Markus E. Apelis

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Markus E. Apelis Overview

Markus maintains a diverse commercial transportation practice focused on the maritime and rail industries.  In the marine industry, he represents vessel owners and operators in serious marine casualties, including crew injury or death, collisions, allisions, groundings, and fires. Markus also represents 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 extends to personal injury or property damage matters arising out of the use of personal watercraft. In the rail industry, Markus defends railroads against employee injuries, grade crossing collisions, and property damage claims, and provides advice on regulatory and administrative enforcement, real property issues, eminent domain, and other matters. An important component of Markus’ practice is providing emergency response and investigative services with respect to maritime and rail emergencies and other catastrophic events.

Markus also actively defends public and private companies, individuals, and insurance carriers facing litigation involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims in the firm’s General Liability Group. 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 provides counsel on administrative, regulatory, risk management, and compliance issues, as well as public records and open meetings law obligations.

Bar Admissions

  • 2008, Ohio
  • 2015, Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania


  • 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)


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2008)
  • Case Western Reserve Law Review
  • Jonathan M. Ault Mock Trial Team
  • The Order of the Coif
  • The Order of the Barristers
  • Ohio University (B.S.J., magna cum laude, 2004; B.A., magna cum laude, 2005)

Honors & Recognition

  • Rising Star, Civil Litigation Defense, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2016-2021


  • Adjunct Faculty, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • American Latvian Youth Association (Past President)
  • Secretary and General Counsel, Latvian Center Garezers, Inc.