Tom Merriman, Esq. – Merriman Legal, LLC
A graduate of Harvard Law School, former Deputy Ohio Attorney General, and national award-winning investigative journalist, Tom Merriman brings a unique set of skills to his work as a personal injury attorney. A partner at Merriman Legal, LLC, Tom graduated magna cum laude and earned phi beta kappa honors while majoring in Economics at the University of Notre Dame. At Harvard Law School, he achieved the rare grade of A+ in both Negotiation and Jurisprudence. Harvard Professor Roger Fisher, the world-renown negotiation expert and author of “Getting to Yes,” selected Tom as his teaching assistant. As a law student, Tom led small group negotiation seminars for experienced attorneys at the Harvard Negotiation Project.
After graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1988, Tom served a judicial clerkship with the late honorable Frank J. Battisti, then chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He then began working as a litigator for Hahn Loeser & Parks.
Law Enforcement & Public Service
At the age of 29, Tom was appointed Managing Attorney of the Ohio Attorney General’s Cleveland office. Promoted to Deputy Ohio Attorney General, Tom directed a team of over seventy assistant attorneys general, investigators, and support staff. Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher trusted Tom to create and lead multiple innovative law enforcement and litigation programs. Creating the Consumer Fraud Strike Force, Tom developed a strategy to immediately shut down and seize the assets of bogus charities, scam artists, and telemarketing boiler rooms before they had the opportunity to flee the state. He also directed “Operation Windfall,” the most successful fugitive sting operation in our nation’s history. Profiled by the New York Times, the program secured the arrest of 1,100 fugitive felons by luring them to government offices to pick up a tax refund or settlement checks.
Tom launched Operation Crackdown which relied upon statutory nuisance laws to close over 150 neighborhood drug houses. In 1994, the Council of State Government honored Operation Crackdown with its Innovation Award recognizing the program’s success transforming “drug houses into dream houses” for low income families by securing the transfer of ownership to neighborhood redevelopment organizations. Tom’s work for the Attorney General gave him extensive courtroom experience persuading judges to grant extraordinary remedies. As a member of Attorney General Fisher’s Executive Staff, Tom advised the AG on all major litigation and policy issues.
After serving in government, Tom decided to use his skills as an attorney to become a watchdog of government. In 1995, he redirected his career into investigative journalism, first with WEWS-TV and then with the WJW Fox 8 I-Team. During his fourteen years in Cleveland television, Tom won more Emmy Awards (37) than any other reporter in the market.
His 25-part investigative series exposing fraud in the Cleveland Municipal School District’s transportation department won the most coveted national honors in investigative journalism, the I.R.E. Medal from Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Silver Baton (what Columbia describes as “the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism”).
Tom was profiled in a 2006 PBS documentary entitled, “The Best of Broadcast Journalism.” He was also appointed an Ethics Fellow by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. The Fellows program was established” to recognize outstanding journalists who demonstrate a concern for journalism ethics and values.”
In 2001, Tom produced a series of reports exposing Cleveland Imam Fawaz Damra’s role as a fundraiser for the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Damra’s ties to the original World Trade Center bombers. Damra was ultimately prosecuted and deported for lying on his citizenship application about his ties to terror organizations. In 2002, Tom led a hidden camera investigation in South Korea which documented U.S. military police protecting American soldiers frequenting establishments where trafficked women were held as sex slaves.
The reports triggered a Department of Defense Inspector General investigation, Congressional hearings, and reform of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In 2003, Tom’s investigation into wasteful spending at the taxpayer-funded Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau triggered the resignation of its President and the dissolution of its Board of Directors.
Civil Justice Attorney
Tom returned to the courtroom in 2009 as a trial attorney. Armed with a broad range of skill and experience, Tom represents plaintiffs in matters ranging from car accidents, truck crashes, medical negligence, nursing home neglect, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. In 2012, Tom was named a partner at Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC. He was designated a Super Lawyer as one of the top attorneys in the state of Ohio. In 2019, he became partner at Merriman Legal, LLC.
Tom lives in Shaker Heights with his wife Annie and their four children.
If you need help with a legal matter, contact us today. Call 866-823-3332.