Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Trial Lawyer Edward P. "Ned" Leibensperger '74 - Having a Ball

Edward P.
Edward P. "Ned"
Leibensperger '74

While at the Moritz College of Law, the criminal defense clinical program was a favorite of Ned's. Working under the direction of Bruce Jacob, he and his fellow classmates were given the opportunity to appear in municipal court and actually try cases. This real-life experience proved to be invaluable and helped fuel his desire to become a trial lawyer. He vividly remembers his first-ever cross-examination: he posed questions to a Columbus police officer in a marijuana bust case. The clinical program provided not only great instruction, but great experience as well.

Since graduating from law school in 1974, Ned has built a national reputation and impressive legal career. He is a partner at the national firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is perhaps best known for his work in professional liability. He has represented both accounting firms and law firms in high-stakes litigation. Not only does he handle corporate divorces, trademark disputes, shareholders suits, and cases involving Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions, he is also considered an expert in trying difficult and high-profile cases involving financial and fiduciary details and complex accounting issues. Ned was selected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1995. In his thirty-two year legal career, one of his most challenging and interesting cases occurred when he represented the minority shareholders of the New England Patriots football team in a suit against the team's former owner. In addition to a highly-publicized trial, there was an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts that made new law in favor of minority shareholders.

On September 1, 2005, Ned began a one-year term as president of the Boston Bar Association (BBA), succeeding M. Ellen Carpenter. When asked to comment on his vision for the BBA, he responded "The BBA must continue to be an active and powerful voice on issues such as the administration of justice, access to justice, and civil rights." One of his principal goals is to advocate for increased state funding for civil legal services and for counsel to indigent criminal defendants. The BBA is also working on legislation to establish a loan forgiveness program for lawyers who choose public service careers. In addition to shepherding legislative initiatives, he has appointed a task force to study the so-called vanishing jury trial and to consider its ramifications for the judicial system and training of new lawyers. Finally, the BBA is known for its public service projects; Ned hopes to increase its visibility through more projects in Boston's public schools.

When not working hard, Ned enjoys football and baseball. An avid OSU football fan, he has returned to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes in action, as well as traveled to attend the national championship game in 2003 in Tempe, Arizona. During the baseball season you can find him at Fenway Park where he has season tickets to the Boston Red Sox. Ned counts the days between the end of the collegiate football season and the start of spring training. This sports enthusiast is as passionate about football and baseball as he is about the law.

Friends who would like to catch up with this busy and enthusiastic alumnus and perhaps swap some stories - either sport or trial - can contact him at ELeibensperger@mwe.com.