Dedicated To Excellence In Criminal Defense

Significant Cases

Assuring meaningful review in criminal cases. Mr. Garver’s recent success in the Supreme Court of Ohio resulted in a precedent-setting decision which assures meaningful appellate review of sentences in criminal cases involving multiple charges arising out of same occurrence. State v. Williams, 134 Ohio St. 3d 482, 2012 Ohio 5699.

Protecting a teenager who rightfully challenged sheriff’s deputies. Mr. Garver vindicated 17-year old boy in the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh Appellate District, and in the Supreme Court of Ohio. His client had been adjudged a delinquent child based upon a charge of felonious assault. Mr. Garver’s client had pointed a loaded shotgun at two sheriff’s deputies when they mistakenly approached his house in rural Geuaga County in the middle of the night while responding to a broadcast of a disturbance at a different address. Mr. Garver successfully maintained that his client’s actions were justified under the law of self-defense. The adjudication of delinquency was vacated and set aside. In re Sekulich, 65 Ohio St. 2d13, 417 N.E. 2d 1014 (1981).

Vindication for a client who was wrongfully accused. Mr. Garver successfully appealed summary judgment in favor of a detective in an action for malicious prosecution. The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District, upheld the right of a person arrested without probable cause to sue a public official for instituting a criminal prosecution under certain circumstances. The underlying case was settled shortly after the Court of Appeals issued its ruling. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Haas v. City of Chagrin Falls, 8th Dist. Case No. 79659, 2002 Ohio 585.

Relief from excessive sentence in criminal case. Mr. Garver successfully attacked a 33-year sentence imposed after the defendant  had been convicted of aggravated robbery. In a rare rebuke to the lower court, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District, found the sentence to be an “abuse of discretion.” State v. Moore, 2012 Ohio 1958; 970 N.E.2d 1098, discretionary appeal not allowed,133 Ohio St. 3d 1413, 2012 Ohio 4650, 975 N.E.2d 1030.

Relief for client shackled with lifetime spousal support order. Mr. Garver successfully challenged award of life-time spousal support with post-decree motion filed in the divorce case.

“Hat Trick.” In ice hockey, they call it a “hat trick” when a player scores three goals in one game. If that term were to be applied to legal services, Mr. Garver would have to be credited with a “hat trick” for his representation of Dorothy, a young woman who sought his assistance at a time of great crisis in her life. After experiencing years of abuse, Dorothy shot and killed her common law husband in self-defense. Mr. Garver achieved the following results for Dorothy: (i) dismissal of the homicide charges; (ii) settlement of her claim for the proceeds of his life insurance policy; and (iii) an award of social security benefits for her minor child due to the death of his father.

Overzealous prosecutor smacked down at trial and on appeal. Mr. Garver represented a  motorist wrongfully charged with failure to move over for a public safety vehicle and reckless operation of a motor vehicle on a highway. Client was in the wrong place at the wrong time as he was overtaken on the highway by several police cars involved in a high speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle. Mr. Garver used subpoenas to obtain dash cam video from two police departments involved in the chase. At trial, his client prevailed on reckless operation charge. Mr. Garver then successfully appealed the conviction for failure to move over, handing his client the complete victory he was entitled to and the complete defeat the prosecutor so richly deserved. The Court of Appeals unanimously found that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for failure to move over and rejected the prosecutor’s motion for reconsideration.  City of Rocky River v. Scott Zorc, Rocky River Municipal Court, Case No. 16 TRD 03871, Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District, Case No. CA-17-105596.

Over-the-road truck driver charged with vehicular homicide, 2 counts of vehicular manslaughter, and failure to control retains his commercial driver’s license. Client struck two men changing a tire on a disabled truck parked on the berm of the highway, killing one man and seriously injuring the other. After extensive pre-trial litigation, Mr. Garver worked out a plea agreement under which his client plead no contest to a new charge of negligent homicide unrelated to the operation of a motor vehicle. All other charges were dismissed. No suspension of client’s commercial driver’s license. $500 fine. No jail. One year of probation. State of Ohio v. Zoran Mirceski, Chardon Municipal Court, Case Nos. 2016 CRB 00399, 2016 CRB 01226, 2016 TRD 02669.

OVI charge dismissed. Mr. Garver represented a Case Western Reserve University student working on his master’s degree in anesthesiology who drove off the road at 6:00 a.m., struck a tree, and was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, hit-skip, failure to control, and refusal to submit to chemical test to determine whether he had been drinking. Client had consumed 5 beers the day before the accident. Mr. Garver was able to show that the field sobriety tests were skewed by a concussion his client sustained in the crash. He worked out plea agreement under which his client plead no contest to a 2-point charge of reckless operation. OVI, hit skip, failure to control, and refusal charges were dismissed. $150 fine. No jail. No license suspension. City of Chardon v. Samuel Hitchcock, Chardon Municipal Court, Case No. 2022 TRC 528.

Excellent result for woman charged with multiple traffic violations. Mr. Garver represented woman charged with driving under suspension (first degree misdemeanor, 6-point offense), speeding in a school zone, and no seat belt. Mr. Garver presented a persuasive mitigation case to the prosecutor who agreed to accept a no contest plea to reduced charge of failure to display license, a minor misdemeanor, 0-point, non-moving violation. DUS, speeding, and seat belt charges dismissed. $150 fine. No jail. No license suspension. City of Shaker Heights v. Leighann, Shaker Heights Municipal Court, Case No. 22 TRD 05483

Speeding charge reduced to non-moving violation despite court policy prohibiting reduction of charges in speeding cases. Mr. Garver represented woman charged with speeding (62/40) in a court that has a longstanding policy of not allowing speeding charges to be reduced to non-moving violations. Client was stopped on her way home from an urgent care facility located where she had been seen for low back pain and dysuria (painful, frequent urination). The client was diagnosed with acute cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), with hematuria (blood in the urine), and a urinary tract infection. She was in a hurry to get home after leaving the urgent care facility because she was sick and needed to go to the bathroom. When she was stopped, his client told the police officer that she was sick and needed to go to the bathroom, but the officer told her that he didn’t care and issued a citation. Mr. Garver persuaded the court to depart from its well-established policy prohibiting the reduction of speeding charges to non-moving violations. Client plead no contest to a non-moving violation. State of Ohio v. Gabrielle Knaflich, Medina Municipal Court, Case No. 21 TRD 05209.

Burglary conviction reversed for insufficient evidence. Client and her husband were indicted and convicted of burglary. Mr. Garver represented the client on appeal. The appellate court held that there was insufficient evidence to show his client aided and abetted her husband in the burglary. His client’s burglary conviction was reversed by the Court of Appeals. State of Ohio v. Theresa Roesky, Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District, Case No. 107270.

Relief from excessive sentence. Trial court imposed a 50-year sentence on a juvenile prosecuted as an adult after he was convicted of rape, kidnaping, robbery, and felonious assault. Mr. Garver represented the client on appeal. The appellate court held that the 50-year sentence imposed by the trial court violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cuel and unusual punishment, vacated the 50-year sentence, and granted his client a new sentencing hearing. State v. Dashawn Strowder, Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District, Case No. 105569.

Client facing life in prison set free. Client was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life for rape and kidnaping. Mr. Garver represented the client on appeal. His client’s convictions reversed for improper venue (case prosecuted in the wrong county). After the ruling by the Court of Appeals, all charges were dismissed and Mr. Garver’s client was released from prison. State v. John Williams, Court of Appeals, Ninth Appellate District, Case No. 010641.

Felony drug charges against registered nurse dismissed and record sealed. Everyone makes mistakes. Health care professionals are no exception. Mr. Garver helped one nurse turn her life around and recover from the mistakes she made. After successfully completing treatment, all charges against her were dismissed and the records of her arrest and prosecution were sealed.

Paving the way for victims to recover new damages in personal injury cases . Mr. Garver’s dedication, persistence, and cutting edge litigation skills resulted in the first legal precedent in the State of Ohio for the right of a parent to recover damages for the loss of his minor child’s society and companionship. Norvell v. Cuyahoga County Hospital, 11 Ohio App. 3d 70, 463 N.E. 2d 111 (8th Dist. 1983). Later, in the same case, Mr. Garver negotiated a substantial settlement for his clients — the first successful claim against a physician or hospital for the failure to diagnose Osteogenesis Imperfecta Tarda (Brittle Bone Disease).

Protecting an employee’s right to secure new employment. Mr. Garver successfully defended a securities broker in action for injunctive relief and monetary damages brought by his former employer, despite the existence of a legally enforceable written contract containing a covenant not-to-compete. The Ohio Company v. Eugene Ochalek, et al, Court of Common Pleas of Stark County, Case No. 1997 CV 01382. The opposing party, in Ochalek, which had retained a large Columbus law firm, as well as local counsel in Stark County, was so disheartened by this stunning defeat that it abandoned similar claims against another former employee.

Assuring appellate review in child custody cases. Another recent victory in the Supreme Court of Ohio will assure appellate review of decisions made by juvenile court judges in child custody cases. In re C. B., 129 Ohio St. 3d 231, 211 Ohio 2899.

Compensation for airline passenger injured by spilled coffee. Mr. Garver prevailed in summary judgment proceedings and secured a substantial settlement in favor of airline passenger injured when hot coffee spilled on his client after the flight attendant had placed a cup of coffee on a defective seat tray table. Two years after the occurrence, Mr. Garver obtained a court order requiring the airline to make the plane available for inspection. He then flew to Phoenix, AZ, where he inspected the plane on the tarmac and photographed the seat tray in question. Mr. Garver’s photographs demonstrated that the seat tray was still defective, despite repeated claims by the airline to the contrary. Terms of the settlement are confidential.

Compensation for motorcycle accident victim. $200,000 jury verdict for a motorcyclist injured in collision with automobile.

Compensation for motorcycle accident victim. $250,000 settlement in favor of a motorcyclist struck by automobile.

Compensation for pedestrian struck by bus. Substantial settlement secured for an elderly pedestrian struck by bus. The terms of the settlement are confidential.