Jim McCrystal has spent four decades handling product liability cases and now has a national practice in that field. He has represented the manufacturers of tires, automobiles, trucks, farm equipment, industrial products, and power systems as well as handling construction litigation and commercial disputes.

As a Program Director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, he is committed to sharing his considerable expertise when training lawyers both in the USA and internationally.


  • Ohio
  • United States District Courts
  • Northern District of Ohio
  • Southern District of Ohio
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • John Carroll University, A.B., 1970
  • University of Notre Dame, J.D., 1973


  • Program Director, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Deposition Skills; Trial Advocacy; Mediation Skills; and e-Discovery.
  • Member, Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure (2009 – 2014)


  • “Do the Rules Compute & Do Computers Rule: Controlling Electronic Data in Discovery,”
  • Products Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
  • “Jury Trial Innovations,” Federal Bar Association National Convention; PLAC
  • “Electronic Discovery: What Types of Information Should Be Routinely
  • Retained and How to Produce It,” Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • “Challenges to Computer Generated Evidence,” International Association of Defense
  • Counsel (IADC)
  • “Combating Spoliation of Evidence,” IADC
  • “Dealing with the Gorilla at Depositions,” Ohio Legal Center Institute
  • “Uses of Video in the Courtroom,” American College of Trial Lawyers; Kentucky State Bar
  • Association; Wyoming State Bar Association; Canadian Bar Association; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers; Maryland State Bar Association
  • “The Liability Insurer's Duties to Defend and Settle,” CWRU School of Law
  • “Litigating Bad Faith Insurance Claims,” CWRU School of Law
  • “The Insurer's Duty to Defend,” CWRU School of Law
  • “Evidentiary Standards in Toxic Tort Litigation: Challenging the Plaintiff's Expert,” DRI “Gender Equity Issues and the Code of Professional Responsibility,” Cleveland-Marshall
  • College of Law
  • “Attorney Client Relations with Corporate Clients: An Overview of Ethical Issues in
  • Business Litigation,” IADC
  • “Electrons Meet the Civil Rules,” Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
  • “Punitive Damages,” Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA)
  • “The Changing Landscape of Punitive Damages,” Lorman Education Services
  • “Writing Opinion Letters,” OACTA
  • “Hartman: When is interest due on a settlement?” OACTA
  • “Discovery and Electronic Data: Electrons meet the Civil Rules,” OACTA
  • “Qui Tam and Whistle Blower Litigation,” Cleveland Bar Association
  • “Voir Dire in Civil Litigation,” Ohio Legal Center Institute
  • “Impact of Fidelholtz on Multi-Party Tort Litigation,” OACTA and Ohio Legal Center
  • Institute
  • “Representing Co-defendants in a Motor Vehicle Products Liability Suit,” DRI
  • “What's new with Peremptory Challenges in Civil Litigation,” IADC
  • “Avoiding Problems in Commercial Arbitration,” Cleveland Bar Association
  • “Calculating Law Firm Costs for Budget Planning,” IADC
  • “Avoiding Environmental Liability,” National Business Institute
  • “A Commentary on the Cases Every Defense Trial Counsel Should Know,” OACTA
  • “Motions in Limine to Exclude Plaintiff's Expert Witnesses,” IADC
  • “Legal Malpractice and Bad Faith - You and the Insurer on Trial,” IADC


  • Product Liability Advisory Council (former Member Board of Directors)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (former Chairman of CLE Board)
  • Defense Research Institute (former Member Board of Directors and former Ohio State Representative)
  • Life Member, Judicial Conference of Eighth Judicial District of Ohio
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (Program Director)
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (former President)
  • Cleveland Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (former President)
  • Ohio State Bar Association (member of Judicial Administration & Legal Reform Committee (1976 -present)
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation
  • Cleveland Bar Association (former Chair of Litigation Section)
  • Erie County Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • John Carroll University Alumni Association (former President)
  • Friends of the Western Reserve Historical Society Library (former President

Awards & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers, 2007-2020
  • Rated AV/Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • NITA’s Judge Prentice Marshall Faculty Award for the Development of Innovative Teaching Methods, 2014
  • OACTA’S Frank Seth Hurd Member of the Year, 1997 and 2011