James M. Wherley, Jr.


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Jim is a member of the firm’s management committee and his law practice focuses upon oil and gas litigation and consultation, civil litigation, patent prosecution and litigation, and employment law.  He is registered to practice in multiple state and federal courts and is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Oil and Gas:  Jim is the chair of the firm’s oil & gas practice group, and represents oil producers, drilling companies, and service companies in litigation in a broad range of oil and gas issues – resulting in a number of revocable decisions for producers, including relating to application of force majeure and anti-assignment lease clauses, waivers by landowners as to leasehold rights.

Intellectual Property:  Jim puts to use his undergraduate double major of biochemistry and molecular biology, in conjunction with Black McCuskey’s other intellectual property lawyers, representing clients in intellectual property matters, including patent prosecution and patent infringement litigation.

Employment:  Jim’s representation of both private and public employers includes defense of discrimination, employer intentional tort, and asbestos claims; and workers’ compensation appeals.  He also drafts and advises as to severance agreements and employment handbooks.

Background:  Jim grew up in Stone Creek and graduated as co-valedictorian from New Philadelphia High School. He attended Grove City College on a full-academic scholarship from which he graduated cum laude, double-majored in molecular biology and biochemistry, and was a 4-year starter on the men’s basketball team. In law school, Jim graduated with over a 4.0 grade average and worked as an extern in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  After graduating from law school, Jim scored in the 100th percentile on the Ohio Bar examination.  Prior to working at Black McCuskey, he worked as a civil litigator for Dinsmore & Shohl, a large regional law firm based in Cincinnati.

Community:  Committed to his community, Jim is a former chair of the board of Personal & Family Counseling Services of Tuscarawas Valley, Inc., a former school board member of Indian Hills Christian School, and is a graduate of Leadership Tuscarawas.  He presently is Vice-president of the Tuscarawas County YMCA’s board of directors.  Jim and his family live outside of Stone Creek. He is an active member of his church, as he is an elder and was the past chair of its pastoral search committee.


Recent Decision Upholds Oil & Gas Lease Even Though the Non-Assignment Clause was Breached