Peter Hardin-Levine considers himself fortunate to have had a “thrilling and diverse” legal career.
Having worked for the federal government litigating cases on behalf of employees who faced discrimination due to their race, religion, sex, age or medical condition, Hardin-Levine later served as a business lawyer for Cleveland-headquartered TRW Inc..
Starting as counsel at the company in 1990, Hardin-Levine had risen to vice president and assistant general counsel by the time he left to join the partnership at Baker & Hostetler LLP in 2002.
Fifteen years ago, he hung his own shingle, starting Hardin-Levine Co. to represent victims of sexual abuse, harassment and workplace discrimination.
Now semi-retired, Hardin-Levine has added authorship to his varied roster. In 2018, he self-published “Sanctioned,” which he described as “a true-to-life legal thriller addressing some of the most pressing issues of our times.”
CJN: Are there any legal matters keeping you up at night?
Hardin-Levine: I always fret about my clients, worrying about them getting a fair outcome for their legal issues. Fortunately, the matters I am handling are not keeping me up at night, but the legal, constitutional, political, and environmental challenges we currently face certainly are.
CJN: What initially drew you to your practice area?
Hardin-Levine: Most of my legal practice consists of representing individuals who are the victims of illegal discrimination. I’m drawn to this area because these issues are so fundamental and vital for employees who have lost their jobs for inappropriate reasons. It’s gratifying to be able to help these folks address illegal discrimination and get a fair resolution for them.
CJN: Were there any other practice areas you considered?
Hardin-Levine: In my career, I have also been a law professor and a business lawyer. I have thoroughly enjoyed just about everything I have done as a lawyer. I have found that if you work with wonderful people, it’s a wonderful profession. And when you work with less than wonderful people, it’s not so wonderful. So the trick, as with just about everything, is to surround yourself with the right people.
CJN: What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
Hardin-Levine: I am also a published author. I love writing, and just completed my first novel, “Sanctioned,” which is available on Amazon, at the Cuyahoga County libraries and at most local bookstores.
CJN: What about your practice do you most enjoy?
Hardin-Levine: My clients.
CJN: What recent changes in law have most effected your clients?
Hardin-Levine: Permitting employers to mandate arbitration to resolve disputes has significantly hindered employees’ ability to get a fair result.
CJN: What is your most frequently given piece of legal advice?
Hardin-Levine: Do the right thing. Treat others the way you would hope to be treated.