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John G. Farnan

Partner John Farnan serves as the firm’s General Counsel. His legal practice focuses primarily in the areas of insurance coverage, defense of directors’ and officers’ liability claims, personal injury, premises liability, professional liability, commercial litigation and appellate practice. John has a proven track record of trial success in a myriad of serious and complex cases, successfully defending law firms from malpractice claims and insurance companies in coverage disputes. Even so, he treats his clients’ resources like he would those of his own family business.

John is an AV Preeminent®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and is certified as a Specialist in Insurance Coverage Law by the Ohio State Bar Association. Since 2007, John has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage by Thomson Reuters. Previously, he was named an Ohio Super Lawyer in the category of Appellate Practice. Since 2011, John has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law and Personal Injury Litigation. More recently, John has been named Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 for Insurance Law and in 2024 for Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Away from the office, John enjoys spending time with his wife and six children and coaching CYO girls’ basketball. In his 25+ year basketball coaching career, John has been the head coach in eight 7th/8th grade girls’ basketball CYO city championship games, winning five, including three consecutive championships (2018, 2019 and 2020). He just started a new streak when his 8th grade girls team won the City Championship in 2022.

John G. Farnan - Lawyer of The Year Badge

John G. Farnan - Super Lawyers Badge

AV Preeminent Badge

Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist Badge


  • LaSalle College High School, Philadelphia, PA, 1980
  • Georgetown University, B.A., cum laude, 1984
  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 1987

Press, Publications and Presentations

2024 -
Insurance Coverage for Cyber Torts - Presentation - Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Insurance Coverage Seminar (April 12)
2021 -
Cross Examination at Deposition: Techniques for Young Lawyers - Presentation for the virtual FDCC Deposition Bootcamp (May 27)
2021 -
Gig Economy Commercial and Personal Lines Claims - Presentation - Ohio State Bar Association Quick Webcast (February 17, 2021)
2021 -
Insurance Coverage for Discrimination Claims - Presentation - Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Insurance Coverage (Virtual) Seminar (April 16)
2020 -
2020 Case Law & Legislative Developments Impacting Insurance from the COVID-19 Virus - Presentation at the OACTA Annual Meeting (November 2020)
2020 -
Business Interruption Coverage and the Coronavirus - Presentation for the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (April 2020)
2020 -
First Party Property Damage Coverage for ‘Business Interruption’ Claims - Debate Presentation at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Insurance Law Seminar (September 2020)
2020 -
Insurance Coverage for Claims Arising in the ‘Gig’ Economy” - Presented at the OACTA 2020 Virtual Insurance Coverage Seminar (August 2020) and Akron Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Law Seminar (September 2020)
2019 -
#MeToo! Coverage for Workplace Claims - Presentation for the Akron Bar Association and OACTA Insurance Coverage Seminar
2016 -
Beyond Our Borders: Emerging Trends and Arguments in Bad Faith Cases Outside of Ohio-June 2015-June 2016; Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
2015 -
Beyond Our Borders: Trends and Arguments in Bad Faith Cases Outside of Ohio - Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
2015 -
Splitting Files: Implications on Handling Liability and Coverage Claims: When Claims and Coverage Collide - Columbus Claims Association (2015); OACTA Insurance Coverage Seminar (2012); FDCC Conference (2011)
2014 -
Trying the Mixed Damages Coverage Case - Panelist , OACTA Annual Meeting, Columbus, OH
2013 -
Insurance Coverage for Claims Arising from the Use of the Internet or Other Electronic Media, OACTA Insurance Coverage Seminar, Columbus, OH
2008 -
Insurance Coverage for Ohio Construction Claims, OACTA Coverage Symposium and for various clients (2008-present)
2005 -
Tort Reform Overview - SB80, HB498, SB120, SB227, Cleveland Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
2004 -
Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage/UM Law, Where Are We Now?, OACTA 2004 Winter Conference
2003 -
Ohio UM/UIM Coverage, Cuyahoga County Bar Association
2003 -
Scott-Pontzer, Past, Present and Future, OACTA Insurance Coverage Symposium and Seminar
2001 -
Insurance Coverage for Y2K Claims; National Lawyers Association Convention
2001 -
Ohio Supreme Court Drops Another UM/UIM Bombshell; OACTA Quarterly Review, Volume 36, Issue No. 2, Spring 2001
1997 -
Recovery Under A Professional Malpractice Policy For Acts of Sexual Molestation; National Lawyers Association Quarterly Review, Winter 1997
1996 -
Is Your Per Person/Per Accident Policy Language Ambiguous?; National Lawyers Association Quarterly Review, Winter 1996
1988 -
Published Article: Analyzing Insurance Policies: An Analytical Framework; OACTA Quarterly Review, Volume 33, Issue No. 1, Winter 1998
Lectures to the National Business Institute on topics such as Legal Ethics and Ohio UM/UIM
Ohio UM/UIM Scott-Pontzer Case Law Seminars (Ohio, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh)
Presentation: Ohio UM/UIM presentation, Independent Association of Re-Insurers (New York City)

Representative Matters

Defended a commercial litigation law firm in a two-week legal malpractice trial, filed by a California entertainment lawyer, involving well-known music industry executives.

Tried a multi-million dollar insurance coverage case for an excess insurer arising out of a failed Florida real estate condominium venture.

Defended a yacht owner on a wrongful death claim arising out of a passenger’s drowning.

Defended insurers on coverage claims arising out of the fatal crash of a cargo plane and, later, five fatalities arising from the crash of a sight-seeing plane.

Prevailed in a quadriplegic coverage case, on coverage defenses, where damages were stipulated to be $3.75 million on top of $4.75 million already paid to the quadriplegic;

Prevailed on coverage issues in a case involving a severe brain injury to a six year old boy;

Professional Associations

American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (2016-2018)


National Lawyers Association

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys

Board of Directors (2006-2009)

Honors, Awards and Civic/Community Involvement

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rating
Certified Specialist in Insurance Coverage Law by the Ohio State Bar Association
Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in 2024 for Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 for Insurance Law
Best Lawyers in America® (2011-present) - Personal Injury Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law
Ohio Super Lawyer, Appellate (2004), Insurance Coverage (2007-present); Thomson Reuters
Member of the Year Award, OACTA 2002
Past President, Past Vice President, National Lawyers Association
Past President,Cleveland Lawyers for Life, Inc. (1992-2000)
Chairperson, OACTA Insurance Coverage Section (2004-2009)
President, Cleveland Lawyers For Life, Inc. (1992-2000)
Lector, St. Raphael's Catholic Church
Former Board Member, Greater Cleveland Right to Life, Inc. and Life Works Ohio

Bar Admissions

State of Ohio
United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Published Cases

Popovich v. Webster & Webster, L.L.P., 2014-Ohio-1825 (Eighth Appellate District)
Schill v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., (2014), 141 Ohio St. 382
G&K Mgmt. Servs. v. Owners Ins. Co., 2014-Ohio-5497 (Fifth Appellate District)
Bossin v. Groves, 2010-Ohio-664 (Eighth Appellate District)
Cedarview, Ltd. v. Colpetzer (N.D. Ohio 2008), Case No.: 5:05-CV-00782
Nice v. Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. (S.D. Ohio 2008), 619 F. Supp. 2d 487
Cincinnati Insurance Company v. G.L.H., Inc., 2008 Ohio 5028 (Sixth Appellate District)
Estate of Elena Ovchinnokova v. Skolsky (N.D. Ohio 2006), Case No.: 1:04 CV 1357, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9855
Harbor North, Inc. v. Great American AM Ins. Cos., 2006 Ohio 5623 (Sixth Appellate District)
Cincinnati Insurance Company v. Donzelli, 2006 Ohio 765 (Ninth Appellate District)
Becki v. Fresh Mark, Inc. (2005), 160 Ohio App.3d 109 (Seventh Appellate District)
Schaffer-Wong v. Knauf U.S.A. Polystrene, 2004 Ohio 1715 (Twelfth Appellate District)
Carpenter v. Western Reserve Group, 2004 Ohio 1673 (Eleventh Appellate District)
Gill v. Ley, 2003 Ohio 4472 (Third Appellate District)
McCullar v. Barth Industries, 2003 Ohio 4194 (Eighth Appellate District)
Neece v. Am. & Foreign Ins. Co., 2003 Ohio 6504 (First Appellate District)
Mason v. Am. & Foreign Ins. Co., 2003 Ohio 6843 (Fifth Appellate District)
Knox v. Travelers Ins. Co., 2002-Ohio-6958 (Tenth Appellate District)
Blankenship v. CRT Tree, 2002-Ohio-5354 (Eighth Appellate District)
International EPDM Rubber Roofing Systems, Inc. v. GRE Ins. Group, Ohio App., 2001 WL 477251 (Sixth Appellate District)
McGhee v. Dalton, 2001 Ohio 2570 (Fourth Appellate District)
GRE Ins. Group v. International EPDM Rubber Roofing Systems, Inc., Ohio App., 1999 WL 253044 (Sixth Appellate District)
Trojan v. Ro-Mai Industries, Inc., Ohio App., 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 3761 (Ninth Appellate District)
Bakos v. Insura Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., Ohio App., 1997 WL 537650 (Eighth Appellate District)
Woodbridge Insurance Company v. Vice, Seneca App. No. 13-97-32, 1997 Ohio App. LEXIS 5505 (Third Appellate District)
Fields v. Midwestern Indem. Co., Ohio App., 1996 WL 502144 (Eighth Appellate District)
Malone v. Howell Viggers Corp., Ohio App., 1996 WL 73388 (Ninth Appellate District)
Soltesz v. DiCamillo, Ohio App., 1996 WL 65871 (Eighth Appellate District)
Goodlin v. Greene, Ohio App., 1996 WL 39644 (Tenth Appellate District)
Goodlin v. Green (February 1, 1996), Franklin App. No. 95APE07949 (Tenth Appellate District)
Western Reserve Mut. Ins. Co. v. Campbell (1996), 111 Ohio App. 3d 537 (Ninth Appellate District)
Chubb Group of Ins. Companies v. Guyuron, Ohio App., 1995 WL 739618 (Eighth Appellate District)
Hunt v. Marksman Products (1995), 101 Ohio App.3d 760 (Ninth Appellate District)
Bahleda v. Greenville Corporation (September 30, 1992), Geauga App. No. 91-G-1639, 1992 Ohio App. LEXIS 5052 (Eleventh Appellate District)