Rick Taft provides general business counsel to entrepreneurs and their new enterprises and to established privately-held businesses and their owners. He specializes in aircraft transactions, fractional aircraft ownership and other aviation-related matters, but is comfortable in all areas of business.
Rick has expertise in contract negotiation and settlement of disputes, particularly in complex and emotionally-charged settings. He moves easily between pragmatism and theory. He views integrity as a sine qua non. He likes challenges that require imagination, resourcefulness, a sense of humor, a good personal gyroscope and tolerance of a wide range of personalities (for which the sense of humor is essential).
Rick has studied negotiation theory and published “Negotiator's Toolbox” in the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution (1998). He worked as an Ohio Assistant Attorney General (1972-1973), taught as an adjunct instructor at Case Western Reserve University Law School (1973) and served as Chairman of the Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section of the Cleveland Bar Association (1987-1988).
Mr. Taft is active in local politics and has a special interest in how difficult public questions are debated. He has served as President of the City Club of Cleveland (a free speech forum now in its centennial year) and of the foundation that holds its endowment; Rick was inducted into the Club’s Hall of Fame in 2004. He is presently in his fourth term as a City Council member in Pepper Pike, a Cleveland suburb, and in 2010 ran for a seat on the newly created Cuyahoga County Council. His interest in policy analysis led him to publish two editions of Taft Strategic Atlas – US Health Care Reform in the early 1990’s and to develop Ideaspace software, an inquiry-structuring program. He is currently working on a book on the relationship between politics and science.
Rick’s wife, Susan, is an Associate Professor at Kent State University who teaches nursing and management. They profoundly enjoy their two children and three grandchildren and many other members of a far-flung but close-knit family. Rick loves travel and photography. He is an avid squash player, nationally ranked in his age group.
Rick graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy as valedictorian and from Yale College magna cum laude. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1971. He has an AV® Preeminent™ rating (the highest attainable) from Martindale-Hubbell. He served as President of Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell from 2005 to 2007.
- Ohio (1972)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Yale University, J.D. (1971)
- Yale University, B.A. (1967)
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Awards and Professional Recognition
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™
- Cleveland’s Top Rated Lawyers 2012