Derek is co-chair of Hahn Loeser’s Appeals & Critical Motions Group and an Ohio State Bar Association Board Certified Specialist in appellate law. In his practice as a litigation attorney, he brings extensive trial and appellate experience in complex commercial litigation and real estate lawsuits, including class actions, employee-raiding cases, mass torts, toxic torts, and civil-rights lawsuits. For years, Derek has represented several of the largest U.S. real estate companies in numerous high-stakes lawsuits around the country.
Before joining the firm, Derek served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps and as a law clerk for the Honorable Arthur I. Harris of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio. As a judge advocate, Derek was twice awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for distinguished individual service.
At Hahn Loeser
Derek is one of the founders of the blog The Class-Action & Compliance Sentinel (www.realestateclassactions.com), which keeps real estate professionals apprised of new developments regarding class actions and compliance matters in their industry. He is also a founding member of the firm’s Real Estate Industry Services group.
Derek serves as a frequent volunteer in the civil pro bono program at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Derek and his wife have three children and live in Avon, Ohio.
- Obtained appellate reversal of order granting plaintiff’s motion for class certification in case involving allegedly improper practices for towing automobiles. Safi v. Central Parking System of Ohio, Inc., 45 N.E.3d 249 (Ohio Ct. App. 2015)
- Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment in RESPA case of national precedent, which invalidated long-standing HUD policy statement relating to affiliated-business arrangements. Carter v. Welles-Bowen, Inc., 736 F.3d 722 (6th Cir. 2013)
- Successfully defended on appeal summary-judgment order in favor of law firm relating to claims of alleged malpractice and RICO violations. Dottore v. Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, LLP, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 98861, 2014-Ohio-25
- In groundbreaking case, successfully recovered seven-figure class-action defense costs from title agency after jury trial in Texas federal court.
- Defeated class certification in two suits alleging that Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and Chicago Title Insurance Company had overcharged for title insurance policies in five different states.
- Obtained complete dismissal of class-action claims against multiple real estate entities in Michigan lawsuit alleging improper collection of local taxes.
- Successfully defended Ticor Title Insurance Company in a national class action seeking damages for alleged title insurance overcharges. Hazewood v. Found. Fin. Group, LLC, 551 F.3d 1223 (11th Cir. 2008)
- Represented ExxonMobil Corporation in multi-district litigation involving “MTBE,” a fuel additive, for a mandamus action and a collateral‑order appeal from the district court’s plan to conduct bellwether trials.
- Successfully defended on appeal €1.7 million judgment in favor of an Ohio software development company against a German company that breached a partnership agreement. Tharo Sys., Inc. v. cab Produkttechnik GmbH & Co. KG, 196 Fed. Appx. 366 (6th Cir. 2006)
Ohio State University, J.D., May 1998. Honors and activities: Staff Editor, Ohio State Law Journal, 1997-98; Cali Award for Pretrial Litigation, 1998; Judge Joseph M. Harter Memorial Award for Trial Practice, 1997
John Carroll University, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1995
American Bar Association: member
Cleveland Law Library Association: Board of directors
Federal Bar Association, Northern District of The Ohio Chapter: Board of directors and CLE Committee chairperson
Admitted to the Ohio Bar, 1998
Licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits and the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
Ohio Super Lawyers, 2014-17
“Ohio Rising Stars,” Ohio Super Lawyers, 2010-13
Distinguished Service Award, Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, American Bar Association, 2001
Achievement Medal, U.S. Navy & Marine Corps, June 2000 (For service on Aviano Trial Team)
Award for Trial Advocacy, New York Bar Association, December 1999