Overview

Sommer L. Sheely serves as Vice Chair of Litigation for the firm's Energy, Environmental and Utility practice. She focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, including energy, environmental, and oil and gas litigation; business and partnership disputes; and complex fiduciary litigation.

She serves clients as lead trial counsel before federal and state courts and administrative panels. Over her career, she has served as lead counsel in numerous jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and mediations. Her cases also often include pursuing and defending against injunctive relief.

Sommer believes in partnering with clients to achieve effective, efficient outcomes and in knowing her clients and their businesses. She delivers and encourages prompt and open communication. An active member of her legal and business community, Sommer focuses on strategic collaboration and representing her clients in a positive and professional manner in the court and in the public eye.

Sommer's experience includes:

  • Assisted The Ohio State University and Ohio State Energy Partners to obtain certificate permitting construction of utility-scale combined heat and power facility in contested proceedings.
  • Pursued and achieved settlement prior to the start of depositions for all relief sought in $68 million dispute between insurer and reinsurer.
  • Represented several large-scale solar developers to obtain access and permitting across the state.
  • Achieved dismissal of more than a dozen putative class actions—prior to class certification—on behalf of a large international government vendor in collaboration with its client municipalities.
  • Successfully defended and resolved bet-the-company qui tam cases for a small fraction of amounts demanded.
  • Won directed verdict as lead trial counsel on behalf of a large national insurance company relative to claims of improper annuity payments and fraud.
  • Successfully defended multiple fiduciaries of large trusts and estates against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and other torts.
  • Won summary judgment in multiple federal lawsuits brought by former agents against a large national insurance company.
  • Achieved successful jury trial result in eminent domain litigation concerning the market value of real property.

Education

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D. with honors, 2002); Managing Editor, The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution; National Moot Court team, national finalist and regional Best Oral Advocate

Oxford University (2000), Summer Law Program

Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A., history and pre-law, magna cum laude, 1999); Phi Beta Kappa

Distinctions

Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation), 2016–2023

Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers (Business Litigation; Estate & Trust Litigation; Environmental Litigation), 2016–2023

Listed, Top 25 Women Columbus, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2019–2020, 2022-2023

Forty Under 40 Honoree, Columbus Business First, 2015

Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2009–2015

Ohio Women's Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, Inaugural Class, 2011–2012

Professional Activities

Member, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Energy and Environment Policy Council

Member, Institute for Energy Law

Treasurer, Women's Energy Network

Past President, Federal Bar Association, Columbus Chapter

Past President, Ohio Women's Bar Foundation

Co-Chair and Presenter, Ohio Women's Bar Foundation Leadership Institute

Chair and Founder, Ohio Women's Bar Foundation Anniversary Gala

Adjunct Faculty for Appellate Advocacy, College of Law at The Ohio State University

Board of Trustees, Columbus Children's Theatre

Team Bricker Captain and multi-year rider, Pelotonia

Chair, Bexley Education Foundation Bravo! Fundraiser

Federal Bar Association, Civil Litigation and Energy Sections

Ohio State Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section

Columbus Bar Association, Bar Admissions Committee

Experience

Insights

News

Presentations & Publications

Sommer Sheely, Bricker Graydon LLP Photo

Sommer L. Sheely

Partner
  • 100 South Third Street
    Columbus, OH 43215 -4291

Admissions

  • Commonwealth of Kentucky (2022)
  • State of Ohio (2003)
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (2002)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
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