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 orthopaedic 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.
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. He is the Academic Advisor for the Ohio State Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Specialty Board. Don also has served as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases dealing with workers’ compensation.
Don has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years, designated an Ohio Super Lawyer and has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Don was named the Workers’ Compensation “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland for 2014 by Best Lawyers. 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.
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.
- “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.
- "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.
Professional Associations and Positions
- Case Western University School of Law, Adjunct Professor, Workers’ Compensation Law and Theory Course
- Ohio State Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Specialty Board, Academic Advisor
- American, Ohio, and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations
- Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, 2011
- The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-present
- Ohio Super Lawyer, 2004-present
In the Community
- Cleveland Committee on Foreign Relations
- Workers’ Compensation and OSHA
- Labor and Employment
- Labor and Employment Litigation
- Health Care
- Workers’ Compensation and OSHA Litigation
- Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1986
- Rutgers University, Ph.D., in Political Science, 1975
- University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1971
- University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1969
- State of Ohio
- U.S. District Court (Northern District of Ohio)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit