Michele McBride Simonelli
With more than two decades of experience practicing law in both the private and public sectors, Michele McBride Simonelli has the knowledge necessary to handle highly personal client matters with honesty, discretion, and zealous advocacy. Her background as a Judicial Staff Attorney for the Ohio District Courts of Appeals, both the Eleventh and Seventh Districts, as well as managing her solo practice, has provided her with unique experience and insight into highly sensitive and emotionally charged matters both domestically and internationally involving online defamation, revenge porn, sextortion, highly contested divorces and custody matters, and LGBTQIA issues. She has proven results working in time-sensitive situations with both business entities and individuals, including public figures, crafting comprehensive reputation management strategies and preserving revenue generation, fully mindful of the swift and damaging impact of social media.
Michele has a powerful arsenal of experience and tools managing matters where stakes are high and where there seems to be little room for negotiation between two parties – in cases where a perpetrator’s identity is both known or anonymous. In sextortion and revenge porn matters, she understands how to tactfully manage the perpetrator’s panic and urge to ‘punish’ the victim by communicating a stern, practical message to achieve favorable solutions for her clients.
Michele’s background in research, analysis, and drafting judicial opinions for a three-judge panel in a variety of legal matters such as defamation, criminal menacing, and breach of contract disputes required her to know the current law in these areas as well as anticipate where they may be headed. With the rapidly changing laws and judgments addressing internet defamation and online harassment, Michele’s strong research, analysis, and drafting skills, along with the ability to pivot quickly and cautiously anticipate future trends gives clients peace of mind that these invasive and overwhelming matters are resolutely handled. Michele approaches highly-sensitive and embarrassing client matters with creative solutions and fervent advocacy, providing an objective voice and professional perspective while empathy to clients who come to her during what is often the worst moment of their lives. Her background in psychology and counseling empowers help her to effectively alleviate client fears and concerns and communicate pragmatically with perpetrators whose harmful conduct has caused her clients emotional distress, financial burden, and damage to professional and personalrelationships.
In addition to practicing law, Michele teaches courses on First Amendment and Privacy Law at Kent State University. As part of her course, she is required to stay informed and on top of trends regarding online defamation issues, acts as a primary resource for national media outlines regarding privacy and internet issues, and teaches graduate students how to navigate the intricacies of United States defamation law.
Michele’s outside interests include cycling, gardening, and hiking.
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Notre Dame College (B.A)
- Major: Psychology
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D.)
- Editor, Cleveland State Law Review
- Awarded Outstanding Student in the Law of Evidence
- League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown, President
- The Legal Creative, Board of Directors
- Henry H. Stambaugh Auditorium, Board of Directors
- Youngstown Film Festival, Founder & President
- Kent State Poynter Media Symposium, Coordinator
- “Copyright Protection for the Emerging Artist,” Youngstown State University School of Fine Arts
- “Privacy in Five: Managing Your Online Data,” Kent State University Poynter Media Symposium
Publications & PR
- Michele McBride Simonelli and Nathan Woodward, Minc Law. Crain’s Cleveland Business, ‘People on the Move’ (2022).
- Landmark Supreme Court Decisions on Privacy and Free Speech, Grey House Publishing,
- Landmark Supreme Court Decisions on Privacy and LGBTQ Issues, Grey House Publishing,