Arthur Steinmetz, who served as Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner from 1989-1991, died on June 23, 2019.  He was 93 years old. A recipient of a Purple Heart, Steinmetz survived sniper fire in Germany while serving in World War II. Germany is also where the lifelong Cleveland-area resident met his wife of 67 years, Thea Steinmetz.

Steinmetz attended John Marshall High School where he was valedictorian and a champion sprinter. He later attended law school at Case Western Reserve University and began his career at Walter | Haverfield in 1951.

For the next 63 years, Steinmetz practiced law at Walter | Haverfield, where he pleaded cases all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Business owners, executives and professionals turned to Steinmetz for counsel on a broad range of personal, financial and tax matters. He also acted as corporate counsel to a wide range of companies and prepared comprehensive estate plans and related trusts.

“Art was such a fixture here at Walter | Haverfield, and his counsel and leadership are ingrained in the history of our firm,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner at Walter | Haverfield. “He was an invaluable resource to his clients and loved by everyone here.”

Steinmetz’s time in the U.S. Army was the start of a lifelong passion for military history. He also enjoyed golf, stayed active in the Presbyterian Church of Rocky River and loved the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Steinmetz is survived by his wife; sons, Art Jr. and Greg; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Alex, Ed and Josh Hurtuk

Alex, Ed and Josh Hurtuk with Alex’s French bulldog, Cooper, in the Hurtuk’s South Russell family home.

Admiration for their father and curiosity about his career fueled Josh and Alex Hurtuk’s interest in real estate law from a young age.

“Alex would draw up contracts around the house and hide parts of it so I couldn’t tell what I was signing,” recalls Ed Hurtuk, father of Josh, 33, and Alex, 27. “He wanted a horse so he drafted a contract that I signed that said he could get a horse by the time he was 12 years old.”

Contracts turned into negotiations in the Hurtuk household as the kids mimicked their father, Ed, a real estate lawyer who opened the law firm of Hurtuk & Daroff in Mayfield Heights in 1997.

“Alex’s interest in a horse faded so he used the contract as leverage and negotiated for something else – a painting of LeBron James in his bedroom,” added Ed as he laughed. “The contract was a long-term play,” said Alex.

The Hurtuk kids soaked in their dad’s work – as foreign as it seemed – while Ed shared small details of his job along the way.

“I remember driving around with the family, and my dad would say, ‘I did the lease for that building,’ or ‘my clients own that building,’ or ‘I did the loan for that building,’” said Josh, a Solon resident.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t understand that clients could leave and go to another firm,” said Alex Hurtuk, a downtown Cleveland resident and former college tennis player. “I thought my dad’s clients were part of our extended family, and I think that speaks to my dad’s positive and long-term relationships with his clients.”

Josh grew up excelling in science, while Alex enjoyed math and art, and Ed did not expect their interest in real estate to exceed their passion for such subjects.

“I thought Josh and Alex might think it’s boring to sit and read a lease,” said Ed, who once served as law commissioner for the Ohio Supreme Court. “I thought there are sexier things out there than real estate law.”

But when the brothers wanted to work at Hurtuk & Daroff in high school and college to earn some extra money, he sensed he could be wrong.

“I knew through college that I wanted to go to law school and work in real estate,” said Josh, who has been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the past four years. “In law school, I geared all of my classes toward real estate and transactional law.”

“I enjoy the contractual side of real estate and the fact that there is a tangible product when a project is complete,” added Alex.

Once Josh and Alex started their educational paths toward real estate law, Ed hoped that the three of them could work together at Hurtuk & Daroff someday and carry on the family business. But, in a twist of events, the trio ended up working together in a much different scenario.

“It never occurred to me to merge with Walter | Haverfield,” said Ed, who taught real estate and finance as an adjunct faculty member at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Both Josh and Alex practiced real estate law at Walter | Haverfield, and an acquisition of Hurtuk & Daroff by Walter | Haverfield soon seemed like the right move for both firms, the real estate groups and the family.

“It was a good way of getting Josh and Alex involved in my practice, and it’s been great for us to have the back-up of lawyers at Walter | Haverfield,” said Ed.

“For me, it was a dramatic change in thinking,” said Josh.

Since the acquisition in 2019, the firms have benefited from the strength, expertise and experience of each other, and Josh and Alex are appreciative of the opportunity to learn from their dad.

“People have always told me that my dad is a great attorney, but he is so humble about it,” said Alex. “He teaches me that if you’re humble, work hard, do a good job and are nice to people, it works out.”

“My dad says the best way to get work is to do good work,” says Josh. “My dad is dedicated to getting people to work together and be on the same page.”

All of the Hurtuks, including Bethany, Ed’s wife, and their third son Ben, who works for a private equity firm, are fierce Ohio State football fans. “We are a pretty quiet family,” according to Ed, “but people are shocked by the rowdiness when they watch an OSU game with us.”

The Hurtuks say work doesn’t spill over into family time, but Sundays can be a bit tricky.

“I work on Sundays, and they don’t,” Ed laughs.

Josh and Alex are quick to respond to say they work Sunday nights after dad goes to bed.

Committed to its mission of offering personalized service to our growing number of clients, Walter | Haverfield has hired Nicholas Buzzy to its Litigation team and Gail Bisesi to its Real Estate team.

Buzzy is a dedicated, dynamic attorney with experience in wide-ranging complex litigation. The Northeast Ohio native has successfully defended multiple cases at trial, valued at more than six figures. That includes personal injury as well as business interruption cases.

“I’m passionate about my work as a litigator and proud of the success I’ve had thus far in defending big cases,” said Buzzy. “I now have the opportunity to continue to do what I love on an even bigger scale with a strong, hard-working team, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Buzzy has also defended a variety of corporations in products liability cases as well as individuals on a variety of disputes. Buzzy most recently worked at the Cleveland-based law firm of Gallagher Sharp as a litigation attorney. Prior to that, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Summit County, Ohio.

Bisesi brings more than two decades of real estate experience to Walter | Haverfield. She joins the firm as a paralegal and previously worked at law firms, in banks and with developers in the Northeast Ohio region.

“I was looking for a firm that has a strong real estate practice group, and that’s why I sought out Walter | Haverfield,” said Bisesi, who is also a Northeast Ohio native and enjoys working at the Cleveland Film Festival each year.

“Our goal is to find highly skilled and qualified individuals to serve our clients in ways that align with our strong values and high standards,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “Nick and Gail will be able to deliver that superior service, and I’m happy to have them on board.”

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

 

 

Ben Chojnacki, an attorney who focuses his practice on public law, sports law and litigation, is a 2018 graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builders. Chojnacki is the third Walter | Haverfield attorney to complete the 10-month long program, which teaches participants how to become effective leaders and create meaningful change around a civic issue impacting Northeast Ohio.

Chojnacki is one of 59 graduates in this year’s class. Others include individuals from the non-profit, public and private sectors. All participants were required to go through a thorough application and vetting process.

“Bridge Builders provided the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the community and develop sustainable, long-term relationships with like-minded professionals,” said Chojnacki, who currently serves as the assistant law director for the village of Cuyahoga Heights. “It also allowed me to get back to doing what I love – volunteering.”

As part of the program, participants applied their skills to assist a local community organization in boosting its strategic efforts and overall effectiveness. Those organizations included the Positive Coaching Alliance, International Women’s Air and Space Museum, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Signature Health, among others.

“I learned a lot about the challenges that non-profits and social service organizations face in achieving long-term success in the civic realm,” added Chojnacki, who worked with Signature Health, an opioid addition and behavioral healthcare services provider in Northeast Ohio. “I also became more aware of the strategies successful civic organizations have employed to ensure they have a long-lasting impact on Northeast Ohio.”

 

Committed to its mission of offering superior service to a wide range of clients, Walter | Haverfield has hired Jessica Bradburn Loucks to its Litigation team.

Loucks is a passionate, young attorney with experience in various phases of complex civil litigation. Her background includes in-depth involvement on a defense team for a Fortune 500 global science company. She worked extensively on all aspects of the multidistrict litigation consisting of numerous, novel claims of personal injury and wrongful death. As part of that team, she helped implement a process to timely remove and transfer more than 2,000 complaints from state court into federal court.

“Jessica’s skills as well as her dedication to the job truly impress us,” said Ralph Cascarilla, head of Walter | Haverfield’s Litigation team. “We are honored to have her on our team.”

Loucks previously served as a legal extern with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. There, she was the driving force behind the development and creation of a pilot program offering legal services in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She also served as a member of the Police Reform Practicum, working with the Cleveland Community Police Commission to improve police-community relations.

A graduate of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Loucks is a native of Rochester, NY and resides in Rocky River with her family. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

A dishonest auto repair shop and its shoddy work prompted a local woman to attend a Legal Aid clinic. She needed advice on how to get her money back. That’s where she met Legal Aid volunteer and Walter | Haverfield attorney, Leslie Wolfe. Their story appeared in Poetic Justice.

Kevin MurphyIn an article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, Walter | Haverfield partner Kevin Murphy said he’s not in favor of a state-run system to track money within the medical marijuana industry. He said such a system could hinder patient access and discourage banks that are willing to be involved with the program.

Kevin MurphyIn an article published in Crain’s Cleveland Business, Walter | Haverfield partner Kevin Murphy predicted that Ohio’s medical marijuana program, which faces many challenges, may not be fully functional for 12-18 months.

 

Walter | Haverfield partner Darrell Clay led a panel discussion at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on the topic of #MeToo and sexual harassment in the legal profession. Cleveland.com recapped the discussion, which included attorneys from other local firms.

 

Sara Ravas Cooper and Shelly LaSalvia are Walter | Haverfield’s two newest partners. The additions bring Walter | Haverfield’s partnership to 38 members.

“I am very proud of both Sara and Shelly’s accomplishments,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner. “They work extremely hard in their respective fields, and I look forward to their continued participation in the growth of the firm.”

 

Cooper focuses her practice on litigation as well as labor and employment. She has extensive experience with white-collar criminal defense, corporate investigations and the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).

LaSalvia represents a wide range of commercial clients in complex finance, business and real estate transactions. She also has significant experience representing financial institutions as creditors in collection litigation and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be integrally involved in shaping the future of the firm,” said Cooper. “Walter | Haverfield is already an excellent place to work, and I’m eager to build on our success.”

“Walter | Haverfield embodies everything I look for in a firm – skilled attorneys, a range of practice areas, substantial bench strength and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said LaSalvia. “Partnership allows me to be even more invested in a place I’m very proud to work at, and for that, I’m thankful.”

Cooper joined Walter | Haverfield in 2009. LaSalvia joined in 2015. Both are members of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Cooper is also a member of the Federal Bar Association. LaSalvia is a member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).

December 6, 2017 – Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. An additional 11 attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list. The names of those honored are below.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are recognized by the Ohio Rising Stars research team.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections, for both Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, are made using a multiphase process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Our 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers Honorees: Our 2018 Ohio Rising Stars Honorees:
Ralph Cascarilla George Asimou
Darrell Clay Benjamin Chojnacki
Bonnie Finley Brendan Healy
Irene MacDougall Patrick Hruby
Crain Marvinney Joshua Hurtuk
Kevin Murphy Shelly LaSalvia
Charles Riehl Ted Motheral
John Waldeck, Jr. Jamie Price
Gary Zwick Rina Russo
andnbsp; Megan Zaidan
andnbsp; Peter Zawadski

 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our longtime colleague and friend, Jim Mackey.

Jim, 67, died Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

“Jim’s contributions to our collective endeavors have been significant, and we will truly miss his spirit, tenacity and kindness,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner.

A partner in our Corporate Transactions and Tax and Wealth Management groups, Jim joined Walter | Haverfield in 2001. He was particularly experienced in helping entrepreneurs in business transactions. He was also well known for his skills as an estate planner for individuals and business owners, assisting them through the complex process of estate and gift taxes as well as property transfers.

In 2011, John Carroll University honored Jim as an alumni medal award recipient. It is the highest honor awarded annually by the alumni association for an individual’s accomplishments in his/her profession, personal life and community as well as his/her dedication to John Carroll University.

In 2008, the Ohio State Bar Association recognized Jim as an estate planning, trust and probate board certified specialist in an issue of its Ohio Lawyer magazine.

Outside of the office, Jim was an active volunteer and community leader. He served as president of John Carroll University’s National Alumni Association and was a member of the board of trustees and the Presidential Search Committee. He was also chairman of the university’s Tax Advisory and Planned Giving Counsel.

Prior to joining Walter | Haverfield, Jim worked for Chattman, Gaines and Stern, LPA for 25 years, where he served as a managing director and the firm’s chief financial officer.

Jim leaves behind a wife, three sons, a daughter and 11 grandchildren.

 

Max Rieker brings more than a decade of professional legal experience to Walter | Haverfield. With a focus on labor and employment issues, Rieker has successfully represented clients before various arbitrators, boards, commissions and trial and appellate courts throughout Ohio. He has extensive involvement in administrative investigations and prevailed in a variety of termination and employee discipline cases. He also has considerable experience in public sector collective bargaining as he represented clients in dozens of cases through the statutory fact-finding and conciliation process.

Named to the 2017 Ohio Rising Stars list, Rina Russo has significant experience representing employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements as well as allegations of discrimination and harassment. She works with private and public sector employers in matters involving failure to accommodate, wage/hour violations and enforcement of restrictive covenants before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Her litigation practice includes single plaintiff, class and collective actions.

 


We are pleased to announce that
Darrell Clay
who serves as vice-chair of our firm’s litigation services group, is now president of
the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA).
Darrell, a 20-year member of the CMBA, was sworn in at the organization’s annual meeting on June 2.

In addition to helping
guide the operations of CMBA for the next 12 months, Darrell will direct the implementation of the organization’s
new strategic plan. Key objectives of the plan include strengthening membership by enhancing the overall value
proposition for members, promoting the organization as a go-to source for thought leadership in law and justice,
and repositioning the organization to be more relevant and appeal to changing demographics, including younger
members and sole practitioners. The organization is also actively working to improve diversity in the local
legal market.

Darrell has a long history of active participation in CMBA. Among other services, he served on the membership
(recruitment), bar admissions, and grievance committees. He is a Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar
Foundation, as well as the Ohio State Bar Foundation. He has been a strong advocate of the Association and its
ongoing efforts to elevate the overall perception of lawyers and their varied contributions to the community.

During his remarks at the Annual Meeting, Darrell announced plans for CMBA to convene a summit in April 2018 to
mark the 50th anniversary of passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the 150th anniversary of enactment
of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens.

With more than 5,500 members, CMBA is the largest local bar association in the State of Ohio. Its members are drawn
from all aspects of the legal profession, including private practice, in-house counsel, judges, government attorneys,
law students, paralegals, and business professionals. Its mission is to promote the rule of law, sustain and improve
the quality of and public trust in the administration of justice and the legal profession, and enhance Greater Cleveland
through member, civic and community service, and leadership.

According to Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner, “Darrell is particularly well-suited to lead the
CMBA because of his outstanding leadership skills and ability to build consensus, in addition to being an excellent lawyer.”

Darrell has been with our firm since 1997. His practice focuses on complex civil and white collar criminal matters covering
a wide variety of subjects, including antitrust, construction, unfair competition, First Amendment, and other matters.
As an instrument-rated commercial pilot and airplane owner, Darrell also has an active aviation law practice. He has been
selected to Ohio Super Lawyers list for the past eight years in the areas of business litigation, criminal defense—white
collar, and aviation law and was named a Leading Lawyer by Inside Business in the area of antitrust law. He also serves on
the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness. He is a 1994 magna cum laude graduate of Tulane
University School of Law, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from University of South Florida.
He can be reached at dclay@walterhav.com.

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to welcome the following attorneys to the firm.


Edward F. Caja
joined Walter | Haverfield as an associate in 2016. Prior to
joining W|H he developed a well rounded aptitude for innovation counseling with
experience in various legal, business, and technical management positions across
many organizational roles from original engineering design and research,
extensive project and program management, and business unit leadership to patent
application preparation and prosecution. Recent legal experience includes
litigation assistance involving patents, trade secrets, business torts, and
unfair competition in numerous art fields. Patent prosecution experience
includes U.S. and international application in multiple technology areas such as
fluid systems, optics, mechanical, electro-mechanical, RFID-based data systems,
computing devices, computer and telecom systems and business methods.

Maria L. Cedroni’s intellectual property practice focuses on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and patent litigation. Maria joined W|H as an associate in 2017. Prior to joining W|H she worked in a Boston area firm for almost 9 years and then a Cleveland firm for 3 years.


Kaitlin Corkran
, an associate in the firm’s Corporate Transactions group,
focuses her practice on a wide range of corporate and business matters,
including new business formation and development, mergers and acquisitions,
stockholder arrangements, and reorganizations. Kaitlin also counsels lenders and
borrowers in commercial finance transactions.


Brendan D. Healy
joined Walter | Haverfield LLP as an associate in 2016, and
is a member of the firm’s Public Law practice group. He has extensive experience
representing public entities throughout Ohio, including cities, villages,
townships, and government agencies. He has advised various municipal boards and
commissions, including Boards of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commissions, and Civil
Service Commissions. Additionally, he served as an Assistant Director of Law for
the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Patrick A. Hruby is an associate in Walter | Haverfield’s Corporate Transactions group, whose practice also expands into the Litigation Services group. Patrick’s experience includes representing banks and other commercial lenders, commercial property owners, creditors and debtors in the United States Bankruptcy Court, and bankruptcy trustees, among others.

Ellen R. Kirtner-LaFleur is an associate in the Real Estate group. Ellen focuses her practice on a range of commercial real estate matters, including the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties, retail leasing, and real estate finance.


DeMarcus E. Levy
is an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property
practice group. He focuses on patent law with an emphasis on assistance with
patent prosecution in the electronic and mechanical arts. In addition to
preparing and prosecuting applications in the United States, he has assisted
with advising foreign clients on how to navigate U.S. patent law while keeping
claim language consistent across their international portfolios. Mr. Levy also
performs copyright and trademark prosecution.

William T. Raiff is an associate in the Real Estate group. He focuses his practice on commercial real estate matters and transactions including retail and residential leasing and the disposition and acquisition of commercial properties.


Cary A. Zimmerman
is also an associate in the firm’s Corporate Transactions
group. She represents public and private companies with their corporate and
securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity
issuances, venture capital, angel investing, and corporate governance matters.
In addition to her Juris Doctor, Cary has a Master of Science in
Management-Finance, which informs her practice and enhances her value as a
business advisor.

In an article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, published on June 4, 2017 and titled, “Cleveland bar association has new leader, same challenges,” new CMBA president Darrell Clay affirmed his commitment to the organization’s overall strategic plan, adopted in May 2016.

Darrell A. Clay, a partner in the litigation services group of Walter | Haverfield, will assume the position of president of Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, June 2. Clay, who has been practicing law since 1994, has been an active member of CMBA for 20 years.

In addition to helping guide the operations of CMBA for the next 12 months, Clay will direct the continued implementation of the organization’s new strategic plan. Key objectives of the new plan include strengthening membership by enhancing the overall value proposition for members, promoting the organization as a go-to source for thought leadership in law and justice, and repositioning the organization to be more relevant and appeal to changing demographics, including younger members.

“I am excited about the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat to help make this new strategic vision a reality,” said Clay. “Although it won’t be wrapped up by the end of my term, I hope to have the overall direction and foundation for growth in good shape for my successor. I want people to experience CMBA in a new way and promote the idea that this isn’t your father’s bar association.”

Clay has a long history of active participation in CMBA. Among other services, he has served on the membership (recruitment), admissions and grievance committees. He is a Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, as well as the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

“I believe attorneys should give back to their profession,” said Clay. “Despite the jokes often targeted against lawyers, I am proud to be in this field. Lawyers help protect rights and liberties, and CMBA can impact the community in meaningful ways relative to law and justice issues.”

The upcoming CMBA Annual Meeting is significant as it marks the 10th anniversary since the Cleveland and Cuyahoga County bar associations came together. The Cleveland Bar Association traces its roots back to 1873.

“I believe in the CMBA and am confident that I’m a better leader and a better lawyer because of being a member,” said Clay.

Although Clay began his legal career in New Orleans, he has been practicing law in Cleveland with Walter | Haverfield since 1997. He serves as vice-chair of the firm’s litigation services group, with a personal practice focused on complex civil and white collar criminal matters covering a wide variety of subjects, including antitrust, construction, unfair competition, First Amendment, and other matters. In addition, drawing on his experience as an instrument-rated commercial pilot and airplane owner, Clay has an active aviation law practice that includes advice, counseling and representation of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation companies in transactional, administrative and litigation matters.

“In addition to being an excellent lawyer, Darrell’s outstanding leadership skills and ability to build consensus make him particularly well-suited to lead the CMBA as its president,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner at Walter | Haverfield.

Clay is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Louisiana. He graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University School of Law and received his M.A. and B.A. from the University of South Florida. He has been selected to Ohio Super Lawyers list for the past eight years in the areas of business litigation, criminal defense, white collar, and aviation law and was named a Leading Lawyer by Inside Business in the area of antitrust law. Clay currently resides in Strongsville.

Walter | Haverfield LLP is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers selects attorneys as a result of a multiphase selection process, in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Candidates are evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement and, each year, selections are made on a state-by-state basis. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in Ohio are recognized by Super Lawyers in their annual listing.

Those named to the 2017 list, and their areas of practice, are as follows:

Six other attorneys have been named to the 2017 Ohio Rising Stars list. The selection process for the Rising Stars list mirrors the Super Lawyers selection process, except that candidates must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Ohio are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars list.

Those named, and their areas of practice, are as follows:

In addition, Irene M. MacDougall was named to the list of the “Top 25 Women” in the Cleveland area. This list includes those women lawyers who ranked highest in the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

On an ongoing basis, Walter | Haverfield continues to evaluate the range of legal services we offer our clients to identify complementary practice areas that provide added value and meet our clients’ ever-evolving needs. That’s why, in the past year alone, we have added four new practice areas—intellectual property (IP), public and structured finance, loan workouts/creditors’ rights, and liquor control law. These practices had been identified as high-demand areas by our existing and prospective clients.

The firm’s newest practice group—IP—was initially created as a result of the legal professionals of D. Peter Hochberg Co, LPA, joining the firm at the end of June. D. Peter Hochberg Co. is well recognized in the national and international IP markets, having served clients around the globe for more than 30 years. In addition to its long-standing trademark and patent business, which has been responsible for writing more than 1,500 patents over the years, the firm also provided counseling relative to copyright and trade secret licensing and litigation, as well as arbitration of major patent infringement cases. Peter will be the Chair of the International Patent Group at Walter | Haverfield. The full legal team, including Peter Hochberg and Sean Mellino, were part of the transition.

Also in late June, Walter | Haverfield successfully recruited the entire Cleveland-based IP group of Kegler Brown Hill and Ritter. Jamie Pingor, who was the director-in-charge of the Cleveland office, will head up the new IP group at Walter | Haverfield. Beyond his IP work, Pingor is a licensed patent attorney, and he also counsels clients on a variety of corporate transactions, including business formation and structuring.

Leading the firm’s new public and structured finance practice group is 30+-year veteran Irene MacDougall, who joined Walter | Haverfield in the spring.

In order to better serve Cleveland’s burgeoning hospitality industry, the firm also added a liquor control law practice group that is under the direction of new partner John Neal.

Kirk Roessler, who joined the firm last fall, will lead the new commercial loan originations and workouts team which also offers experience in creditor/debtor law.

Walter | Haverfield also attracted high-level legal talent to support its existing practice groups in the last year. A number of these additions were mentioned in our previous newsletter. Brand new to the firm’s corporate transactions team, however, is T. Ted Motheral, who focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, having handled a wide array of transactions valued between $200,000 and $350 million.

Combined with the attorneys who were brought on board to start the four new practice groups, there were a total of 24 new attorneys joining the firm in the past 12 months. This is the second time in the last four years that the firm has documented double-digit growth in its professional ranks.

We are honored to be able to recruit such exceptional lawyers. All of these attorneys are well recognized in their individual practice areas and will allow us to not only serve our existing clients better but also attract new clients. We are also pleased to be attracting younger attorneys that will support the continued growth and vitality of this firm well into the future.

Ralph can be reached by phone at 216-928-2908 or e-mail rcascarilla@walterhav.com.

In an online article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, written by reporter Jeremy Nobile and titled, “Walter | Haverfield law firm is growing at record rate,” Ralph E. Cascarilla discussed the firm’s recent growth.

Chambers and Partners, a London-based independent research company that conducts rankings of law firms and attorneys, has selected Ralph E. Cascarilla, Charles Daroff, Ed Hurtuk, Irene M. MacDougall and Mark I. Wallach to be included in its 2020 USA guide. Cascarilla, Daroff, Hurtuk, MacDougall and Wallach are being recognized in the following practice areas after the company conducted numerous interviews with clients and general counsel:

Many of the world’s largest banks and companies rely on Chambers in selecting their outside counsel. Its 200 research analysts have been ranking firms and lawyers in the U.S. for more than two decades. In Chambers USA 2020, more than 6,000 law firms and 19,000 attorneys are ranked. Rankings are based on technical ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness, diligence and commitment.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of more than 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public law and education.

Jamie PriceJamie Price, an attorney who focuses her practice on civil, commercial and probate litigation, recently joined the Cleveland Bridge Builders class of 2019. The Mobile, Alabama native applied for the competitive 10-month program, which teaches participants how to create meaningful change around a civic issue impacting Northeast Ohio.

“I sought out Bridge Builders to gain a deeper understanding of the civic community in Cleveland and find a hands-on way to give back” said Price, who is an avid runner. “I’m proud to be a part of such a fantastic program.”

Bridge Builders includes 60 local participants in its latest class, all of whom were chosen because they demonstrated a commitment to the community, strong leadership and problem-solving skills.

Price has been highly involved in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the past decade. She serves on its regional board and is a part of the ADL’s national civil rights committee. The Shaker Heights resident is also a new member of the National Council of Jewish Women and serves on the Ethics and Professionalism committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

As part of the program, participants apply their skills to assist a local community organization in boosting its strategic efforts and overall effectiveness.

“I’m eager to find my place within the civic realm of Cleveland and pinpoint an organization in which I can become involved,” added Price, who was selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers 2018 Rising Stars list for business litigation. “And throughout the Bridge Builders program, I look forward to learning more about myself and others. That process will help me become a more effective leader and communicator to ultimately assist others in need.”

Sara Fagnilli, an attorney in the firm’s Public Law group, is in Serial, a podcast that shares stories from inside the Cuyahoga County courthouse during its third season. Fagnilli was the special prosecutor in the controversial case of Euclid resident, Erimius Spencer. The details of Spencer’s case, Fagnilli’s role in it and the outcome are all explained in episode seven.

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that nine of its attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. An additional eight attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list. The names of those honored are below.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are recognized by the Ohio Rising Stars research team.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections, for both Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, are made using a multi-phase process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Our 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers Honorees:

•    Ralph Cascarilla  Criminal Defense: White Collar
•    Darrell Clay – Business Litigation
•    Shelly LaSalvia – Creditor Debtor Rights
•    Irene MacDougall – Government Finance
•    Craig Marvinney – Civil Litigation: Defense
•    Kevin Murphy – Real Estate
•    John Waldeck, Jr. Real Estate
•    Mark Wallach – Business Litigation
•    Gary Zwick – Tax

Our 2019 Ohio Rising Stars Honorees:

•    Rick Amburgey – Surety
•    Benjamin Chojnacki – State/Local/Municipal
•    Joshua Hurtuk – Real Estate
•    James McWeeney – Schools and Education
•    Ted Motheral – Mergers and Acquisitions
•    Rina Russo – Employment and Labor
•    Greg Watkins – Business/Corporate
•    Megan Zaidan – Real Estate

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Construction on a mixed-use Detroit Ave. project that includes apartments, retail and event space will soon begin, thanks to half a dozen real estate attorneys at Walter | Haverfield.

The legal team represented Project 29 Partners, LLC, the developer behind the Church + State project. For the past year, Walter | Haverfield’s attorneys worked closely on the development and financing process and advised the developer team through critical steps.

Church + State will consist of 158 apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a public plaza. An amphitheater, rooftop soaking pool, a large rotating public art installation and a splash fountain will also be incorporated into the property.

Walter | Haverfield’s real estate team secured the complex funding for the project, including the crucial HUD 221(d)(4) program insured loan. Just as essential was the tax increment bond financing, which closed concurrently with the HUD insured loan. The firm’s attorneys also successfully concluded a loan from Cuyahoga County and funding from Cleveland’s Neighborhood Development Program as well as its Vacant Property Initiative. TIF Bond financing came via the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and was underwritten by Huntington National Bank.

Walter | Haverfield has played an integral role in helping to revitalize the Detroit Ave. stretch of Ohio City commonly known as Hingetown. In 2016, the firm’s real estate attorneys closed on the $6 million Music Settlement space in The Quarter building at W. 25th and Detroit Ave. They also represented The Music Settlement when it received the donation of the Bop Stop, an intimidate jazz performance venue, at W. 29th and Detroit Ave.

The Church + State project is set to be completed in 2020.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

On August 13, 1932, Western Reserve School of Law graduate Paul W. Walter, the son of German immigrants, joined several hundred recently graduated attorneys in Cleveland’s Engineers Building where they were to be sworn into the Ohio Bar. It was before the start of this momentous ceremony that Walter stood up in the crowd and called out, “Is there a Haverfield in the house?”
In the months prior, a mutual friend of Walter and fellow attorney D. Rusk Haverfield, a Harvard Law School graduate, had strongly suggested the two become law partners. But they hadn’t yet met before that pleasant summer day during the Great Depression.

Within minutes of this very public introduction, Walter announced to Haverfield, “We’re going to practice law together.”  Haverfield’s response was pragmatic: he declared he was married and needed a job. In return, Walter reminded him, “It’s the Depression. There are no jobs.” And thus was born Walter and Haverfield, with Harvard’s Haverfield as “Mr. Inside” and Western Reserve’s Walter as “Mr. Outside.”

The story of the firm’s genesis reflects Walter’s extraordinary ability to mobilize others to take meaningful action. It became the hallmark of his leadership style, and a quality his future colleagues admired. “When Paul got involved in a project, everyone got involved full bore,” said Charles Riehl, Of Counsel in Walter | Haverfield’s Litigation and Public Law groups.

The firm’s founding also marked the moment from which Walter would dedicate the next six decades of his life and career to advancing policy locally and at the highest levels of national government.

Just two years into his career, Walter played a pivotal role in convincing Harold Burton to seek election as mayor of Cleveland in 1934. Burton would serve three terms as mayor before being elected to the U.S. Senate, and later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Walter’s relationship with the statesman led to his appointment as volunteer chairman of the Work Projects Administration, which provided 280,000 jobs to economically-devastated Clevelanders and facilitated construction of and improvements to various Cleveland landmarks. That included Hopkins Airport, Burke Airport, Cleveland’s lakefront, the Flats, and a number of public parks and buildings.

In the years that followed, Walter’s commitment to ensuring city management of public resources led the firm more deeply into municipal law. In an effort to reignite interest in Cleveland’s deteriorating public electric plant and prevent the formation of a monopoly by a privately-owned company, Walter formed the Cleveland Municipal Light Plant Association in 1937. He successfully saved the plant and went on to join then Cleveland Transit Commissioner Ed Schweid in orchestrating a takeover of the privately-owned transit system by the city of Cleveland.

In 1938, Walter was once again tapped to manage a high-profile campaign, this time for Ohio Republican Robert A. Taft, who sought a seat in the U.S. Senate. Walter led two successful re-election campaigns for the senator known as “Mr. Republican,” while also serving as floor manager for Taft’s unsuccessful attempts to secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1940, 1948, and 1952. Growing the firm’s expertise to include labor law, Walter joined Taft in forming the National Academy of Arbitrators. He also notably served as a key author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which governs the activities of labor unions.

As Walter’s outside interests drove the expansion of the firm’s practice areas, so grew his influence in the nation’s corridors of power. Walter was instrumental in persuading Taft to endorse the successful presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and by the 1960’s, he had been appointed national president of the United World Federation. In this capacity, Walter worked with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to promote global peace by successfully lobbying Senate Republicans to support passage of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

Paul Walter (left) shakes hands with Dwight D. Eisenhower

Despite his extensive involvement in national politics, Walter remained dedicated to serving the people of Cleveland. He served for 25 years on the board of the YMCA, chaired the Western Reserve Historical Society board, and was a trustee for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. For more than 50 years, he was the head of Hiram House, Cleveland’s first settlement house. His legal work defending the business interests of the Hough Area Development Corporation in the early 1970’s following the Hough Riots in 1966 exemplified this commitment.

Paul Walter and D. Rusk Haverfield both passed away in 1992, leaving behind them the firm that still bears their names.

“Paul taught us to fight for our clients,” said Michael McMenamin, former managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “He always had our backs and made us believe in ourselves. If Paul, with all he had done, believed in us, how could we not do the same? He truly was a great man.”

Now in its 86th year, Walter Haverfield stands in testament to an enduring legacy of service to city and country first modeled by one of its founding name partners, Paul Walter.

For more on Paul Walter, click here to watch an interview that he did in 1990.

Ralph CascarillaWalter | Haverfield attorneys Ralph E. Cascarilla and Irene M. MacDougall have received special recognition by Ohio Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a nationwide legal rating service with statewide divisions which evaluates attorneys based on independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Ohio Super Lawyers has named Cascarilla to its 2019 “Top 100” Ohio attorneys list as well as its 2019 “Top 50 Cleveland Area” attorneys list. Cascarilla is managing partner of Walter | Haverfield and leads the firm’s Litigation team. This is the third time that he has beennamed to both lists and the 16th time that he has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers.

Ohio Super Lawyers named MacDougall to its 2019 “Top 50 Women” Ohio attorneys list and its 2019 “Top 25 Women-Cleveland Area” attorneys list. MacDougall is a partner at the firm who focuses her practice on finance and development transactions. This is the third time that she has been named to both lists and the 10th year that she has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers.

Irene MacDougall

The top-ranked lists, as mentioned above, include those lawyers who have ranked highest in the 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade

 to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation and public law.

Margaret O'BryanThe Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) has certified Walter | Haverfield attorney Margaret O’Bryon as a specialist in workers’ compensation law. O’Bryon is the only Ohio attorney to have received such certification in 2018.

The OSBA certification program is accredited by the Ohio Supreme Court. Attorneys seeking certification must devote at least 25 percent of their practice to their particular field of law, submit five professional references, complete a minimum of 36 hours of specialized continuing legal education and pass a written exam.

“Receiving this certification is a testament to my hard work over the last two decades,” said O’Bryon, who represents a variety of public and private employers in the health care, manufacturing, construction and education industries. “I’m honored to be recognized, and I have every reason to believe that being a certified workers’ compensation specialist will further my practice.”

“This is an exceptional achievement, and not one many attorneys in the state share,” said Susan Anderson, partner at Walter | Haverfield and O’Bryon’s colleague. “We all applaud Margaret on this accomplishment.”

Attorneys who have earned specialty certification must file annual reports showing they comply with program requirements. They must also be recertified every four years.

There are currently 130 OSBA-certified workers’ compensation specialists in Ohio, which has a total of 44,856 licensed, registered active attorneys.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of corporate transactions, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, liquor control law, litigation and public law.

We are pleased and honored that 15 of our attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. First published in 1983, Best Lawyers based its 2019 listing on the results of an exhaustive peer review survey, in which attorneys cast their votes regarding the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Those who will be honored in the 2019 edition include:

Marc J. Bloch: Litigation – Labor and Employment

Ralph E. Cascarilla: Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Environmental

Nick R. Catanzarite: Real Estate Law

Darrell A. Clay: Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Nathan A. Felker: Real Estate Law

Todd Hunt: Land Use and Zoning Law; Municipal Law; Real Estate Law

Eric J. Johnson: Education Law

Irene M. MacDougall: Banking and Finance Law; Real Estate Law

Craig Marvinney: Litigation-Insurance

Christina Henagen Peer: Education Law

David Ricco: Real Estate Law

Russell C. Shaw: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Litigation – ERISA

John W. Waldeck, Jr.: Real Estate Law

Mark Wallach: Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Municipal

Gary A. Zwick: Tax Law

In addition, R. Todd Hunt was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America’s “Lawyer of the Year” listing in the Cleveland metro area. Todd was recognized for his “Land Use and Zoning Law” practice.

Josh HurtukRina Russo

Josh Hurtuk, Rina Russo and Megan Zaidan are Walter | Haverfield’s three newest partners. The additions bring Walter | Haverfield’s partnership to 42 members.

“Josh, Rina and Megan all demonstrate the talent and dedication needed to take their practice to the next level,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s managing partner. “I am very proud of their efforts and applaud this important milestone in their careers.”

Hurtuk and Zaidan are integral members of Walter | Haverfield’s Real Estate and Business Services teams. Specifically, they represent developers, lenders, sellers and buyers in complex transactions with regards to the acquisition, disposition, development and redevelopment of commercial properties. They also focus much of their practice on the leasing of retail, office, warehouse and industrial space as well as the formation and structuring of business entities.

Russo represents private and public sector employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues. That includes allegations of discrimination and harassment, matters involving failure to accommodate and wage/hour violations. She also has significant experience representing employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and counseling them in all aspects of the employment relationship.

All three attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in their respective practice areas for the past three years. They are also members of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Both Hurtuk and Zaidan are members of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) as well as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Russo is on the board of the Hitchcock Center for Women, a Cleveland-area non-profit that helps women recover from addiction. Zaidan is an associate board member for the Centers for Families and Children, which supports needy families and at-risk children in Cuyahoga County.

“The growth of our partnership demonstrates the strength of our firm, and I look forward to building upon our success with the partner participation from Josh, Rina and Megan,” added Cascarilla.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public entities.

Chambers and Partners, a London-based independent research company that conducts rankings of law firms and attorneys, has selected Ralph E. CascarillaIrene M. MacDougall and Mark I. Wallach to be included in its 2019 USA guide. Cascarilla, MacDougall and Wallach are being recognized in the following practice areas after the company conducted numerous interviews with clients and general counsel:

Many of the world’s largest banks and companies rely on Chambers in selecting their outside counsel. Its 200 research analysts have been ranking firms and lawyers in the U.S. for more than two decades. In Chambers USA 2019, more than 6,000 law firms and 18,000 attorneys are ranked. Rankings are based on technical ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness, diligence and commitment.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Walter | Haverfield, a top ten Cleveland-based law firm, is expanding our existing office in Columbus and hiring attorneys in all practice areas. We are looking for experienced, hard-working, self-starter individuals who are eager to grow their practice as well as the firm’s presence in the state capital.

If you are interested in joining our team, please email your resume to hiring@walterhav.com.

Walter | Haverfield opened its Columbus office in 2018, marking a significant milestone for the 87-year-old firm. As we have experienced year-after-year growth in the last decade, we broadened our geographic footprint, remaining committed to our mission of serving clients. An office in Columbus allows us to meet the demands we face and offer more sophisticated services.

Our Columbus office is located at 175 South Third St.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

Often confused as being synonymous with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is the underlying technology upon which the cryptocurrency concept was built. Blockchain first made its debut in 2008, and its relationship to bitcoin has been compared as such: blockchain is to bitcoin, what the internet is to email.

As blockchain developed, people began to realize it had applications beyond bitcoin. The continued discovery of those applications has become the catalyst of the technology revolution that we find ourselves in today – one that is affecting all industries as they find a way to incorporate blockchain. For example, a 2017 study by IBM found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives had plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution that year while 56% expected to by 2020. Also notable, financial institutions are spending millions on developing blockchain applications. Two CEOs of major European lenders claim blockchain “will underpin the financial industry in five years.” Still, as we make our way through the blockchain renaissance, there are many questions, the simplest being: what is blockchain?

In short, blockchain is a digital ledger consisting of recorded transactions. Transactions are recorded on the blockchain using cryptography. Cryptography consists of two digital keys: one digital key ensures you are the only person who can enter a transaction into the blockchain, and the other digital key lets another person confirm it was really you who added the transaction.

What makes blockchain unique is its decentralized nature and security. Typically, transactions are verified by a centralized authority (i.e., a bank, the DMV, a credit card company, etc.). However, transactions on the blockchain are verified by the consensus of several users. In other words, the information is distributed to multiple computers, each having its own copy of the transactions. As such, no single party controls the information.

Also, blockchain has sophisticated security features, including its use of hashing and its internal construction which make it impenetrable. Hashing is the process of reducing data to a random set of characters. In blockchain, hashes are linked together so any minute changes are visible in the block housing the hash and all other blocks added later. Blockchain also consists of an “append-only” construction, which only permits the writing-in of new information, with the previous information being impervious to edits, adjustments or changes. Therefore, blockchain is often referred to as being immutable.

There is no denying that the intricacies of blockchain are extremely complex and much more in depth than the high-level perspective provided by this entry. Perhaps the important takeaway is that blockchain provides an unparalleled level of trust and security among parties. For that reason alone, it is easy to see how this technology will impact the way we do business.

After more than three decades of litigating high-profile cases in Cleveland, Mark Wallach is joining Walter | Haverfield as partner.

Wallach has handled nearly two dozen cases before the Ohio Supreme Court, including several major municipal law decisions and land use issues. In addition to working with public agencies, he also works with commercial entities as well as with individuals.

“Our clients will truly benefit from Mark’s counsel,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “His impressive skills and accomplishments raise the level of services we already offer.”

Wallach is rated in Chambers and Partners, which is a global, prestigious ranking service of law firms and lawyers.  He is also the recipient of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society’s Access to Justice award. Plus, he’s been recognized by Best Lawyers and Ohio Super Lawyers.

Gregory Watkins is also joining Walter | Haverfield as part of the Corporate Transactions team. Named to the 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, Watkins assists clients in mergers and acquisitions as well as with business governance matters. Plus, he counsels entrepreneurs in all aspects of the business life cycle, including entity selection, day-to-day management and exit strategies. Watkins also serves clients in the alcoholic beverage industry, advising them on licensing, compliance and transportation matters.

“As we experience an increased demand for transactional work, we are committed to making sure we match that demand with well-trained attorneys,” said Cascarilla. “Greg fits exactly what our clients need.”

Prior to Walter | Haverfield, Watkins focused on acquisition and sale transactions at his previous firm. He has also served as outside corporate counsel for clients in various industries, including a large health care system.

In an effort to serve our growing number of diverse business clients in Central Ohio, Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that Bryan Jeffries has joined the firm as a partner in its Columbus office. Jeffries focuses his practice on commercial litigation as well as construction and business law.

“Walter | Haverfield presented me a great opportunity to enhance my practice in commercial litigation and construction and grow my practice in real estate,” said Jeffries who most recently worked at Eastman and Smith. “Plus, the firm is keenly focused on expanding in the Columbus market, which also enticed me to join the team.”

For the past three decades, Jeffries has guided closely held businesses and other clients through formation and financing, shareholder disputes and employment litigation. Within the construction industry, Jeffries represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. At Eastman and Smith, Jeffries led the firm’s construction law practice group for three years.

“Bryan brings a skill set that is exactly what we need as we continue to grow our Columbus office,” said Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield. “Not only is he an accomplished attorney, but he is also active in a variety of organizations and speaks regularly on a wide range of legal topics.”

Jeffries is involved in the Central Ohio Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Central Ohio NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association). He is also a part of the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio, the Construction Financial Management Association and the National Association of Remodeling Industry.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of Walter | Haverfield fits in very well with my practice and my approach to practicing law,” added Jeffries, a father of three who proudly calls himself a “foodie.”

A resident of Dublin, Jeffries is a former adjunct faculty of business and corporate law at Columbus State Community College, Franklin University and Capital University’s paralegal program. He has also given more than 30 presentations on business and construction to various trade groups and organizations.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public entities and education.

After a nearly two-year legal battle, Walter | Haverfield partner, Darrell Clay won a lawsuit against the philanthropic arm of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) over a sought-after speaker’s contract. Clay represented Bill Sheil, an investigative reporter at Cleveland’s Fox affiliate, Fox 8, and the contract showed how much the Tri-C Foundation paid Academy-Award winning actress, Octavia Spencer to speak at a fundraising luncheon.

Sheil first requested the contract in 2017 as part of a public records request, and by law, public institutions must comply with Ohio’s Public Records Act. But the Tri-C Foundation denied the request claiming it is “a private, nonprofit organization that is not subject to open records requests.”

Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled there was clear and convincing evidence that the Tri-C Foundation “operates as the functional equivalent of a public entity,” making it subject to the Public Records Act. The court also rejected the Tri-C Foundation’s claim that the contract with Spencer was a trade secret exempt from disclosure. As a result, the foundation had to release the contract to Sheil.

Spencer’s contract revealed that the Tri-C Foundation paid Spencer $150,500 (plus first-class travel expenses for two) to attend the fundraising luncheon. The event lasted two hours and twenty minutes. In response, Tri-C issued a statement saying that speaker fees “are paid with private, not public, dollars.” It also said the event “netted approximately $1 million for scholarships.”

The Eighth District’s decision can be found here. For additional information, check out Fox 8’s stories on this case here and here.

Darrell Clay is a partner at Walter | Haverfield and a member of the firm’s Litigation team who regularly practices in the area of First Amendment law. He can be reached at 216-928-2896 or at dclay@walterhav.com.

Megan GreulichL Burleson

As one of the few full-service law firms in Ohio with a dedicated education law practice, Walter | Haverfield is proudly adding two new attorneys to its team in the firm’s Columbus office. Both attorneys will serve an increasing client base of school districts in Central and Southern Ohio.

Lisa Burleson joins Walter | Haverfield as a partner after seven years working in education law. Previously, she led her own education law practice in Columbus, was associated as Of Counsel with two other law firms in Columbus and served as Deputy Director of Labor Relations for the Ohio School Boards Association. Burleson works closely with school districts as general counsel and provides various types of legal services including labor negotiations, labor relations, employment, special education, Title IX, student issues, litigation and Board governance issues.

“This move is a fantastic opportunity for my clients to have access to a broad support base with Walter | Haverfield’s Education Law group, and I’m excited to grow the firm’s Columbus practice,” said Burleson, who lives in Upper Arlington with her husband and two children. “I’m proud to be a part of such a distinguished firm and work with such talented education attorneys.”

Megan Greulich joins Walter | Haverfield as an associate. Previously, she worked at the Ohio School Boards Association in Columbus for nine years, most recently as a senior staff attorney. There, Greulich provided legal information, guidance and policy recommendations to boards of education, attorneys and administrators across the state via the association’s statewide legal hotline, presentations and publications.

“I’m thrilled to join such a reputable education law team,” said Greulich, who lives in Westerville with her husband and three children. “It gives me the chance to utilize my skills in new ways and continue to assist school districts, which is what I love.”

“Lisa and Megan bring a wealth of knowledge to our group,” said Christina Peer, head of Walter | Haverfield’s Education Law team. “Their assistance and counsel will give us an excellent opportunity to better serve school districts throughout the state. We are truly excited to have them on board.”

Burleson is very active as a volunteer in her community and her children’s school. She also serves on the Columbus Bar Association Admissions Committee.

Greulich currently serves as Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Education Law Committee, is an Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellow and has volunteered with the Columbus Urban League, her children’s school and the Columbus City School District’s Reading Buddies program.

Both Burleson and Greulich are graduates of Capital University Law School and are members of the Ohio State Bar Association as well as the Columbus Bar Association.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public law.

 

 

We are honored that nearly 25% of our attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 26th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. First published in 1983, Best Lawyers based its 2020 listing on the results of an exhaustive peer review survey, in which attorneys cast their votes regarding the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Those who will be honored in the 2020 edition include:

Rick Amburgey: Construction Law

Marc J. Bloch: Litigation – Labor and Employment

Margaret Anne Cannon: Litigation – Municipal; Municipal Law

Ralph E. Cascarilla: Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Environmental

Nick R. Catanzarite: Real Estate Law

Darrell A. Clay: Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Charles Daroff: Real Estate Law

Nathan A. Felker: Real Estate Law – Development

Todd Hunt: Land Use and Zoning Law; Municipal Law; Real Estate Law

Ed Hurtuk: Real Estate Law – Development

Eric J. Johnson: Education Law

Irene M. MacDougall: Banking and Finance Law; Real Estate Law

Craig A. Marvinney: Litigation – Insurance

Christina Henagen Peer: Education Law

David Ricco: Real Estate Law

Charles T. Riehl: Environmental Law; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Municipal Law; Real Estate Law

John E. Schiller: Litigation – Real Estate; Litigation – Trusts and Estates

Russell C. Shaw: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Litigation – ERISA

John W. Waldeck, Jr.: Real Estate Law

Mark I. Wallach: Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Municipal

Gary A. Zwick: Tax Law

In addition, Ralph Cascarilla was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America’s “Lawyer of the Year” listing in the Cleveland metro area.  Ralph was recognized for his “Litigation – Environmental” practice.

 

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control law, litigation, public law and education.

 

Lisa Wososzynek

March 13, 2020

Ohio schools are actively instituting Governor Mike DeWine’s mandatory three-week closure of all elementary and secondary schools, including public, private, and charter schools, in an attempt to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This comes at the same time that schools across the state were gearing up for spring testing season, in compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). While there have not been any definitive decisions released yet by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) regarding how the school closures will impact student testing, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released guidance on March 12th, 2020. The guidance sheds some light on what’s to come and hopefully provides a little relief to districts that are concerned about their ability to meet testing requirements. It also addresses the potential impact of attendance performance ratings.

Generally, assessment requirements and accountability measures impact Academic Achievement indicators used to rate each school district’s performance (School Report Cards). Traditionally, the DOE does not grant statewide waivers of assessment requirements, such as the required 95% assessment participation rate or chronic absenteeism, due to the valuable information these assessments provide. However, due to the potential impact of COVID-19, the DOE  stated in its March 12th guidance that if it becomes “not feasible” for a state to administer assessments (in part or full), it will consider targeted one-year waivers of assessment requirements. The guidance also addresses the option for a state to consider whether it is possible to adjust or extend the testing window to accommodate as many students as possible, and it acknowledges the potential impact that COVID-19 may have on other ESEA requirements, such as fiscal allocation of funds.  The DOE indicated that it will continue to address these issues as developments occur.

As for the ODE, it has communicated that its priority is to keep our students and communities safe, and “any concerns about the administration of state assessments can and will be addressed, if necessary, after student health and safety have been assured.” Prior to the mandated closure by Governor DeWine, the ODE had taken the position that spring test administration remained on schedule; with the mandated closure of schools now in place, and subject to possible extension, we also expect further clarifications from the ODE in the coming weeks, including potential adjustments to the testing time frame and/or its intent to seek a waiver from the DOE for certain testing requirements.

We will continue to update you on ESEA-related issues as more information is released from federal and state agencies so that we can all adjust to this, hopefully temporary, “new normal.”

Susan Keating Anderson is a partner at Walter | Haverfield who focuses her practice on education law. She can be reached at sanderson@walterhav.com or at 216-928-2936.

Lisa Woloszynek is an associate at Walter | Haverfield who focuses her practice on education law. She can be reached at lwoloszynek@walterhav.com and at 216-619-7835.

 

Walter | Haverfield receives Corporation of the Year award from The Music Settlement

From left to right: Ralph Cascarilla (managing partner at Walter | Haverfield), Geri Presti (president and CEO of The Music Settlement), Jack (John) Waldeck (Chair of the Real Estate Services group at Walter | Haverfield, outgoing board chair at The Music Settlement), Matt Charboneau (chair, Center for Music)

The Music Settlement, a 107-year-old Cleveland organization that offers early childhood education, music instruction and music therapy, awarded Walter | Haverfield its Corporation of the Year award at its 2019 annual meeting. The organization’s leadership also recognized John (Jack) Waldeck, chair of Walter | Haverfield’s Real Estate Services group, for his hard work and dedication as board chair for the past two years.

“For nearly a decade, Walter | Haverfield, and its attorneys, have supported The Music Settlement’s mission through financial commitments, expertise and leadership on our board and committees,” said Geri Presti, president and CEO of The Music Settlement. “We are very thankful for their service.”

The Music Settlement presents its Corporation of the Year award annually to a business that demonstrates outstanding commitment and dedication to advancing the mission and programs of The Music Settlement.

“Walter | Haverfield navigated us through the incredibly complicated world of New Markets Tax Credits related to our new Ohio City campus, providing tens of thousands of dollars of pro bono legal work,” said Steve Kreger, vice president of finance and administration for The Music Settlement. “They have also supported several other initiatives and programs like the Bop Stop and our first-ever virtual gala.”

Coinciding with the award, The Music Settlement acknowledged Waldeck as the organization’s outgoing chairman of the board. Prior to becoming chair in 2017, Waldeck served as first vice chair for three years and was a member of the finance and nominating committees.

“Jack stepped up and led The Music Settlement through a period of challenges, opportunities and transformation,” added Presti. “His leadership, talents, experiences and compassion have brought us to where we are today—strong, sustainable and positively impacting more lives through music and the arts.”

“I am proud to have served as board chair for one of the finest organizations in Cleveland,” said Waldeck, who has completed some of Northeast Ohio’s biggest real estate deals in the last three decades. “I will continue to serve The Music Settlement as it enriches the lives of others in such transformative ways.”

The Music Settlement began as a music school in 1912. Since then, it has expanded its music offerings to the community, opened a second campus in Ohio City and added its performance venue called “the Bop Stop.” The Music Settlement serves a variety of community members of all backgrounds, skill levels and ages, and provides generous financial support and scholarships to those it serves.

 

 About Walter | Haverfield

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of nearly 80 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, education, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control law, litigation and public law.

 

Updated: May 28, 2020

Dear Clients, Friends and Partners:

At Walter | Haverfield, we take the health and safety of ourselves and those around us very seriously. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to reassure you that we are monitoring the situation closely, following our critical response plan and working diligently to safely continue our service to you without disruption.
We are following a plan that includes strict protocols about travel, teleworking and proper health and sanitation measures. While our main office has minimal staffing to maintain operations, many of our attorneys and a majority of our staff began working remotely by Monday, March 23.
For legal guidance related to this situation, we encourage you to visit our dedicated COVID-19 page on our website. It contains updated information and resources for businesses, employers, government entities and school districts.
As we remain vigilant, we stand ready and equipped to face the challenges ahead of us and lead our profession, just as we have done for our clients and the greater community for the past 87 years.
We look forward to maintaining our strong working relationship with you during this time and keeping in close contact via phone, email or video conference. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me or your Walter | Haverfield lawyer at any time.

 

Ralph Cascarilla

Managing Partner

Walter | Haverfield

This will be updated accordingly as the situation changes.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has recognized Walter | Haverfield as a national “Best Law Firm” for its land use and zoning law practice. The firm also received 16 regional rankings ranging from real estate to litigation to education law.

Land use and zoning law focuses on public efforts to shape the use and development of private land, either through regulation or governmental incentives. Walter | Haverfield earned a second tier national ranking for its land use and zoning law practice for the second year in a row. Previously, the firm’s land use and zoning practice was ranked in the third tier.

Regionally, U.S. News – Best Lawyers® ranked Walter | Haverfield in the top tier for the following practice areas: commercial litigation, criminal defense: white-collar, education law, environmental law, land use and zoning law, litigation – land use and zoning, and real estate law.

The firms included in the 2020 listing are acknowledged for their professional excellence with ratings from clients and peers, according to U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. Achieving a ranking signals a combination of a quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Nearly 16,000 lawyers provided more than one million law firm assessments, and 12,000 clients participated in the evaluation process.

Below is a complete list of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® rankings for Walter | Haverfield. The list can also be found here.

National Tier 2

Land Use & Zoning Law

Metropolitan Tier 1

Cleveland

Commercial Litigation

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Education Law

Environmental Law

Land Use and Zoning Law

Litigation – Land Use & Zoning

Real Estate Law

Metropolitan Tier 2

Cleveland

Banking and Finance Law

Litigation – Environmental

Litigation – Insurance

Tax Law

Metropolitan Tier 3

Cleveland

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Litigation – Construction

Litigation – ERISA

Litigation – Labor & Employment

 

About Walter | Haverfield

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, public law, education law, tax and wealth management, and hospitality and liquor control.

 

Walter | Haverfield has acquired Hurtuk & Daroff Co., LLP, a Cleveland real estate and finance law firm. Separately, Walter | Haverfield has acquired Nardone Limited, a Columbus-based tax and business services law firm with a nationwide specialty in buying and selling dental practices. Both firms have wide-ranging practices and clients nationwide.

The acquisitions are part of a strategic initiative the firm has underway to expand its presence in Ohio and deepen the firm’s expertise in key practice areas.

Hurtuk & Daroff, a leader in real estate law and finance, provides counsel to developers, real estate investors, retailers, financial institutions, contractors and other participants in real estate transactions and finance. The firm has developed a substantial presence in Cleveland real estate law – a distinction shared by Walter | Haverfield, whose developed real estate law practice is also ranked among the top in Ohio. This combination of practices elevates Walter | Haverfield’s real estate and real estate finance practice to one of the largest in the state. The firm will keep Hurtuk & Daroff’s office space in Mayfield Heights, and the team will continue to operate from that location.

Nardone Limited, founded and led by Vince Nardone, represents clients throughout Ohio and surrounding states in matters related to tax and succession planning, employment issues and professional practice transitions. The firm’s expertise allows Walter | Haverfield to continue to build its Columbus office and serve a wide spectrum of clients in Central Ohio. Members of the Nardone Limited team will operate out of Walter | Haverfield’s existing Columbus office.

Walter | Haverfield has experienced significant growth over the past several years. Since 2017, the firm has increased its number of attorneys by 30 percent and gained more than 1,300 new clients. The acquisition of Hurtuk & Daroff and Nardone Limited brings the total number of attorneys at the firm to nearly 90, allowing Walter | Haverfield to better serve the needs of both the Columbus and Cleveland markets.

Click here to read the full press release.

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce that 12 of its attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list. An additional eight attorneys have been selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list. The names of those honored are below.

Furthermore, Walter | Haverfield partners Darrell A. Clay and Mark Wallach made the list of the Top 100 Attorneys in Ohio and the list of the Top 50 Attorneys in Cleveland.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are recognized by the Ohio Rising Stars research team.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections, for both Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, are made using a multi-phase process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Our 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers Honorees:

Our 2019 Ohio Rising Stars Honorees:

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms. Today, our team of 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, education, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control law, litigation and public law.

 

 

Andy GardnerFollowing a grassroots campaign in which he championed positive change for the city of Willoughby Hills, Walter | Haverfield senior counsel G. Andrew Gardner is the newest mayor of the quaint east side Cleveland suburb.

Gardner, who was raised in Willoughby Hills, was sworn in January 1st, 2020 for a four-year term. He won the election with 52 percent of the vote, beating out two members of city council, both of whom had been in office for more than a decade.

“The race was a great experience, but also very humbling,” said Gardner, who practices real estate law at Walter | Haverfield’s Mayfield Heights office. “I had friends from grade school reaching out to me to share their support, which was so wonderful.”

Prior to becoming mayor, Gardner was president of the Lake County YMCA Board of Directors, chairperson of the Willoughby Hills Mayor’s Performance Audit Task Force and a member of two Willoughby Hills Charter Review Commissions, serving as chairperson of the 2015 Charter Review Commission. While serving as president of the YMCA’s Board, he was part of the team that structured the agreements and coordinated design and construction of the new Lake County YMCA West End branch, which is part of the Union Village campus in Willoughby, a multi-amenity complex that also includes a new city of Willoughby senior center, a new Willoughby South High School and the relocated Willoughby Middle School, both part of the Willoughby-Eastlake Schools.

“I knew I could bring my skills and a new perspective to the mayor’s office as I’ve been very involved with the Willoughby Hills community over the years in a variety of ways,” added Gardner. “Plus, I knew the voters were looking for a change, and I’m confident I can provide that change.”

Gardner succeeds Robert Weger as mayor, who did not seek re-election after 12 years in office. The mayor’s position is part-time and also includes the position of safety director. Gardner will continue to work full-time at Walter | Haverfield.

In his first 90 days, Gardner said he plans to start the process developing a strategic plan for the city, hire a law director, address staffing needs and re-instate WHISPER, the city’s program to provide aid to isolated senior citizens.

“It’s going to be exciting,” said Gardner. “There are going to be some new challenges, but overall I believe it will be both exciting and rewarding to serve the city’s residents for the next four years.”

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms with additional offices located in Columbus, Mayfield Heights and Avon. Today, our team of 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, education, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control law, litigation and public law.

 

Gary Bloom, Docket Supervisor at Walter | HaverfieldIt was January 1980 when 22-year-old Gary Bloom walked into a 12-lawyer firm in downtown Cleveland for a job interview.

“I was looking for a position out of school, but not necessarily at a law firm,” said Bloom of South Euclid.

Bloom had just graduated from nearby John Carroll University, and a family friend who worked at the firm told him about an open docket clerk position.

“I was hired on the spot,” he added. “But I didn’t have any notion that I’d be here a long time.”

On January 21, 2020, Bloom celebrates his 40th work anniversary at Walter | Haverfield. As docket supervisor, he is the most senior staff member of the firm.

“It became a job for me over the years that I enjoy doing,” said Bloom who grew up in East Cleveland and South Euclid. “It’s always been an ongoing learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about the courts and how our legal system works behind the scenes.”

Bloom started his career at Walter | Haverfield working with the firm’s co-founders, Paul Walter and Rusk Haverfield.

Walter dedicated most of his life to politics, working with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson as well as U.S. Senator Robert Taft. Haverfield was a Harvard Law School graduate. Together, they began Walter | Haverfield in 1932. Both died in 1992.

“I found Paul Walter to be an interesting person, very interesting to listen to,” said Bloom. “His office was like a museum. It had so many political artifacts from various elections. Rusk Haverfield interviewed me for the docket clerk position. He was more reserved than Paul, yet brilliant and very nice.”

In Bloom’s time at Walter |Haverfield, the firm has grown to 90 attorneys and four offices throughout Ohio. He’s enjoyed being part of the growth and credits his longevity at the firm to its upstanding reputation, friendly colleagues and the various opportunities to work on wide-ranging projects and tasks. He also assists with the firm’s marketing department.

“The firm has always prided itself on its work with long-standing clients, and the people have made the commitment to practice law the right way here,” he added.

Bloom, who is now 62 years old, plans to work a few more years before retiring. At that point, he said he’ll spend more time traveling and volunteering in the community.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has more than doubled in the past decade to become one of Cleveland’s top ten law firms with additional offices located in Columbus, Mayfield Heights and Avon. Today, our team of 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, education, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control law, litigation and public law.

Greg WatkinsTed MotheralM&A closings don’t always go as planned, and in some cases can be considered coordinated chaos. Parties often work around the clock in hopes of meeting the infamous wire deadline, typically resolving final issues on the day of closing.

Once handled in an archaic “round-table” fashion, and sometimes still, the closing process lags behind technological advances. In a sense, closings remain round-table, except the table is electronic and extends over lines of communication. However, even closings that use electronic means still require a verbal or written confirmation to release funds which, for some reason, seems outdated.

As round-table closings evolved to telecommunicated closings, the current method will also evolve. Deal closings will eventually be streamlined through the use of smart contracts. A smart contract is similar to a written contract; each party has its set of obligations, except with smart contracts, the obligations are written in computer code.  Smart contracts utilize blockchain technology—a decentralized ledger—and are self-executing, thereby eliminating the need for any additional confirmation to wire funds.

Applying smart contracts to real world practice, they would allow parties to codify the series of closing conditions. Each party would indicate its satisfaction of each condition unilaterally, without the need for individualized communication to the other party. Once all closing conditions are satisfied, the smart contract would self-execute and immediately wire funds to the receiving parties.

Blockchain technology continues to gain momentum and its applications are being recognized in various industries. The above example, although simplified, shows that blockchain technology has a place in M&A as well and likely all across the legal industry.

*This article also appears in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Greg Watkins is an associate at Walter | Haverfield who focuses his practice on corporate transactions and blockchain technology. He can be reached at 216-928-2917 or at gwatkins@walterhav.com.

Ted Motheral is a partner at Walter | Haverfield who focuses his practice on corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private debt and equity financing. He can be reached at 216-928-2967 or at tmotheral@walterhav.com.

Updated: May 27, 2020

Cuyahoga County:

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

  • The court will still not hold any jury trials until at least Aug. 1, and judges will not be able to call bench trials, where a judge instead of a jury renders a verdict, until at least July 1
  • All pretrial hearings will be done by telephone or videoconferencing
  • Beginning June 1, there will be eight judges — one on each of the Justice Center floors that house Common Pleas courtrooms — holding court hearings each day
  • Anyone entering the courthouse must wear a mask or face covering that covers the nose and mouth and pass a COVID-19 screening that includes a temperature check
  • Everyone in the courthouse must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart
  • No more than two people can ride in an elevator at once
  • Only 15 people, not including courthouse or county staff, will be allowed to enter a courtroom at any one time
  • Courthouse staff will be set up in the first-floor atrium to check people in for court hearings and tell them when they can go to the courtrooms
  • Restroom use will be limited to one person at a time
  • Children will not be allowed on the courtroom floors
  • The building will be routinely sanitized multiple times a day

Cuyahoga County Probate Court

  • The Court shall attempt to minimize the social interaction of litigants, attorneys, witnesses, jurors, law enforcement personnel, and judicial personnel by continuing to conduct proceedings, to the extent practicable, by remote video, telephonic or other available technological means
  • The Court will continue to operate remotely as much as possible and will remain available by telephone for any public inquiries
  • All mediations will be held by remote technology or telephone conference unless otherwise approved by the Court
  • The Probate Clerk’s Office shall conduct business in their office with personnel as determined by the Presiding Judge as Ex-Officio Clerk, and shall continue to conduct the receipt of filings or other transactions only by U.S. mail, electronic filing or other designated methods determined by the Presiding Judge
  • The Probate Court is open only to individuals who are parties or who have received a hearing notice and their attorneys (who have notified the Court of their representation) on a case set for hearing at a specific date and time, which is not scheduled to be conducted remotely
  • All individuals, including Court judicial officers and personnel, desiring to enter the courthouse will be subject to available health screening or testing and may be excluded from admission based upon the results of such screening or testing
  • Employees of the court not on duty in the courthouse shall work, to the extent possible, remotely, and in accordance with the directives of their supervisor or the Administrative Judge and in compliance with the safety directive of the Ohio Department of Health
  • Based upon recommendations from Responsible RestartOhio, all individuals entering the courthouse must: wear a face covering while they are in the courthouse; observe social distancing requirements (no less than 6 feet away from any other individual); and maintain good hygiene including hand washing and sanitizing
  • Any Court employee who exhibits signs of illness must notify Court Administration by telephonic or electronic mail and shall not come into the courthouse or report for duty
  • Any individual in the courthouse who exhibits signs of illness shall be directed to leave the building immediately and seek medical advice before being permitted to re-enter the building at a later date
  • This Order supersedes and amends any conflicting provisions of the March 16, 2020 orders. All non-conflicting provisions of those Orders remain in effect
  • Check the Court’s E-File pages for updates and additional available filings
  • This Order is effective on May 25, 2020, will be reviewed on a weekly basis and will remain in effect until the expiration of the Executive Order 2020-0lD “Declaring a State of Emergency” or June 30, 2020, whichever is later, or as otherwise modified by order of this Court

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

  • All courthouses of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio shall be closed to the public through July 31, 2020. Only persons having official business authorized by this General Order or by the Chief Judge or a Presiding Judge, including credentialed media, may enter courthouse property.  This applies to all divisional locations
  • All mass public gatherings are suspended, including, but not limited to, group tours and visits, moot courts and mock trials, bar group meetings, seminars, and naturalization ceremonies
  • The use of face masks or cloth face coverings is required for all individuals in a courthouse, unless otherwise directed by the Court or a courthouse official. The face covering must completely conceal the wearer’s nose and mouth at all times. Visitors seeking entrance to a courthouse without a face covering will be asked to contact by telephone the office to be visited to explore alternatives to entering the courthouse
  • Common areas where employees or the public congregate to interact (e.g., cafeterias, break rooms) will be closed. Physical distancing will be enforced in other public or common areas such as jury assembly, court entrances, intake, lobbies, and reception areas by visible means to demark six-foot distances where practical
  • Electronic filings may still be made through the CM/ECF system. For those without access to CM/ECF, documents may be submitted by email to: EmergencyFiling@ohnd.uscourts.gov
  • Civil:
    • Jury trials will commence on a date to be announced, but no earlier than the month of August
    • The use of videoconference and teleconference in civil proceedings will continue. If necessary, in-person court proceedings will be limited to 10 people and in-person chambers proceedings will be limited to the number of people which permits the observance of the physical distancing requirement of six feet in all instances
  • Criminal:
    • Jury trials will commence on a date to be announced, but no earlier than the month of August
    • The use of video conference and teleconference as permitted by law for criminal proceedings will continue. If necessary, in-person court proceedings will be limited to 10 people
    • The use of videoconference and teleconference for change of plea hearings will proceed as permitted by law. Otherwise, to the extent possible and with the agreement of the defendant, after filing a notice to enter an open guilty plea or plea agreement signed by the defendant and/or defense counsel, the taking of the plea of guilty and the sentencing shall be consolidated for a date after the presentence report has been prepared
    • Grand jury proceedings will proceed if absolutely necessary and with the approval of the Chief Judge
    • All in-person reentry court sessions will be conducted via videoconference or teleconference
    • All petty offense (CVB) proceedings are suspended through July 31, 2020
    • All detainees, upon arrival at a courthouse and before appearance in court, will undergo screening for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 contamination. Such screening will be administered by and/or at the direction of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) or its agencies or designees. The presiding judge must be notified if the detainee exhibits risk factors and will have the discretion to order the detainee returned to the facility from which they came

Lorain County:

Lorain County Court of Common Pleas

  • Judge Cook’s court is open but with reduced hours and reduced staff
  • Beginning Monday, March 23 -27, 2020, Judge Cook & Magistrate Pena will be on duty. The official court reporter will be on duty on Fridays
  • Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., except for Fridays, which will be 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • All “in person” civil cases, except CSPO hearings, and all criminal cases where the defendant has posted bond are being continued. We will have telephonic pre-trials, conferences, or hearings, where possible
  • All jury & bench trials are cancelled pending further order

Lorain County Probate Court

  • No persons allowed to enter the office, including attorneys
  • Automatic extension of 60 days for: filing of all Inventories, Accounts, Guardian Reports, Statements of Expert Evaluation, Annual Guardian Plans, and Compliance with Guardianship Education
  • Pre-trials and hearings will be conducted by teleconference or videoconference unless otherwise noted
  • Civil commitment cases brought under R.C. 5122.01, et seq. will be heard by the Judge or Magistrate via teleconference or videoconference

Franklin County:

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

  • The hours of operation for the General Division will be 8:00am – 3:00pm until further order for the Court
  • Beginning June 1, 2020, all stays regarding foreclosure cases, including Sheriff’s sales, are hereby lifted and cases shall be reactivated as appropriate
  • All civil Duty Magistrate hearings will resume June 1, 2020
  • Beginning June 1, 2020, through August 28, 2020, the Court will operate utilizing a rotating docket schedule to limit the number of people entering the courthouse
  • No in-person proceedings shall be held during a non-scheduled week. Docket matters can be held via video/telephone conference
  • All garnishment proceedings will resume June 1, 2020
  • Beginning June 1, 2020, both in-custody and out-of-custody arraignments will be held at 1:00pm
  • Based upon recommendations from the Supreme Court Responsible RestartOhio, any individual entering the courthouse is required to wear a protective mask

Franklin County Probate Court

  • Remains open to public and will be providing all essential services. However, to protect public health, citizens are discouraged from visiting the Franklin County Court complex for matters that are not essential or time sensitive
  • Non-e-filing cases documents should be filed by mail or by dropping them off at the court (22nd floor lobby drop boxes). No persons are permitted on the 22nd floor without prior approval of the Court
  • Filings submitted to the court by drop box or by mail will be held for forty-eight (48) hours after receipt prior to processing and review
  • Money orders or attorney’s check for paper filed cases
  • Duty magistrate desk closed until further notice

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

  • The court will hold all oral arguments for the June 2020 court session remotely, either by video or telephone
  • There will be no arguments held in person in Cincinnati during the month of June 2020
  • The Clerk’s office will contact counsel to schedule arguments and provide details as early as possible
  • During this limited time, non-prisoner pro se litigants may e-mail documents in PDF format to: CA06_Temporary_Pro_Se_Efiling@ca6.uscourts.gov 

United States District Court – Southern District of Ohio

  • Any civil or criminal matters scheduled for trial, whether jury trial or non-jury trial, before any district or magistrate judge in the Southern District of Ohio between now and June 1, 2020, including any associated deadlines, are hereby CONTINUED for sixty (60) days, pending further Order of this Court
  • Any civil or criminal matters scheduled for trial, whether jury trial or non-jury trial, before any district or magistrate judge in the Southern District of Ohio after June 1, 2020, along with any attendant deadlines, shall not be affected by this Order
  • All in-person criminal and civil hearings, such as, for example, a hearing on a motion for summary judgment or on a motion to suppress, that are scheduled to occur between now and June 1, 2020, are hereby CONTINUED pending further order of the Court, except as set forth below. The Court may proceed with video and teleconference technology as appropriate at the discretion of individual judges. The Court recognizes that this continuance may require amendments to the scheduling orders in individual cases, which should be addressed on a case­ by-case basis
  • As set forth in General Order 20-05, and consistent with General Order 20-07, all initial appearances, detention hearings, and arraignments will be conducted via video and teleconference technology in the manner set forth in General Order 20- 05
  • All felony plea or change of plea hearings and sentencing hearings for defendants who are not in custody are hereby CONTINUED through June 1, 2020
  • The Court will continue to hold felony plea or change of plea and sentencing hearings for those defendants who are in custody between now and June 1, 2020, but only to the extent that such hearings can be conducted by video and teleconference technology. Accordingly, such hearings can occur only pursuant to the provisions set forth in General Order 20-07, which requires (a) a finding by the district judge in the case at issue that the felony plea or sentencing hearing in that case cannot be further delayed without serious harm to the interests of justice, and (b) the consent of the defendant in that matter. Absent those two conditions, felony plea, change of plea, or sentencing hearings are CONTINUED until June 1, 2020, except that a district judge retains the discretion, in a particular case, to determine that appropriate grounds exist for an in-person felony plea, change of plea, or sentencing hearing to go forward. In the event that a district judge elects to move forward in a given case in that manner, the judge will take all appropriate steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the participants in that hearing
  • All grand jury proceedings in the District are CONTINUED through June 1, 2020, except that the current Columbus grand jury may meet as scheduled during the week of April 6, 2020, and the United States Attorney may petition the Chief Judge, under emergency circumstances, to call the existing grand jury in for deliberations
  • As to any continuance in any criminal matter resulting from the provisions of this General Order, due to the Court’s reduced ability to obtain an adequate spectrum of jurors, as well as the public health considerations arising from in-person court hearings for the parties, their counsel, and Court staff and personnel in attendance at the courthouse, the time period of such continuance shall be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, as the Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by ordering the continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and any defendant’s right to a speedy trial, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A)
  • The district judge or magistrate judge in a particular matter may order case-by­ case exceptions to the continuances provided herein at their discretion after consultation with counsel
  • This ORDER does not affect the Court’s consideration of civil or criminal motions that can be resolved without oral argument
  • The Joseph P. Kinneary Courthouse (Columbus), the Potter Stewart Courthouse (Cincinnati), and the Walter H. Rice Courthouse (Dayton), shall remain CLOSED to the public according to the terms and conditions set forth in General Order 20-05 through June 1, 2020. That being said, staff in the Clerk’s Office will be available by telephone, mail will be received, and new filings will be processed. While the Court’s intake window will be closed, those wishing to make in-person filings, such as pro se parties, may do so through the use of drop boxes that are positioned at or near the entrances to the aforementioned courthouses. The CM/ECF system will remain open and operational and attorneys are encouraged to file electronically through that system
  • All Probation and Pretrial offices will be closed to the public through June 1, 2020, but will continue to conduct business during that time. Drug testing will continue as directed by the Probation and Pretrial offices. A Probation or Pretrial Services Duty Officer will be available at each seat of court to answer questions telephonically
  • To the extent that a party has a scheduled appointment at the courthouse, or is otherwise required to appear, but is denied entry, that person should contact their attorney if represented by an attorney. If an attorney or pro se litigant, is scheduled to appear in court before a judge, please contact that judge’s chambers or courtroom deputy (see ohsd.uscourts.gov). For all other matters or questions, please contact the Clerk’s Office at (614) 719-3000 (Columbus), (513) 564-7500 (Cincinnati), or (937) 512-1400 (Dayton)
  • Persons granted remote access to proceedings are reminded of the general prohibition against photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings. Violation of these prohibitions may result in sanctions, including removal of court-issued media credentials, restricted entry to future hearings, denial of entry to future hearings, or any other sanctions deemed necessary by this Court

Darrell Clay

*Read about Ohio’s Amended Stay At Home Order here.

March 23, 2020 

During a press conference on Sunday, March 22, 2020, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine disclosed that Ohio would join California, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, and a number of other major cities in issuing a so-called “shelter in place” or “stay at home” Order. This is the latest measure in Ohio’s aggressive attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) by implementing social distancing.

The Order, issued by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, pursuant to her authority under R.C. 3701.13, broadly provides that “all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence except as allowed in this Order.” (Persons experiencing homelessness are expressly exempt, but are urged to locate shelter.)  Furthermore, other than those who are home-based, all non-essential businesses and operations must cease, except for Minimum Basic Operations (discussed below). Additionally, “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited” unless expressly authorized by the Order. Lastly, the Order closes all places of public amusement:

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including, but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs shall be closed.

The only exceptions to the Order’s prohibitions are for individuals engaged in Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Businesses and Operations. The Order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, and continues until at least April 6, 2020 or until Dr. Acton orders otherwise.

Individuals may leave their home for a broad range of Essential Activities. These include tasks related to personal health and safety, to obtain necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity (respecting physical distancing procedures), to take care of or transport family members, friends, or pets, and for certain types of work. The Order specifically permits Ohioans to attend weddings and funerals. Persons may also leave to work for or obtain services through healthcare and public healthcare operations. In addition to hospitals, pharmacies, and other traditional healthcare institutions, this exemption includes organizations collecting blood, platelets, and plasma; medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators; eye care centers; home healthcare providers; and others. However, “fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities” are expressly excluded from this definition.

Essential Activities also include obtaining services from or working for any of the following Ohio departments: Aging; Developmental Disabilities; Health; Job and Family Services; Medicaid; Mental Health and Addiction Services; Veterans Services; and Youth Services. Also included is Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. Essential Activities also include work and services necessary to support Essential Infrastructure Operations, such as food production and distribution; fulfillment centers; construction; building management and maintenance; airports; operation and maintenance of utilities; cybersecurity operations; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telephone communications systems.

Essential Government Operations is defined to include all first responders; emergency management personnel; emergency dispatchers; legislators; judges, court personnel, jurors and grand jurors; law enforcement and corrections; and the like. This category also includes services provided by the State or any political subdivision “needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public.”

The Order provides a lengthy list of what constitutes Essential Businesses and Operations. Some of these are obvious: stores selling groceries and medicine; food, beverage, and licensed marijuana production and agriculture; organizations providing charitable and social services; religion entities; media, including newspapers, television, radio, and other media services; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial and insurance institutions; funeral services; and more. Also included in this category are “First Amendment protected speech” (though with no specific guidance as to the meaning of this phrase); hardware and supply stores; laundry services; restaurants providing off-premises consumption; supplies to work from home and supplies supporting Essential Business and Operations; hotels and motels; and professional services, including attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, and real estate professionals. Finally, the Order includes in this definition all Essential Businesses and Operations described as such in a March 19, 2020 memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Security Agency.

As noted earlier, the Order permits non-exempt businesses to continue Minimum Basic Operations. Those are defined as the minimum amount of work necessary to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and benefits, and activities that are necessary to facilitate employees’ continued ability to work remotely.

Persons who are using shared space or are outside the home, including those using public transportation, are to adhere to required physical distancing protocols. This includes those persons who are engaging in Essential Travel, that is, travel to support Essential Activity, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, and Minimum Basic Operations.

The Order makes clear its intention is “to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible.” The Order is subject to enforcement by State and local law enforcement authorities. Violations are second-degree misdemeanors, subjecting the offender to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Finally, the order requires that businesses and employers implement a number of actions, including:

  • Allowing as many employees as possible to work from home
  • Actively encouraging sick employees to remain at home until, without any medication, they are fever-free for at least 72 hours “AND symptoms have improved for at least 72 hours AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first began”
  • Ensure sick leave policies are “up to date, flexible, and non-punitive”’
  • Physically separate employees apparently suffering from respiratory illness from other employees and “send them home immediately”
  • Perform frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces such as workstations, counters, railings, door handles, and doorknobs

The State has issued an FAQ, attempting to address many basic questions about the Order. But many other questions remain unanswered at this early stage. Walter | Haverfield attorneys are here to advise you in determining whether your business may continue normal operations under one of the Order’s exemptions or must take other measures to comply.

Darrell A. Clay is a partner at Walter | Haverfield who focuses his practice on labor and employment and litigation. He can be reached at dclay@walterhav.com or at 216.928.2896.

At Walter | Haverfield, we understand the difficulties and uncertainties that you’re facing with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to assure you that we are here to help. Our team is committed to providing counsel and advice on a wide range of issues, including:

Labor and Employment: Compliance with Families First Coronavirus Act; regulating employee health and safety, including questions of quarantine, travel restrictions, testing, privacy; leave policies and legal compliance; wage and hour concerns; work-from-home policies; shutdown/layoff issues, including WARN Act compliance; unemployment benefits

Employee Benefits: Implications of Families First Coronavirus Response Act on continuation and payment arrangements during leaves; HIPAA compliance; potential waiver of copays/coinsurance and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and treatment; potential changes to 401 (k) plan hardship and loan provisions; service provider agreements and obligations

Education: Employment issues; leaves; benefits; contracts (certified, classified and supplemental); accommodations, remote work arrangements; FLSA; FMLA; OSHA/ADA requirements; discrimination claims; labor relations issues (MOUs, grievances and bargaining); student issues (student misconduct during remote instruction, student privacy issues); special education issues (provision of services, compliance issues, compensatory education); vendor contract issues; Sunshine Law issues

Hospitality & Liquor Control: Mitigating risk while restaurants and bars are closed, working within rules and regulations to allow for carry-out and delivery, how to incorporate safety measures into kitchen operations, physical premises restrictions, wage and hour considerations, alcohol regulations for carry-out and delivery

Personal Planning: Health care and estate planning documents

Real Estate: Impact of force majeure clauses in real estate-related documents (including leases, purchase and sale agreements, construction contracts) on monetary and non-monetary obligations;  declarations of Emergency and Public Health Orders: Compliance with Closure Directives; insurance issues, evictions, foreclosures and other court proceedings; real estate financing document issues including monetary and non-monetary covenants compliance and default

Business Operations: Business interruption; performance delays and force majeure events in contracts; anticipating and negotiating implications in transactions and M&A contracts

Construction: Negotiating and enforcing contract terms addressing force majeure, supply chain disruption, changes for costs of supplies and labor, and excused performance; application of the doctrines of impracticability/commercial frustration and impossibility of performance to existing contract obligations, evaluation of builder’s risk, general liability and similar insurance policies

Litigation: Contract disputes involving COVID-19-related contract non-performance or performance delays, including force majeure events and other supply chain disruptions

Banking and Finance: Force majeure, material adverse effect, cessation of business and other relevant clauses in financing documents

Business Restructuring, Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy: How to effectively address operational, payment and cash-flow difficulties, customer and vendor defaults and insolvency proceedings, and the enforcement of rights and remedies

Environmental: Use of force majeure and similar provisions in environmental statutes, regulations, government orders, or permits by companies to delay, without penalty, required sampling events, remediation deadlines, air permit testing, wastewater record keeping, monitoring, etc.; work-related employee cases of COVID-19 and OSHA’s employee illness and injury record-keeping regulation; planning and implementation of temporary or permanent facility closures

If you are in need of assistance or have questions, please feel free to email us here. Or, contact your Walter | Haverfield attorney by visiting this page of our website.

Rina RussoMarch 25, 2020 

On March 25, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released its Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) notice.  The required notice can be located here (please see first link under “Posters” section). The notice contains basic information about the types of leave certain employees are entitled to under the FFCRA. Further information about the required leave provisions under the FFCRA can be located here.

All covered employers (employers with under 500 employees and most public employers regardless of size) must post this notice in a conspicuous place on its premises that is accessible to all employees. An employer may also satisfy the posting requirement by e-mailing or mailing the notice to its employees, or by posting the notice on an employee information internal or external website.

As reported on the notice, the DOL has interpreted the FFCRA to have an effective date of April 1, 2020.

Rina Russo is a partner at  Walter | Haverfield who focuses her practice on  labor and employment law . She can be reached at  rrusso@walterhav.com or at 216-928-2928.

 

Christina PeerMarch 30, 2020 

On March 27, 2020, the Ohio Department of Education issued updated guidance clarifying its previously issued guidance document of March 18, 2020 entitled “Considerations for Students with Disabilities during Ohio’s Ordered School-Building Closure.” The updated guidance document attempts to clarify some of the concerns raised by stakeholders in an attempt to interpret the March 18 guidance document.

Some key points contained in the updated guidance document are:

  • Schools should prioritize taking all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of students and discourage activity that could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Schools should work to provide education to all students through alternative means.
  • Recognition that schools may not be able to provide all services in the same manner they are typically provided. However, schools should “continue to try to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) while balancing the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities during this national health emergency.”
  • When using alternative delivery models, districts “should make a good faith effort within available capabilities” to determine how FAPE will be provided.
  • Emphasis on the need for schools and parents to “work together collaboratively” to find ways to educate students with disabilities.

The updated guidance document also clarified, to some extent, a question regarding evaluations that were underway, but not complete, at the time of the ordered school-building closure. The updated guidance indicates that if a reevaluation was underway at the time school buildings closed and that reevaluation cannot be completed at this time due to the order, school districts should “continue to provide services in accordance with the information provided” in the guidance. Districts should interpret this to mean that students should continue to receive IEP services, to the extent feasible, as noted above, and consistent with the terms of such services that were in place prior to the ordered school-building closure.

Notably, no additional guidance was provided regarding initial evaluations.

The updated guidance also states that if a district shifts instruction to an alternative mode for all students due to the school-building closure, “it is not required to convene the IEP team or amend the IEP for the sole purpose of the school-building closure.” However, “if a student with a disability cannot access the alternative service delivery model being offered to general education students, the district should consult with the student’s parents to determine the needs of the student and identify the most appropriate means for meeting those needs during the ordered school-building closure.”  The guidance goes on to note that if an IEP team meeting is necessary or requested, the meeting should be held virtually or by phone.

It remains unclear what, if any, relief will be granted to school districts from the IDEA’s procedural and substantive requirements. To date, there is also no guidance regarding what standards will be applied to claims for compensatory education that parents might raise after school operations return to normal. It is imperative that individuals, school districts and professional organizations advocate for the type of relief schools will need given the impact of the pandemic on the ability of educators to deliver instruction and related services. Please share with your elected representatives (federal and state) the efforts your school district is making to serve students with disabilities and the need for a commonsense application of the IDEA’s requirements given the unprecedented school-building closures.

If you have any questions about the updated guidance, please reach out. We are happy to help.

Christina Peer is chair of the Education Law group at Walter | Haverfield. She can be reached at cpeer@walterhav.com or at 216-928-2918.

Darrell Clay

April 3, 2020

Twelve days after issuing an initial “Shelter In Place”/“Stay At Home” Order, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine and Ohio Director of Public Health Dr. Amy Acton announced during a news conference on April 2, 2020 the issuance of an amended order. Effective at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020, and lasting until at least 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020, the Amended Order largely preserves the restrictions implemented in an effort to “flatten the curve” and prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). However, in addition to providing a number of important clarifications for Ohioans and Ohio businesses, the Amended Order also imposes additional restrictions.

Initially, the Amended Order explains its application to businesses that consist of a single person. Many had questioned whether single-employee businesses could continue to operate under the initial order if they did not qualify as “Essential Businesses and Operations.” According to the Amended Order, such businesses may continue to operate “so long as all safe workplace safety standards are met.”

Businesses selling groceries and medicines, which are defined as Essential Businesses and Operations and thus may continue to operate, now must adopt a series of measures to help mitigate the risk of viral spread. Stores must “determine and enforce” a maximum building capacity under which all occupants “may safely and comfortably maintain a six-foot distance from each other.” (Use of the term “occupants” seems to imply both customers and employees.) That number must be prominently displayed at every entrance. All baskets, shopping carts, and the like must be properly cleaned between each use. For in-store lines, such as those at cash registers, marks must be made delineating the six-foot minimum distance requirement.

The Amended Order clarifies that the prior exception allowing travel to obtain necessary supplies and services includes boats. It further states that this exception allows continued operation of showrooms for automobiles and boats, as well as delivery of both. Finally, it explicitly allows persons to access self-storage facilities. Garden centers and nurseries are now specifically included with hardware and supply stores as being authorized to continue operating.

Businesses focused on recreation should note the Amended Order specifically prohibits multiple additional categories of activities. This includes the complete prohibition of “[r]ecreational sports tournaments, organized recreational leagues, residential and day camps.” All pools, public or private, must be closed except for swimming pools for a single home. All campgrounds must be closed, although persons living in recreational vehicles who have “no other viable place of residence” may continue to live at a campground. Wedding receptions may have no more than ten persons in attendance; however, weddings and funerals are not subject to that limitation.

Persons entering Ohio and intending to stay must self-quarantine for 14 days. (This does not apply to persons who live outside the state but travel to Ohio for work or to obtain essential services.) Persons who have tested positive for, are presumptively diagnosed with, or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are barred from entering Ohio unless they are (i) doing so pursuant to medical orders to receive medical care, (ii) being transported by an emergency medical service, (iii) driving or being driven directly to a medical provider for initial care, or (iv) a permanent resident of Ohio.

On the enforcement front, the Amended Order states that violations are punishable as second-degree misdemeanors. This was understood to be true under the initial order, but the Amended Order now specifically references the applicable provision of the Revised Code. The Amended Order again states local health departments may enforce the various restrictions, but now also provides that local departments are not required to “provide advisory opinions to nongovernmental entities.”

The Amended Order includes a procedure for resolving disputes about the application of terms. Under Section 23, where two or more local health departments issue conflicting determinations, a Dispute Resolution Committee appointed by the Department of Health shall review the conflict and “make a determination as to the application of this Order to the conflict.” That determination is final.

Earlier this week, one County Prosecutor filed an action to prohibit the continued operation of a business the local health department deemed non-essential and ordered closed – a store selling vaping supplies. This followed at least 37 other closure orders from one county health department for businesses such as car washes, a fitness center, a private playground, and a private college that were deemed non-essential. In addition, a number of individuals have been charged with criminal violations of public health restrictions, though typically in association with other offenses. And, after Governor DeWine was questioned during a recent press conference about a national hobby store chain that had quietly reopened its stores in Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost issued a cease and desist letter and the stores promptly closed. It appears that if Ohioans will not voluntarily comply with the Director of Health’s orders, compliance will be compelled through all necessary means.

Darrell A. Clay is a partner at Walter | Haverfield who focuses his practice on labor and employment and litigation. He can be reached at dclay@walterhav.com or at 216.928.2896.

Christina PeerMay 5, 2020 

School-building closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have Ohio districts preparing for a very different kind of student graduation this year. The Ohio Department of Education is urging all school districts to utilize alternative ideas for a commencement ceremony, as opposed to postponing the ceremony until later in the summer. The guidance is available here.

While in-person graduation ceremonies involving more than ten people are not permissible, districts are looking at various alternatives to offer a meaningful experience for graduating students and their families. Some districts are considering providing small, individual ceremonies for each student. To hold a ceremony of this type, the district must secure the approval of their local health department. Additionally, the number of individuals in attendance at the ceremony cannot exceed ten, and social distancing must be maintained.

Other districts are holding a virtual ceremony or a hybrid virtual/individual in-person ceremony.  All in-person components of a ceremony, including recording individual students for use in a larger virtual ceremony, must be approved by the local health department.  Districts utilizing a virtual ceremony in any way must still ensure that the ceremony is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Individuals with hearing impairments, visual impairments or other disabilities should be considered when planning in order to allow for an equal opportunity for involvement. Virtual graduation ceremonies are a district activity and must be accessible to individuals with disabilities – both students with disabilities and members of the public.

School districts should review the following when planning virtual graduation ceremonies in order to account for those with disabilities:

  • Virtually practice the ceremony well ahead of time in order to provide ample opportunity to address potential accessibility concerns.
  • Ensure that all audio, video, and images of the ceremony are accessible to individuals with disabilities whether they are broadcasted on television, prerecorded or posted online.
  • Implement sign language interpreters for those with hearing impairments, similar to live graduation ceremonies.
  • Determine how, through the use of assistive technology, the ceremony can be made accessible to those with visual impairments.
  • Have labels on web links for individuals who rely on screen readers.
  • Designate a contact person that individuals with disabilities can contact in advance of the ceremony for assistance with accessibility.
  • Urge individuals with special needs related to accessibility to contact the school district prior to the ceremony to discuss their needs.

It is recommended that districts reach out to families of students with known disabilities well in advance of the virtual ceremony to identify and discuss any accessibility concerns that they may have for their child.

If you have questions regarding graduation ceremonies, please reach out to a Walter | Haverfield education attorney.

Christina Peer is chair of the Education Law Group at Walter | Haverfield. She can be reached at cpeer@walterhav.com or at 216-928-2918.

Ben ChojnackiJames McWeenyJamie PricePeter Zawadski

 

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2020 

Walter | Haverfield is pleased to announce four attorneys – Ben Chojnacki, James McWeeney, Jamie Price and Peter Zawadski – have been elected to the firm’s partnership based on their professional achievements and continued dedication to client service. The additions bring Walter | Haverfield’s partnership to 51 members.

“We are proud to count Ben, James, Jamie and Peter as our partners and look forward to their continued participation in the expansion of the firm’s capabilities,” said Ralph Cascarilla, Walter | Haverfield’s Managing Partner. “They each possess the level of client commitment and passion for law that characterizes a successful, service-oriented practice.”

Chojnacki is a member of the firm’s Public Law, Litigation, and Sports Law groups. He counsels municipalities, public entities, and private corporations on all aspects of public law while maintaining a robust litigation practice that focuses on labor and employment, land use, eminent domain, tort defense, and constitutional disputes. Chojnacki rounds out his practice with a focus on matters unique to college athletics, Title IX, and electronic gaming (e-sports). Chojnacki graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2010, has been selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the past five years, and is a 2019 inductee into Ohio Wesleyan University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

McWeeney focuses his practice on education law, labor and employment, as well as litigation. He has considerable commercial and labor/employment litigation experience, and he has managed and assisted with several cases from the initial phases of discovery through trial. Before pursuing a career in law, James was a public school teacher. He taught fourth and fifth grades in the Mississippi Delta as a member of Teach For America. McWeeney graduated from University of Virginia School of Law in 2011 and has been included on the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the past two years.

Price is a litigator and trial lawyer whose practice focuses on representing clients in complex business disputes, trust and estate litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, and cases involving a variety of business torts and contract claims. Her experience includes all aspects of litigation ranging from preparation of pleadings, oversight of written discovery and document production as well as taking depositions, witness preparation, and first and second chair trial experience. Price graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2008. She is heavily involved with the regional Anti-Defamation League, serving on its board of directors and serving as a member on its National Civil Rights Committee. She is also a graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders, class of 2019.

Zawadski assists clients in resolving legal issues involving labor and employment matters, real estate valuation, contract disputes, employee and student due process challenges, policy drafting, and public records compliance. He defends employers in state and federal court and before administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, county boards of revision, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Office for Civil Rights, the State Employment Relations Board, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Before pursuing a career in law, he served as a social worker. Zawadski graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2008.

“The skill and talent that Ben, James, Jamie and Peter possess, both individually and collectively, demonstrate the strength of our firm,” added Cascarilla. “We look forward to building upon their success and the growth of our partnership for many years to come.”

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public law.

 

Venti-Now President, John Molander

May 5, 2020

A Cincinnati-based nonprofit corporation, Venti-Now™, has received FDA temporary Emergency Use Authorization to create a portable ventilator to meet the ventilator shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venti-Now™, a Walter | Haverfield client, created the Venti-Now Class II medical device unit in three weeks with professionals from Proctor & Gamble (P&G) as well as the University of Cincinnati’s Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, and its Biomedical Engineering program.

“We built and tested a breakthrough ventilator design which can be manufactured rapidly with very few components,” said John Molander, president of Venti-Now™ and retired Proctor & Gamble engineer. “We believe our product will make an immediate impact.”

“It is an honor to collaborate with and counsel the Venti-Now team to swiftly and effectively bring a life-saving product to market,” said Vince Nardone, a Walter | Haverfield partner who, among others within Waler | Haverfield, assisted Venti-Now™ with its business formation, licensures, trade-mark, and patent processes, and continues to assist with similar matters. “The Venti-Now team’s dedication and passion exemplifies the ingenuity of individuals to pull together and help others during times of need.”

The ventilator, which is light enough to be carried with one hand, is an electro-pneumatic ventilator for patients in the early stages of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It uses hospital compressed air to drive the unit and 110v to power it.

Venti-Now™ units will be sold at a fraction of the cost of devices currently on the market, and they have lower operation and maintenance costs. The team also aims to provide low-cost ventilators to regions of the world that cannot afford multi-modal ventilators.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become one of the top ten Cleveland-based law firms. Today, our team of nearly 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public law.

Darrell Clay

*On April 28, 2020 Governor DeWine changed his stance from mandating face coverings to recommending face coverings for employees, clients and customers.

April 27, 2020 

 At a press conference on April 27, 2020, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine announced plans for non-essential Ohio businesses to begin reopening in the wake of closings prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Governor DeWine indicated this decision was based on data showing that the various “stay at home” orders and other measures apparently had successfully blunted the potential for an overwhelming impact on the state’s health care system.

The plan, known as “Responsible Restart Ohio,” which is detailed below, consists of a phased resumption of various business segments, combined with a variety of measures intended to combat the potential for further disease transmission. The plan was designed to continue protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families; support community efforts to control the spread of coronavirus; and lead responsibly in getting Ohio back to work.

May 1, 2020

Elective surgical procedures not involving an overnight stay can resume. Also on that day, dentists and veterinarians can begin providing services.

May 4, 2020

Businesses involved in manufacturing, distribution, and construction can return to work. So too can businesses described as “general office environments.”

May 12, 2020

Consumer, retail, and service business can re-commence operations.

Some business are still not authorized to re-open. These include:

  • K-12 schools
  • Child day care facilities
  • Restaurants and bars (carry-out and delivery are still permitted)
  • Hair salons and beauty businesses (including massage therapy)
  • Certain adult day care/support services
  • Entertainment, recreation, and gymnasiums
  • Places of public amusement, including all parades, fairs, festivals, and carnivals
  • Country clubs and social clubs
  • Gambling facilities
  • Swimming pools (other than those serving a single house)
  • Campgrounds and RV parks
  • Aquariums, zoos, and museums
  • Auditoriums, stadiums, and arenas

Also, certain provisions of the prior “stay at home” orders remain in effect, including a continued prohibition on mass gatherings of ten or more people. No decision has been made regarding whether summer camps for school-age children can open.

As part of the phased reopening, safe business practices must be followed. All businesses must require face coverings for employees and customers/clients at all times – “No mask, no work, no service, no exception” is the key phrase in the plan. Employees must undergo a daily health assessment intended to confirm fitness for duty, including taking their temperature, monitoring for fever, and watching for coughing or trouble breathing. Good hygiene must be maintained at all time, including hand washing, sanitizing, and appropriate social distancing. Workplaces must be cleaned and sanitized throughout the work day and at the end of the day or shift. Capacity must be limited at 50% of the fire code in order to promote social distancing. Appointments should be used where necessary to limit the potential for congestion.

Additional specific protocols apply based on the particular industry segment in which the employer is involved (complete guidance is available here). Most prominent is the requirement across all industries that a six-foot distance be maintained between individuals; where that is not possible, barriers must be installed. Manufacturers must change shift patterns to reduce the number of shifts, increase factory floor space, and provide for daily disinfection of desks and workspaces. In addition, it is recommended that employers provide a stipend to employees for private transportation to and from the workplace, apparently in an effort to reduce reliance on public transportation.

For general office businesses, employers must continue to allow employees to work from home “when possible,” reduce the sharing of work materials, and limit travel as much as possible. Businesses are encouraged to close employee cafeterias and other gathering spaces. No buffets are permitted in employee cafeterias. General office businesses are recommended to have at least three weeks of cleaning supplies on hand.

Retail businesses are recommended to provide floor markers that facilitate social distancing, use contact-free payment methods, and increase capacity for delivery and curb-side pickup. They are also required to install hand sanitizers at high-contact locations, and to clean high-touch items such as shopping carts after each use. High-contact surfaces must be cleaned hourly. Self-service food stations and product samples are prohibited.

If a COVID-19 infection is detected, five steps must be followed:

  • The business must report the infection to its local health district.
  • The business must help facilitate the local health district’s efforts to engage in contact tracing.
  • The shop/floor must be shut down for deep sanitization if possible.
  • A professional cleaning/sanitization must be completed.
  • The business must consult with the local health department regarding reopening.

Governor DeWine noted there was no requirement that individuals wear a face covering when leaving their home. However, he noted that “we recommend it.”

 

 

Darrell ClayApril 29, 2020 

Governor Mike DeWine has changed his stance on the mandatory mask requirement that was part of the original plan to restart the state’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mandate of “No mask, no work, no service, no exception,” first announced on April 27, 2020, is no more. According to Governor DeWine, that requirement proved offensive to many Ohioans. Therefore, while he recommends that citizens wear a mask or face covering to limit the potential spread of coronavirus, it will not be required. As of Tuesday morning, April 28, 2020, the recommended protocols posted on the “Responsible Restart Ohio” website changed to “Recommend face coverings for employees and clients/customers.”

The Ohio Department of Health further explained on its Twitter account: “Please understand, if you can wear a mask, you should. Wearing a mask helps to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

At the same time, retail employees will be required to wear masks. Shortly after the Governor ended his press conference on April 28th, the state’s website changed its recommended protocol once again. It now says: “Require face coverings for employees and recommend them for clients/customers at all times.” A press release from the Governor’s office elaborated that a face covering is not required when it contravenes the advice of a healthcare professional or industry best practices, or would violate federal or state laws or regulations.

The same press release commented that “individual business owners could still choose to develop a business policy requiring face coverings for customers to enter their facilities.”

The other “Responsible Protocols” that were previously announced remain in effect. Employers are to conduct daily health assessments to determine employee fitness for duty. Good hygiene must be maintained at all times, such as hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing. Workplaces must be sanitized during the work day and at the close of business or shifts. Social distancing is to be accomplished through establishing capacity at 50% of the fire code and, where appropriate, using appointments to limit congestion.

Separately, the Governor announced the formation of two working groups that will help devise recommendations for best practices designed to facilitate the reopening of dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and beauty salons.

Although Walter | Haverfield will continue to provide updates relating to Ohio’s post-pandemic business restart plan, that plan continues to change and your continued reference to Ohio’s coronavirus website for the latest guidance is strongly recommended. If you have questions, please reach out to us at questions@walterhav.com. We are happy to help.

Chambers USA, an affiliate of Chambers and Partners, the world’s leading ranking service of top lawyers and law firms, has selected Walter | Haverfield’s Real Estate Team to be ranked in its 2020 USA guide for Ohio. This is the first time the group has been recognized by Chambers, and Walter | Haverfield is honored to have received this recognition.

The positive client feedback that Chambers USA received about the Walter | Haverfield Real Estate team was the driving factor to achieving the ranking. Testimonials published by Chambers on its website state that the team is “a good group of lawyers,” who “really know what they are doing.”

Other factors that helped earn the team the ranking include the acquisition of the Cleveland-area real estate firm, Hurtuk & Daroff, as well as three Chambers-ranked Walter | Haverfield real estate lawyers: Charles Daroff, Ed Hurtuk and Irene MacDougall.

Additional client testimonials published on the Chambers’ website state that Charles Daroff is well-reputed for his strong capabilities in various elements of real estate transactional work. Ed Hurtuk comes recommended for his broad capabilities in commercial real estate and finance work, where he is described as “skilled and very strong.” Irene MacDougall is a “very good, technical practitioner” who has “incredible knowledge” in all aspects of real estate financing and development transactions.

Charles Daroff, Ed Hurtuk and Irene MacDougall are among five Walter | Haverfield attorneys recognized by Chambers USA in its 2020 guide for Ohio. The other two are Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner of Walter | Haverfield, and Mark Wallach, a partner at the firm. Cascarilla is recognized for litigation: white-collar crime and government investigations. Wallach is recognized for litigation: general commercial.

Walter | Haverfield’s Real Estate team has played an integral role in transforming Northeast Ohio by supporting more than $1.5 billion worth of regional development since 2013. The group represents a wide range of clients from Cleveland’s thriving theater and entertainment districts to the region’s industrial and distribution companies. It also represents leading retailers in leasing activities throughout North America as well as developers in the acquisition, redevelopment and financing of warehouses, offices and industrial buildings.

Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public organizations and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Today, our team of nearly 90 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation, public law and education.