Compiled by Tess Congo

/ Cleveland's Best Lawyers 2017

IN THE HEADLINES

Bashein & Bashein Company: W. Craig Bashein (appellate practice; commercial litigation; insurance law; mass tort litigation / class actions – plaintiffs; medical malpractice law – plaintiffs; personal injury litigation – plaintiffs, 2014) filed suit in Lake County Common Pleas Court on behalf of two self-employed contractors who suffered severe injuries while working at a jobsite for Osborne Inc., who they are suing for negligence. Despite wearing protective suits while pouring a concrete slab under a crawl space, Nicholas Petro and Anthony Sajovic found that their legs were wet and burned beneath their protective clothes. They allege that Osborne employees failed to warn the workers of the dangers of the ready-mix cement that they were provided. Petro suffered extensive second-degree chemical burns to both lower legs that required excision and grafting and also got a MRSA infection, while Sajovic stated that he endured second- and third-degree chemical burns to both knees and lower legs that also required grafting. Alleging that they have permanent injuries that prevent them from working, Petro and Sajovic are seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.

Frantz Ward: Andrew J. Natale (construction law, 2006) was inducted into the Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Youth Organization’s Hall of Fame after being involved with the Catholic Youth Organization for 15 years as a seventh and eighth grade football coach at St. Rita’s Church.

Lowe Eklund Wakefield: James A. Lowe (personal injury litigation – plaintiffs; product liability litigation – plaintiffs, 1993) and Maryland attorney Robert C. Sanders have filed a complaint against Chesapeake Energy with the American Arbitration Association for unpaid oil and gas royalties on behalf of Ronald and Joetta Hale. The complaint alleges that Chesapeake Energy did not pay more than $9.8 million in royalties (including derivative revenue) to all leaseholders concerning oil and gas wells and natural gas liquids production. The Hales have two oil and gas leases with Chesapeake and, as the complaint posits, are due a portion of that $9.8 million. The complaint states that the company understated product sales and selling prices while deducting nondeductible costs. Chesapeake is also facing royalty lawsuits in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania.

McGlinchey Stafford: Richik Sarkar (commercial litigation, 2013) was selected to participate in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s 2017 Fellows Program, which devotes itself to promoting diversity by identifying, training, and promoting leaders in the legal profession.

ON THE MOVE

PRIVATE PRACTICE:

McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman: Charles I. Kampinski (personal injury litigation – plaintiffs, 1989) has joined the firm’s personal injury and wrongful death and litigation practice groups.

Tucker Ellis: Joseph P. Koncelik (environmental law, 2013) and Carl F. Muller (employment law – individuals; employment law – management; litigation – labor and employment, 2013) have been awarded partnership.

ITN FEATURE

Will Charges against 12 RNC Protestors Be Upheld?

Berkman, Gordon, Murray & DeVan: J. Michael Murray (criminal defense: white-collar; litigation – First Amendment, 1993) argues that police interrupted 12 protestors arrested during the Republican National Convention last summer while they were “exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech,” according to Cleveland.com. Murray is one of several attorneys representing the protestors.

Assistant city prosecutor James Hewitt, III, argued that the group was arrested after failing to disperse after a flag-burning demonstration was over and that the charges should be upheld. During the flag burning, protestors locked arms and formed a circle around Gregory “Joey” Johnson and Lisa Castanon while they burned an American flag.

During a video that Murray played in court, officers used a fire extinguisher on the f lag moments after it was set on fire. Police state that the fire had spread to Johnson’s pants, which Johnson denies. Johnson is one of America’s most well-known flag burners due to his arrest outside the 1984 RNC in Dallas, which led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that deemed flag burning a constitutionally protected right of free speech.

The charges against Johnson and Castanon were dropped earlier this month. Judge Charles L. Patton, Jr., heard the case regarding the other 12 protestors at the end of January and will decide whether the charges against them will also be dismissed.