James Silk Jr.

James P. Silk Jr.

About James

James Silk is Chairman of the firm’s litigation group. His practice includes trials and appeals of civil matters in state and federal court with an emphasis on commercial litigation. Additionally, Mr. Silk has focused his practice on insurance defense matters, primarily involving the construction industry. Mr. Silk has also served as local counsel in several matters, including class actions. Mr. Silk has represented clients in several cases involving unfair competition and trade secrets. Prior to joining the firm in 1995, Mr. Silk served as a law clerk to the Honorable James G. Carr, Northern District of Ohio, Western Division.

Representative Matters

  • Daughenbaugh v. City of Tiffin 150 F.3d 594 (6th Cir. 1998) (summary judgment granted based on defense of qualified immunity upheld).

  • Jastremski v. Safeco Insurance Co. 243 F.Supp. 743 (N.D. Ohio 2003) (served as local counsel in matter involving claim of violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act).

  • Daimler-Chrysler v. General Motors Corporation 133 F.Supp. 2d 1041 (N.D. Ohio 2001) (served as local counsel in trademark and unfair competition matter).

  • Buckeye Retirement Co. v. Brat Automotive 2006 Ohio 4078 (9th Dist. Ct.App.) (successfully represented franchisor in contract dispute).

  • Coop v. Brown 2003 Ohio 6840 (6th Dist. Ct. App.) (successfully represented insurance company in coverage dispute).


  • Ohio State Bar Association

  • Toledo Bar Association


  • Duke University (A.B. 1990, cum laude)

  • University of Michigan Law School (J.D. 1993)

Bar Admissions

  • All Ohio Courts

  • U.S. District Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District Michigan

  • U.S. District Court, Western District Michigan

Practice Areas

Accidents (Auto)

Our attorneys represent plaintiffs in connection with liability claims arising from auto accidents. As soon as possible after medical treatment has been received, we recommend that you contact a Spengler Nathanson attorney to discuss your case. We have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and help you maximize your recovery of compensation from responsible parties.

Accreditation, Certification, & Licensure

Our attorneys have experience in helping systems and various types of providers with their accreditation, certification, and licensure needs, as well as representing them in front of applicable regulatory boards.

Appellate Practice

A decision in the trial court is rarely the end of the litigation process. When selecting an attorney for an appeal, it is vital to obtain counsel who will be successful at the appellate level. Our attorneys routinely prosecute and defend appeals in the Ohio Supreme Court, various Ohio intermediate appellate courts, and administrative appeals in a variety of judicial and regulatory forums.

Commercial Collections

Recovery of business debt is a reality of any business. Spengler Nathanson attorneys can assist you in your efforts recover monies owed to your business, in compliance with all federal and state collection laws, or make a determination that a collection effort is not warranted.

Commercial Disputes

Commercial law regulates corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales of consumer goods. Our attorneys provide valuable legal counsel when commercial disputes arise. We have effectively represented corporations, partnerships, agencies, joint ventures and franchises in a myriad of disputes.

Compliance & Governance

Compliance is an important part of any governance framework. It sets and maintains a culture that steers the actions, operations, and outcomes of companies, medical practices, and entire health systems. Whether you are building a compliance program from the ground up or making adjustments as part of a regular assessment, our attorneys can be your skilled resource.

Construction Disputes and Claims

When a construction project does not go according to plan, claims are likely. Our attorneys have represented all parties in the construction arena, including architects, engineers, surveyors, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors, in claims arising out of the construction of residences, commercial buildings, roadways, bridges, landfills, sanitary sewers, waterlines and public water supply systems.

Contract Disputes

Our attorneys have considerable experience representing clients in connection with all types of contract disputes, written or verbal. If you think you have a contract and feel the other party has not lived up to their end of the deal, we will help you to determine whether a contract exists and whether or not it is capable of enforcement.

Employment Claims

In addition to representing employers in unemployment and workers’ compensation claims, our attorneys advise employers on compliance with local, state, and federal laws affecting employment, including the American with Disabilities Act, Title VII, Ohio’s civil rights law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and applicable wage and hour laws. We also advise employers on terminations and represent employers against claims brought by terminated employees.

Governmental Liability

Governmental entities in Ohio are subject to a number of statutory requirements not applicable in the private sector, such as the Public Records Act, the Sunshine Law, and the Ohio Student Records Act. When sued, counties, townships, municipalities, and school districts and their employees have a number of defenses not available to private litigants. Our attorneys have long represented governmental entities and public employees and we are familiar with applicable requirements and defenses.

Healthcare Litigation

Spengler Nathanson attorneys are experienced in many types of healthcare-related litigation, from malpractice defense and nursing home defense to medical device/products litigation and non-compete enforcement actions.

Insurance Coverage Disputes

The interpretation of an insurance policy often means the difference between coverage or no coverage. Our attorneys have effectively represented clients in insurance coverage litigation. From motion practice to trial, our clients are well represented.

Insurance Defense

Spengler Nathanson attorneys have defended insureds for over 40 years as panel counsel for such insurance companies as St Paul Insurance, Travelers Insurance, CNA Insurance and HAS. Counsel, the insured, and the claims handler work together to bring the claim to a desirable outcome.

Intentional Tort Claims

Over the years, the General Assembly and the courts have struggled with the elements of a workplace intentional tort. Our thirty-plus years of defending employers against these claims uniquely qualifies Spengler Nathanson attorneys to provide you the representation needed in this type of litigation.


Our attorneys have experience handling various aspects of landlord/tenant relationships—both residential and commercial. From drafting and advising on leases, renting policies, tenant notices, counseling landlords as tenant issues arise, and handling eviction proceedings and litigation. We can be a resource for both landlords and tenants alike.


Spengler Nathanson attorneys have mediated innumerable disputes before court-appointed mediators and mediators selected and retained by the parties to a dispute. Mediation can often result in a resolution of a claim and our attorneys are experienced in all phases of the mediation and arbitration process.

Medical Staff Matters

Medical staff relations are important for quality care and meeting other patient and community needs. Whether you are drafting Bylaws or are considering operational strategies that affect specific service lines, our attorneys can assist you. Similar to our work in the areas of accreditation, certification, and licensure, we can offer guidance on privileging and credentialing matters.

Nursing Home Claims

Nursing home claims are on the rise. As panel counsel for insurance companies providing coverage for claims arising in nursing homes, we can provide your company and its employees with a solid defense of such claims.

Personal Injury

Injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, swimming pools, and other premises liability situations are a daily occurrence. Our attorneys have successfully represented the injured party and the defendant in countless personal injury cases. Our attorneys have solid expertise in federal and state courts throughout the state.

Political Subdivisions

A large percentage of our litigation and labor practice involves advising and representing political subdivisions such as counties, townships, cities, villages, police agencies, park districts, fair boards, county nursing homes, and schools districts and in representing these clients in administrative and court proceedings. We have expertise in the laws and regulations that apply to political subdivisions and their employees.

Premises Liability

Premises liability law is the body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises. A premises owner faced with a lawsuit should notify his insurance carrier. Our attorneys have successfully defended premises owners against such claims for years.

Product Liability

Whenever a product is introduced in the stream of commerce, the possibility exists for an injury and then a lawsuit. Our attorneys have defended companies against product liability claims in state and federal courts for over 40 years and are in a position to provide you with the best possible defense while minimizing interference to your business.

Professional Liability

It is a reality that professionals have become target defendants. Our attorneys have served as panel counsel for many insurance companies writing professional liability policies over the years and are dedicated to providing the best possible legal representation to insureds.

Public Employee Liability

Public employers and their employees are subject to liability for a broad array of claims that private employers and employees do not face. Spengler Nathanson’s attorneys have expertise in these areas of the law.

Public Sector and Public Employee Defense

Public employers and their employees are subject to liability for a broad array of claims that private employers and employees don’t face. Spengler Nathanson’s attorneys have expertise in these areas of the law.

Real Estate

Our attorneys represent owners, builders, contractors, developers, landlords, and tenants in all types of real estate transactions, whether residential, commercial, industrial, retail, or office, and as to all types of administrative matters, including building and fire code compliance matters. We have extensive experience in acquisitions, financing, leasing, development, construction, and sales.

Strategy and Healthcare Innovations

The healthcare industry is ever-changing and with change comes innovation. Spengler Nathanson attorneys stand ready to be a strategic and innovative partner for many players within the industry, from health systems and providers to business start-ups.