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Overview

Don has extensive experience litigating for employers before the Industrial Commission in different Ohio regions and has appeared before the full Industrial Commission on numerous occasions.

He is a jury trial veteran, appearing in common pleas courts in counties throughout Northern and Central Ohio. The issues in his trials have included whether or not a compensable injury occurred, different orthopedic conditions and occupational disease exposures.

As an appellate advocate, Don frequently has argued in the Ohio Supreme Court and various Ohio courts of appeals. Subjects of his appeal arguments have ranged from procedural issues differentiating injuries from occupational diseases to specific rules of workers’ compensation law, such as when motor vehicle accidents are compensable.

Don also has served as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases dealing with workers’ compensation.

Don has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (1995-2018) in the area of Workers' Compensation Law - Employers. He was named the Workers’ Compensation “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland for 2014 by Best LawyersHe has been selected for inclusion to Ohio Super Lawyers for Workers' Compensation (2004-2018) and has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. 

He was inducted as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in 2011.

Don’s clients include automobile dealers, bottlers, construction companies, equipment distributors, food producers, hospitality industries and various kinds of manufacturers.

He is a member of the American, Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations as well as the Cleveland Committee on Foreign Relations.

He is the Academic Advisor for the Ohio State Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Specialty Board.

An Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law since 1991, Don teaches the course in Workers’ Compensation Law and Theory.

Don has written extensively on Ohio workers’ compensation subjects, most recently on psychiatric/psychological allowances, substantial aggravation and utilizing private investigators. He has presented at national meetings of the American Bar Association, the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network and SEAK on topics such as medico-legal conceptualizations and psychiatrists versus psychologists. Don often has lectured at seminars sponsored by public and private organizations, including the Ohio State Bar Association.

Honors & Recognitions

Joan Gross ’76 Annual Fund Award, Case Western Reserve University School of Law Office of Alumni Relations & Development for extraordinary leadership, 2018

The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Fellow, 2011-present

The Best Lawyers in America©, Workers' Compensation Law - Employers, 1995-present

Best Lawyers, Workers’ Compensation “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland, 2014

Ohio Super Lawyers, Workers' Compensation, 2004-present

Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent rating 

Education

J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1986

Ph.D., in Political Science, Rutgers University, 1975

M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1971

B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1969

Experience

Experience

Ohio Supreme Court

  • State ex rel. M. Weingold & Co. v. Indus. Comm., et al., 97 Ohio St.3d 44, 2002.
  • State ex rel. Williams v. Colasurd, et al., 71 Ohio St.3d 642, 1995.
  • MTD Products, Inc. v. Robatin, et al., 61 Ohio St.3d 66, 1991.

Other Ohio Courts

  • Estate of Merrell v. M. Weingold & Co., 8th Dist. No. 88508, 2007-Ohio-370.
  • State ex rel. Benjamin Rose Inst. v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist. No. 04AP-1194, 2005-Ohio-4818.
  • State ex rel. Hicks v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist. No. 04AP-47, 2005-Ohio-3272.
  • Levchack v. American Spring Wire Corp., 8th Dist. No. 81417, 2003-Ohio-435.
  • State ex rel. Ignatious v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist. No. 01AP-982, 2002-Ohio-4014.
  • Hatfield v. Seville Centrifugal Bronze, 106 Ohio Misc.2d 10, No. 00-CIV-0040, Ohio Com.Pl., April 25, 2000.
  • Banks v. LTV Steel Co., 8th Dist. No. 66569, 100 Ohio App.3d 585, February 22, 1995.
  • Demko v. Administrator, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, 11th Dist. No. 93-P-0067, October 07, 1994.
  • Peterson v. Red Riding Hood Registry, Inc., 9th Dist. No. 15964, February 02, 1994.
  • Bevington v. Suburban-West Nurses Registry, 8th Dist. No. 54670, November 17, 1988.
  • State ex rel. Inn-Conn Health Care System, Inc. v. Lancaster, 10th Dist. No. 87AP-141, May 03, 1988.
  • Lengel v. Griswold, Inc., 8th Dist. No. 53054, November 25, 1987.

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

American Bar Association, member

Ohio Bar Association, member and Academic Advisor for the OSBA's Workers' Compensation Specialty Board

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member

Cleveland Committee on Foreign Relations, member

Case Western Reserve University School of Law, adjunct professor in Workers’ Compensation Law and Theory, 1991-present

Presentations & Publications

Presentations & Publications

Presentations

  • "End of Weekly Classes in Workers' Compensation Course," Case Western Reserve University School of Law, November 2018.
  • "Current Status of Voluntary Abandonment Doctrine," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Workers' Compensation Committee Seminar, July 2017.
  • “Course and Scope of Employment Defenses in the 21st Century: Will Telecommuting Destroy the Going and Coming Rule?” Self-Insurers Group of Ohio, April 2017.
  • “Telecommuting: The Going and Coming Rule in a Parallel Universe?” Akron Bar Association/University of Akron Law School, May 2016.
  • “Psychiatric/Psychological Allowances,” Calfee/Benefits 1 Seminar, October 2015.
  • “Psychological/Psychiatric Allowances in Workers’ Compensation,” Calfee Seminar, October 2014.
  • “Workers’ Compensation for Telecommuters: New Bottle for Old Wine?” American Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Committee Midwinter Seminar and Conference, March 2013.
  • “Employer Liability at the Centennial, Update on Workers’ Compensation and Related Issues” Benefits 1 Seminar, October 13, 2011.
  • “Tips for Surviving The Alternate Universe of Cleveland Hearing Room 8 (and Similar Worlds),” Benefits 1 Group, May 2011.
  • “Manifestations of the Coming and Going Rule,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Committee, January 2011.
  • “Non-Workers’ Compensation Considerations in Workers’ Compensation Settlements,” National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network, June 2008.
  • “Medical Clues to Legal Concepts in Workers’ Compensation Cases” SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference, July 2007. (Different versions presented to Northeast Ohio Medical Directors Association, Northeast Ohio Case Management Network.)
  • “Employee Misconduct Defenses,” Calfee Seminar, January 2006.
  • “What’s New? Cases With Potential Day to Day Impact,” CareWorks, Dublin, Ohio, March 2005.
  • “Other Peoples’ Money’: Settlement Strategies in Multi-Issue Cases,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar, July 2003.
  • “Intentional Tort Twists and Turns,” Calfee Seminar, August 2002.
  • “When Is Injured Worker Misconduct a Defense to Temporary Total Compensation?” March 2002.
  • “Practical Effects of New Employer Liability Court Decisions,” Lorman Education Services Workers’ Compensation Seminar, November 2001.

Publications

  • “Ohio Supreme Court Limits Voluntary Abandonment Doctrine In Positive Drug Test Cases,” Calfee First Alert, February 2017.
  • “Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals Rebukes Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Group Rating Decision,” Calfee First Alert, May 2014.
  • “Validation vs. Causation: Ohio’s New Standard for Additional Psychological Allowances in Workers’ Compensation,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Journal, May 2014.
  • “A Form 1099 Does Not Create an Independent Contractor,” Independent Dealer, a publication of the Ohio Independent Auto Dealers Association, January 2013.
  • “Ohio Workers’ Compensation Centennial: An Auspicious Birthday,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, June 2012.
  • “Then and Now: One Hundred Years of Workers’ Compensation Jurisprudence,” American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, April 2011.
  • “The Kaminski Decision and Employment Intentional Torts: The End of the Saga?” Calfee Update, March 2010.
  • “Ohio BWC’s Last Minute Rate Reform,” Calfee Update, April 2009.
  • “Litigating Abatement of a Substantially Aggravated Condition: ‘The Evans/Felty Asymmetry’ Resurrected,” Workers’ Compensation Journal of Ohio, January/February 2009.
  • “Is Retrospective Rating Returning to Fashion?” (with Darlene Evans McCoy, Esq.), Workers’ Compensation Journal of Ohio, September/October 2006.
  • “The Use of Private Investigators and Ohio Law: ‘Investigating the Detective,’” Workers’ Compensation Journal of Ohio, July/August 2006. (Different version presented to National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network).
  • “Coolidge: Complications and Consequences,” Calfee First Alert, May 2004.
  • “Employee Kills Co-Worker, Gets Comp Benefits,” Calfee First Alert, February 2001.
  • “Oops! Where Does the Employer’s Premises End for Employee Slips and Falls,” November 2000.
  • “Are Injuries to Employees at Company Recreational Activities Compensable?” May 2000.

News & Events

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Licensed In

  • Ohio 

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
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