David F. Proaño

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7834
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

David Proaño is a tireless advocate for his clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, bankruptcy courts, arbitration panels, and regulatory agencies. David approaches each matter with a deep commitment to the client's objectives. He combines candid advice, meticulous preparation, exceptional writing skills and powerful advocacy to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients. David has a proven track record representing clients on matters involving a wide range of commercial disputes, including fraudulent financial transactions, electricity and energy contracts, regulatory matters before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), steel supply contracts, tier 1 automotive supply contracts, lease agreements, property easements, insurance coverage, banking regulations, structured finance transactions, environmental liability, professional misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty.

In addition to an active trial and regulatory practice, David devotes considerable time and effort to serving the Cleveland community. He teaches classes as a Junior Achievement volunteer, provides pro bono legal advice at Legal Aid clinics and serves as a board member of Esperanza, a nonprofit organization that supports Hispanic educational achievement through scholarships and mentoring. Crain's Cleveland Business recognized David as one of its "Forty Under 40" for his professional accomplishments and community service. David was born in Quito, Ecuador, and he speaks fluent Spanish.

Select Experience

  • Lead counsel for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee of a $225 million financial fraud in more than 100 cases involving claims for actual and constructive fraud claims and contract claims seeking recoveries in the tens of millions of dollars. Was the lead attorney and negotiator in multiple trials, hearings and mediations and scores of settlements totaling millions of dollars.
  • Successfully represented a steel manufacturer in an administrative trial before PUCO involving a demand by an electricity supplier for millions of dollars in security on a large electricity supply contract. PUCO not only found in favor of the steel manufacturer, but went further and mandated a review by the electricity supplier of its policies.
  • Prosecuted administrative claims before PUCO against a thermal energy supplier on behalf of a large commercial property owner in a manner that resulted in a favorable settlement for the client.
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Experience

  • Lead counsel for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee of a $225 million financial fraud in more than 100 cases involving claims for actual and constructive fraud claims and contract claims seeking recoveries in the tens of millions of dollars. Was the lead attorney and negotiator in multiple trials, hearings and mediations and scores of settlements totaling millions of dollars.
  • Successfully represented a steel manufacturer in an administrative trial before PUCO involving a demand by an electricity supplier for millions of dollars in security on a large electricity supply contract. PUCO not only found in favor of the steel manufacturer, but went further and mandated a review by the electricity supplier of its policies.
  • Prosecuted administrative claims before PUCO against a thermal energy supplier on behalf of a large commercial property owner in a manner that resulted in a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Successfully represented a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee of a $225 million financial fraud in a bankruptcy court trial involving lease obligations and setoff claims for legal services.
  • Successfully tried a property dispute in state court through trial. Obtained declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of the client and defeated subsequent efforts to stay the judgment pending appeal.
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 500 company in an appeal involving environmental cleanup claims and novel issues of state environmental laws.
  • On a class action team that defeated class certification on claims involving automobile insurance policies through proactive motion practice using unique procedural tools leading to a de minimis settlement of the claims at issue.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Crain's Cleveland Business "Forty Under 40" (2015)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2013 to 2016)

News

News

Community

  • Esperanza, Inc.: Board Member
    • Nonprofit based in Cleveland that seeks to advance the educational goals of Hispanic youth through programs and scholarships.

Pro Bono

  • Teaches classes as a volunteer at Junior Achievement.
  • Volunteers at Legal Aid clinics to provide free legal advice to the needy.

Industries

Prior Positions

  • Peace Corps: Volunteer
    • Worked with rural farmers in the Dominican Republic prior to law school.

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2015
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2005
  • Ohio, 2005

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2004; Senior Editor, Harvard Environmental Law Review; Board of Justicia en Diversidad
  • B.S., Calvin College, 1998

Languages

  • Spanish