Jean focuses her practice on construction law, medical malpractice defense, commercial litigation, and agribusiness. Jean serves individual clients as well as business entities in litigation in both Michigan and Ohio, with an emphasis on real estate and financial matters, construction disputes, and medical malpractice defense.
For over 25 years, Jean has been defending hospitals and doctors in Ohio and Michigan, including birth injury, cardiology, radiology, pulmonary, oncology, and surgical claims. Jean has resolved problems for her clients, whether through negotiations, mediation, or trial. While she has gained multi-million dollar verdicts for commercial clients, she also has guided clients in handling matters of all sizes, protecting lien and bond rights, property protection, enforcing contracts, and collection on accounts. Working with the firm business attorneys, Jean has litigated diverse matters from trust litigation, competence, business dissolution, bankruptcy, and banking issues.
The University of Toledo, College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1986; Order of the Coif
The University of Toledo, University College, B.S., magna cum laude, 1983
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1987
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1988
U.S. District Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1988
U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
Paul Harris Fellow, The Rotary Foundation
Blissfield Rotary Club, Board Member (2014-15); Past President (2010-2011)
Blissfield Foundation for Educational Excellence, Past President
Executive Council of Lenawee Leadership, Past President
Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow, January 2020
Michigan Society of Healthcare Risk Managers, Co-Chair Governmental Affairs Committee (2017-2020)
National Association of Women in Construction, Toledo Chapter, Board Member (2012-2013, 2015-2018), President (2015-2017)
American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry and Forum on Health Law
Toledo Bar Association, Chair, Citizen Dispute Settlement Program (1993-1995, 1999-2000); Doctors & Lawyers Committee (2005-2007, 2012-2014), Co-Chair Doctors & Lawyers Seminars (2012-2019)
Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
Lucas County Bar Association, Executive Board and Past President (2011-2012, 2017-2019)
Super Lawyers Michigan (2020)
National Association of Women in Construction, New Leader Award (2013)
Medical Malpractice/Martindale Hubble
Toledo Bar Association – Commitment to Service Award, Lawyers Under 40 (1998)
Examples of commercial and medical litigation:
Examples of Lien, Coverage, and Easement Related Litigation:
A patient alleged that an employee of our hospital client observed the patient’s changed symptoms but did not report those symptoms to the patient’s physician, causing a delay in surgery and permanent injury to the patient.
The patient attempted to implicate all of her care providers by also testifying that she informed her physicians of these same changed symptoms at a time when, according to her experts, surgery could have been timely performed to avoid injury. In an issue of first impression in Ohio, we argued the patient could not “cherry pick” facts from other witnesses simply to avoid summary judgment, especially when those facts contradicted her own version of events. Using the patient’s own version of events and causation theory against her, we successfully argued that her testimony that she informed her physicians of the same symptoms within time for surgery to occur without injury was undisputed evidence of an intervening and superseding cause under Ohio law, therefore breaking the chain of causation stemming from the initial conduct of the hospital employee. The trial court awarded summary judgment to the hospital accordingly, and the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed, adopting a large part of our legal analysis.
Despite disputed issues of fact on standard of care and permanent injury, we obtained judgment as a matter of law for the hospital by invoking a causation doctrine that, traditionally, involved factual questions that usually are not decided at the summary judgment stage.
After many years of litigation with prior counsel, the client was dismayed to have incurred massive attorney fees and still had not received clear title to the property.
Persuaded not to abandon the long effort and threatened by the opponent, the client looked to RCO Law to recover clear title to the property and massive attorney fees incurred. After trial of the attorney fee issue and interest, an award was entered and over $3 million collected, after appeal through state, federal, and bankruptcy courts. Closing on the disputed real estate contract was completed, off-setting the balance owed with the judgment, before collecting the balance with interest. The litigation was contentious, including trial of the wealthy opponent’s competence in Bankruptcy Court, and appeals in virtually every Michigan venue.
Clear title to the commercial real estate was obtained, and over $3 million was collected in Detroit Bankruptcy Court.
I was raised on a farm in Riga, Michigan, where my family raised produce and grain crops and had a small greenhouse operation. I reside in Blissfield, Michigan with my husband, Jeffrey, where we operate Sieler Construction, Inc., an industrial and commercial contracting company. My three adult sons work in engineering and construction in the region.
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