and Industrial Minerals, and Eminent Domain Practice Groups. Mr. Harper is admitted in state and federal courts throughout Ohio and Michigan and has appeared pro hac vice in business litigation in Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
In 1989, Mr. Harper obtained his bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from Ashland University where he was named the Criminal Justice Outstanding Senior. Mr. Harper obtained his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1992 from the University of Toledo College of Law where he was the managing editor of the law review, a member of the Order of the Coif, and named the Outstanding College of Law Graduate.
Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Harper served for one year as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Harper has engaged in the private practice of law since 1993.
Mr. Harper has presented on various topics relating to business disputes and construction law issues to groups such as the Construction Financial Management Association (annual conference), the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association, the Mechanical Contractors' Association of Northwest Ohio, the Toledo Board of Realtors and the Toledo Chamber of Commerce. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo College of Law.
In addition to spending time with his wife and three children, Mr. Harper enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, recreational shooting and reading.
Specific examples of Mr. Harper's litigation experience include the following.
- Coupled Products, LLC v. Modern Machine Tool Company, Case No. 12CV2727, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division. Obtained partial summary judgment and subsequent jury verdict awarding judgment to manufacturer of industrial cut-off machine for purchase price and dismissing counterclaims of purchaser.
- Page Plus of Atlanta, Inc., et al. v. Owl Wireless, LLC, Case Nos. 10-CV-002296 and 11-CV-02757, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and Case Nos. 12-4551/12-4565 and 14-3038/14-3064, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.Obtained dismissal of suit seeking eight figure damages for alleged breach of pre-paid cellular airtime distributor agreement.
- Spiller v. Sky Bank-Ohio Bank Region, Supreme Court of Ohio Case No. 2008-0900. Obtained ruling strictly enforcing Ohio Revised Code 1109.69 and dismissing plaintiff's claims against bank.
- Exec. Bus. Centres, Inc. v. TransPacific Mfg. Ltd., Case No. L-08-1060, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth Appellate District, Lucas County. Achieved affirmance of lower court rulings in favor of property owner for breach of contract and dismissing constructive eviction claim.
- Saferin v. Sky Bank Mid Am Region, Case No. L-05-1091, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth Appellate District, Lucas County. Attained affirmance of summary judgment dismissing claims against financial institution for cashing fraudulently endorsed checks and awarding attorney's fees to financial institution.
- Terrance E. Hansen v. National Exposure Testing, Inc., Lucas County, Ohio, Common Pleas Case No. 04-4359. Obtained jury verdict in favor of minority shareholder for breach of fiduciary duty by majority shareholder.
- Global Shredding Techs., Ltd., L.L.C. v. Aggregates Equip., Inc., Case No. 03CV7059, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division. Acquired summary judgment for breach of contract and warranty arising from defective industrial metal shredder.
- Delivery First, LLC v. Dough-Re-Mi Co., Ltd., Wayne County, Michigan, Circuit Case No. 01-125622. Obtained jury verdict dismissing suit for breach of contract and damages of $10,000,000.
- Crow Executive Air, Inc. v. High Tech Aviation, Inc., Wood County, Ohio, Common Pleas Case No. 99-081 and Lake County, Ohio Common Pleas Case No. 01-678. Recovered summary judgment and jury verdict against defendants for breach of contract and enforced statutory lien on a Gates Learjet.
- Citizens Bank v. City of Tiffin, Case No. 00CV7071, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division. Recovered funds paid by defendant in disregard of plaintiff's prior perfected security interest therein.
- Alan Properties, Inc. v. Village of Waterville, Lucas County, Ohio, Common Pleas Case No. CI 00-1758 and Case No. L-00-1076, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth Appellate District, Lucas County. Successfully enjoined annexation of property by municipality pending annexation litigation.
- East Ohio Gas Co. v. Wood County Bd. of Elections, Supreme Court Of Ohio Case No. 98-1699. Assisted in obtaining writ of prohibition to prevent board of elections from submitting zoning amendment to township electors.
- Nursing Resources Corp. v. Senior Care Mgmt, Inc., Lucas County, Ohio, Common Pleas Case No. 97-4139. Successfully defended claims for unfair competition and breaches of fiduciary duty brought against defendants by former employer.
- Triomphe Investors v. City of Northwood, 49 F.3d 198, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Obtained affirmance of summary judgment dismissing constitutional claims against municipality arising from zoning decision.
- Troy S., a minor v. McComb Local School District Board of Education, Case No. 95CV7070, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division. Attained dismissal of constitutional and statutory claims relating to the education of a disabled minor.
- Represented municipal water and sewer department in multi-day arbitration in New York City, New York, relating to fees charged by indenture trustee during municipal bankruptcy.
- Successfully resolved multiple eminent domain matters to favorable conclusion for property owners relating to “Fort to Port” expansion of U.S. 24 in Northwest Ohio.
Honors & Affiliations
- Northwest Ohio chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association (past president)
- Toledo Bar Association (past chair, Professionalism Committee)
- Wood County Bar Association
- Behavioral Connections of Wood County (past board member and board president)
- Mom's House of Toledo, Inc. (past board member)
- New Life Community Church of Toledo (elder)
- Wood County's Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (past board member)
Publications & News
- August 16, 2023
- October 5, 2022
- Three Named Lawyers of the YearAugust 18, 2022
- April 12, 2022
- December 1, 2021
- Six Named Lawyers of the YearAugust 21, 2021
- March 19, 2021
- August 20, 2020
- September 1, 2016
- July 23, 2014
- April 7, 2011
- April 5, 2011
- June 26, 2009
- July 6, 2007
Events & Speaking Engagements
- Toledo, OH, September 22 & 23, 2021
- Recorded 7-16-20July 16, 2020
- The Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group of Eastman & Smith Ltd. invites you to attend a free webinar.Recorded 4-16-20, April 16, 2020
- Managing Risk: MRSA, Mechanic’s Liens and Tenant ImprovementsMay 17, 2017
- February 23, 2021
- March 27, 2020
- March 23, 2020
- December 30, 2019
- September 3, 2019
- January 16, 2019
- Ohio Supreme Court Enforces Liquidated Damage Provision in Public-Works ContractMarch 16, 2016
- February 25, 2013
- Pay Up, Or . . . Pay Even More: Ohio's Prompt Pay Act Establishes Expeditious Payment Requirements With Serious PenaltiesDecember 10, 2010
- December 10, 2010
- May 26, 2010
- May 13, 2010
- March 1, 2008
- (Part One of Two)October 1, 2007