James M. Kelley

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Mayfield Heights, OH

Elk & Elk Co., Ltd.
 | 6105 Parkland Boulevard, Suite 200
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
Phone: 440-995-0105
Fax: 440-442-7944
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1993
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff (90%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    James (Jay) M. Kelley III's practice areas include medical negligence and/or wrongful death arising from birth injury, maternal death, surgery, oncological, cardiac, trucking, auto and pharmaceutical causes in state and federal courts. Jay has tried to jury approximately 100 cases, including felony prosecution, criminal defense, civil defense and civil plaintiff. The last 15 years have been exclusively representing plaintiffs in catastrophic civil claims. Jay has been responsible for $200+million dollars in recovery for his clients.

    Licensed to practice in Ohio and in the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, he has obtained multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients throughout Ohio and represents plaintiffs throughout the state.

    Communication, hard work, empathy and a commitment to patient safety are central components to Jay's representation. Each client receives Jay's cellphone number to maximize access throughout the litigation. Hard work is more than a headnote as there is no shortcut to personal preparation which is supported by Elk and Elk's resources.

    Legal representation is personal and emotional. Empathy towards clients during these challenges allows the attorney-client bond to grow, which assists in each aspect of litigation and maximizes results. Unique to Jay is his participation in improving the healthcare system. Jay is an author, reviewer, lecturer and keynote Speaker for AWHONN , The March of Dimes and several perinatal collaborative groups and medical education companies. This participation ensures Jay is current on each birth-related issue, and helps work towards the goal of increasing safety for children and mothers during the birth process.

    Jay understands the privilege and responsibility of representing the catastrophically injured client/ family. His experience as a criminal prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and civil litigator enables him to understand and present complex issues presented in medical negligence cases to juries in clear terms. Jay's medical knowledge was put to use as a reviewer of the medical-legal chapter of a fetal monitoring text - Mosby's Pocket Guide to Fetal Monitoring: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Sixth Edition and Seventh Edition. Jay is lead author of a chapter in a leading gynecology text - "Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th Edition and 6th Edition (Katz, Lentz et al.). Jay is asked to lecture physician, nursing and legal groups nationally and internationally on birth injury and civil trial work.


    • Jay was awarded "Lawyer of the Year" in 2021 for Medical Malpractice Law in Cleveland.
    • Since 2016, he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.
    • Jay has been recognized as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” since 2009.
    • He maintains the highest AVVO rating.
    • He received a 5.0/5.0 AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ by members of the Bar and Judiciary for his legal ability and professional ethical standards.
    • Jay was named to the Top Five in Cleveland by Super Lawyers from 2012-2015; Top Ten Ohio Super Lawyers list from 2011-2015 by Cincinnati and Columbus Super Lawyers magazines; Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers from 2010-2021; and Top 50 lawyers in Cleveland by Super Lawyers for 2009 and from 2012-2021.
    • He serves on the board of trustees for the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys.
      • Recipient of the President's Award in 2010
    • Jay is a former member of the board of trustees for the Ohio Association of Justice.
    • Nationally, he’s a member of the American Association of Justice’s “Leadership Forum.”
    • Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel
    Practice Areas
    • 90%Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff
    • 10%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
    Focus Areas

    Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 13 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2021

    Certificates and Credentials

    National Board of Trial Advocacy

    Email Me

    To: James M. Kelley
    Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry


    The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The use of the internet or this contact form for communication is not necessarily a secure environment. Contacting a lawyer or law firm email through this service will not create an attorney-client relationship, and information will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential.

    Articles about James M. Kelley appearing in Super Lawyers

    http://www.elkandelk.com - James Kelley, an Ohio birth injury attorney, discusses how his background in trial work and defense has given him a leg up against his peers in handling medical malpractice matters. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today.

    View all videos for this attorney »

    About James Kelley

    Admitted: 1993, Ohio

    Professional Webpage: https://www.elkandelk.com/attorneys/james-jay-m-kelley-iii/


    • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, Cleveland Lawyer of the Year
    • Top 50 Cleveland Super Lawyers
    • Ohio Super Lawyers
    • Top 10 Ohio Super Lawyers
    • Member, Million Dollar Advocate and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Named To Best Lawyers in America Lists for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation, Plaintiffs., Best Lawyer - Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation, Best Lawyers in America, 2017
    • Top 100- Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2017
    • 10 Best Client Satisfaction- Ohio, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2016
    • Board Member, CATA- Clevelan Academy of Trial Attorneys, 2016
    • Top 10 Attorney Ohio, AIOPA, 2016
    • Top 100 Trial Attorneys Ohio, Top 100 Trial Attorneys, ATLA, 2016
    • Named To Best Lawyers in America Lists for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation, Plaintiffs., Best Lawyer -Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury, Best Lawyers in America, 2016
    • Top 5 Cleveland Super Lawyers, 2015
    • Top 100 Attorneys, NADC, 2015
    • Board Member, CATA - Cleveland Acadamy of Trial Attorneys, 2015
    • !0 Best Client Satisfaction - Ohio, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2015
    • Nation's Top 100 Attorneys, NADC, 2014
    • 10 Best - Client Satisfaction Award, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2014
    • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Ohio, The National Trial Lawyers, 2013
    • Nationally Ranked - Top 10 Attorney Award, NAOPIA, 2013
    • The Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Ohio, The National Trial Lawyers, 2012
    • The Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Ohio, The American Association of Trial Lawyers, 2011
    • President's Award, Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys, 2010
    • The Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Ohio, The American Association of Trial Attorneys, 2010
    • Elite Lawyers of America - Platinum Member (10 or more 2 million dollar results), 2009
    • Top 100 Trial Lawyer State of Ohio, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2008
    • Received 5/5, Preemminent rating., 5/5 Preemminent, Martindale-Hubbel, 2011
    • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Ohio, The American Trial Lawyers Association, 2009

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2005
    • Recertified-National Board of Trial Advocacy Civil Trial Law  , 2017
    • Board Certified, Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy., 2012

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Ohio Association of Justice- Chair of Medical Malractice Section, Board of Trustees, 2012
    • Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys - Board Member, 2013
    • Cleveland Acadamy of Trial Attorneys (CATA)  - Board of Trustees, 2006
    • Ohio Association of Justice, 2017
    • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Ohio Association of Justice- Advocates Circle, 2017
    • Board Member, Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys (CATA), 2006 - Present
    • Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys- Board of Trustee, 2014
    • Ohio Association of Justice - Board Member, 2014
    • American Association of Justice- Leadership Forum. (AAJ), 2007
    • Ohio State Bar Association, 2016
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • AAJ- Leaders Forum, 2017
    • Federal Court, Northern District of Ohio 1995
    • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)- Member, 2012
    • Federal Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2012
    • AWHONN- Associate Member, 2016
    • Ohio Association of Justice (OAJ) - Board of Trustees, 2009
    • Cleveland Metropoloitan Bar Association- Fellow, 2017
    • Ohio State Bar, 1993
    • Mass Tort Lawyers Association, Member, 2011

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Keynote Speaker on Obstetric and Neonatal risk management,, Keynote Speaker, Legal Briefs for Perinatal and Neonatal Nurse, CAPP/ Perinatal Nurse Mgt Assoc, Obstetric, 2013
    • Reviewer - Mosby's Fetal Monitoring a Multidisciplinary Approach, Seventh Edition, Reviewer, Mosby/ Elsevier, Obstetrics, 2016
    • Medical Liability in Obstetrics speaker at Annual National Conference., Speaker, AWHONN, Obstetrics, 2013
    • Chapter 6, Medical-Legal Risk Management, Comprehensive Gynecology,Seventh Edition, Author / Contributor, Comprehensive Gynecology, Seventh Edition, Elsevier, Obstetrics/ Gynecology, 2016
    • Presenter, National Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, Medical/Nursing/Legal, 2014
    • Faculty/ speaker obstetrical liabilty and patient safety, Speaker / Faculty, 17th Annual National Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, Obstetric Liabilty, 2016
    • Keynote address for California Chapter of March of Dimes annual conference., Keynote Speaker, 15th Annual Conference for Health Professionals, March of Dimes, Obstetrics, Perinatology And Neonatal Care, 2015
    • Lecturer, Winter Conference on Obstetrics/ Gynecology, St. Kitts, W. Indes, Symposia Medicus, 2009
    • Medico-legal issues in Birth, resulting in injury to child and/or maternal death., Faculty, Annual Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, 2015
    • Reviewer of Medical - Legal chapter of fetal monitoring text., Reviewer, Mosby's Pocket Guide to Fetal Monitoring: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Medical / Legal, 2008
    • Lecturer, 13th Annual Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Las Vegas, Nevada, Symposia Medicus, 2009
    • Lecturer, 12th Annual Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Las Vegas, Nevada.  Symopsia Medicus, 2008
    • Lecturer, Ohio Evidence Workshop, PESI Cleveland, Ohio, 2008
    • Obstetrical Conference on Fetal Monitoring Symposia Medicus Las Vegas, Nevada, 2007
    • Lecturer, Obstetrical Conference on Fetal Monitoring Symposia Medicus Las Vegas, Nevada, 2008
    • Lecturer, 11th Annual Winter Conference on Obstetrics and Gynecology: Clinical Practice and Liability Issues/ Mock Trial Symposia Medicus Cancun, Mexico, 2006
    • Lecturer, Ohio Evidence Workshop 2006 PESI Beachwood, Ohio, 2006
    • Lecturer, Annual Sports Medicine Conference Cleveland Clinic Foundation Sawmill Creek Resort Sandusky, Ohio, 2006
    • Lecturer, 2006 Ohio Academy of Trial Attorney’s Annual Conference Ohio Academy of Trial Attorney’s Columbus, Ohio, 2006
    • Lecturer, 7th Annual Conference on Fetal Monitoring 2006 Symposia Medicus Las Vegas, Nevada, 2006
    • Lecturer, 10th Annual Winter Conference on Obstetrics and Gynecology: Clinical Practice & Liability Issues 2006 Symposia Medicus Maui, Hawaii, 2006
    • Lecturer, NITA, Trial Advocacy 2005 Judge/ Instructor Cleveland Bar Association Cleveland, Ohio, 2005
    • Lecturer, How to Win a Civil Trial 2005 PESI Continuing Legal Education, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2005
    • Lecturer, Annual Spring Sports Medicine Conference 2005 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Sawmill Creek, Ohio , 2005
    • Lecturer, 6th Annual National Conference on Fetal Monitoring 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Symposia Medicus, 2005
    • Author, Textbook: Mosby’s Fetal Monitoring; a Multidisciplinary Approach, Sixth Edition, Reviewer
    • Advanced Personal Injury, Damages, National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, 2008
    • Guest Lecturer, Health Law Case Western Reserve School of Law 2003
    • Medical Risk Management, Pro-Assurance Company 1999, 2000, 2001
    • Medical Risk Management, The Medical Protective Company 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
    • Jury Selection. The Akron Bar Association 1994
    • Obstetrical risk management: Deposition Strategies, Speaker, AWHONN, National Conference, AWHONN, Obstetric Nursing/Midwifery, 2010
    • Mock trial focusing on issues of medical malpractice and risk management in a birth injury claim., Speaker, National Conference Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, Obstetrics, 2012
    • Deposition preparation and tactics in birth injury claims., Speaker, Annual Conference, AWHONN, Obstetric Nursing, 2011
    • Medical- Legal overview of liabilty issues in Birth injury claims arising from improper fetal monitoring., Speaker, 12th Annual Coference on Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, Medical- Obstetrics, 2011
    • Author, chapter regarding Medical-Legal Liability in Gynecologic claims, Author/ Contributer, Comprehensive Gynecology 6th edition, Lentz, Elsevier, Medical- Gynecology, 2012
    • Faculty on risk management in Obstetrics., Speaker/ Faculty, Annual Conference on Fetal Monitoring, Symposia Medicus, Obstetric, 2013


    • $10 Million -- Paralysis case (Lucas County Record), 2004
    • $9.88M -- Birth injury claim.  (Portage County Record), 2006
    • $9.75 Million Dollars Birth/Neonatal injury arising from catheter malposition., 2013
    • $7.3 million dollar result, medical negligence anoxic injury., 2012
    • $6M -- Plaintiff suffered an anoxic brain injury in the recovery room from a combination of Morphine, Valium and airway risk factors, 2009
    • $6M -- Patient was administered a paralytic agent negligently resulting in an arrest and death while in the ICU, 2003
    • 5.45 Million result - birth injury causing CP, 2016
    • $5.3M -- Mismanagement of intrapartum care of twins, results in Twin "A"  suffering Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalapathy, 2008
    • 5.25 Million Dollar resolution, Birth Injury., 2013
    • $4.74 Million - Birth Injury resolution, 2015
    • 4.5 Million Dollar result for Labor and delivery claim resulting in hypoxic injury., 2011
    • $4.5 Million result - Birth injury resulting in CP, 2016
    • $4.1M -- Cerebral palsy case
    • $3.9M --  Mismanagement of Labor and delivery, including a failure to recognize warning signs on Fetal Tracings rusulting in Neurologic Injury (CP)  to the infant, 2007
    • $3.5M -- Surgical error case
    • $3.5 Million, Missed DVT, resulting in hypoxic injury., 2012
    • $3.5 Milion Dollar result for injury to neonate/child following placement of a PEG tube., 2011
    • 3.5 Million, Maternal Death, 2013
    • $3 million - Failure to timely place a cerclage resulting in premature labor, delivery and neurologic damage., 2017
    • $3M --  Wrongful death settlement for 16 year old from drowning, 2008
    • $3M -- Man burned over arms, legs and torso from explosion
    •  $2.99 Million - Birth Trauma
    • $2.5M -- Mismanagement or preterm labor resulting in a stillbirth, 2006
    • $1.95 Million Resolution - Epidural Complication, 2015
    • $1.8 Million settlement -Wronful Death, surgical complication, child., 2015
    • $1.8M -- Botched sinus surgery 
    • $1.5 Million dollar result for surgical error., 2011
    • $1.5 Million Resolution - Delay in diagnosis of Cancer, 2014
    • $1.5M -- Delay in diagnosing breast cancer
    • $1.1M -- Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Tongue Cancer Case
    • $1M -- Failure to diagnose prostate cancer - resulted in cancer progressing to Stage IV by diagnosis
    • Wrongful Death, pediatric cardiac surgery., 2017
    • Managed Vioxx claims including heart attack and thrombotic stroke claims as part of a $4.65 Billion settlement with Merck for 62 clients
    • Oversaw the handling and resolution of  claims related to birth control patches resulting in blood clots
    • Confidential Settlement - Wrongful death following outpatient surgery., 2016
    • Confidential settlement - Wrongful death following cardiac surgery, 2016

    Representative Clients:

    • J. M. Kelley's (Jay), civil trial work in state and federal courts encompasses matters of medical negligence and wrongful death arising from birth injury and surgery; oncological, cardiac and pharmaceutical causes. Mr. Kelley has presented to jury more than 70 cases, including felony prosecution, criminal defense, civil defense and civil plaintiff cases. He was lead counsel on cases in more than 30 Ohio counties, appeals court and the Supreme Court of Ohio.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Elected Precinct Committee Member for Democratic party ward 1-G Cleveland, Ohio., 2006
    • Member of AWHONN, 2015

    Educational Background:

    • B.A. College Of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio, 1990
    • JD University of Akron, 1993
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    Office Location for James M. Kelley

    6105 Parkland Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Mayfield Heights, OH 44124

    Phone: 440-995-0105

    Fax: 440-442-7944

    James M. Kelley:

    Last Updated: 2/26/2021

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