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John K. Nelson

1000 Jackson Street
Toledo, OH 43604


Amy Avaritt

John Nelson has over 33 years of experience handling civil litigation in federal and state courts, both at the trial and appellate levels.  He represents corporate and individual 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.

John has many years of experience in pursuing and defending contractual indemnity claims, including claims arising from historical merger, asset acquisition, or divestiture transactions.  In the process, John investigates these corporate transactions to ascertain the rights and liabilities of the parties and to analyze their respective responsibilities for legacy liabilities of the acquired or sold company, including long tail liabilities such as asbestos liabilities and environmental liabilities.  He advises clients on the drafting and interpretation of indemnity agreements, releases, and subrogation contracts.

John also counsels corporate and individual clients on the availability of insurance coverage for a variety of claims and losses under comprehensive general liability policies, public officials liability policies, employers liability policies, auto insurance policies, and other commercial and personal policies.  John has served as counsel for corporate policyholders in significant insurance coverage cases.  He works to manage insurance settlements and claims handling agreements for pattern tort litigation, working with both corporate policyholders and the insurance carriers in the process.  His work has included policy review and analysis in the context of a captive insurance program.

While in first year law school, John placed first in the 1977 Charles Fornoff Intraschool Moot Court competition, with the finals being argued before a panel of judges that included Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.

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.


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

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



2018 Super Lawyers bio