James (Jay) M. Kelley III

James (Jay) M. Kelley III

Mayfield Heights, Ohio

Jay, a partner at Elk & Elk since 2011, focuses on civil trial work in state and federal courts in matters of medical negligence and wrongful death arising from birth injury, surgery; oncological, cardiac and pharmaceutical product liability causes. Jay has presented more than 70 cases to jury, including: felony prosecution, criminal defense, civil defense and civil plaintiff cases. He has been lead counsel on cases in more than 30 Ohio counties, appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Jay was included in the 22nd and 23rd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.

Jay has been recognized as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" for six consecutive years, maintains the highest AVVO rating and 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. He has been named to the Top Five in Cleveland by Super Lawyers from 2012-2015, Top Ten Ohio Super Lawyer’s list from 2011-2015 by Cincinnati and Columbus Super Lawyers magazines, Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers from 2010-2017 and Top 50 lawyers in Cleveland by Super Lawyers for 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. Jay is a past member of the board of trustees for Ohio Association of Justice and currently serves on Board of Trustees for The Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys. Nationally, he’s a member of the American Association of Justice's “Leadership Forum.”

Jay speaks internationally to medical and legal groups on the issue of birth injury and medical liability. In 2008, Jay was reviewer for a fetal monitoring textbook used by physicians around the country on the issue of liability for birth injuries. Jay has a chapter published in the 6th edition of Comprehensive Gynecology, Medical Legal Issues (2011) and in the 7th edition of Comprehensive Gynecology, Medical-Legal Risk Management (2017.) The respect of the medical community provides access to leading experts and optimal results.

When Jay isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching his kids play sports and attending various other sporting events.

Read more about Attorney Jay Kelley of Elk & Elk Co., Ltd.

Settlements and Verdicts

  • $4.65 Billion - Managed Vioxx claims including heart attack and thrombotic stroke claims as part of a settlement with Merck for 62 clients
  • $10 Million - Paralysis case (Lucas County Record)
  • $10 Million - Claim arising from Spinal surgery to correct Scoliosis, 2004
  • $9.88 Million - Birth injury claim. (Portage County Record), 2006
  • $7.3 Million - Surgical complication resulting in global brain injury.
  • $6 Million - Plaintiff suffered an anoxic brain injury in the recovery room from a combination of Morphine, Valium and airway risk factors, 2009
  • $6 Million - Patient was administered a paralytic agent negligently resulting in an arrest and death while in the ICU, 2003
  • $5.4 Million - Mismanagement of Labor resulting in HIE/ CP in newborn.
  • $5.3 Million - Mismanagement of intrapartum care of twins, results in Twin "A" suffering Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, 2008
  • $4.75 Million - Failure to appropriately respond to changes on fetal tracing resulting in HIE / CP in newborn.
  • $4.5 Million - Result for Labor and delivery claim resulting in hypoxic injury, 2011
  • $4.1 Million - Cerebral palsy case
  • $3.9 Million - Mismanagement of Labor and delivery, including a failure to recognize warning signs on Fetal Tracings resulting in Neurologic Injury (CP) to the infant, 2007
  • $3.5 Million - Resolution for birth injury in premature child, 2012
  • $3.5M Million - Result for injury to neonate/child following placement of a PEG tube, 2011
  • $3.5 Million - Surgical error case
  • $3 Million - Man burned over arms, legs and torso from explosion
  • $2.5 Million - Mismanagement of preterm labor resulting in a stillbirth, 2006
  • $1.8 Million - Botched sinus surgery
  • $1.5 Million - Result for surgical error, 2011
  • $1.5 Million - Delay in diagnosing breast cancer
  • $1 Million - Failure to diagnose prostate cancer - resulted in cancer progressing to Stage IV by diagnosis
  • $1.1 Million - Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Tongue Cancer Case
  • Oversaw the handling and resolution of claims related to birth control patches resulting in blood clots

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1993
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1995


  • University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio
    • Juris Doctorate - 1993
  • College of Wooster
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1990

Published Works

  • Mosby's Fetal Monitoring; a Multidisciplinary Approach, Sixth Edition, Reviewer
  • Katz, 6th Edition Comprehensive Gynecology, Medical Legal Issues, 2011
  • Lobo, Gershenson, Lentz, Valea, 7th Edition Comprehensive Gynecology, Medical-Legal Risk Management, 2017

Honors and Awards

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum-Member
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum-Member
  • Ohio Super Lawyers - Top 5 Cleveland Super Lawyers - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Ohio Super Lawyers - Top 50 Cleveland Super Lawyers - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Ohio Super Lawyers - 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Ohio Super Lawyers - Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017
  • Ohio Super Lawyers - Top 10 Ohio Super Lawyers - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Elite Lawyers of America-Platinum Member (10 or more $2 million dollar results)
  • American Association for Justice Top 100 Ohio 2008-2011
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (Recertified 2011)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating? - 5.0/5.0 AV/ Preeminent
  • Included in the 22nd edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2016 in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation & Medical Malpractice Law
  • Included in the 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2017 in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation & Medical Malpractice Law
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association-Fellow
  • The Ohio Association of Justice (OAJ) Board of Trustees, 2009-2010
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist
  • American Association of Justice: Leaders Forum