Steve Friedman is a first chair dispute lawyer with extensive experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation areas, including construction, financial services and defamation. He also has extensive experience representing Ohio political bodies in municipal and constitutional matters.

For over a decade, Steve has been recognized in Chambers USA for Construction Litigation and in The Best Lawyers in America for both Commercial Litigation and Construction Litigation. He also appears in The Legal 500 US and Benchmark: Litigation. He has been listed as an Ohio Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters and is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell.

Steve is a Master Bencher and the Treasurer of the John M. Manos American Inn of Court. He serves on the Board of America Scores Cleveland, an inner-city charity focused on soccer and poetry, and was a member of the charter class of the Cleveland Bridge Builders. From 1992-1994, Steve served as a judicial clerk for The Honorable Judge John M. Manos of the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Steve is one of the leading construction lawyers in the field of dispute resolution, with particular expertise litigating construction disputes in international arbitration and in domestic courts in the US. These disputes include defending and prosecuting claims on behalf of owners and contractors, including claims related to errors and omissions against design professionals.

For many years, Steve has been listed in Chambers USA for his work representing parties in complex construction disputes, and has received several accolades from Chambers.

In describing the firm’s construction dispute practice, Chambers has stated: “Steven Friedman is the standout name in this talented team. His reputation as a litigator, capable of handling complex, multistate construction disputes of all flavors, continues to grow.” Another edition of Chambers added: “Steven Friedman attracts recommendations as ‘an experienced and incredibly reasonable’ lawyer. He is described as professionally adroit and a ‘terrific representative for his clients.’”

Steve also has substantial experience advising and representing clients in defamation related matters. For the past 20+ years, he has been counsel to a local Cleveland television station. In addition to day-to-day first amendment advice, including story review, Steve has defended the station in numerous cases.

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Construction Disputes

  • Representing Horta Coslada Construcciones Metalicas, S.L. (Spain) in AAA-ICDR arbitration in defense of US$15 million claim related to New York City bridge renovation project. Obtained arbitration award in Horta’s favor after three-week hearing in New York.
  • Representing subsidiary of Gastoductos de Chihuahua (Mexico) in ICC arbitration against American contractor related to US$120 million pipeline project. Obtained favorable arbitration award after four-week hearing in Mexico City.
  • Representing First Solar (US) in ICC arbitration against Chilean parties related to the construction of a US$100 million solar plant project. Obtained favor arbitration award after one-week hearing in Santiago, Chile.
  • Acting as construction counsel for US operations of Valmet (fka Metso) (Finland) related to numerous projects, including construction of biomass power plants in Gainesville, Florida and Nacogdoches, Texas.
  • Obtaining jury verdict on behalf of an Ohio School District against contractor related to construction defects on new athletic fieldhouse.
  • Obtaining favorable settlement on behalf of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation pursuing errors and omissions claims against architect related to construction of luxury hotel.
  • Representing construction clients, including BP America; The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; the City of Elyria; and the Cleveland Browns Football Club.

Defamation Claims

  • Young v. Russ et al., 2007 Ohio 5214 – Obtained full defense verdict after two week jury trial; affirmed on appeal.
  • Salupo v. Fox, Inc. et al, 2004 Ohio 149 – Affirming motion to dismiss on defamation and invasion of privacy claims by local businessman.
  • K.P. Auto Parts v. WKYC, et al., Case No. 462089 – Obtained summary judgment on defamation claim by local business)
  • Ferreri, et al. v. WKYC, et al., Case No. 441803 – Obtained summary judgment on defamation and related tort claims filed by sitting Juvenile Court Judge against TV station.
  • Mr. Friedman also has represented numerous individuals, both as plaintiffs and defendants, in defamation related matters. Individual clients in this area include LeBron James, US Congressman James Renacci, and Dr. Bahman Guyuron.


  • University of Chicago, J.D., 1992
  • Oberlin College, B.A., 1989


  • Ohio, 1992


  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. of New York
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of Federal Claims
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2023-2024 for Commercial Litigation and Construction Litigation
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America 2021 Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Construction in Cleveland

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