William J. Novak

Managing Partner

Mr. Novak has often been referred to as “a lawyer’s lawyer” having tried more than 100 jury trials to a conclusion. He is known as a fierce and relentless cross-examiner and has served his clients well by obtaining significant settlements, which enabled them to put their lives back on track.

Throughout his career, this outstanding personal injury lawyer has received numerous honors and awards, published several works and taught classes and seminars to his peers. He was recognized by the Supreme Court of Ohio and appointed to three consecutive terms to the Board of Commissioners on Professional Conduct. This board is a 28-member commission whose duties are to issue final recommendations to the Supreme Court on formal disciplinary charges against lawyers and judges and act as a resource for upholding the legal profession’s highest principles so as to prevent ethical abuses and harm to Ohio citizens and its system of justice.

Mr. Novak is also one of the few lawyers in Ohio to win consecutive back-to-back plaintiffs’ verdicts in medical malpractice cases. His extensive list of reported cases is a testament to his desire to make and change law when necessary to assist his clients and improve Ohio’s legal system.

In Mr. Novak’s spare time, he is an avid golfer and equestrian. His horses have won numerous national titles and he continues to be very active in national associations.

Areas Of Practice

  • Class Actions — Plaintiff
  • Ethics
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Nursing Home
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Federal Trial Practice
  • State Appellate Practice
  • State Trial Practice
  • Personal Injury — Plaintiff
  • Animal Bites — Plaintiff
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Premises Liability — Plaintiff
  • Railroad Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Slip and Fall — Plaintiff
  • Wrongful Death — Plaintiff
  • Products Liability Law
  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals & Cosmetics
  • Machinery & Tools
  • Medical Products & Devices
  • Pharmaceutical Products
  • Professional Malpractice Law
  • Dental Malpractice
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Other Professionals Malpractice
  • Railroad Worker Injury/FELA
  • Toxic Torts

Litigation Percentage

90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1973
  • Kentucky, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985

Education

  • Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. – 1973
  • Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
    • B.S. magna cum laude – 1971
    • Honors: Beta Gamma Sigma
    • Major: Economics

Published Works

“Co-Counsel Fees: Are Referral Fees Permissible?”, Cleveland Bar Journal, May, 1999
“Attorney Liens and Retaining Client Files”, Cleveland Bar Journal, April, 1998
“Malpractice Insurance Disclosure Rule – Are You In Compliance?”, Cleveland Bar Journal, January, 2002
“Liability for Inducing a Breach of the Patient/Physician Relationship”, CATA News, Spring, 2002

Representative Cases

Classes/Seminars

Co-Chairman, Joint Symposium on Ethics and Professionalism, Cleveland Bar Association, 2001 – Present
Law Lecturer, Cleveland Bar Association, 1983 – Present
Law Lecturer, Cleveland Bar Association, 1998 – Present
Chairman, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, 1990 – 1991
Chairman, Greenbriar Seminar, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1991 – 1994
Chairman, Long Range Planning, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1990 – 2016
Lecturer, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1993 – Present
Lecturer, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1999 – Present
Eighth District Judicial Conference, Lecturer, 1986 – Present

Honors And Awards

Ohio Super Lawyer, 2007 – Present
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent AV Rated
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Cleveland’s Best Lawyers
AVVO Superb Highest Rating

Professional Associations And Memberships

Board of  Professional Conduct appointed by the Supreme Court, Member, 2010 Р2016
Cleveland Bar Association, Trustee, 1998 – 2001
Cleveland Bar Association, Sustaining Member
Cleveland Bar Association, Cleveland Bar Fellow
Cleveland Bar Association, Standing Committee on Professionalism, 2000 – 2001
Cleveland Bar Association, Executive Committee for Bar Merger, 2000 – 2001
Cleveland Bar Association, Grievance Committee, 2000 – 2002
Cleveland Bar Association, Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, 2000 – 2001
Cleveland Bar Association, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 1998 – 2001
Cleveland Bar Association, Professional Ethics Committee, 1993 – 2006
Cleveland Bar Association, Chairman, Lawyer Referral Oversight Committee, 2004 – 2007
Cleveland Bar Association, Judicial Selection Committee, 1987 – 1990
Cleveland Bar Association, Judicial Selection Committee, 2001 – 2006
Cleveland Bar Association, Medical Legal Committee, 1974 – 1988
Cleveland Bar Association, Bar Journal Committee, 1998 – 1999
Cleveland Bar Association, Litigation Section, Trustee, 1989 – 1996
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Bench-Bar Committee 2016
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Trustee, 1982 – 1992
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Secretary, 1997 – Present
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Chairman, Common Pleas Court Committee, 1982 – 1994
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Chairman, Court of Appeals Committee, 1989 – 1993
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Chairman, Lawyer Referral Committee, 1989 – 1993
Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Chairman, Tort Committee, 1988 – Present
Medina County Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
American Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers, President, 1985 – Present
Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers, Vice President, 1984 – Present
Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers, Treasurer, 1983 – Present
Eighth District Judicial Conference, Life Member
Eighth District Judicial Conference, Member, Litigation Committee, 1992 – Present
Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Past Employment Positions

Gallagher, Sharp, Fulton, Norman & Mollison, Associate, 1973 – 1974
Law Offices of Ellis Brannon, Associate, 1974 – 1978

Pro Bono Activities

Member, Board of Education, City of Maple Heights, 1976 – 1977
Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee, Bath Township, 1994
Director, Arabian Horse Association of Ohio, 1981 – 1983

Fraternities/Sororities

Beta Gamma Sigma