Counsel of Good Value: Ziegler Metzger's Motto Since 1952

Stephen M. Bales

  • Managing Partner


Cleveland, OH





Rated By Super Lawyers | Stephen M. Bales |

Since joining the Ohio Bar in 1983,1 have tried to provide my clients with consistent legal advice and counsel. While many aspects of the law have changed (and will continue to change) delivering high quality legal services in a cost-effective and efficient manner has not. My partners and associates believe strongly in our motto, "Counsel of good value." We bring substantial practical and legal experience to address our clients' needs and objectives. Ziegler Metzger values the loyalty our clients have shown us since 1952 and we reward that loyalty by doing our very best on each and every engagement. When a matter is outside of our experience, we promptly assist our clients in finding the proper representation that they need, wherever that may be.

I have had the privilege of serving as local counsel for many large, nationally-based law firms. I believe that these relationships have remained strong for so many years because my partners and associates each value the client relationships these firms have established with their clients. A referring attorney will never hear back from a client about Ziegler Metzger's efforts to solicit their legal business. My partners and I welcome the opportunity to be part of any client's solution and will do our very best no matter what our role might be.

My firm and I have represented employers and employees alike in many different types of employment-related disputes, such as enforcing and defending claims related to restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements. We have substantial experience in federal and state courts as well as arbitration forums, such as FINRA and other self-regulatory sponsored or approved forums.  I regularly represent corporate and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries (including non-profits and other charitable organizations) in will and trust contests and defense.

Outside of the legal profession, I am an active member of the Boy Scouts of America. I am an Eagle Scout (Class of 1972) and a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association. I am a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and the James E. West Fellowship award. I have served two terms as President of the Greater Western Reserve Council in Warren, Ohio and remain active with our local community Boy Scout troop. I welcome the opportunity to meet with Eagle Scouts throughout northeast Ohio and to offer my assistance in helping them begin their careers after high school or college. I am also a member of the Executive Board of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross.  I serve as the Chair of our Board Engagement Committee and a member of the Service to Armed Forces Committee.  Backpacking and hiking are frequent activities along with the shooting sports.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Commercial & Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Defense
  • Securities & Employment Arbitration
  • Securities & Employment Litigation
  • Trade Secret & Confidential Information
  • Fiduciary Law - Will and Trust Contests and Defense

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1987


  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
    • J.D. - 1983
  • Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois
    • B.A. - 1979
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: Political Science

Representative Clients

  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  • The Huntington National Bank

Honors And Awards

  • Silver Beaver Award-Boy Scouts of America
  • James E. West Fellowship Award-Boy Scouts of America

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Ohio State Bar Association, 1983 to 1983
  • Geauga County Bar Association, UPL Chair, 2002 to 2006

Fraternities / Sororities

  • Delta Theta Phi