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Richard D. Panza, Esq.



One of the three founding members of Wickens Herzer Panza, Mr. Panza has been practicing law since 1973. Focusing his practice on business litigation, Rich brings years of talent, experience, sophistication, and power to the table.

After serving for many years on the Firm's Executive Committee, as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Treasurer and CFO, and Chairperson of the Litigation Department, Mr. Panza stepped down from his management responsibilities in 2022 and is now Of Counsel with the Firm.

Since his admission to the Ohio Bar in 1973, Mr. Panza has appeared for argument before the Ohio Supreme Court on nine separate occasions, and before the United States Supreme Court to argue the seminal libel case on constitutionally protected opinion, Milkovich v. The Lorain Journal Co.

Mr. Panza holds an AV Preeminent peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell, as well as an excellent AVVO Rating. He is recognized in the 2014 through 2024 Editions of The Best Lawyers in America© (Commercial Litigation), Top Rated Lawyers, and Cleveland’s Top Rated Lawyers. He was selected to the 2009 through 2023 Ohio Super Lawyers© List and in 2018 selected to the Super Lawyers Top 100 Ohio List.

He has been a frequent speaker, presenter, and teacher at legal seminars, addressing topics related to emerging commercial business issues; he also conducts libel seminars for reporters and newspapers. Mr. Panza is a member of various legal organizations, including the Cleveland Legal Aid Society (President Emeritus).

p: 440.695.8055
f: 440.695.8098

Richard D. Panza, Esq. image


Tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to be at Wickens Herzer Panza.

I grew up in Albany, NY and went to SUNY at Albany. I attended CSU for law school. Before that, I was a bartender throughout college. I was hired by Dave Herzer right out of law school and was the third lawyer to join the Firm (consisting of William Wickens, Dave Herzer and myself).

What's the biggest challenge in your job?

Keeping the client satisfied.

What one quote resonates with you, either personally or professionally (or both)?

”Time passes. Things change.”
– Erin Morgenstern

Why do/should people want to and choose to work with you?

The best way to succeed is to learn from those who have become successful.

Why did you begin practicing this area of law in the first place?

There was an opening and I accepted it! Bill Wickens was retiring and I was graduating law school. My first real case went to the Ohio Supreme Court. I won and fell in love with law.

What's in your wallet/purse right this very minute? What do you never leave home without?

Money/credit cards/license. I never leave home without my glasses, iPhone and wallet.

1973 - Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D.)
1970 - State University of New York at Albany (B.A.)

State of Ohio
State of New York

American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (President Emeritus)
Ninth Appellate District of the Ohio State Bar Association (Member, Pro Bono Committee)
Member, Trial Law Institute
Member, Diversity Law Institute
Barrister, Order of Veritas
Advocate, Order of Certus
Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
American Bar Association
Florida Bar Association
New York Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
Lorain County Bar Association

Martindale-Hubbell AV rating
8.8 AVVO Rating
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (Commercial Litigation), Top Rated Lawyers, and Cleveland’s Top Rated Lawyers (2014-2024)
Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers© List (2009-2024)
Selected to the Super Lawyers Top 100 Ohio List (2018)
Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America


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