James D. Vail

James D. Vail

Managing Partner

216.696.4200 x1137


Jim Vail joined the firm in 1979 and has been a partner since 1986. He has served the firm as managing partner since 1996. Jim primarily counsels businesses, nonprofit and health care organizations in all aspects of their operations, including formations, mergers and organizations, joint ventures, contracting, and succession planning.

Jim argued a case before the United States Supreme Court where he obtained a unanimous favorable decision. Spectrum Sports, Inc. v. McQuillan, 506 U.S. 447 (1992). Jim has appeared before courts at all levels in Ohio, as well as various federal district courts, and the Sixth and Ninth Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Jim currently serves on the board of directors of Family Connections and was previously board chair. Jim has served on several boards of directors including the Ingenuity Festival, Heights Parent Center, Cleveland Heights/University Heights Public Library, and Reaching Heights. He is also a member of Social Venture Partners. Jim has lived in Cleveland Heights for more than 30 years and is active in several Cleveland Heights organizations.

Licensed to Practice



  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1979, J.D.
  • Case Western Reserve University, 1975, B.A.

Admissions & Associations

  • State of Ohio
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Life Member, Eighth District Judicial Conference

Awards & Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent®

  • Best Lawyers® 2017 - present
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Health Care Law
    • Real Estate Law

Community Activities

  • Board Member, The Center for Community Solutions
  • Member, City of Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission
  • Member, Social Venture Partners
  • Former Director, Family Connections

Areas of Practice

Licensed to Practice


Awards & Recognition

ACTEC AV Peer Review Rated Best Law Firms Primerus Worlds Finest Law Firms Super Lawyers