Jacob A. Bruner
Jake is a former employment litigator-turned-estate planning attorney who returned to BMD after working for several top national firms to shift his focus to serving millennials, young couples, and family businesses on the brink of one of the largest intergenerational transfers of wealth in human history. Jake’s unique, mixed-practice background allows him to serve affluent individuals and businesses in a variety of legal settings and is inspired, in part, by, Jake’s personal experiences in the wake of unexpected family loss. Originally from the Cleveland area, Jake currently resides in Denver, is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, and, proudly serves as the firm’s first resident attorney based in Colorado.
Contact Information75 East Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44308
Cleveland Marshall College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business, M.B.A., magna cum laude
The Ohio State University, B.A., magna cum laude
Drawing on his MBA and finance-adjacent experiences working at a top-40 law firm and a top employment boutique firm, Jake helps clients “futureproof” the most important parts of their life, business, and legacy to their loved ones through the preparation of comprehensive estate plans, general wealth tactics, and related tax guidance. Jake’s developing estate planning practice fits a niche largely unserved in today’s legal community. According to recent estimates, more than two-thirds of Americans lack a comprehensive estate plan. Over the next several years, however, millennials are on track to inherit more than $70 trillion dollars from the baby boomer generation and beyond. Why is it that so many people lack a basic set of guardrails around the people, places, and things they hold so dear, even in a post-pandemic world? Perhaps it’s because estate planning has too long been viewed merely as an administrative obstacle for those close to death. Jake approaches estate planning differently by focusing on the benefits of estate planning during life, including financial stability, emotional well-being, and the preservation of tangible and intangible assets across generations.
Estate, Tax & Wealth Planning
- Won ~1.1MM verdict and ~900k attorneys’ fee award on behalf of a local R&D tax consulting firm in bet-the-company litigation related to a software licensing dispute against a former business tax partner following a 7-day jury trial. (Titan Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. v. National Cost, Inc. (D. Colo. 2019)).
- Achieved multiple appellate court judgments in favor of the State of Ohio concerning the implementation and enforceability of a regulatory tax law worth $1B that was challenged by 163 municipalities based on home-rule jurisdiction and was later adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court (City of Athens, et al v. Testa (Ohio 2019)).
- Compiled trust and estate documents for close family members and assisted with the representation of siblings in contentious domestic proceeding.
- Represented successor-in-interest to Silicon Valley Bank in $1B financial services dispute.
- Engineered strategies to protect confidential data, IP, and other valuable employer assets throughout the U.S
Business & Corporate
- Led and completed employment law due diligence to assist with the closing of multiple $20MM+ asset-purchase transactions.
- Spearheaded the creation of an information wall across a 28-person unit of a medical software company to prevent unauthorized disclosure of third-party confidential information in anticipation of the client’s development of a competitive product.
- Defended a local restaurant group from defamation claims brought by a famous YouTube personality in a case that received significant media attention for its First Amendment implications (W. 6th Restaurant Group, et al. v. Richard Bengton, et al. (N.D. Ohio 2017)).
- Forged a cannabis licensing appeal on behalf of a prospective cultivator following Ohio’s passage of HB 523 legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
- Crafted a vendor-purchaser agreement on behalf of a local entrepreneur to facilitate the exclusive purchase of cosmetic products from an online marketplace.
- Authored professional design services contract on behalf of local photographer to facilitate the provision of travel photography services to Colorado residents.
- Drafted operating agreements and subscription agreements for small and mid-sized businesses in Ohio and Florida.
Employment & Labor
- Drafted and revised 100+ contracts pertaining to corporate-adjacent issues (e.g., offer letters, employment agreements, confidentiality/IP, proprietary rights, NDAs, equity and stock options, executive compensation, taxation, separation, mutual release, etc.), including for family businesses with live-in ranch employees.
- Reviewed and updated 75+ handbooks and addendum policies pertaining to all aspects of the employment relationship (e.g., EEO policies, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, medical leave, wage and hour issues, health and safety, drug and alcohol, weapons, general work policies, etc.) for high net-worth families in Colorado.
- Overhauled recruiting company’s compensation agreements and offer letters for sales employees to comply with applicable law and tie pay to specific performance metrics.
- Oversaw extensive wage and hour audit on behalf of major hotel companies plagued by compliance issues related to minimum wage, overtime pay, tipping, exempt status and duties, and other special circumstances arising under state and federal law.
- Directed investigation into allegations of harassment on behalf of healthcare system by conducting interviews with 8+ physicians/staff, drafting confidential summary reports, and consulting with C-suite executives regarding strategy and disciplinary recommendations.
- Obtained dismissal of 3-count EEOC charged filed against sports and entertainment vendor alleging unlawful discrimination and retaliation based on age, national origin, and ethnicity.
- Secured dismissal on behalf of grocery retailer of NLRB charge filed by union to accrete 10+ employees into bargaining unit.
- Guided client through FMLA interactive process and subsequent request for reasonable accommodations under the ADA to comply with applicable laws and eventually terminate an employee lawfully in connection with a reduction in force.
- Counseled local startups through the retention of contracts in foreign jurisdictions.
- Served as de facto general contractor on major residential remodel from the architectural design phase through final mechanical, plumbing, and building inspections, including in the wake of a 6-figure insurance disaster.
- Analyzed and reviewed detailed construction blueprints, contractor documents, Gantt charts, and change orders with an eye toward maximizing investment, increasing energy efficiency, and securing personal residence.
- Managed subcontractors and suppliers to ensure timely delivery of materials during all phases of construction.
- Drafted multiple commercial and residential lease agreements for use in both Ohio and Colorado.