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Markus E. Apelis

Cleveland Office | Partner

Markus Apelis maintains a diverse commercial transportation and general liability litigation practice. Markus devotes a significant portion of his litigation practice to representing members of the maritime and rail industries.  In the marine industry, he represents vessel owners and operators in serious marine casualties, including crew injury or death, as well as collisions, allisions, and groundings.  Markus also represent shippers, charterers, logistics providers, and others in cargo claims and contractual disputes, as well as marine facilities against property damage and personal injury claims.  Markus’ admiralty and maritime practice also extends to personal injury or property damage matters arising out of the use of personal watercraft.  In the rail industry, Markus defends railroads in lawsuits and other proceedings arising out of employee injuries, grade crossing collisions, and property damage.  He also represents railroads in matters involving regulatory or administrative enforcement, real property issues, eminent domain, and other matters.

Markus also defends public and private companies, individuals, and insurance carriers facing litigation involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims.  This practice includes defending municipalities, school districts, government agencies, elected officials, and public-sector employees against municipal liability claims.  Markus’ municipal liability experience includes defending school boards and school administrators in complex litigation arising out of catastrophic events such as school shootings, sexual abuse claims, and student injuries, as well as representing on-duty and off-duty law enforcement personnel facing federal civil rights claims.  Markus also counsels municipal administrators on regulatory, risk-management, and compliance issues, as well as public records and open meetings law obligations. Markus also represents business owners and employers facing liquor liability claims, premises liability actions, employer intentional torts, and business disputes.

An important component of Markus’ litigation practice is to provide emergency response and investigative services to respond to maritime or rail emergencies or other catastrophic events.  He also provides counsel on pre-litigation, litigation, administrative, regulatory, compliance, and risk management issues.  Markus regularly presents on topics of interest to clients and industry members.

Markus has practiced law with Gallagher Sharp for over a decade, joining the firm in 2008 and becoming a partner in 2014.


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Professional Organizations

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLAUS)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (Past Chair, Young Lawyers Section)