William J. Novak

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Cleveland, OH

Novak LLP
 | 700 West St. Clair, Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: 216-781-8700
Fax: 216-781-9227
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2007, 2017 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1973
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Professional Liability: Plaintiff (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    A highly regarded civil trial lawyer, William J. Novak is the managing partner at Novak LLP. Based in Cleveland, he focuses his practice primarily on personal injury and wrongful death litigation, providing representation to clients throughout Ohio and other parts of the country. Admitted to practice in both Ohio and Kentucky, Mr. Novak is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Mr. Novak assists people who have been harmed by the negligence or recklessness of other persons or entities. A large portion of his caseload in this regard consists of birth injuries, surgical errors, and other types of medical malpractice. Mr. Novak's personal injury experience has also included motor vehicle and railroad accidents, premises liability, defective products, and animal bites, and his other cases have included toxic torts and professional malpractice.

    During his career, Mr. Novak has been able to obtain numerous sizable jury awards and negotiated settlements on behalf of his plaintiff clients, and this has led to his membership in the invitation-only Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He has received a great deal of other recognition from his colleagues as well, including an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a "Superb" peer review rating through Avvo. Mr. Novak has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.

    Majoring in economics, Mr. Novak attended Boston University and received a Bachelor of Science magna cum laude in 1971. Remaining on campus, he pursued his legal education at Boston University School of Law and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1973. A frequent lecturer to fellow attorneys on topics related to his practice area, Mr. Novak's professional memberships include the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys and the Cleveland Bar Association.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 50%Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice
    • 30%Personal Injury - General
    • 20%Professional Liability
    Focus Areas

    Wrongful Death


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2007, 2017 - 2021

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    About William Novak

    Admitted: 1973, Ohio

    Professional Webpage: http://novak-law.com/our-attorneys/william-j-novak/


    • Ohio Super Lawyer, 2007 – Present
    • AVVO Superb Highest Rating
    • Cleveland’s Best Lawyers
    • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Martindale Hubbell Preeminent AV Rated
    • Beta Gamma Sigma

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
    • Board of  Professional Conduct appointed by the Supreme Court, Member, 2010 – 2016
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1986
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1974
    • Ohio, 1973
    • Kentucky, 1994
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2010-2018 Bench Bar Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1998 - 2001 Trustee; Cleveland Bar Association Sustaining Member; Cleveland Bar Association Cleveland Bar Fellow; Cleveland Bar Association, 2000 - 2001 Standing Committee on Professionalism; Cleveland Bar Association, 2000 - 2001 Executive Committee for Bar Merger; Cleveland Bar Association, 2000 - 2002 Grievance Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 2000 - 2001 Fee Dispute Resolution Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1998 - 2001 Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1993 - 2006 Professional Ethics Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 2004 - 2007 Chairman, Lawyer Referral Oversight Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1987 - 1990 Judicial Selection Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 2001 - 2006 Judicial Selection Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1974 - 1988 Medical Legal Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, 1998 - 1999 Bar Journal Committee; Cleveland Bar Association, Litigation Section, 1989 - 1996; Trustee Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1982 - 1992; Trustee Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1997; Secretary, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1982 - 1994; Chairman, Common Pleas Court Committee, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1989 - 1993; Chairman, Court of Appeals Committee, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1989 - 1993; Chairman, Lawyer Referral Committee, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1988; Chairman, Tort Committee Medina County Bar Association; Ohio State Bar Association; American Bar Association; American Association for Justice; Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers; Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1985 President, Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers; 1984 Vice President, Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers;1983 Treasurer; Eighth District Judicial Conference Life Member; Eighth District Judicial Conference, 1992 Member, Litigation Committee; Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Director, Arabian Horse Association of Ohio, 1981 – 1983
    • Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee, Bath Township, 1994
    • Member, Board of Education, City of Maple Heights, 1976 – 1977
    • 2008-2016 Member of the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline; Member of the Gov.Bar Rule V. Committee

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Published Works: "Co-Counsel Fees: Are Referral Fees Permissible?", Cleveland Bar Journal, May, 1999; "Attorney Liens and Retaining Client Files", Cleveland Bar Journal, April, 1998; "Malpractice Insurance Disclosure Rule - Are You In Compliance?", Cleveland Bar Journal, January, 2002; "Liability for Inducing a Breach of the Patient/Physician Relationship", CATA News, Spring, 2002.Classes/Seminars Taught: Co-Chairman, Joint Symposium on Ethics and Professionalism, Cleveland Bar Association, 2001; Law Lecturer, Cleveland Bar Association, 1983; Law Lecturer, Cleveland Bar Association, 1998; Chairman, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, 1990 - 1991; Chairman, Greenbriar Seminar, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1991 - 1994; Chairman, Long Range Planning, Cuyahoga County Bar Association, 1990; Lecturer, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1993, 2003; Lecturer, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1999; Eighth District Judicial Conference, Lecturer, 1986.


    • Representative Cases: Halton v. Great Clips, Inc., 94 F. Supp. 2d 856; (2000) Scarso v. Cuyahoga County Dep't of Human Services, 747 F. Supp. 381; (1989) In re Suburban Motor Freight, 124 B.R. 984 (1990); Beard v. Meridia Huron Hosp., 106 Ohio St. 3d 237 (2005); Butler v. Jordan, 92 Ohio St. 3d 354 (2001); Koch v. Rist, 89, Ohio St. 3d 250 (2000); Petratos v. Markakis, 69 Ohio St. 3d 1219 (1994); Smith v. 10th Inning, Inc., 49 Ohio St. 3d 289 (1989); Cuyahoga County Bar Asso. v. Gerstenslager, 45 Ohio St. 3d 88 (1989); Oney v. Allen, 39 Ohio St. 3d 103 (1988); Johnson v. New London, 36 Ohio St. 3d 60 (1988); Marrek v. Cleveland Metroparks Bd. Of Comm'rs, 9 Ohio St. 3d 194 (1984); Levin v. Hardwig, 60 Ohi St. 2d 81 (1979); Moats v. Metropolitan Bank of Lima, 40 Ohio St. 2d 47 (1974); Smalley v. Friedman et.al., 172 Ohio App. 3d 108 (2007); Schneider, Smeltz, Raney & Lafond v. Kedia, 154 Ohio App. 3d 1117 (2003); Mentor Chiropractic Ctr. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 139 Ohio App. 3d 407 (2000); Braxton-Fountain v. University Hosps., 133 Ohio App. 3d 323 (1999); Brown v. McDonald's Corp., 101 Ohio App. 3d 294 (1995); Petratos v. Markakis, 92 Ohio App. 3d 626 (1993) Gray v. Jefferson Geriatric & Rehabilitation Center, 76 Ohio App. 3d 499 (1991); Kontos v. Luxmore, 65 Ohio App. 3d 148 (1989); Saultz v. Funk, 64 Ohio App. 2d 29 (1979); Shapiro v. Burkons, 62 Ohio App. 2d 73 (1979)

    Educational Background:

    • Education: Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, 1973 J.D.; Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 1971 B.S. Honors: Magna Cum Laude Honors: Beta Gamma Sigma Major:  Economics
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    Office Location for William J. Novak

    700 West St. Clair
    Cleveland, OH 44113

    Phone: 216-781-8700

    Fax: 216-781-9227

    William J. Novak:

    Last Updated: 7/2/2020

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