Once upon a time, Jack Greiner’s dad had an offer to go to the Indians organization. The day he was supposed to go, he hurt his back. And that was that.
Jack was not a good athlete himself, he says, but he loved sports. He was a bookish kid. One book he remembers was “Winners Never Quit,” a series of stories about athletes who overcame this or that obstacle. He tried out for different teams at LaSalle High, but never made the cut.
His senior year, he got the lead role in the class play, “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.” He was on stage the whole time. Someone sitting next to Jack’s father later told Jack that his dad had a big smile on his face from the opening act to the curtain call. Years later, at his father’s funeral, Jack stood and said a few words.
“Dad never pushed me. He encouraged, but I never felt like I needed to be a baseball player or an athlete of any kind. He was really good at drawing the line between encouragement and pressure.”
He feels fortunate to have gone to Notre Dame Law School. He says it was more of a Catholic institution that had a law school rather than the other way around. One professor in particular had a big-time influence on him. He was a priest. Jack remembers him saying a mass before leaving for a bone marrow transplant, shortly before he died.
“He joked and was so at peace with what was happening ... one of my favorite parts of our mass today, right after the Our Father, is when the priest says, ‘And keep us free from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior.’ Of all the things you could pray for, we petition to be free of anxiety. That’s really the core, isn’t it?”
Jack believes in the notion that if a thing doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger. He also has little patience for hand wringers. He wants to be the best lawyer that a father and a husband can be.
He and his wife, Kathy, have four children. Around 2004, their youngest, Ellie, had her tonsils removed. For some reason, she didn’t bounce back. She lost 30 pounds from a frame that already was thin. It was difficult for Ellie emotionally. Jack did what his father would have done. He gave encouragement. It took the form of a poem that became a children’s book. He titled it “Imagine When You’re Feeling Better: A Workbook for Hope and Healing.” The proceeds went to Josh Cares, a non-profit that provides companionship to critical care patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Turns out, Ellie eventually did bounce back. She went on to play college basketball at the University of Chicago. In May 2019, she graduated from Wright State University Medical School and became a resident at Cincinnati Children’s. Her pop is still pinching himself.
Jack also writes a thoughtful, provocative column, always with a gentle lesson, called “Everyday Faith” for the St. Mary’s Bell, his church newsletter. An attorney specializing in media law, he endeavors to be a reporter’s lawyer. He knows how to make stories safe without sanitizing them. Knowing how to write, he knows how to keep a story readable.
“You could make a publication absolutely safe if you wrote it like a legal brief,” he says. “But no one would want to read it.”
Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency, having argued numerous cases in the Supreme Courts of Ohio and Kentucky and in appellate courts in the tri-state area. His clients have included The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Associated Press, ESPN, Vogue Magazine, Courthouse News Service, NBCUniversal, and television stations in 16 markets. He also serves as Graydon’s Managing Partner.
Jack recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of an author of a novel in a “libel in fiction” case. His work on behalf of a national law firm led to a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court ordering the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to release records related to the purchase of lethal injection drugs. Jack was privileged to advise The Cincinnati Enquirer team on the “Seven Days of Heroin” report that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Jack is currently the president emeritus of the Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center -- a national organization of media lawyers.
Jack serves on the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Jack successfully argued a case before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that prevented a title insurance company from denying coverage to a mortgage lender. Jack also argued a case in Ohio’s Eighth Appellate District that protected the rights of mortgage lenders in foreclosure actions. Both cases are leading precedents in the field.
Jack is recognized with an AV Rating, the highest rating given to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. Jack has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Banking and Finance, Litigation-First Amendment, and Litigation-Intellectual Property from 2005 to 2018. Jack has also been selected as The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Litigation-Banking and Finance in 2012 and 2016; and The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Litigation-First Amendment in 2015. In addition, from 2007 to present, Jack has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer for his work in Commercial Litigation and First Amendment Law. He was awarded the Ohio Society of Professional Journalist Award for Best Defense of the First Amendment for his contribution to "Lead’s Dangerous Legacy."
Jack is a talented writer and in addition to having created the firm’s e-newsletter, InfoLaw News, and his own blog – Jack Out of the Box. The blog received first place in the 2018 and 2019 Ohio SPJ Awards for Best Blog in Ohio. He is the author of "Imagine When You're Feeling Better," a children's book written to benefit Josh Cares, a Cincinnati charity. He also enjoys Notre Dame football, Cincinnati Reds baseball and XU basketball. He has donated about eleven gallons of blood through Hoxworth, although not all at once. Guilty pleasures include LaRosa’s pizza, Graeter’s ice cream and Skyline Chili. (Did we mention Jack is a Native Cincinnatian?) His real passion, however, is his family – his wife, Kathy, and four children, Katie, Joe, Ben, Ellie, granddaughters Lucy and Evelyn and grandsons Jack and Joseph – to whom he refers as his “greatest achievement.”