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James J. Lanham

Chief Operating Officer

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James J. Lanham


For over three decades, Jim Lanham has provided a full spectrum of legal services to individuals, families, and businesses as they plan for the future. Utilizing sophisticated wealth planning techniques, Jim delivers personal and individualized advice to each and every client, focusing on the nuances that make every client’s situation unique.  He has recently been recognized for his skills in this area by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, which invited him to join the organization as a Fellow. In addition to his work with estate planning, Jim advises a number of businesses on governance and acquisitions, and is a licensed title agent along with handling commercial and residential real estate deals. 

In addition to his responsibilities to his clients, Jim has contributed his time to numerous charitable organizations, including service as Past President of the Wooster Kiwanis Club. He is serving as the Past Chair of Goodwill Industries of Wayne and Holmes Counties. Jim also actively educates others through speaking engagements across the firm’s geographic footprint and as the author of a number of published articles and client alerts on topics related to estate planning, trust, and wealth and succession planning.

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The University of Akron School of Law, J.D., Akron Law Review

The College of Wooster, B.A.




Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (charter member)

Licensed Ohio Title Insurance Agent



  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section, Area Delegate
  • Wayne County Bar Association

In the Community

  • Akron Community Foundation, Member, Professional Advisor Council
  • Wooster Kiwanis Club, Past President
  • Wayne – Holmes Estate Planning Council
  • Goodwill Industries of Wayne and Holmes Counties, Past Chair
  • Pee Wee Hollow, Inc. Scout Camp, Treasurer

Speaking Engagements

  • Statutory Changes / Updates in Probate Law; Case Law Update; Local Rules Wayne County Probate, CLE sponsored by Wayne County Probate Court (2021)
  • Dynasty Trusts, CLE sponsored by The Commercial & Savings Bank (2021)
  • Comparing and Contrasting the Probate Code with the Ohio Rules of Superintendence, Ohio State Bar Association CLE (2021)
  • SLATS in 2021, Worthington Estate Planning Council (2021)
  • Charitable Trust Planning, Medina County Estate Planning Council (2020)
  • The Secure Act, Heart of Ohio Estate Planning Council (2020)


  • Revisiting the Probate Practitioner’s Oxymoron: Comparing and Contrasting the Probate Code with the Ohio Rules of Superintendence,” 32 PLJO 84 (Nov/Dec 2021)
  • Amended Ohio Revised Code § 2106.13: Reduction in Allowance For Support Applies Only If Multiple Vehicles Selected by Surviving Spouse,” 31 PLJO 118 (Jan./Feb 2021)
  • Eating Your Cake and Still Having it Too: Using CLATs for a Charitable Deduction,” Advisor Insights, a publication of the Akron Community Foundation (Fall 2020)
  • “Conflicting Redundant Laws: the Probate Practitioner’s Oxymoron (Reconciling Supreme Court Probate Rules and the Revised Code),” 22 PLJO 235 (May/June 2012, co-author Matthew R. Hochstetler).
  • “The New Recording Statute’s Impact on Estate Planning and Administration,” 20 PLJO 12 (Sept./Oct. 2009).
  • “Three Pets Named “Peeve”: Ohio’s Annual Exclusion Parts 1 and 2, and TODs for Stuff,” 19 PLJO 159 (March/April 2009).
  • “Ambiguity in the New Medicaid Estate Recovery Statute of Limitations: Who’s Kicking Whom?,” 14 PLJO 27 (Nov./Dec. 2003).
  • “Estate Tax Loophole Closed for Summary Release,” 13 PLJO 42 (Jan./Feb. 2003).
  • “Did They Mean What They Said and Say What They Mean? Did Our Legislature Already Eliminate Ohio Estate Taxes?,” 13 PLJO 13 (Sept./Oct. 2002).
  • “Reconsidering Ohio’s Memorandum of Trust Statute,” 5 PLJO 39 (Jan./Feb. 1995).
  • “Considerations for Collecting Assets” NBI Seminar presentation
  • “Ethical Challenges in Estate Administration” NBI Seminar presentation
  • “The New Uniform Power of Attorney Act and other SB 117 Law Changes” Heart of Ohio Estate Planning Council presentation
  • “IRS OKS DSUE QTIP IN REV PROC 2016-49,” 27 PLJO 1 (Nov./Dec. 2016).
  • “Catch-22 for Ohio Incompetents:  In re Cicchella,” 25 PLJO 5 (Jan./Feb. 2015).
  • “Fixing Ohio’s Obsolescent Law for Decedents’ Safe Deposit Boxes,” 24 PLJO 250 (Mar./April 2014).

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