James E. Cleveland, III

P: (304) 691-8376
F: (304) 522-4312
Jim is a Partner in our Huntington, West Virginia and Lexington, Kentucky offices. His vast experience as a litigator and his familiarity with the area give him an edge with clients. Throughout his impressive 40+ year career, he has been the lead attorney in cases involving FELA, railroad crossings, medical malpractice, automobile insurance defense, and labor relations in some of the toughest venues in Eastern Kentucky.

During law school, Jim served as Vice President of the Moot Court Program and worked as Legislative Aide in the United States Senate. Upon graduation, he served as Law Clerk to Justice James B. Stephenson, Supreme Court of Kentucky. He has served as Special Justice to the Supreme Court of Kentucky. In addition he has an active practice in the United States District Court in the both Eastern and Western District of Kentucky and has been asked to serve as a life member to the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference. In addition he has served as a member of the Joint Local Rules Committee for the Federal Courts in Kentucky as well as the Biden Committee studying costs and delays in the federal courts.

Jim graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1971 and the University of Louisville College of Law in 1974 where he was a member of Delta Theta Phi.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) Fellow
  • Boyd County Bar Association (President 1989-90)
  • Kentucky Bar Association (Board of Governors 1991-1993)
  • Kentucky Bar Foundation (President 2000-2001 and Charter Life Fellow)
  • Member, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Kentucky Defense Council
  • Civil Justice Reform Act, Advisory Committee Member
  • Special Justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court
  • Life Member to the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Executive Committee Member
  • Federal Joint Local Rules Committee for the Eastern and Western Kentucky Districts, Committee Member
  • Past Chair of the River Cities Roundtable, an organization of business and arts leaders from the Tri-State area
  • Past President of the Ashland Rotary Club
  • Past President of the Greater Ashland Area UK Alumni Club
  • Past Member of the Board of the Ashland Public Education Foundation
  • Past Member of the Board of the Boy Scout Council
  • Past Member of the Board of the Senior Citizens’ Council


  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Railroad Law by The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013, 2017
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for over 10 years
  • Listed in Kentucky Super Lawyers, Transportation Law