Ann-Marie Ahern

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Cleveland, OH

McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA
 | 101 West Prospect Avenue, Suite 1800
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: 216-696-1422
Fax: 216-696-1210
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2021
Selected To Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007, 2009 - 2012
Licensed Since: 1998
Practice Areas:
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (50%)
    Attorney Profile

    Focusing on employment law cases across Ohio, Ann-Marie Ahern is a principal attorney at McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co. She has been licensed to practice since 1998 and has successfully resolved hundreds of cases through settlements, as well as in litigation in state and federal courts.

    The Ohio State Bar Association has certified Ms. Ahern as a specialist in labor and employment law. Her comprehensive practice includes representing executives, whistleblowers, individuals and companies. Over the course of her career, she has negotiated severance agreements, litigated disputes based on race or gender, and advised businesses on compliance issues.

    Ms. Ahern has been involved in multiple seven figure verdicts and settlements, including a $30 million verdict on behalf of a single plaintiff in an age discrimination claim.  In 2019, Ms. Ahern secured a $3.5 million award for her clients in a breach of contract action.  

    In 2020, Ms. Ahern was named Employment Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for Cleveland in the catagory of Employment Law Individauls.  She is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Ahern has earned the highest rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell, she has an Avvo “Superb” rating, she has been listed in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, and she has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.  She was honored in 2017 by Smart Business Magazine with the "Progressive Woman" award, and in 2014, she was honored by the CMBA Women in the Law Section with the "Women Making a Difference" award.   

    In 1994, Ms. Ahern received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Dayton. She then attended the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1998.

    Ms. Ahern is a frequent speaker to lawyers and other professional groups on employment law, wage equity and harassment.  She has been at the forefront of the #metoo movement.  She is a past president of the ATLA (now American Association for Justice) Employment Rights Section.  She is a Master Bencher in the Cleveland Employment Inn of Court.  For more than 10 years, Ms. Ahern served as a Trustee for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation and Association.  She now serves on the executive committee of the CM Law Board of Visitors and is the Chair of the Career Placement work group  

    * AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 50%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
    • 50%Employment & Labor: Employee
    Focus Areas

    Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 7 years

    Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2021 Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007, 2009 - 2012

    Certificates and Credentials

    Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist

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    About Ann-Marie Ahern

    Admitted: 1998, Ohio

    Professional Webpage:


    • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year" , 2020
    • Selected by Smart Business Magazine to be honored as one of 11 female leaders in the Prgressive Woman Category., Progressive Woman, Smart Business, 2017
    • The Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2020
    • Ohio Super Lawyers, 2016-2020
    • Top 50 Women in Ohio, 2017, 2019, 2020
    • Top 25 Women in Cleveland, 2017, 2019, 2020
    • Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2005-2012
    • Avvo Clients' Choice Award, 2012 & 2015
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Women in Law Making a Difference Recipient, 2014
    • Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb
    • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ of AV® Preeminent™

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law by the Ohio State Bar Association
    • "Advocate" Certification from the National College of Advocacy

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Ohio
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
    • The National Trial Lawyers, Member
    • American Association for Justice, Employment Rights Section, Past Chair
    • Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, Member
    • Cleveland Employment Lawyers Inn of Court, Barrister, Master of the Bench, Membership Chair, 2013-2015
    • Cleveland Employment Lawyers Association, Member
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Trustee, 2013-2016
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Trustee, Past Co-Chair of the Communications & PR Committee, 2007-2013
    • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
    • Eighth District Judicial Conference, Life Member

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Workplace Challenges of Privacy, Social Media, and Technology Issues, 14th Annual Employment Law: Rights, Benefits, and Emerging Issues, November 2016
    • The Changing Dynamics of Workplace Harassment: Social Media, Mobile Devices and Investigations, HR Star Conference, July 2016
    • Harassment: A Renewed EEOC Focus, Ohio State Bar Association's Labor Employment Law Section Advanced Employment Law Update and EEOC Initiatives, May 2016
    • Gender-Based Pay Disparity, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section Lunch and Learn, January 2016
    • Lean In on Executive Compensation & Benefits, The Union Club, April 2015
    • Mediation Practice Pointers, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's 15th Annual Northern Ohio Labor & Employment Law Conference, April 2015
    • The False Claims Act Explained, Recognizing Risk to Companies and Recognizing Claims for Plaintiffs, Cleveland Employment Lawyers Inn of Court, March 2015
    • Lean In on Executive Compensation, Solutions for Women, Union Club, Fairport Asset Management, Cleveland, Ohio, January 2015
    • Demystifying the False Claims Act, Midwest Labor Conference 2014
    • Recovering from Damaging Deposition Testimony in Employment Cases, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Fourteenth Annual Northern Ohio Labor and Employment Law Conference, 2014
    • Plaintiff's Employment Practice - Where Are We Headed?, Ohio Employment Lawyers Association Annual Employment Law Seminar and Meeting, 2014
    • Advice from the Top - Secrets to Success, New Lawyer Bootcamp, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2013
    • Valuing an Employment Case for Settlement and Trial, Cleveland Employment Association Annual Seminar, 2012
    • Potential Employment Claims Arising from Workers' Compensation Claims, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2012
    • Hiring and Firing in the Current Economy, Fundamentals of Employment Law Seminar, 2011
    • Using Evidence and Demonstrative Exhibits in an Age Discrimination Case, Columbus Employment Lawyers Association Meeting, 2011
    • Winning Trial Techniques in an Age Discrimination Case, Cleveland Employment Lawyers Association Meeting, 2011
    • ADA and FMLA Update, Fundamentals of Employment Law Seminar, 2010
    • Punitive Damages Under Ohio Revised Code 4112, Ohio Employment Lawyers Association Annual Seminar, 2010
    • All Things You Need to Know About Being an Employer, 2009
    • "New Wage and Hour Regulations may be the Opportunity to Enact Compliance Changes that Have Been Previously Put Off," McCarthy Lebit Employment Blog, June 2016
    • "Employers should be on the lookout for phishing scams this tax season," McCarthy Lebit Employment Blog, March 2016
    • "Gender-based pay gap even wider for female executives: Actively addressing wage disparity cuts liability, proves commitment," Crain's Cleveland Business, November 2015


    • $3.5 million award for executive clients whose contracts were breached at termination of employment. , 2019
    • $600,000 profiling settlement in age and sex discrimination case on behalf of HR executive. , 2018
    • $61 million qui tam action, with $11 million recovery to client against Tremco Roofing.  , 2013
    • $900,000 verdict in age discrimination case. , 2011
    • $30 million verdict on behalf of single plaintiff in age discrimination case. , 2001

    Educational Background:

    • University of Dayton, Bachelor of Arts
    • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude
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    Office Location for Ann-Marie Ahern

    101 West Prospect Avenue
    Suite 1800
    Cleveland, OH 44115

    Phone: 216-696-1422

    Fax: 216-696-1210

    Ann-Marie Ahern:

    Last Updated: 7/2/2020

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