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John K. Nelson

1000 Jackson Street
Toledo, OH 43604


Amy Avaritt

Corporate and individual clients draw on John's more than three decades of experience handling civil litigation in federal and state courts, both at the trial and appellate levels. He has significant experience representing clients in a wide array of litigation matters involving complex commercial issues, contract issues, tort claims, and insurance coverage disputes. John also serves as national coordinating counsel for certain pattern tort litigation for a large corporate client, directing the efforts to secure insurance recovery and contractual indemnity for those cases.

The main focus of John's practice today is representing and counseling clients on matters concerning the availability of insurance coverage for a variety of claims and losses under comprehensive general liability policies, errors and omissions policies, employers liability policies, directors and officers policies, cyber insurance policies, and other commercial policies. John has served as counsel for corporate policyholders in significant insurance coverage cases, including cases presenting successor insurance issues arising out of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. He manages the implementation of insurance settlements and claims handling agreements for pattern tort litigation nationwide, working with both the corporate policyholders and insurance carriers in the process. John's work also includes review and analysis of insurance policy forms in the context of IRS challenges to captive insurance programs.

John has many years of experience in pursuing and defending contractual indemnity claims, including claims arising from historical merger, asset acquisition, or divestiture transactions. This work includes analyzing the corporate transactions to ascertain the rights and liabilities of the parties and to determine their respective responsibilities for legacy liabilities of the acquired or sold company, including long tail liabilities, such as asbestos liabilities and environmental liabilities. On the transactional side, John advises clients on the drafting and interpretation of indemnity agreements, releases, and insurance requirements in contracts.

John served as a law clerk to the Honorable Don J. Young, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, from 1979 to 1981.

John's hobbies include photography and golf at the historic Inverness Club in Toledo.


  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America,  Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, and Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions, 2008 - 2019
  • Best Lawyers "Toledo Insurance Law Lawyer of the Year," 2019
  • Ohio Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine, 2018 - 2019

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Toledo Bar Association
    • Federal Court Committee
    • Common Pleas Court Committee
    • Professionalism Committee
    • Former member of the Certified Grievance Committee
  • Rotary Club of Toledo
  • Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio, President (2012, 2013)

Alternate biographies





  • J.D., magna cum laude, The University of Toledo College of Law, The University of Toledo Law Review, 1979
  • B.A., cum laude, Miami University, 1976

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Ohio, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
  • United States Supreme Court



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