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Lee E. Plakas Named 2024 Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" in the Akron Area

Headshot of Lee PlakasPlakas Mannos attorney Leonidas "Lee" E. Plakas was recently recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2024 "Lawyer of the Year" for Bet-the-Company Litigation.  

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the "Lawyer of the Year," making this a significant and coveted accolade. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer review assessments.  

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.  

Lee Plakas’s courtroom abilities have also been recognized by his certifications in civil trial advocacy by both the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the American Board of Trial Advocates. In addition to the 2024 Bet-the-Company "Lawyer of the Year" award,Lee Plakas's trial excellence earned previously earned the following Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” awards:

  • 2023 Lawyer of the Year Medical Malpractice Law Plaintiffs 
  • 2019 Lawyer of the Year Personal Injury Litigation 
  • 2016 Lawyer of the Year Personal Injury Litigation   
  • 2013 Lawyer of the Year Personal Injury Litigation  

The 2024 edition ofThe Best Lawyers in America® recognized Lee’s excellence in the following practice areas:   

  • Commercial Litigation   
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment   
  • Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs   
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Bet-The-Company: When everything is on the line.  

As the managing partner of Plakas Mannos, Lee Plakas has contributed to building a legacy of advocacy. As the 2024 "Lawyer of the Year" forBet-the-CompanyLitigation, we reflect on the success of the historic Gibson’s Bakery vs. Oberlin College case. This case is the highest defamation verdict in Ohio’s history, clocking in at $44 million. The verdict was based on false claims of racism against an iconic family bakery, which falsehoods the Oberlin College Administration aided and abetted.  

The case garnered national and international attention from both network television and newspapers ranging from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal. CBS’s Ted Koppel won an Emmy Award for the Sunday Morning news program that featured the Gibson Bakery case.Because of the nature and magnitude of the case, Lee has been asked to CLE presentations about the lessons of the Gibson Bakery verdict to more than 1,500 attorneys and judges in several states.  

When asked about the messages of the case, Lee said, “Truth still matters; David can still overcome Goliath, and college administrators need to be the adults-in-the-room..”  

He continued, “Although the 'Lawyer of the Year' award was for Bet the Company Litigation, the case was about the lives, the future, and the legacy of generations of the Gibson family. Our trial team and the Gibson family are gratified that all judges on the court of appeals and the majority of the Ohio Supreme Court recognized the rights of individuals rather than the bullying tactics of the big institutions.”   

About Best Lawyers  

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer-ranking service in the world. For 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers awards are published in leading local, regional, and national publications across the globe.  

Lawyers are not required nor allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, recognition by Best Lawyers is considered a singular distinction. 

Lawyers who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized Best Lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers.  

Those who receive high peer reviews undergo a thorough verification process to make sure they are currently still in private practice. Only then can these top lawyers be recognized by Best Lawyers. 

Work with the Best 

When you need legal assistance, you want lawyers with the wisdom to understand the opponent, the courage to forge into battle, as well as the endurance and experience to win the war. You want lawyers like Lee Plakas and the team at Plakas Mannos.  

Explore our practice areas to learn more about the firm or contact us today.


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