At Elk & Elk, we stand by our clients after a serious accident has changed their lives.

James (Jay) M. Kelley


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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

$10 Million Verdict
Claim arising from Spinal surgery to correct Scoliosis, 2004. Lucas County. Case resolved pending appeal and post-trial motions.

$9.88 Million Verdict
Birth injury claim. (Portage County Record), 2006. Portage County. Case resolved pending appeal and post-trial motions.

$9.75 Million
Neonatal brain injury settlement. Specific terms confidential.

$7.3 Million
Surgical complication resulting in global brain injury.

$6 Million
Patient was administered a paralytic agent negligently resulting in an arrest and death while in the ICU, 2003, Federal Court resolutions.

Plaintiff suffered an anoxic brain injury in the recovery room from a combination of Morphine, Valium and airway risk factors, 2009. Montgomery County verdict. Verdict reduced to comport with Ohio laws and damage caps. Case settled during post-trial motions with one defendant. Judgement remains versus the other.

$5.4 Million
Mismanagement of Labor resulting in HIE/ CP in newborn. Settlement among multiple parties.

$5.3 Million
Mismanagement of intrapartum care of twins, results in Twin “A” suffering Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, 2008, settlement.

$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

$3.5 Million
Result for injury to neonate/child following placement of a PEG tube, 2011

$3.5 Million
Surgical error case, pregnant female.

$3.3 Million
Neonatal injury following PEG tube placement.

$3 Million
Man burned over arms, legs and torso from explosion

$2.5 Million Verdict
Mismanagement of preterm labor resulting in a stillbirth, 2006. Miami County, Ohio. Case resolved at insurance limits post verdict.

$2.4 Million
Death of mother secondary to hemorrhage following delivery.

$2 Million
Maternal death, multiple defendants. Failure to timely respond to postpartum arrest.

$1.9 Million Settlement
Neurologic injury secondary to epidural creating subdural hematoma.

$1.8 Million
Botched sinus surgery resulting in neurological issues.

$1.5 Million
Result for surgical error, 2011.

$1.5 Million
Resolution for herniated disks following accident with city truck.

$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.

Amount Confidential
New Jersey Pro Hac Vice with co-counsel, Louis DeVoto, wrongful death of 21 year-old female who arrested secondary to pyelonephritis. Code blue was issue in case.

Settlement Amount Withheld
Wrongful death, cardiac cath complicated by re-occlusion resulting in arrest. Local counsel Rosetti & DeVoto.

Oversaw the handling and resolution of claims related to birth control patches resulting in blood clots.

All lawsuits are different and Elk & Elk makes no representation or promises that it can obtain the same results in other cases. These results do not guarantee, warrant, or predict the outcome of any future legal matter. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.


  • University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio
    • J.D. - 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

Professional Associations

  • 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

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury

Bar Admissions

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


  • 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