Rick has represented municipalities, public officials and police officers in a broad range of civil rights litigation throughout Ohio.
Rick’s construction industry work includes the representation of owners, architects, general contractors, subcontractors and material-men in public and private construction projects, litigation and arbitration.
Rick also represents municipalities in class action municipal utility litigation and corporations in state, national, and international disputes in state and federal court and in proceedings before the International Court of Arbitration.
Outside of the firm, Rick served as secretary and trustee of The Edward and Betty Sloat Foundation and as a director and past President of The Cleveland Music School Settlement. He currently serves as Board Chair of ChamberFest Cleveland, the highly praised chamber music festival held annually in Cleveland.
He is an active member of the American, Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations and the ABA’s Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections and has served as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Industry Arbitration Panel.
Rick began his tenure with Calfee in 1979 and became a partner in 1987.
Honors & Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, 2020
Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star-Midwest, 2020
J.D., magna cum laude, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Order of the Coif, Law Review Research Editor, 1979
B.A., Oberlin College, 1974
- Rick and his Calfee litigation team successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of consolidated class action proceedings in which the plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $188,000,000 from a municipally owned electric utility. The plaintiffs asserted claims of unauthorized charges to customer bills, breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. The claims were asserted by four different law firms in three separate cases which were consolidated as a single class action. The trial court dismissed all claims in their entirety with prejudice after more than three years of litigation and held that no legal or factual basis existed to support any of the claims.
- Obtained $8.5 million award in the International Court of Arbitration in favor of manufacturer and supplier of concrete additives against largest manufacturer of concrete in Mexico.
- Following a three-week jury trial, obtained a $2 million judgment in favor of clients with awards of costs and attorney fees against all defendants, a declaratory judgment awarding client 100% ownership of disputed company stock, directed verdicts on defendants’ claims of tortious interference with business relations, defamation, and false light, and jury verdicts rejecting defendants’ claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
- Represented the owner and successfully negotiated with building trades counsel the Project Labor Agreements that governed more than $255 million of work for the construction of two of Ohio’s four casinos.
- Defense verdict in jury trial of age discrimination claims by multiple physician plaintiffs following reduction in force and hospital reorganization.
- Defense verdict in jury trial of wrongful arrest and excessive force claims by civil rights plaintiff in Northern District of Ohio against multiple police officers and municipality involving use of K-9 police dog.
- Summary judgment and recovery of attorney fees against multiple plaintiffs and their counsel in Northern District of Ohio on federal and state claims against public employer and officials of reverse sex and race discrimination, hostile work environment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
- Successful mediation of multi-million-dollar claims arising from construction of new high school building complex, resulting in payment of contractor client’s claims and damages and dismissal of all claims by owner.
- Successful jury trial defense against age discrimination claims by senior hospital staff professional.
- Successful negotiation of settlement and dismissal of intentional tort claims against structural steel erector employer by quadriplegic plaintiff injured in two-story fall at construction site.
- Representation of major public employer in sexual harassment investigation and termination of senior officer without litigation or compensation.
- Defense verdict in jury trial of alleged whistle-blower claims concerning nuclear power plant safety following involuntary termination of his employment.
- Defense verdict in jury trial in Northern District of Ohio against police officers and municipality on claims of race discrimination, wrongful arrest and excessive force.
- Summary judgment on federal civil rights claims arising from suicide by hanging by prisoner in municipal jail.
- Coordination of investigation and negotiated resolution of OSHA penalties initially imposed for fatality caused by disintegrating fly wheel in production facility.
- Successful defense and resolution of intentional tort claims arising from exposure to chemicals in workplace with allegedly resulting neurological injuries.
Professional & Community
Professional & Community
American Bar Association and the ABA’s Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections, member
American Arbitration Association’s Construction Industry Arbitration Panel, arbitrator
Ohio Bar Association, member
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member
The Edward and Betty Sloat Foundation, secretary and trustee
The Cleveland Music School Settlement, director and past president
ChamberFest Cleveland, board chair and trustee
News & Events
- Fifty-three Calfee, Halter & Griswold Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 202008.15.2019
- The Sixth Circuit Supports NLRB’s Position That Class Action Waivers Are Illegal - Battle Now Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court06.14.2017
- Changing the Way Employers Screen Applicants for Criminal History: EEOC Guidance and Ban the Box Laws05.31.2017
- New Law Restricts Employers’ Ability to Litigate Outside of California or Use Non-California Choice-of-Law Provisions in Employment Agreements11.22.2016
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court