Jennifer Dawson


Of Counsel
Four Seagate
Eighth Floor
Toledo, Ohio 43604


Jennifer Dawson has a broad based litigation practice and has extensive experience handling employment, commercial, and education law matters. She joined Marshall Melhorn after clerking for the Honorable Nicholas J. Walinski of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in the Litigation-Labor and Employment category, was selected by her peers as a Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in Toledo in the Litigation-Labor and Employment category, and has held the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for more than 20 years reflecting the highest peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standing.

Jennifer has successfully tried many cases in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies and has successfully argued many appeals in state and federal courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court. In addition, Jennifer represents clients in arbitrations and mediations. She frequently serves as a mediator. With her foundation in federal court, and her many years litigating cases before area judges, Jennifer is often selected to serve as local counsel in a wide variety of matters including complex litigation and class actions.

Drawing on her employment litigation experience, Jennifer devotes a substantial portion of her time to advising clients on a wide range of employment issues including all types of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, EEOC and OCRC proceedings, discipline, hiring, terminations, internal investigations, non-compete and employment contracts, employee separation agreements, employee policies and handbooks, and website accessibility matters. She works with employers to draft and implement sound employment policies and agreements, and advises clients in addressing and resolving employment disputes in order to avoid expensive litigation.

She is a member of the American, Ohio, and Toledo Bar Associations and the Toledo Women's Bar Association. She has served on the board of trustees of the Toledo Bar Association, the Employers' Association, and the Toledo Women's Bar Association. She has also served on the executive committee of the Morrison R. Waite chapter of the American Inns of Court, is a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and the Toledo Bar Foundation, has served as a member of the University of Toledo College of Law Board of Governors, and has been a member of the board of trustees and served in leadership roles for numerous nonprofit entities

News / Events

Jennifer Dawson listed in Best Lawyers ® in America
on May 2022

Awards / Recognition

  • In 2021, Jennifer was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America ® for Litigation - Labor & Employment

Professional / Community

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • Toledo Bar Association
    • Past Member, Board of Trustees
  • Toledo Women's Bar Association 
    • Past Member, Board of Trustees
  • Morrison R. Waite Chapter of the American Inns of Court
    • Executive Committee
  • Fellow, Ohio State Bar Foundation

Representative Matters

  • Obtained defense verdicts and summary judgement and affirmance on appeal numerous times for clients in federal and state discrimination, retaliation, harassment, FMLA, Title VII, ADEA, wrongful discharge, and ADA cases.
  • Successfully defended administrative claims before the EEOC, OCRC, Ohio EPA, Ohio Board of Counselors and Social Workers, and investigations by the DOL.
  • Secured preliminary and permanent injunctive relief in non-compete, unfair competition, and invasion of privacy claims.
  • Represented clients in a variety of commercial and business disputes including successful defense of a significant contract dispute in the Ohio Supreme Court.
  • Successfully represented trustees and beneficiaries in fiduciary and estate litigation.
  • Defended school district in investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and the Ohio Department of Education, and defended educators in actions before the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Professional Conduct.
  • Successfully represented owners and contractors in protracted construction arbitrations.
  • Served as local counsel in complex litigation including toxic tort, TCPA, and ERISA class actions


J.D., University of Toledo
B.A., Miami University


United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan

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