Jim is a trial attorney focusing his practice on the defense of professional liability claims for healthcare providers and institutions, attorneys, and other licensed professionals. Related to his representation of professionals, Jim has extensive experience as to credentialing and licensure issues for state regulated professionals. A significant component of Jim's trial practice also includes commercial litigation primarily related to contractual disputes for healthcare and non-healthcare entities.
Following graduation from law school in 1978, Jim began his practice with a small trial practice firm and joined RCO Law in 1984. Jim is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
University of Toledo College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1978
University of Toledo, B.A., 1975
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1978
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
District Chairman, NW District, Erie Shores Boy Scouts Council,
Boy Scouts of America
2015 Community Service Award by the Toledo Bar Association
Legatus – member
Mercy St. Vincent Foundation – Former Board Member; Executive Committee 2010
Grey Nun Community Fund – Trustee Representative
Mom’s House – Board of Trustees; Past President
American College of Trial Lawyers, Chair - Ohio State Committee Chair
Defense Research Institute
Ohio State Bar Association
Toledo Bar Association
Who’s Who in Toledo Area Law – Healthcare, Professional Liability and Commercial Litigation, Toledo Business Journal (2009 - 2013)
Super Lawyers (2008 – 2014)
Fellow – American College of Trial Lawyers
Plaintiff, a former salesman, claimed that our clients failed to timely diagnose a subdural hematoma, resulting in a permanent lack of bowel and bladder control as well as significant leg weakness. Plaintiff effectively explained his condition in a very sympathetic manner to the jury. The issue for the defense was how to counter compelling testimony from a very good sincere salesman.
Understanding that Plaintiff could effectively explain his condition to the jury, our clients were prepared to be equally effective witnesses in explaining the complex medicine involved in the patient’s care and their attentive care of Plaintiff. We had also retained expert witnesses with credentials which vastly exceeded the credentials of the expert witnesses retained by Plaintiff, demonstrated by the obvious difference in the quality of the expert witnesses’ testimony.
The jurors returned a verdict in favor of our clients and remarked following deliberations that notwithstanding Plaintiff’s sympathetic state, they were most impressed by our clients and expert witnesses.
The defendant surgeon at his deposition and at trial potentially implicated our radiology client by testifying that the content of our client’s radiology report did not give the surgeon the information he needed to have allegedly changed the patient’s treatment plan. The patient ultimately died after many months of treatment and incurring over $1 million in medical expenses.
Plaintiff's counsel used the defendant surgeon’s testimony to create conflict among the defendants while at the same time portraying the patient as a victim of the defendants’ disagreement. To counter Plaintiff's counsel’s strategy, the defendant surgeon attempted to put his testimony in its proper context and we worked with our client to avoid any disagreement with the surgeon. We instead focused our client’s defense upon his correct interpretation of the radiology study and that all of the information which could be reasonably be derived from the radiology study was reported.
By avoiding the temptation to openly disagree with the co-defendant and keeping the defense focused on the proper interpretation of the radiology study by our client, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client notwithstanding a verdict against the co-defendant.
The patient sustained a through-and-through laceration of her bladder during an otherwise routine cesarean section which gave rise to complications for over a year following surgery.
To prevail at trial notwithstanding that our client and expert witnesses acknowledged that the patient sustained a very rare and significant complication of the cesarean section, we used detailed diagrams to demonstrate that our client’s operative technique would have in almost all instances kept the bladder out of the operative field, but in this rare instance, the bladder had become so distorted that a surgeon would not reasonably be expected to appreciate that the tissue appearing in the operative field was, in fact, bladder rather than a normal operative site for a cesarean section. We emphasized in closing argument that injury to an unintended organ during surgery is a known complication of any surgical procedure and urged the jury to consider the jury instruction that a physician is not negligent solely because of an unexpected outcome.
Verdict in favor of our clients.
Client admitted that an x-ray was misinterpreted causing the delay in the diagnosis of cancer.
Through the use of well-credentialed and highly credible oncological experts we were able to convince the jury that our client was entitled to a defense verdict notwithstanding admitted negligence. The jury concluded that the inadvertent error was not the cause of the patient’s death but instead the death was due to a very aggressive cancer.
Our client did not want to settle the case arising from a misinterpretation of an x-ray when the facts demonstrated that the death was caused by an aggressive tumor rather than a delay in the diagnosis of the cancer.
I am a lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio and active in both my community and church. My wife Michele and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2014 with our son, a physician in the United States Air Force, and our daughter, a professor at Wooster College.