Professional Details

David A. Schaefer
Senior MediatorSenior MediatorSenior Mediator

McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA

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101 W Prospect Avenue
Suite 1800
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-916-8329 direct
Fax: 216-696-1210


Description of Practice

Engaged in the litigation of employment, construction, contract disputes, legal malpractice, premises liability, product liability, intellectual property and insurance coverage. In early years of practice, represented parties in many different types of cases, e.g. land swindles, car and house deals, and construction cases. Handles litigation involving covenants not to compete, alleged theft of trade secrets, nondisclosure, and confidentiality agreements. Experienced in numerous wrongful discharge cases involving allegations of age, race, or sex discrimination claims made under federal and Ohio statutes. Has lectured on wrongful discharge under Ohio law issues. Extensive experience in contract and general civil litigation. Construction law practice primarily involves representing owners/developers, some sub and specialty contractors and suppliers/manufacturers, involving private (commercial and residential) projects with a value of $50,000 to $10 million. Has lectured on arbitration and mediation of construction claims. Experienced in premises and product liability cases and legal malpractice claims.

Professional Background

Attorney - Employment, Construction, Contract Disputes, Product and Premises Liability, Legal Malpractice, Intellectual Property and Insurance Coverage; Partner, McCarthy Lebit Crystal & Liffman, 1993-present; Partner, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, 1984-93; Associate/Partner, Guren, Merritt, Feibel, Sogg & Cohen, 1974-84 Professional Licenses: Admitted to the Bar: Ohio, 1974; U.S. District Court, District of Ohio, 1974; U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court, 1978. Professional Associations: Manos Inn of Court (Cleveland Chapter, Founding Member); Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference (Life Member); Eighth District Judicial Conference (Life Member). Instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Author of books and articles on depositions, jury trials, evidence, business torts and civil procedure.


ADR Experience - Mediator Experience: Served as a mediator in numerous employment disputes, primarily involving claims of age and sex discrimination, numerous construction cases, together with breach of contract, including violations of covenants not to compete, covenants not to solicit customers, and covenants not to solicit employees. Mediations have involved many industries, including fast food, manufacturing, and sales. Has also served as a mediator in personal injury and wrongful death cases (in and outside the work place), product liability and insurance coverage, numerous construction cases, between sub-contractors and general contractors, general contractors and owners, and somewhat frequently between architects and owners. Served as a mediator in at least three cases involving product liability claims under the "economic loss" doctrine, together with its related theories. Also has served as a mediator in several legal malpractice actions. Experienced in the arbitration of construction, commercial contract, employment, consumer sales and securities disputes. Substantial experience in the arbitration of employment disputes including, but not limited to, wrongful discharge cases; race, gender, and age discrimination cases; the break-up of medical corporations and partnerships; and the break-up of law firms.


JD, Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, OH; MA, Economics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; BS (Cum Laude), Miami University, Oxford, OH


Dates    Trainer(s)    Title   
2013    Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association    The Tension Between Uniform Mediation Act and Rulli v Fan, et al. (1997), 79 Ohio St. 3d 374
2012- 2013    American Arbitration Association    What's A Respondent Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Confronting Arbitrability and Jurisdiction Issues in Arbitration; How Are Your (Negotiation) Table Manners?; Muscular Arbitration Series: Using Mediation Concurrent With Arbitration
2009-2011    American Arbitration Association    Confronting Arbitrability and Jurisdiction Issues in Arbitration; Managing Cases Involving Self-Represented Parties
2007-2008    American Arbitration Association    Arbitration Roadmap: The Standard for Efficient and Cost Effective Arbitration; Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards
2005-2006    American Arbitration Association    Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics; Dealing With Delay Tactics
2002    American Arbitration Association    Commercial Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues
2001    American Arbitration Association    Arbitrator Update 2001 Training
1999    American Arbitration Association    Commercial Arbitrator Training
1998    American Arbitration Association    Employment Arbitrator Training
1997    American Arbitration Association    Construction Arbitrator Training
1996    American Arbitration Association    Employment Law Orientation


Believes that a good mediator has to be more than a facilitator, i.e., he or she has to be thoroughly prepared and willing to communicate views and judgments as to the merits of the dispute, while maintaining neutrality. He/she has to also be willing to, tactfully, try to move parties away from their positions and, perhaps most importantly,to avoid an impasse. The goal of any mediation should be resolution of the dispute, although resolution does not always occur during the actual mediation. A mediation can still be considered successful if it brings the parties substantially closer together and provides ideas or suggestions as to how they might resolve the case amongst themselves and counsel. Expects the parties and their counsel to be well prepared, thoroughly conversant with the facts and the law applicable to the dispute, and to be prepared to negotiate toward a resolution.


$300 per hour.

Other Information

Member, American Arbitration Association (AAA)

Areas of Practice

  • Civil (general) (75 mediated)
  • Commercial (35 mediated)
  • Construction (50 mediated)
  • Contracts (50 mediated)
  • Copyright
  • Employment (20 mediated)
  • Foreclosure
  • Government
  • Insurance (3 mediated)
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor - Management (5 mediated)
  • Landlord - Tenant (4 mediated)
  • Legal Malpractice (5 mediated)
  • Patent
  • Personal Injury (5 mediated)
  • Sexual Harrassment (3 mediated)
  • Trademark

Professional Services

  • Mediator
  • Mediation Trainer
  • Representational Lawyer
  • Conflict Coach
  • Advanced Mediation Trainer
  • Communication Skills Trainer
  • Counselor
  • Mediator-Arbitrator
  • Mediation Consultant
  • Strategic Planning
  • Mediating Lawyer
  • Online Mediator
  • Fact-Finder

References available upon request.

This dispute resolution professional keeps professional liability insurance.