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Attorney Brian R. Mertes Named Managing Partner of the Firm

January 6, 2023

Black McCuskey is pleased to announce that Attorney Brian R. Mertes has been named managing partner of the firm effective January 1, 2023. He will continue to practice law and serve his clients while leading the growth of the firm.

Brian focuses his practice on labor and employment and general corporate matters. He advises and represents small, medium, and large businesses concerning all aspects of their labor and employment needs, including collective bargaining, contract negotiation and review; union avoidance; defense of workers compensation, safety violation and wrongful discharge claims; drafting and enforcement of employment, confidentiality, and non-disclosure agreements; and general human resources counseling and training. Brian serves as general outside counsel to entrepreneurs, established businesses and non-profit organizations. He is a trusted counselor and advisor to clients on all aspects of the organization, management, and operation of their businesses. Brian is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees.

Brian replaces Attorney Bruce M. Soares who was managing partner of the firm since 2011. The firm thanks Bruce for his leadership which positions the firm for long-term growth. Additionally, he will remain a full-time practicing partner at the firm. Bruce has over 40 years of legal experience in handling complex, multi-faceted commercial and corporate transactional matters for Fortune 500 companies, commercial real estate development companies, health care facilities, energy-related businesses and financial institutions. Bruce states, “Brian has been an integral part of the management team, serving on the firm’s management committee, recruiting committee and as coordinator of the litigation practice area. I am confident that the firm will continue to grow and prosper under his leadership.”

Additionally, Attorney Gust Callas was re-elected to serve on the firm’s management committee and Attorney Ryan A. Kuchmaner was newly elected.  Both will serve on firm management alongside Brian. Gust is the coordinator for the labor & employment practice area of the firm.  He has experience in litigation and particular specialty in the defense and counseling of clients in employment-related matters.  Gust is a dual Certified Specialist in the state of Ohio in labor & employment and workers’ compensation.

Ryan is the coordinator of the firm’s estates & trusts practice group, focusing on estate planning, probate and trust administration, asset protection, and elder law. He also practices in the areas of business and corporate law, succession planning, mergers & acquisitions, and real estate law. Ryan is a Certified Specialist in the state of Ohio in estate planning, trust, and probate law.

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