David F. Proaño

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7834
F +1.216.696.0740

Described by clients as "very smart, meticulous, service-oriented," David is an advocate for his clients before regulatory agencies and courts.

— Crain's Cleveland Business

Overview

David Proaño represents clients in the utility and energy industries on regulatory compliance, commission investigations, retail energy contracts, commercial disputes, and business issues, and has years of experience with multiple facets of the retail energy industry. David routinely appears and practices before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on regulatory and litigated matters, and has served as lead defense counsel in several major PUCO investigations of certified retail energy suppliers. David also represents energy brokers and commercial and industrial energy consumers on regulatory and business issues, and serves as outside general counsel for a major energy broker. David combines candid advice, strong writing skills and powerful advocacy to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients.

David is also an advocate for his clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, bankruptcy courts, and arbitration panels. David has a proven track record representing clients on major matters involving a wide range of commercial disputes, including fraudulent financial transactions, electricity and energy contracts, steel supply contracts, tier 1 automotive supply contracts, property easements, insurance coverage, banking regulations, environmental liability, and professional misconduct. David has also defended large companies in class action lawsuits.

In addition to an active regulatory and litigation practice, David devotes considerable time and effort serving the Cleveland community and representing pro bono clients. He served as the president of the board of directors of Esperanza, a nonprofit organization that supports Hispanic educational achievement through scholarships and mentoring. David is also committed to the advancement of inclusion and diversity at BakerHostetler and in the legal profession, and to that end serves as the leader of BakerHostetler’s Hispanic/Latinx Affinity Group and also serves on the firm’s Diversity Council and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 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, served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, and is conversant in Spanish.

Select Experience

  • Successfully represented steel manufacturer in administrative trial before PUCO involving demand by a large electric utility company for millions of dollars in security on a commercial electricity supply contract. PUCO not only found in favor of the client, but mandated a review by the electricity utility of its policies and procedures.
  • Regulatory counsel to competitive retail electricity supplier in Ohio, with experience advising client on all aspects of retail electricity marketing and sales in the state and compliance with PUCO regulations.
  • Litigation counsel to large national energy company pursuing and defending environmental and administrative claims in different forums, including before Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission and state courts.
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Experience

  • Successfully represented steel manufacturer in administrative trial before PUCO involving demand by a large electric utility company for millions of dollars in security on a commercial electricity supply contract. PUCO not only found in favor of the client, but mandated a review by the electricity utility of its policies and procedures.
  • Regulatory counsel to competitive retail electricity supplier in Ohio, with experience advising client on all aspects of retail electricity marketing and sales in the state and compliance with PUCO regulations.
  • Litigation counsel to large national energy company pursuing and defending environmental and administrative claims in different forums, including before Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission and state courts.
  • Lead counsel for 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.
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 500 company in an appeal involving environmental cleanup claims and novel issues of state environmental laws.
  • 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 national insurance company facing class action claims, securing a complete dismissal of the class action allegations through proactive motion practice.

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

Pro Bono

  • Counsel to local non-profit seeking to advance Hispanic businesses and initiatives in the Cleveland community.

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