Frank R. DeSantis
Chair, Ethics Committee
Frank is a trial lawyer with experience in complex civil and business litigation, including experience litigating cases (both plaintiff and defendant) in the following areas: commercial (including contract and employment litigation, shareholder disputes, trade secrets, etc.); intellectual property, tax, construction, tort litigation; product liability actions; class action suits; and school law. He has tried, mediated and/or arbitrated numerous cases and has acted as a neutral where he assisted in crafting sophisticated resolutions in difficult cases.
Frank has represented lawyers and law firms in many different capacities, including counseling on risk management, legal ethics and law firm dissolution. In addition, he has extensive experience in professional negligence matters, including legal malpractice, accounting negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, lawyer disciplinary proceedings and attorney ethics. Along with serving as the firm's Ethics Counsel since 2003, he has also served on the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (including two years as its chair), and was a member of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association Certified Grievance Committee for many years (including two years as its chair). Frank has also served as an expert in legal malpractice cases on behalf of both plaintiff clients and defendant attorneys and has lectured often on ethics and professionalism issues.
Included in his experience in product liability matters, Frank has handled a significant number of cases in which he has defended clients in asbestos-related law suits, including personal injury and wrongful death claims. He has handled litigation and arbitration matters involving defense of seamen in personal injury cases alleging negligence under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness under general maritime law and longshoremen's personal injury actions and has appeared before courts in jurisdictions across the country including Ohio, Maryland, New York, Texas, Louisiana, Washington, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
- Anchor v. Linton, No. 99-3702, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 24077; (6th Cir., September 25, 2000).
- Black v. Barberton Citizens Hospital, 134 F. 3d 1265; (6th Cir., 1998).
- Tri-State Hotels v. FDIC, 79 F.3d 707; (8th Cir. 1996).
- Cuyahoga County Bar Association v. Santarelli, (1997), 79 Ohio St. 3d 390; 683 N.E.2d 1071.
- Cuyahoga County Bar Association v. Petrancek, (1996), 76 Ohio St. 3d 571; 669 N.E. 2d 828.
- Cleveland Bar Association v. Stranathan, (1994), 71 Ohio St. 3d 303; 643 N.E.2d 1077.
- DeMeo v. Provident Bank, 2008 Ohio App. LEXIS 2475 (Cuyahoga Cty. June 16, 2008).
- Wiggins v. Waltz, No. 74864, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 4667; (8th Dist., September 30, 1999).
- H & D Steel Serv. v. Weston, Hurd, Fallon, Paisley & Howley, No. 72758, 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 3422; (8th Dist., July 23, 1998).
- Springer v. Emerson Elec. Co., No. 67705, 1995 Ohio App. LEXIS 3979; (8th Dist., September 14, 1995).
- Columbia Properties, Inc. v. Tiedeman, No. 53862, 1988 Ohio App. LEXIS 3054; (8th Dist., July 28, 1988).
- Consumers Power Co., v. Commissioner, (1987), 89 T.C. 710.
- Estate of Gilford v. Commissioner, (1987), 88 T.C. 38.
- DeMars v. Commissioner, (1982), 79 T.C. 247.
- McGuire v. Commissioner, (1981), 77 T.C. 765.
- Malandro v. Commissioner, (1989), T.C. Memo 1989-135.
- McLeod v. Commissioner, (1986), T.C. Memo 1986-395.
- Ragone v. Commissioner, (1984), T.C. Memo 1984-538.
- Sammons v. Commissioner, (1984), T.C. Memo 1984-414.
- Morgan v. Commissioner, (1984), T.C. Memo 1984-384.
- Fisher v. Commissioner, (1984), T.C. Memo 1984-216.
- Benson v. Commissioner, (1983), T.C. Memo 1983-775.
- Medina v. Commissioner, (1983), T.C. Memo 1983-253.
- Blackburn v. Commissioner, (1982), T.C. Memo 1982-528.
- Blackburn v. Commissioner, (1982), T.C. Memo 1982-529.
- Allen v. Commissioner, (1982), T.C. Memo 1982-455.
- Pimbley v. Commissioner, (1982), T.C. Memo 1982-103.
- Received The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s “Legacy of Justice Award,” 2017
- Judge John M. Manos Inn of Court, Master Bencher
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2014 to 2018 and named the 2018 Lawyer of the Year (Cleveland) in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants
- Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2014 to 2017
- Received the Cuyahoga County Bar Association's President's Award for Outstanding Service, 1993
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2006 to 2018 (Ranked in the Top 100 in Ohio and Top 50 in Cleveland, 2015)
- American Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, fellow, Litigation Counsel
- Awarded 2009 William K. Thomas Professionalism Award for enhancing professionalism and ethics in the greater Cleveland legal community
- American Bar Association
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, Board of Trustees, president, 2007 to 2009
- Cuyahoga County Bar Foundation, president, 2001 to 2008
- The Lawyers Guild, Executive Committee, 2005 to 2010; president 2007 to 2009
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, president 2010
- The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Board of Directors, President 2015
- Jesuit Retreat House, Board of Trustees, 2009 to present
- Hospice of The Western Reserve, volunteer attorney
- St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Parish Pastoral Counsel, 1995 to 1999 (vice president, 1996 to 1999); New Church Design and Construction Committee, 1999 to 2002
- Cuyahoga County Bar Association, president, 1997 to 1998; Executive Committee, 1994 to 2002; Board of Trustees, 1994 to 2002
- Advisory Board for Juvenile Court Mediation Project, president, 1999 to 2002
- Judicial Conference of Eighth Judicial District, life member
- Ohio State Bar Foundation, fellow
- Appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio as a member of the Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 2004 to 2006, and 2007 to 2009; appointed chairman of Board of Commissioners, 2008 and 2009
Legal Aid Society’s “The Legacy of Justice Award” – Frank DeSantisLegal Aid Society
November 20, 2017
November 11, 2015
December 17, 2014
Federal Appeals Court Overturns Amish Beard-Cutting ConvictionsThe Plain Dealer
August 27, 2014
Benchmark Litigation 2014 Recognizes Thompson Hine's Litigators - Firm Receives National and Regional Recognition
October 29, 2013