Merle (Trace) has 40 years of litigation experience and aggressively defends national insurance companies and their insureds on insurance coverage issues and all types of complex civil litigation.

Trace has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® continuously from 2008 through 2024. Trace has also been named by Best Lawyers in America as the “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation-Insurance in Akron in 2012, 2017 and 2023.  Trace has also been selected for recognition by Super Lawyers for the years 2009 through 2023.

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2008-2024)
  • Best Lawyers in America®: Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Insurance in Akron (2012, 2017, 2023)
  • Ohio’s Super Lawyers™ (2009-2023)
  • Ohio’s Super Lawyers™: Corporate Counsel Edition (2009, 2010, 2012)

Professional Associations

  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Stark County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
  • Member, Defense Research Institute

Community Involvement

  • Former Member of Board of Directors, Massillon Museum
  • Member of Board of Trustees, Canton Palace Theatre Association
  • Member of Board of Trustees, Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services
  • Member of Board of Trustees, Campaign Cabinet and Allocations Council, United Way
  • Member, Cultural Center for the Arts, Fund for the Arts, Budget Committee
  • Graduate, Leadership Stark County, 7th Class