Attorney Profile

Barbara Kaye Besser

Barbara Besser

Elfvin, Besser, Royer & Torch, LLC
4070 Mayfield Road
Cleveland, OH 44121
Phone 216-800-8124
Fax 216-381-0250


Selected To Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2015

Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 years bottom-image

Practice Areas

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff

Employment Litigation: Defense

Employment & Labor

Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart


Barbara Kaye Besser is a skilled attorney with more than 40 years of experience in employment law. With the law firm Elfvin & Besser, she represents both plaintiffs and defendants in Cleveland, Ohio, in gender discrimination claims and other employment matters.

A graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Ms. Besser began her legal career at the Women's Law Fund, where she eventually became director of litigation. She later served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission's Cleveland Field Office.

In private practice since 1989, Ms. Besser is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, four different circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Committed to professional education, Ms. Besser frequently speaks on employment law topics at legal conferences and has published her work in legal journals. She has also served as an instructor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching legal writing and supervising law clinics.

Ms. Besser has been recognized within the legal community at several points throughout her career. Among other honors, she was rated AV Preeminent* by the peer-review service Martindale-Hubbell.

Professional organizations that Ms. Besser has been involved with include the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Women Lawyers. She is also a master of the bench for the Cleveland Employment American Inn of Court and has held a number of leadership positions with the Ohio State Bar Association. She is a member of the Midwest Labor and Employment Law Seminar's planning committee.

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

About Barbara Besser

Law School: Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Admitted: 1973, Ohio

Professional Webpage:

Honors and Awards:

  • Top 50, 2013
  • Cleveland’s Best Lawyers, 2009
  • Ohio "Super Lawyer" since 2005

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Fellow, Ohio State Bar Foundation, 2005
  • Southern District of Ohio, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1977
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1973
  • Member, Ohio Supreme Court, 1973
  • Master of the Bench of the Cleveland Employment Inn of Court
  • Fellow (Class of 2005) of the Ohio State Bar Foundation 
  • American Civil Liberties Union, Member
  • Member of the National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Immediate past Chair of the OSBA’s Labor and Employment Council
  • Secretary and Chair of the Specialization Committee
  • Chair of the Certification and Contracts Sub-Committees, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Vice Chair and Secretary of the Certification Board for Labor and Employment of the Ohio State Bar Association
  • State President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1977 to1979)
  • Barrister of Cleveland Employment American Inn of Court
  • Ohio State Bar Association Midwest Labor Law Conference Planning Committee

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Program chair, Midwest Labor Law Conference, 2004
  • Program chair , OSBA, 2003
  • Adjunct Faculty, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law

Educational Background:

  • B.A. from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, 1970
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