Lisa M. Ghannoum

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7872
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Lisa Ghannoum is an experienced litigator who practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation, class action defense, white collar defense, and corporate investigations before trial and appellate courts. With a practical approach, she counsels clients through complex issues while weighing the potential effects of legal decisions on their businesses and operations.

Much of Lisa’s practice involves defense of privacy class actions in the retail and hospitality industries, as well as class actions brought against financial institutions. Lisa is also experienced in coordinating and leading the defense of multi-jurisdictional, multi-party disputes, and developing strategies for managing e-discovery in complex litigation.

Lisa is the hiring partner and coordinator for Unassigned Litigation Associates for the Cleveland office, a member of the Cleveland office’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a representative to the Cleveland and firmwide Women’s Committees, both which spearhead mentoring and networking activities to help women advance their careers.

Select Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Co-lead counsel defending international hotel chain in multi-district litigation brought over data security incident that impacted over 500 million guest records. The complex MDL involves multiple tracks including putative class action litigation brought by municipalities, consumers, and issuing banks.
  • Successfully defended major healthcare organization following a data breach involving millions of patients in six different courts throughout the Chicago area, including winning dismissals that were upheld in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Court of Appeals.
White Collar
  • Conducted internal investigations in the banking industry related to embezzlement, banking fraud and similar matters. Counsels clients regarding the adequacy of internal controls and the modifications necessary to improve those controls.
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Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Co-lead counsel defending international hotel chain in multi-district litigation brought over data security incident that impacted over 500 million guest records. The complex MDL involves multiple tracks including putative class action litigation brought by municipalities, consumers, and issuing banks.
  • Successfully defended major healthcare organization following a data breach involving millions of patients in six different courts throughout the Chicago area, including winning dismissals that were upheld in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Court of Appeals.
  • Represented national bank in a putative class action case in which plaintiffs alleged violations of the Bank Holding Company Act. Successfully developed litigation strategy which resulted in a voluntary dismissal of case.
  • Defended national bank in a putative class action case brought by commercial account holders that accused bank of violating the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Plaintiff appealed after the court granted defendant bank’s motion to dismiss. Following an appeal, the case was successfully resolved.
  • Key member of team representing international hotel chain in putative class action regarding a payment card security incident that affected more than 300 properties worldwide. The targeted discovery conducted during the motion to dismiss phase demonstrated that the plaintiff lacked standing, leading to the plaintiff voluntarily dismissing the lawsuit.
  • Defended Ohio's three largest banks in a putative class action lawsuit brought by the prosecutor of Geauga County challenging the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) and seeking to mandate the public recordation of all residential mortgage assignments in the state of Ohio. Successfully moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims and the ruling was upheld on appeal.
  • Represented Fortune 50 client in the healthcare/retail industry bringing a lawsuit to enforce a covenant not to compete. A favorable settlement was reached after successful motion practice eliminating defendants' counterclaims based on damaging information obtained in discovery.
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action lawsuit brought by an Illinois county prosecutor challenging the use of MERS and seeking to mandate the public recordation of all residential mortgage assignments in the state of Illinois. Successfully represented the client before the Seventh Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal.
  • Won dismissal with prejudice of claims against county prosecutors and the county coroner in a Section 1983 civil rights litigation in which the plaintiff alleged the defendants withheld exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland during a 1989 murder trial.
  • Represented three Ohio-based banks in putative class action cases alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Effectively and cost-efficiently managed three different cases, while avoiding protracted and costly litigation.
White Collar
  • Conducted internal investigations in the banking industry related to embezzlement, banking fraud and similar matters. Counsels clients regarding the adequacy of internal controls and the modifications necessary to improve those controls.
  • Represented a federal criminal defendant in the construction industry who was accused of bribing public officials at a county hospital. Effectively counseled the client, including preparing the client to testify at federal criminal trials, and interfaced with federal prosecutors to achieve a favorable outcome for the client.
  • Represented a public company in a cybercriminal theft of trade secrets case and related civil matters arising from a former employee's theft of trade secrets.
  • Conducted an internal investigation into allegations of corruption for a large, multinational corporate client in the construction industry. Assisted the client in response to a federal grand jury subpoena and counseled witnesses in preparation for testimony at federal criminal trials.
  • Member of a litigation team instrumental in securing the dismissal of a 73-count state indictment alleging a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, conspiracy, bribery and perjury against a client in the real estate industry.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star"  (2010 to 2013, 2015 to 2016)
  • YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award (2014)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    • Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee
      • Midwest/Ohio Region Subcommittee: Past Chair
      • Young Lawyers Subcommittee: Co-Chair
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Community

  • JD Breast Cancer Foundation (non-profit organization providing essential services to individuals with breast cancer): Past Member of Board of Directors and Vice President
  • United Way "Rock the Catwalk": Past Member of Sponsorship Committee

Pro Bono

  • Co-authored and argued a federal criminal appeal before the Sixth Circuit related to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 that led to a favorable result for the client.
  • Member of an appellate team that won the reversal of a murder conviction on behalf of a college student who had been involved in a campus fight.
  • Represented a juvenile client in a U.S. District Court in an immigration proceeding to obtain a voluntary departure order.

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2006
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2006, magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Notes Editor, Case Western Reserve Law Review
  • B.A., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2003, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa