William M. Gustavson

Attorney at Law

William M Gustavson


University of Cincinnati
Bachelor of Arts Degree 1974

Northern Kentucky University
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Juris Doctor Degree 1978


  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Mr. Gustavson has been engaged full-time in litigation since 1978, with the exception of his time as Safety Director for the city of Cincinnati as detailed below. The practice is concentrated in the areas of civil rights, including police misconduct and government abuse; wrongful death, including medical malpractice, product liability and personal injury; gun issues and the rights of firearms owners; business litigation; and construction disputes.


Mr. Gustavson is a 1974 graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a 1978 graduate of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree. He joined the staff of prosecutor=s office of the city of Cincinnati in 1978 where he served as a trial attorney. In 1981, he was promoted to the civil division of the Cincinnati solicitor=s office where his duties included general civil litigation. In 1984, he was promoted to senior assistant city solicitor. In 1986, he was promoted to chief trial counsel for the City of Cincinnati. As chief trial counsel, his duties included supervision and responsibility for all City civil litigation attorneys, as well as responsibility for monitoring an average of more than 400 active cases seeking recovery of in excess of one billion dollars. Mr. Gustavson=s trial practice primarily involved police misconduct cases, with an emphasis on police shooting cases, government abuse of citizen=s rights, injury cases, contract litigation, and construction law and litigation. In 1991, he was promoted to deputy city solicitor, courts division. That position involved the supervision and responsibility for the staff of the city prosecutor=s office, as well as the city=s civil litigation attorneys. The supervisory role involved a staff of more than 50 persons, including 25 litigation attorneys. In 1992, he was appointed safety director for the city. The safety director administered the Safety Department and was the administrative supervisor of the Cincinnati Police Division and the Cincinnati Fire Division, with direct supervisory responsibility for the Cincinnati Police Chief and the Cincinnati Fire Chief. The Safety Department was the largest city department with more than 2,200 employees and a budget in excess of $140 million. At the end of 1995, Mr. Gustavson ended his career in public service to devote his time to litigation matters, primarily on behalf of plaintiffs.

Committee as a part of the International City Managers Association's national benchmarking project.

Since leaving government service, Mr. Gustavson has been involved in litigation and union representation. The litigation includes police misconduct, medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, business litigation, city employee promotional and administrative disputes, and intentional torts. Since 2004, Mr. Gustavson has achieved punitive damage jury verdicts in three cases, including a defamation case with a jury verdict in excess of $1.1 million. The union representation involves CODE, a group of middle managers employed by the City of Cincinnati. That representation includes contract negotiation, discipline and grievance arbitrations.

Mr. Gustavson has been involved in litigation in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, New York, Florida, Arizona and California.


Mr. Gustavson has served as an expert witness in cases involving the value of attorney services in litigation and in issues involved in the dissolution of a law firm.


  • Member of the Regional Computer Center Control Board
  • Member of the Central Warrant ID Board
  • Chairman of the Cincinnati Boxing and Wrestling Commission
  • Member of the Mayor's Commission on Youth Violence
  • Member of the Cincinnati MIS Steering Committee
  • Member of the Cincinnati Board of Health Advisory Council for Reshaping Youth Priorities
  • Member of the International City Managers Association's Police Technical Advisory Committee for national benchmarking of police services
  • Member of the Hamilton County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
  • Member of the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Graffiti Task Force


  • Volunteer Lawyer for the Poor Project
  • Adjunct and part-time faculty at the Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University


  • 1993-The Cincinnati Coalition on Domestic Violence Award for outstanding service and dedication in the area of criminal justice
  • 1993-Human Involvement Project Hipzen Award for promoting youth violence prevention
  • 2002-Bill of Rights Award from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for service to the preservation of Second Amendment right


  • 1987-Local and national television appearances to discuss pit bulls and the constitutionality of pit bull bans
  • 1989-Panelist discussion with Ohio Supreme Court Justices Andrew Douglas and Herbert Brown concerning public records issues before the Associated Press Society of Ohio
  • 2000, 2001, 2002-Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Ohio for Lorman Education Services
  • 2001-Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Litigation for the Cincinnati Bar Association
  • 2000, 2001-Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Ohio : Public Bidding for Lorman Education Services
  • 2002-Discovery in Civil Rights Litigation for the Cincinnati Bar Association
  • 2003-Detention, Arrest, Search & Seizure for the Cincinnati Bar Association
  • On April 22, 2003, the successful handling of the appeal of Klein v. Leis in the First District Court of Appeals striking down Ohio's prohibition on the carrying of concealed firearms was chosen by the National Law Journal as the "Decision of the Week" in the "Litigation Week" section.
  • Teaching of pretrial litigation techniques at Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University
  • Judge, Chase College of Law Center for Excellence in Advocacy Second Annual Closing Argument Competition, 2011
  • Coach, Chase College of Law National Trial Team which won the Regional National Trial Competition, 2011
  • Selected as an Ohio Super Lawyer, 2012

Click the following link to download the PDF WMG-CV - PDF