Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder, Co., L.P.A. (MRR), is proud to announce that Partner Frank Scialdone has been re-certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in Appellate Law. Every six years, a specialist must re-apply for certification in order to maintain this distinction. Frank was one of the first 11 attorneys certified as an appellate specialist by OSBA in 2008, and has remained certified for more than a decade. As of November 2019, there are only 23 appellate specialists in Ohio.
In order to become a Certified Specialist, Ohio attorneys must, in addition to fulfilling the standard requirements for practice before Ohio’s courts, meet additional criteria including:
- The demonstration of substantial and continuing involvement in a particular field of law;
- The submission of references from other lawyers attesting to their competency in the specialty area;
- Attendance at intermediate or advanced continuing legal education courses in the specialty area; and
- Passing a written examination in the specialty area.
A member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, Mr. Scialdone focuses his practice on appellate advocacy in state and federal courts with an emphasis on employment law, constitutional torts (Section 1983), public entity defense, and insurance defense. He has handled more than 300 appellate cases in the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio’s intermediate appellate district courts, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to his Ohio State Bar Association certification in Appellate Law, Mr. Scialdone also has an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He was named an Ohio “Super Lawyer” in Appellate Law by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine 2015-2020, and currently is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys.
MRR is pleased to announce that Kathleen M. Minahan has joined the firm’s Cleveland office, where she will focus her practice on Civil Rights & Government Liability, Employment & Labor, and General Liability defense. Ms. Minahan has extensive experience representing public and private entities in commercial and employment litigation, both at the trial court level and on appeal.
Prior to joining MRR, Kathleen served as Deputy General Counsel for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and Vice President, General Counsel, CAO and Secretary for LESCO, Inc.
By: Ryan Bockmuller & Michael Byrne
The United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has recently affirmed a decision from the federal District Court in the Southern District of Ohio which will serve to protect insurance professionals from stale claims arising from policies issued more than four years prior.
Under R.C. § 2305.09, professional negligence claims, including those against insurance professionals, are subject to a four-year statute of limitations. Statutes of limitation dictate the length of time a plaintiff has to file a claim against a defendant. If the applicable statute of limitations has run, or expired, before the suit is filed, the claim asserted will be barred.
Under Ohio law, the date the clock starts to run is normally the date of the defendant’s wrongful conduct. However, there are two exceptions which can toll, or delay, the running of the statute of limitations, namely, the delayed-damages rule and the discovery rule. The delayed-damage rule provides for tolling the statute of limitations, under certain circumstances, until the injury actually occurs and the plaintiff suffers actual harm. The discovery rule can toll the statutes of limitation for some claims until the injured party becomes aware, or should have been aware, that defendant’s conduct was the cause of their injury. In Whitman v. Tucker, No. 18-3532 (6th Cir. 2019), the court denied application of either exception.
The Whitman decision showcases two main applications of Ohio precedent in its analysis of the statute of limitations in professional negligence claims. First, the court applied the holding of Flagstar Bank, F.S.B. v. Airline Union’s Mort. Co., 947 N.E.2d 672 (2011), finding that the discovery rule does not apply in professional negligence cases. Recall that the discovery rule can toll the running of a statute of limitations until the injured party discovers (or should have discovered) their injury.
The court also applied LGR Realty, Inc. v. Frank & London Ins. Agency, 98 N.E.2d 241 (2018), finding that the statute of limitations for a negligence claim against an insurance agent begins to run when the insurance policy is issued. This is important because it establishes a firm, identifiable date which governs the statute of limitations for negligence actions filed against insurance professionals, preventing claims arising more than four years from the date the policy was issued.
Although not related to the statute of limitations analysis, it is worth noting that the court also applied Beard v. N.Y. Life Ins. & Annuity Corp., No. 12AP-977, 2013 WL 4678105 (Ohio Ct. App. Aug. 27, 2013), which held that only the individual who personally receives subpar advice or services may sue for professional negligence. In other words, the children, spouse, or representative of a decedent may not pursue a claim for professional negligence based on services or advice rendered to the decedent.
The Whitman decision is an important case for insurance professionals as it provides clarity and certainty to professional negligence cases and reinforces many industry-friendly applications of Ohio law.
MRR is pleased to announce that eight (8) lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America© list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.
MRR would like to congratulate the following lawyers named to the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list:
Elisabeth “Lisa” Gentile (Columbus), Medical Malpractice – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; and Transportation Law
Doug Holthus (Columbus), Commercial Litigation; and Insurance Law
Thomas S. Mazanec (Cleveland), Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
John T. McLandrich (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law
Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. (Cleveland), Transportation Law
George V. Pilat (Cleveland), Insurance Law
Stacy V. Pollock (Columbus), Education Law
Todd M. Raskin (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law – Lawyer of the Year