Philip J. Truax

Philip J. Truax
Attorney, Business Restructuring, Employment & Labor, Fiduciary Litigation, Litigation, Partner, Real Estate & Construction, Trust, Estate, & Probate Litigation

Philip J. Truax, Esq.


PRACTICE AREAS: Real Estate and Construction, Litigation

Mr. Truax is the Chairperson of the Real Estate and Construction Practice Area and serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He focuses primarily on construction and real estate matters, and litigating business disputes. Mr. Truax works with contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers to negotiate their contracts, manage project-specific risks, and preserve, pursue, and defend claims in connection with public and private improvement projects. Prior to practicing law, he worked in the field for multiple contractors, giving him invaluable experience in various areas of construction. That practical knowledge has allowed Mr. Truax to develop a practice of advising and counseling clients to assess and manage risk in the construction industry, as well as for the Firm’s manufacturing and industrial clients.

Mr. Truax also routinely represents companies and individuals in commercial disputes, including litigating trade secret, non-competition, and other complex contract and tort claims. He is also active in estate and trust litigation for the Firm’s clients, prosecuting and defending actions and claims involving executors, trustees, and beneficiaries over probate and trust disputes, elder abuse cases, will contests, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. Throughout his career, Mr. Truax has litigated and tried numerous actions to judgment in state and federal courts, as well as in private arbitrations. Mr. Truax has been selected to the Super Lawyers© Ohio Rising Stars List (2014-2018), and Ohio Super Lawyer List (2019-2020).

Mr. Truax is active in the community. He is a Board member for Leadership Lorain County, a founding member of the Bridge Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, works with the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, Lorain County Bar Association, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and is an active coach in Avon youth sports. In fact, Mr. Truax was honored as the 2018 Ohio State Bar Foundation District 10 Community Service Award winner for Attorneys 40 & Under.

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Tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to be at Wickens Herzer Panza.
I spent the majority of my life working to be a sports broadcaster – running the Ohio University Radio and TV sports department, interning for Channel 3 and Channel 19/43, then working as a sports producer for Channel 19. Then for a variety of reasons, I decided that the broadcasting industry was not as it was cracked up to be, so I went to law school.  After starting my career at a large firm in Cincinnati, I returned to Northeast Ohio and joined a strong regional firm to focus on construction law. After more than five years there, I took a chance on myself to change firms to build a new construction practice and to focus on my community, and joined Wickens Herzer Panza in 2013. The result has exceeded all of my expectations; it continues to be the best decision I've made in my career.
What is your passion? What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
My family, and, in particular, my daughter and son. I know it's cliché and it’s the easy answer.  But they give me purpose. Everything I do, in work and in life, is for them and to help them become the best they can be. Another passion of mine is helping people get better.  That pertains both to people within our Firm, and to our clients.  People come to our Firm to solve their problems, but they deserve better than that. I also want them to end up with something more, something stronger, something better than what they came to us with, and our Firm having good people who themselves are trying to get better is a necessary ingredient.  Every time we achieve that, it gives me pride and joy.  That, and Seinfeld.  Seinfeld is also a passion…
What one quote resonates with you, either personally or professionally (or both)?
One quote:  "Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people with nothing to say."  OK two…"Being a leader is not about being the boss, it's about helping people get better and make good choices."
What's the biggest challenge in your job?
I am a fairly intense and passionate person.  Keeping those characteristics in check is often necessary during client meetings or internal communications at our Firm – and that can be challenging for me.

2005 - Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., cum laude)
2001 - Ohio University (B.S. Journalism)

Ohio State Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
American Bar Association, Construction Forum, Division 7 Programs Chair
Lorain County Bar Association
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Lorain County Chamber of Commerce
Bridge Board, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Team in Training Participant
North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)
Leadership Lorain County (Director, 2015-Present)
Avon Little League and Youth Sports

State of Ohio
State of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

Speaking Engagements:

HalfMoon Education Seminar, September 26, 2017 – “Construction Contract Workshop”
American Bar Association Forum Regional Program, November 3, 2017 – “Construction Insurance”


Guest Blogger for the North Coast Building Industry Association:
-December 9, 2014 Blog – “Compliance with Notice Provisions”
-June 19, 2014 Blog – “Township’s Failure to Upgrade Sewer Capacity is Not Actionable”
-March 17, 2014 Blog –“Green Building & LEED Construction”
-February 24, 2014 Blog – “Ohio Consumer Sales Practice Act (CSPA)”

Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers© List (2019-2020)
Selected to the Super Lawyers Ohio Rising Stars List (2014-2018)
Ohio State Bar Foundation District 10 Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 & Under (2018)


Our team of attorneys and paralegals understands what it means to be a trusted advisor. Sure, we provide legal counsel but we do so much more. We provide a business partnership, support, advice and protection to our clients who become our family. Get to know us better and decide for yourself.