Biography Photo for Jonathan R Secrest

Jonathan R. Secrest

Mr. Secrest has extensive experience representing clients in civil litigation matters involving non-compete issues, product liability, business disputes, real estate, and employment law matters, among others. His experience includes representing clients at trial, before appellate courts, and before state and federal agencies. He regularly represents food manufacturers in defense of food product liability claims and counsels clients in the food industry related to state and federal regulations. He also represents small and large employers on employment issues ranging from sexual harassment claims to alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Mr. Secrest’s experience includes litigating on behalf of renewable energy developers before the Ohio Power Siting Power Board, as well as before the state and federal courts in Ohio, including the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Education & Credentials


DePauw University

B.A., 1999

Capital University Law School

J.D., 2002
  • Order of the Curia

Bar Admission

  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • New York


  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Commercial Litigation, 2021-2024 
  • Ohio Super Lawyers®
    • Employment Litigation Law, 2016-2023
    • Employment Litigation: Defense, 2024
    • "Top 50 Lawyers in Ohio," 2019 
    • "Rising Star," 2006, 2009-2014
  • Columbus CEO
    • Top Lawyer, 2015-2019
    • Best Lawyers, Employee Benefits & Product Liability, 2022
    Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating
  • Leadership Columbus, Class of 2013

Prominent Assignments

  • Represented a college preparatory academy in a two-week jury trial involving claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and indemnification that resulted in a unanimous verdict in the client’s favor.

  • Obtained directed verdict on claims of wrongful termination and gender discrimination
  • Obtained a defense jury verdict in favor of a hospital and food manufacturer on food product liability claims
  • Successfully defended an international fast food franchisee on claims brought pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Obtained verdict in favor of commercial landlord on all claims, including attorneys’ fees, after multi-day trial in action for breach of contract related to tenant’s failure to reimburse landlord for repairs
  • Obtained verdict in favor of employer and against former employee and her current employer after a multi-day trial for breach of non-solicitation provisions in employment agreement and for tortious interference with contracts
  • Represented renewable energy developer in a week and a half long adjudicatory hearing before the Ohio Power Siting Board
  • After an evidentiary hearing, obtained default judgment against former employee on his claims for relief and judgment in employer’s favor on its claims based on employee’s spoliation of  evidence. Mr. Secrest continued to represent the client in the appellate court where the ruling was affirmed
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of restaurant chain on claims of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation, which was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Regularly defend Fortune 500 food and household product manufacturers in product liability claims in multiple states

Professional Involvement

  • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Community Involvement

  • Upper Arlington Charter Review Commission Member (2018)
  • Youth Football and Basketball Coach
  • Franklin County Republican Judicial Salute Committee, Chair (2012); Vice Chair (2011); Second Vice Chair (2010)


  • "Freedom of Office Speech: Knowing New Federal Laws Can Help Companies Avoid Lawsuits" - Wholesale & Distribution International (Fall 2014)
  • "Whistleblower Provisions under FSMA" - The Packer (May 2014)
  • "Prepping for FSMA Whistleblower Provisions" - Food Manufacturing (April 2014)
  • "A Glance at the Top 10 Employment Issues of 2011" - USLAW radio podcast (2010)
  • "Protecting Non-Compete Agreements with Choice of Law Provisions and Swift Action" - Ohio University, Center for Sports Administration (2010)
  • "What You Should Know About Real Estate Auctions" – Law You Can Use, Ohio State Bar Association (2006)


  • "Five Minute Drill: Supervisor/Personal Liability Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” USLAW Network Fall Client Conference (September 2014)
  • “EEOC Guidance on Background Checks and Religious Accommodations” (2014)
  • Akron Area SHRM, Annual Legal and Legislative Conference (2014)
  • Food Industry Mid-Year Legal Update - Roetzel & Andress Webinar (May 2014)
  • “Avoiding Wage and Hour Liabilities” - Lorman Education Seminar Series (July 2013)
  • "The Rise of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Claims Against the Food, Beverage and Consumer Product Industry" – Grocery Manufacturers Association webinar (2011)
  • "FLSA Exemptions and Hot Topics" - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Akron, Ohio (2011)
  • "What Employment Lawyers Need to Know About the Dodd-Frank Act and Other Pressing Issues for 2011" – Columbus Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Committee (2011)
  • "Utilizing Non-Traditional Investigative Methods During the Claims Process" – Consumer Complaint Management Webinar sponsored by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (2010)
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