Daniel J. La Fave

Professional Profile

Daniel J. La FaveDan La Fave, Cerberus’s founding shareholder and principal, has been defending the interests of product manufacturers and suppliers since 1992. In his decades of experience, he has tried product liability and personal injury cases to verdict in eight states, and handled such lawsuits and accident investigations in more than 30 states. He represents product manufacturers and suppliers on a national and regional basis, serving as both trial and appellate counsel, and providing advice on a wide range of product liability issues for consumer and industrial products. His practice encompasses the full range of personal injury cases, including, particularly, defending premises liability and serious vehicular accidents, and mediating disputes arising from all of these areas.

Rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell since 2001, recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Wisconsin numerous times since 2005, and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012-2022 for his work defending product liability cases, Mr. La Fave is the father of 12, a former Marine Officer, Navy Boxer, critically acclaimed Shakespearean actor, and classical musician. Mr. La Fave has authored numerous law review and bar magazine articles, and been a featured speaker at international, national, and regional seminars on cutting edge issues associated with warnings and instructions, risk allocation strategies, challenging opposing expert witnesses, the effective use of demonstrative exhibits at trial, and Wisconsin’s mediation privilege.

As a John Henry Wigmore merit scholar, Mr. La Fave obtained his law degree in 1992 from Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude and Order of the Coif, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1985, with distinction, from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Dan’s trial and appellate experience includes:

  • Rosales v. 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. (Texas Supreme Court December 2016; Hidalgo County District Court August 2013) – Lead trial counsel and co-appellate counsel obtaining complete defense judgment for premises owner in case arising out of accident when forklift loaned to independent contractor tipped over.
  • Ponce v. 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. (Suffolk County Massachusetts Superior Court June 2011) – Lead trial counsel obtaining defense verdict in action arising out of accident during cleaning of airbag style dock leveler.
  • Harner v. U-Haul International, Inc. (New Jersey Superior Court Law Division - Morris County March 2010) – Lead trial counsel obtaining directed verdict in action arising out of accident during offloading of non-functional vintage British sports car from U-Haul auto transport trailer.
  • Ternus v. 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. (U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota Oct. 2008) – Lead trial counsel obtaining defense verdict in action arising out of accident during installation of loading dock equipment.
  • Mayer v. Case Corp. (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas July 2008) – Co-tried case to defense verdict in action arising out of fatal accident with skid steer loader at trash transfer station.
  • Clevenger v. CNH America LLC (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania January 2008) – Co-tried case to defense verdict in action arising out of skid steer loader accident on farm.

Awards & Distinctions

  • The Best Lawyers in America® in Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2012-2022)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer – Product Liability Defense (2005, 2009-2015, and 2019-2021)
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell® since 2001

Bar Admissions


  • Texas
  • Wisconsin


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • USDC for District of Colorado
  • USDC for Western District of Michigan
  • USDC for Northern District of Texas
  • USDC for Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • USDC for Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Training

  • Northwestern University School of Professional Studies, Mediation
    Skills Training, February 2016
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Master Advocates Program,
    July 1999

Professional Associations

  • Defense Research Institute (Product Liability and Appellate Practice Sections)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association (Member, Board of Directors 2002-2010)
  • Racine County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Chair, Legislative Subcommittee 2004-2006; Bench-Bar Committee)
  • U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, WI Chapter (Past President, 2004-2010)

Daniel J. La Fave Super Lawyers  

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| Phone: 262-488-0567 | 262-732-5399

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