Dennis R. Lansdowne has been with the Spangenberg firm since 1985 and has been a partner since 1990. During that time he has represented individuals in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases as well as large corporations. "My background and training have allowed me to pursue cases for both people and businesses that have suffered harm. It is an interesting and exciting practice."
Dennis graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert B. Krupansky at both the Northern District of Ohio and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. "Working in both the trial and appellate courts gave me a unique opportunity to see the litigation process and I was fortunate to observe many fine lawyers from Ohio and other parts of the country. I knew I wanted to devote myself to that process and practice at the highest level."
Pursuing Justice for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Dennis has represented hundreds of people who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one because of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, nursing home, or another healthcare worker. He is well-known for being able to make complex medicine easy for a jury to understand.
The National Institute of Medicine has estimated that 280,000 Americans are killed in hospitals because of negligence every year.
That is four times the number killed in automobile crashes. The vast majority of these deaths do not result in a lawsuit, many times because the families aren't aware that negligence has occurred. "The sad fact is, we don't have too many malpractice lawsuits. We have too few." Dennis's passion about medical negligence led him to create and teach a course on the subject for several years at his alma mater, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
He has remained involved with the law school and is a past president of the alumni association and a current member of the school's advisory council for the health law and policy center. He has also had the distinguished honor of being the recipient of the 2013 Alumnus of the Year Award given by Cleveland-Marshall College of law for outstanding professional achievement, leadership and service to the community.
Insurance Companies- An Industry in Need of Reform
When an insured pays premiums, sometimes year after year, they expect the coverage they paid for. Too often the claim is met with delay and denial. Dennis has represented insureds, from individuals to large corporations, in order to force the insurance company to honor its promises. All of the insurance cases handled by the Spangenberg firm are done on a contingency fee basis. "The contingency fee is attractive for individual clients, but we have found that businesses can also benefit from this type of fee arrangement."
- 1985-Present: Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, Partner
- 1983-1985: Jones Day, Reavis & Pogue, Associate
- 1980-1983: Honorable Robert B. Krupansky, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Law Clerk
- 1981: Cleveland Marshall College of Law, J.D.
- 1977: Cleveland State University, B.A.
- Ohio Supreme Court
- Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- 1985-1991: Member of the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Section, Cleveland Bar Association
- 1989-1990: Chairman of the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Section, Cleveland Bar Association
- Beck Center for Arts, Board of Directors
- Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys, Past President
- Cleveland Bar Association, Vice Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee/Chair of the Nominating Committee
- Cleveland Marshall College of Law (Medical Malpractice), Adjunct Faculty
- Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association, Past President
- Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Executive Committee
- Committee on the Homeless, former co-Chairman
- Founder of the Cleveland Aids Project ("CAP")
- A frequent lecturer at local and national legal education seminars
- Practice and Procedure Clinic, former Chairman
- American Association for Justice
- American Bar Association
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Eighth District of Ohio Judicial Conference, Life Member
- International Society of Barristers, Fellow
- Ohio Association for Justice
- Ohio State Bar Association
- The Court of Nisi Prius
- U.S. Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member
- William K. Thomas Inns of Court, Mester
- 2019: Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys – Plaintiff Attorney’s Guide to (or away from) Mediation
- 2018:Cleveland Marshall College of Law – Trial Advocacy, Cross Examination
- 2018:Ohio Association of Justice – Expert Witnesses, Selection, Protection and Rejection
- 2018:American College of Trial Attorneys, Direct Examination and Opening Statement
- 2017: American College of Trial Lawyers: Direct Examination and Closing Arguments
- 2016: Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Litigation Institute, “Direct Examination.”
- 2015: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law - “Contagion: A Conversation about Using Public Health Laws to Prevent the Spread of Infectious Diseases,” Panelist.
- 2014: The Don Keenan Reptile Superstars Seminar - The theory of Primacy and Recency and Reptile approaches to final argument, Lecturer.
Awards and Honors
- 2021: Best Lawyers® 2021, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.
- 2017: “Best Lawyers in America” Award, Medical Malpractice-Plaintiffs, and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs
- 2004-2019: Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers, Medical Malpractice - Plaintiffs
- 2016: Best Lawyer’s “Lawyer of the Year” Award, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
- 2013: “Alumnus of the Year” Award, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
- 2012: Best Lawyer’s “Lawyer of the Year” Award, Personal Injury Litigation
- Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”
- Ohio’s “Super Lawyers,” Thomson Reuters and Cincinnati Magazine
- Ohio’s “Leading Lawyers,” Inside Business Magazine
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Ohio,” American Trial Lawyers Association
- 2007 to 2019: Best Lawyers in America
- 2018: Cleveland Marshall College of Law Hall of Fame
- $8,200,000 Verdict – Medical Malpractice
- Verdict for a man who spent 10 hours in the Emergency Room before it was recognized that he had spinal cord compression. He is a permanent paraplegic as a result of the delay.
- $5,000,000 Verdict – Consumer Protection
- Class action settlement for consumers who did not receive full refunds from a national retailer.
- $4,500,000 Verdict – Medical Malpractice
- Settlement for a woman whose signs and symptoms of heart block were ignored leading to arrest. She suffered permanent brain damage.
- $3,500,000 Verdict – Campus Safety
- Settlement for a young woman attacked by her boyfriend at a fraternity party. Woman developed arteriovenous fistula and was rendered incomplete quadriplegic.
- $3,000,000 Verdict – Medical Malpractice
- Verdict for man rendered partial paraplegic following a spinal injection for pain. The man was not a good candidate for the surgery, was not given informal consent and appropriate safety problems were not used.
- $2,530,000 Verdict – Sports Safety
- Settlement for a high school swimmer rendered quadriplegic diving from too high starting blocks into too shallow water.
- Confidential Settlement – Food Safety
- Settlement for a man who contracted botulism after eating tainted chili sauce. Temporary paralysis.
Outside the Courtroom
Dennis and his wife, Kim, have four children. They are members of the St. Colman parish on Cleveland's near west side.
In addition to his work with Cleveland-Marshall and other law-related organizations, Dennis is on the Board of Directors for the Beck Center for the Arts. Beck Center is one of the largest arts education and performance institutions in Northeast Ohio, offering professional theatre productions, gallery exhibits, and a variety of classes for children and adults.Dennis sits currently on the Board of the Cleveland Ballet. He is a founding supporter of the North East Ohio Collaborative to End Human Trafficking.