Overview

David is a partner in the firm's Business Litigation and Construction practices. From December 1997 to May 2012, he served as managing partner, discharging the responsibilities of chief executive officer of the firm. During David's tenure as managing partner, the firm opened offices in New York and Atlanta, and received repeated recognition as one of the top law firms in the country for client service.

Although the majority of his time was allocated to his managing partner responsibilities, while serving as the firm's leader David continued to counsel clients on issues relating to business matters and disputes, drawing on his prior experience as a business trial lawyer. He has since returned to active client counseling and representation of parties in disputes.

Prior to his election as managing partner, David focused his practice on business and construction litigation. He was the lead lawyer in scores of cases that proceeded to trial (jury and non-jury) or to arbitration, and as a result he has had experience in many courtroom venues. He has argued appeals in the Sixth, Second and Federal Circuits and in the Ohio Supreme Court.

His peers recognized his expertise by selecting him as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to one percent of all active lawyers and, according to its selection criteria, comprised of the best trial lawyers in the United States and Canada.

Experience

David's case experience has been in large, complex business and construction cases. His experience falls into several categories of disputes, as described below.

Securities, Corporate Control, Shareholder Disputes, Partnership Matters

David has advised business executives, directors and owners on issues relating to governance, control and disputes. He has defended individual officers and directors in shareholder derivative cases and has represented special committees of boards of directors in investigation of claims. These are some examples of disputes that have gone to trial, hearing or formal disposition:

  • Simon DeBartolo Group v. Richard Jacobs Group Inc., et al. , 985 F.Supp. 427 (S.D.N.Y. 1997), affirmed in part and reversed in part, 186 F.3d 157 (2d Cir., 1999) (defense of securities claims arising out of proposed acquisition, disposition on motion)
  • Chase v. Columbia National Corp. , 853 F.Supp. 106 (S.D.N.Y. 1994), affirmed, 52 F.3d 312 (2d Cir., 1995) (defense of Rule 10b-5 claims arising out of acquisition, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • Flannery v. Eastgate Joint Venture, Ohio Court of Common Pleas (Clermont County) (defense of majority owner in claims brought by minority partner, disposition after completion of trial on the merits)
  • Partnership arbitration, defending partner with controlling interest in claims brought by minority partner, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, misuse of partnership assets, etc., disposition after hearing on the merits
  • Skeen v. JoAnn Stores, Inc., 750 A.2d 1170 (Delaware 2000) (defense of shareholder claims for disclosure of additional information from the corporation, disposition on motion)
Contract, Real Property and Lease Disputes, Uniform Commercial Code Matters

David has represented clients in matters relating to breaches of contract. These include a variety of claims, including sales of goods, negotiable instruments, real property sales and leases, claims for defective machinery, and service contracts. These are some examples of disputes that have gone to trial, hearing or formal disposition:

  • Oglebay Norton Company v. Armco, 52 Ohio St.3d 232 (1990) (claim to enforce long-term contract for the shipment of iron ore on the Great Lakes, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • First Union Real Estate Company v. Shapero, Ohio Court of Common Pleas (claim to force conveyance of office building in satisfaction of contract, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • Commonwealth Petroleum Company v. Petrosol, United States District Court, N.D. Ohio (defense of claim arising out of loss of natural gas while in storage, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • Medical Consultants Imaging v. Siemens Medical Systems, United States District Court N.D. Ohio (defense of manufacturer of mobile MRI systems, disposition after jury trial on the merits)
Federal Tax Litigation

David has represented businesses in tax disputes with the United States government. These are examples of matters that have gone to trial or formal disposition:

  • Griffin Industries v. United States, United States Court of Federal Claims, affirmed, 11 F.3d 1072 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (prosecution of taxpayers claim for refund as a result of disallowed recycling credit, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • Buckeye Power v. United States, United States Court of Federal Claims (prosecution of taxpayers claim for refund arising out of dispute on taxation of cooperative organizations, disposition on motion)
  • AWG Leasing Trust, et al., v. United States, United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio (prosecution of taxpayers claims for refund relating to deductions claimed in leasing transaction, disposition after trial on the merits)
Construction Disputes

David has represented owners, developers, contractors and design professionals in disputes relating to the development and construction of major commercial projects. Most of these matters have been litigated in arbitration proceedings. These are some examples of matters that have gone to final decision:

  • T Cell Sciences, Inc. v. Forest City, Massachusetts Superior Court (Middlesex County) (defense of building developer/owner against claims by lead tenant that the building was uninhabitable because of air contamination, disposition after trial on the merits)
  • Representation of developer/owner of high rise office building in Brooklyn, New York against claims by major investment bank that developer failed to construct technology floors to specifications, disposition after arbitration
  • Representation of developer against architect and engineers on claims that designers over-designed steel structure; disposition after arbitration
  • Representation of developer against claims for extra compensation by steel fabricator and installer on high-rise office/hotel building, disposition after arbitration
  • Representation of developer against roofing contractor for claim of defective installation of roof on high-rise office/hotel building, disposition after trial.
  • Representation of property owner against demolition contractor in claims the contractor failed to perform its contract to demolish and remove factory building
  • Representation of developer against architect and engineer on claims of defective design of HVAC system for large regional shopping mall
Accountants, Auditors and Professional Liability

David has represented accountants, auditors and consultants in a variety of disputes. He has counseled auditors on responsibilities to clients and represented national and regional audit firms in malpractice claims. One claim, settled after the jury entered the courtroom, involved a claim against a national auditing firm for damages in excess of one half billion dollars. These are some examples of disputes that have gone to trial, hearing or formal disposition:

  • American National Bank v. Touche Ross, Ohio Court of Common Pleas (defense of audit firm on malpractice claims relating to audit of banks financial statements, disposition after jury trial on the merits)
  • Chatry v. Bick-Fredman and Company, Ohio Court of Common Pleas (defense of audit firm on claim of defamation arising out of auditors discovery and report of fraud engaged by company officer, disposition after jury trial)
Publications
  • Co-author, "Architect-Engineer Liability Under Ohio Law," Cambridge Institute, 1988, 1989
Distinctions
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • BTI Client Service All-Star, 2012
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2003 to 2012
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2005 to 2015
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2007 to 2014
  • Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2014
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section; Business Law Section; Forum on Construction Industry
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Campaign for United Way of Greater Cleveland, co-chair, 2009 to 2010
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland, Director, 2009 to present
  • Community Vision Council, United Way of Greater Cleveland, 2005 to present
  • Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra), trustee, 2009 to present
  • Denison University, trustee, 1992 to 1998; 1999 to present, president; Society of Alumni, 1985 to 1986
  • Cleveland Initiative for Education,  chairman, 2001 to 2005; trustee, 1999 to 2005
  • Cleveland Municipal School District Facilities Assessment Commission, 2000 to 2001
  • Cleveland Municipal School District Bond Accountability Commission, co-chair, Audit and Finance Subcommittee, 2001 to 2004
  • Greater Cleveland Partnership, director, 2007 to 2012
  • Cleveland Tomorrow, former trustee
  • Greater Cleveland Roundtable, former trustee
  • Greater Cleveland Growth Association, director, 1999 to 2004
  • MetroHealth Foundation. vice chair, trustee, 1998 to 2011
  • The Diversity Center (formerly National Conference For Community and Justice), trustee, 1993 to present; chair, 1996 to 1998
  • Cleveland Leadership Center, former trustee

Professional Activities

  • Cleveland Bar Association, chair, Juvenile Justice Committee, 1995 to 1997; trustee, 1989 to 1992
  • Judge Anthony J. Celebrezze Inn of Court, master bencher
  • Case Western Reserve University of Law,  member, Visiting Committee 1998 to 2006; member, Society of Benchers
  • Eighth District Judicial Conference, life member
  • Leadership Cleveland, Class of 1995
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, faculty member, Trial Skills, Advanced Deposition Skills and Deposition Skills Workshops
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation · Fellow

 

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