Richard D. Sweebe

Retired Partner

Richard D. Sweebe

Retired Partner


Practices:

Chair of the Insurance Coverage Group, Rich offers clients more than 30 years of experience in first-party insurance defense litigation. His practice includes matters of coverage disputes, coverage opinions, extra-contractual/bad faith punitive damage claims and fraudulent arson and theft claims. He has broad experience in analyzing issues and formulating strategies for good-faith claim handling and for conducting investigations of coverage issues and suspected fraudulent claims. When litigation is necessary, Rich is highly skilled in fire and property damage litigation, and seamlessly executes the addressing of investigative strategies as well as conducting jury trials throughout Ohio in both state and federal courts. He has achieved the highest ranking, AV Preeminent®, from Martindale-Hubbell®.

Education & Admissions

Education

  • Kent State University

    (B.A., cum laude, 1975)

  • University of Akron School of Law

    (J.D., 1979)

Admissions

  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Experience

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Extensive experience since 1982 concentrated in the defense of first-party property insurance litigation, including coverage disputes, fraud of arson and theft, coverage/contractual claims and extra-contractual/bad faith punitive damage claims.
  • Defends insurers in coverage disputes of property loss claims involving mold damage, fire damage, wind and hail loss, water loss, structural failure, and property loss valuation.
  • Broad experience in analyzing issues and formulating strategies for good-faith claim handling and for conducting investigations of coverage issues and of suspected fraudulent claims.
  • Extensive jury trial experience throughout the State of Ohio in both state and federal courts.
  • Working relationship with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and fire service personnel throughout the State of Ohio.
  • Former assistant county prosecutor with specialized training in forensic evidence, economic crime and trial techniques, having received commendations for accomplishments in trials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Akron Fire Department and the Akron Police Department.
  • Explosives & Demolition School, NATO and United States Army, Vilsec, Germany, 1971.

Involvement

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who 2000 Edition (Life Member)
  • The National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (Charter Member, Past President, Past Board Member)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • The International and Ohio Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Serves as legal advisor to the Lake Ridge Academy High School Mock Trial Team (Ohio State Champions, 2008)

 

Honors

HONORS

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated – Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named one of Cleveland’s Top Rated Lawyers (2013)
  • Golden Gavel Award (2015; 2012)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law (2018)