Counselor & Trial Partner
With a client list full of families navigating business and generational transitions, Fortune 500 companies and risk-taking mavericks who won’t take “no” for an answer, Cleve Clinton knows what it takes to develop creative solutions when big ideas result in big problems. Whether he’s serving as lead counsel in one of the growing number of fiduciary litigation claims within family businesses, advising a family in transition, or helping a developer sidestep a legal and public relations disaster in a new residential community, Cleve’s focus is always the same – understand and achieve the client’s goals, either in or out of the courtroom. His clients span nearly every industry, including beverage distribution, real estate, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation. Many lawyers claim they can strike the perfect balance between legal strategy and a client’s practical goals, but Cleve demonstrates it every day. After 40 years of litigation practice, Cleve has learned one absolute truth – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. His starting point with every client is to fully understand their motivations and concerns so he can mirror their judgment. When the initial legal answer won’t solve the problem or is too costly, he seeks practical solutions that reveal new legal paths that minimize both the financial and emotional impact. And most important – if it’s not simple, it’s not the best solution. Always putting his clients’ interests first, Cleve explores every resource available to ensure each case is in the right hands. It’s often as simple as making an introduction to another lawyer in the firm who can take the lead and achieve the ideal outcome. When a deal or controversy has a lot of moving parts and requires a multi-disciplinary approach, Cleve assembles a team of lawyers and other professionals with the perfectly-matched skill set – tax, employment, real estate, construction, regulatory plus more – and then quarterbacks strategic planning and tactical execution every step of the way. Cleve is dedicated to keeping clients informed about the latest legal and industry trends that impact their businesses. As a regular contributor on the firm’s blog, Tilting the Scales, he focuses on analyzing new and interesting business issues from a legal perspective.