April 4, 2017 at 11:59 am

CLJC Features Communications Alum | Rubis Defends Policy Holders

Center for Law, Justice & Culture Alumni Spotlight

John Rubis worked in the insurance industry for 9 years at Nationwide Insurance. Since joining Ritzler, Coughlin, & Paglia, Ltd., his primary practice is Insurance Defense, Civil Litigation, and Business Law.

John Rubis

John Rubis

Rubis has worked closely with a multitude of insurance companies as well as local businesses defending their policy holders and employees from a wide range of lawsuits. He has extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation and has personally handled matters from initial investigation through trial.

Rubis received his bachelor’s degree in political communicatons from Ohio University in 2001 and graduated from the University of Akron School of Law in 2008. While attending law school, he was a member of the university’s nationally ranked trial team and was an advocate in multiple competitions across the country. In 2007, Rubis was a national finalist at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament in Boulder, Colorado.

Rubis is a member of several local organizations including the Stark County Bar Association and the Summit County Bar Association, and he volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litum for Summit County’s CASA program. He also finds time to give back to his alma mater by coaching the newest members of Akron’s trial team. Rubis enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Dana, in their home in Akron.

What brought you to Ohio University?

I knew I wanted to go to OU at a young age. My sister, who is 10 years my senior, also attended OU, so I would visit her pretty often. When it came time for me to apply to colleges, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a Bobcat.

What is your current occupation? Explain what you do in a typical day.

I am a partner at the law firm of Ritzler, Coughlin, & Paglia in Cleveland. My primary focus is insurance defense litigation. I often defend a person who is being sued for negligently injuring someone. My typical day consists of attending hearings, participating in mediations, drafting briefs, and negotiating settlements. On average, I try two to three cases a year.

How did you become interested in that field? Was there a particular topic or field of law that got you interested in it in the first place?

After graduating from OU, I began working as a claims adjuster for Nationwide Insurance. I then began attending law school at night while I worked at Nationwide during the day. After passing the bar exam, insurance defense was a natural fit.

What’s your favorite part of your position? What are you passionate about?

I really enjoy the competition. This is a job that pits your talents against those of opposing counsel. Only one side can come out the victor, and success depends on preparation, knowledge, and talent. Going through an arduous trial and getting a favorable verdict is an incredible feeling.

How did your Ohio University experience prepare you for law school and shape your career path?

I was a political communications major, so a lot of what I learned at Ohio University uniquely prepared me for the role I have as a trial attorney. So much of one’s success in the courtroom depends on how one effectively presents themselves to a jury. My education in the communications field gives me an edge over other attorneys who lack that knowledge.

What do you think most important things you did as an undergrad to get you prepared for law school?

So much of law school focuses on critical thinking and issue-spotting. I took a variety of classes, many of which required me to do a lot of writing. The writing process, whether it be short story writing or critical analysis, prepared me for the rigors of law school. Had I not taken those types of classes I would have been ill prepared.

Do you have any advice for students interested in law?

I strongly recommend that before becoming an attorney that you think long and hard about type of law you want to practice. While there are a lot of great high-paying jobs, there are also a lot of awful low-paying jobs. Law school is not cheap, and many lawyers get out of school with a lot of debt with little to show for it. Be sure to do your research on the employment placement rate of the school you wish to attend, and then make an informed decision.

What is your favorite Ohio University memory?

I can truthfully say that every single one of my memories from Ohio University is my favorite. I had incredible professors who had a profound effect on my career and life. I met my wife at OU, and our entire wedding party (other than family) was made up of OU alumni. There is no undergraduate experience better than the OU experience. When you graduate and start meeting other people that never got to experience OU, you realize how special your experience truly was. Cherish every minute of your time there, because you will miss it when you leave.

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