Our Philosophy

Passion Behind Every Case.

For Every Move We Make, We Look Five Moves Ahead.

jonathan hilton
Five Moves Ahead
When analyzing a legal situation, our goal is to calculate “every reasonable possibility.”
Find A Better Move
“When you see a good move, sit on your hands and see if you can find a better one.”
Always Look for Counterplay
In litigation, a solid counter strategy can save tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

Why Five Moves Ahead?

When World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen plays chess, he typically looks four to five moves ahead.  When analyzing a chess position, he explains, his goal is to calculate “every reasonable possibility.”  Hilton Parker LLC, based in Columbus, Ohio, litigates the way Magnus Carlsen plays chess.

We look at each likely next move until we are confident

We Have Calculated Every Reasonably Possible Outcome

As a National Chess Master—and Cincinnati’s youngest-ever chess champion, winning the title at age fifteen—Managing Partner Jonathan Hilton brings this same energy and precision to the courtroom that he learned at the chessboard.


We actively brainstorm all the potential plays for our clients.  Then, we analyze the potential consequences at each step in the case.  But we don’t stop there.  We keep going, looking at each likely next move until we are confident every reasonable possible outcome in your case is calculated.

Find A Better Move

German chess pioneer Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934) said, “When you see a good move, sit on your hands and see if you can find a better one.”  Many lawyers throw the first punch that comes to mind.  We are different.


The partners at Hilton Parker LLC set aside time every day to debate the next move in their cases.  The walls of our offices are covered in whiteboards and “decision trees” showing the possible maneuvers are diagrammed and tweaked throughout the week.  Rigorous debate is essential.  While other lawyers react reflexively—often leading to missed opportunities, or even fatal blunders—when you work with us, you know we won’t be satisfied with just a good move.  We want only the best move.

Always Look for Counterplay

The best defense is a good offense.  When our business clients in Columbus come to us with a problem, our first instinct is to consider countermoves against the other side.  For instance, when a disgruntled vendor or business partner sues a client, we want to find a way to countersue.  We ask not only the legal questions, but also practical question:

  • How does the attorney on the other side expect to get paid?  If they’re taking a percentage of the spoils, will they really want to keep going in the face of an aggressive countersuit?
  • What third parties can we subpoena to get the “real truth” before the battle heats up?
  • What does the contract say about mandatory arbitration—and are we actually better off staying in court and countersuing there?

In litigation, a solid counter strategy can save tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.  Many lawyers brand themselves as “defense” lawyers and are hesitant (or even unwilling) to pursue your counterclaims.  This allows them to bill you for years as the case drags on.  If we think a counterclaim will lead to a swift resolution, we will make that play, even when it means you’ll receive a refund out of your initial retainer.

We Give Back

Each summer, our law firm hosts an internship program that turns our offices into the training ground for the next generation of legal strategists.  Interns are drilled on the Rules of Civil Procedure and are asked to design complex litigation strategies—often including statistical research to predict legal outcomes.  Each student receives hours of hands-on mentoring from our attorneys.  It’s our way of giving back to the legal community.  Interns also infuse the office with out-of-the-box ideas and keep us on our toes, challenging us to examine our routines and habits.


Recent interns include National Chess Master and high school prodigy Christopher Shen, who was mentioned in a Federal Court opinion during his internship as having a “fairly impressive resume” in the case Fultz v. Zirpola, Case No. 5:21-cv-43, at footnote 9.  Mr. Shen was subsequently admitted to Harvard, where he will be studying pre-law.


Another intern recently became an Assistant Attorney General to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, and other interns have gone to work at high-caliber firms around the state.  We take our obligation to this next generation seriously, and are proud of the growth our interns have accomplished.


If you want to analyze "five moves ahead," please contact us regarding your matter.

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