Barbara A. Terzian was a founding partner of the law firm that evolved into The Gittes Law Group. She is currently of counsel to the firm, working on selected cases. Barbara has received recognition and awards for her legal work for civil rights and against discrimination from the ACLU, the Columbus Urban League, and Best Lawyers in America. Barbara has handled a wide range of cases in both appellate and trial courts. Her appellate work has been enhanced by her previous experience as an attorney working at the Ohio Supreme Court. She has tried employment defamation, discrimination, constitutional due process, assault, university promotion/tenure, and contract cases.
Among her victories was a substantial award for women factory workers fired for purportedly leading a wildcat strike. Barbara was able to prove that the women, who had challenged assignment and overtime discrimination, had been fired as scapegoats by company managers who took no action against male workers actively involved in the strike, some of whom had engaged in violence and physical threats during the work stoppage. In a precedent-setting appellate case, Barbara convinced the court of appeals to apply due process protections to eviction cases filed by government agencies against low-income tenants in public housing. In another case, Barbara helped obtain a record-setting award for a union member who was almost beaten to death during a union meeting when he tried to speak against a proposal endorsed by the union’s leadership.
Barbara has extensive experience evaluating cases to determine potential claims, pre-suit strategies, and trial tactics. Her work has included administrative and agency proceedings. Her consulting work involves assisting individuals involved with contract or severance disputes.
Besides her accomplishments as an attorney, Barbara is an historian. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University. Her history specialties include U.S. legal and women’s history. Her teaching encompasses courses on the American colonial experience, slavery in the United States, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the history of women in the U.S., and great trials in American History. Her research, for which she received a Bicentennial Fellowship, focuses on Ohio’s constitutional history in the 19th century, particularly as it affected African-Americans and women. Barbara also serves as a pre-law advisor for undergraduates. Her publications include “Ohio’s Constitutions: An Historical Perspective,” in the Cleveland State Law Review and “‘Let Us Agitate’: Woman Suffrage at Ohio’s Constitutional Conventions, 1850-1913,” in The History of Ohio Law.