International Society of Primerus Law Firms
James D. Vail
Practice Areas:

Cleveland Attorney
James D. Vail

Phone: 216.696.4200


Languages: English

Jim Vail joined the firm in 1979 and has been a Partner since 1986. He served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 1996 through 2019. 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 the Center for Community Solutions.  He was previously a member of the Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission, and has served on several boards of directors including Family Connections, Ingenuity Festival, Heights Parent Center, Cleveland Heights/University Heights Public Library, and Reaching Heights. Jim has lived in Cleveland Heights for more than 40 years and is active in several Cleveland Heights organizations.

Practice Areas

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Business Law
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Commercial Contracting
  • Health Care Law
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Employment Law
  • Business/Commercial Litigation
  • Employment Litigation
  • Probate & Trust Litigation


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

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®   
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (2017-present) for work in:
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Corporate Law
    • 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

Contact This Firm

Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP

1375 East 9th Street
Suite 900
Cleveland, OH 44114
United States

Law Firm Contact: David M. Lenz

Tel: 216.696.4200

Fax: 216.696.7303



Member Since: 2005

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