Providing Solutions To Complex Legal Issues
For Over 100 Years

James Aussem

  • Attorney
James Aussem Recognized By Best Lawyers 2024
James Aussem Recognized By Best Lawyers 2023

James S. Aussem, is a shareholder in the Cleveland law firm of Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Co., LPA, as well as a past member of its board of directors and former Chair of the Business Practice Group. Mr. Aussem’s practice is focused on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions as well as estates and trusts.

Mr. Aussem has been chosen as one of America’s Best Lawyers every year since 2009 and for the past 11 years he has been chosen in two categories, Corporate Law and Trusts and Estates.

Mr. Aussem has been designated an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) Distinguished by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils which inducted him into its Estate Planning Hall of Fame in November of 2022.

He was the 90th president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP) serving from September 1, 2017, to August 31, 2018; he received the 2019 Kenneth Black, Jr. Leadership Award from the Society in 2019, and has been active in the Cleveland Chapter FSP, serving as its President 2010-2011 and was named its Financial Service Professional of the Year in 2013.

Mr. Aussem is a frequent speaker, facilitator, and instructor for many professional organizations on topics such as business succession, buying and selling businesses, estate planning, insurance, trusts and estates.

Baldwin Wallace University in 2004 presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.

He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mr. Aussem began his legal career as a tax attorney with Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young). He worked his way through undergraduate school employed in the securities industry, as well as in the trust department of the former National City Bank. He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Mr. Aussem is AV® Preeminent Rated – Martindale-Hubbell

Practice Areas


  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Juris Doctor – 1975
  • Baldwin-Wallace University
    • Bachelor of Arts – 1971

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio

Professional Associations

  • Society of Financial Service Professionals, National Director
  • Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
  • Cleveland Museum of Art Planned Giving Committee
  • Baldwin Wallace College Planned Giving Committee
  • Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP), 90th President, 09/2017 to 08/2018
  • Cleveland Chapter FSP, President, 2010 to 2011
  • University Hospitals and Baldwin-Wallace University
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, Member

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®), National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2019 Kenneth Black, Jr. Leadership Award from the Society
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Baldwin Wallace University
  • Financial Service Professional of the Year, The Cleveland Chapter of the Society of FSP
  • AV® Preeminent Rated – Martindale-Hubbell