If you’re a builder or own a construction business, you’re more likely to be sued than to bring a suit against someone. Edward (Pete) Akin is the lawyer you want to talk to when you need to protect your financial investment.
Pete is a litigation partner at Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt and has been practicing law for 20 years. He honed his craft on using the discovery process to stay out of court if possible — but he’s also had many accomplishments in the courtroom, trying cases to conclusion or securing pretrial dismissal for defendants.
From History to the Law
Pete was born in Houston, TX, and he didn’t set out initially to become a lawyer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Southwestern University, a Master’s degree in American/United States Studies/Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in American History from the University of California. He even taught at UCLA and the University of Cincinnati before pivoting to law.
It wasn’t long after he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Notre Dame Law School that he became an associate at AR&H. His clients since 2004 have included builders in construction-related disputes and civil ligation in a wide range of cases, including labor and employment disputes, intellectual property and occasionally personal injury. He became a partner in 2010 and is a member of Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL), Class XI.
“I’m always trying to do what I can to save builders and consumers as much money as possible,” Pete says.
Big Wins in the Courts
Pete has handled cases in Ohio Courts, State and Federal, as well as Federal Courts in Michigan and Indiana. He has represented everything from coin laundry companies to a zoning proceeding for a religious entity whose Eastern access gate was being blocked.
He is particularly proud of a case a little over a decade ago that went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. He served as co-counsel, along with another law firm, for The Drees Company against Hamilton Township. Hamilton Township had imposed an “impact fee” to tax new construction to offset the cost of future improvements to Township roads, parks, police and fire infrastructure.
“The money collected by Hamilton Township was illegal because it was not earmarked to make improvements to serve the payer,” says Pete. “It also would have forced homeowners to pay a double tax alongside existing taxes. This was during the Great Recession and housing crisis. Our win meant there was a precedent set that townships could not use impact fees as supplementary form of taxation.”
Change and Continuity
AR&H is continuing to evolve the practice to meet the needs of clients. Tina M. Donnelly recently became the first-ever female managing partner with former managing partner Rick Paolo shifting his focus to practicing law.
Pete himself has even experienced some personal change himself. He and his family recently settled into a 59-acre farm in Northern Kentucky. “We’ve got 12 cows, a flock of chickens and everything out on this farm,” he says.
But even with change on the horizon, Pete knows that some things will always stay the same.
“AR&H is coming up on its centennial in six years and we’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done,” he says. “Transactional law, contracts, title closings — these are the spine of the business, even as we push forward and try to do everything we can for clients.”
For More Information
For more information about Pete Akin, visit https://arh-law.com/edward-p-akin/. Contact him if you would like to discuss any construction-related or civil litigation concerns.