Phone: 216.736.7203 Fax: 216.621.6536 Connect: LinkedIn


Over his 30-year career in real estate law, Stephen has worked on deals for retail, office, industrial and residential properties, including drafting and negotiating leases, purchase agreements and ancillary real estate documents, assisting in landlord-tenant disputes and advising clients on municipal regulation matters.

Before joining KJK in 2005, Stephen spent 15 years as Vice President and General Counsel to Bearich Management Company, a real estate management and development organization with a portfolio of 2 million square feet in Northeast Ohio, where he grew his expertise in the needs of the real estate companies he now serves. He’s valued by clients for his ability to anticipate the unexpected challenges and opportunities in each deal, and to creatively formulate solutions.

Stephen’s inspiration to make a career in real estate law came in part from his father, a small business owner who worked in industrial real estate development. He also became interested in the law and politics as a young person, and today blends those passions in both his legal practice and his positions as Councilman and Council President in his home community of Moreland Hills.

In his civic and philanthropic life, Stephen contributes to many causes related to youth and education. In addition, Stephen and his family created The Richman Family Foundation (founded in memory of Stephen’s sister) to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, treatment and care. Stephen has been actively involved in such youth-focused organizations as the Drug Free Action Alliance, Cleveland Metro Bar Association’s “3Rs” program, Cuyahoga County’s Juvenile Diversion Program, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes Cleveland and Bellefaire JCB’s Social Advocates for Youth (SAY).

“A lot of my work is with closely held businesses, including family businesses. I treat every client I have as if it were my family.” – Steve D. Richman


  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, J.D., 1985
  • University of Miami, M.B.A., 1980
  • University of Miami, B.B.A., Business and Finance, 1979, magna cum laude

Civic Involvement

  • Bellefaire JCB SAY (Social Advocates for Youth), 2005 to 2011
    • Juvenile Justice Committee & Experts Panel
  • Coalition to Amend Ohio’s Social Host Law, co-chair, 2007 to 2016
  • Cuyahoga County Juvenile Diversion Program, volunteer magistrate, 2001 to present
  • Dress for Success, member, board of directors, 2006 to 2008
  • Drug Free Action Alliance, member, board of directors, 2010 to 2020
  • Geauga County Walk America, chair, 2000
  • Junior Achievement, teaching volunteer, 2007 to 2010
  • KidzAffair for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, creator and chair, 1998 to 1999
  • Kiwanis International (Lander Circle Chapter), member, 2011 to present
  • March of Dimes Cleveland, member, board of directors, 2000 to 2005
  • Orange Walkmania, creator and chair, 2001
  • Richman Family Foundation, president, 1998 to 2011
  • Village of Moreland Hills
    • Council President, 2010 to 2013, 2016, 2020
    • Councilman, 2004 to present
    • Community Emergency Response Team (“CERT”), member, 2015-present
    • Green  Commission, member, 2015-present

Professional Affiliations

  • Cleveland Bar Association
    • Real Estate Section
    • The 3Rs: Rights, Responsibilities, Realities, committee member and teaching volunteer, 2006 to present; Committee Chair, 2015
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Bar/Court Admissions

  • Ohio State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating for Highest Level of Professional Excellence, 2011 to present
  • Local Lawyers – Super Attorneys, Cleveland Jewish News, 2018-2020
  • Legal Leaders in Construction Law, 2015
  • Cleveland Top Rated Lawyers, 2012 to 2015
  • Orange High School Alumni Hall of Fame, inductee, 2005
  • March of Dimes Outstanding Fund Raising Project, recipient, 2001
  • Colliers Ostendorf-Morris All-Star Team, Nominee, 1997

Presentations & Publications

  • The Ohio Real Estate Law Blog, lead author (
  • “Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Leases,” Commercial Real Estate From A to Z, National Business Institute Seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, September 12, 2013
  • “Ohio HB 351,” EUDL Forum, Cincinnati Police Department, July 21, 2010
  • “Support Ohio HB 351 – Amending Ohio’s Social Host Law,” Testimony to Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee, May 12, 2010
  • “Underage Drinking Laws and Responsibilities,” Westlake High School, 2006; University School, 2005
  • “General Considerations in a Real Estate Transaction” in Keys to Success in a Real Estate Transaction in Ohio, pgs. 1-114, National Business Institute, 1996
  • “Start-up Forums,” Legal Presenter, Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), 1994-1996

Representative Experience

“Steve did a tremendous job representing our interests. He had to slog through a lot of details and endured many, many, many iterations. I think we have the best possible outcome.”

— Mary Ann Freas, VP/CFO, Southwest General Health Center

“The time and effort you put into making sure we covered all the details, attached a set of specs to the lease that were so complete, and were so well negotiated, we get to enjoy the result:  no surprises!”

— L. Christopher Lund, CFO, Asurint

“I want to express my gratitude for all that you have done for the students at John Marshall High School. We greatly appreciate the year-long visits by you and your team of 3Rs lawyers. The presentation on college readiness that you gave was awesome … sometimes our students do not think that college is even a possibility.”

— Eva Wronski, M.Ed., Cleveland Municipal School District, John Marshall High School

  • Served as lead drafting attorney, creating the 20-year single tenant lease for Dealer Tire’s world headquarters in the Victory Center building in Midtown Cleveland, as well as a co-terminus lease for a build-to-suit parking garage on adjacent parcels
  • Negotiating and drafting anchor, “big box,” in-line and outparcel leases on behalf of both landlords and tenants in shopping centers throughout the United States
  • Served as lead drafter and negotiator on recent leases such as:
    • $4 million long-term lease of Cleveland office space for a company headquarters
    • $3 million long-term lease of a Texas manufacturing facility
    • $2.5 million long-term lease of a Cleveland commercial building for a franchised restaurant
    • Served as a lead attorney in the negotiation of a $120 million, multi-state sale of 14 self- storage facilities