Jeffrey W. Hutson's Profile Image

Jeffrey W. Hutson

Phone: (614) 233-4747

In my 4 years as a Navy Judge Advocate I learned what it meant to wear more than one hat. During my long career I have worn 3 hats, as a trial lawyer, an arbitrator and a mediator. I continue to actively work in all three capacities, which are linked together by my experience in insurance, personal injury, professional malpractice and construction law and my dedication to resolving disputes to the benefit of my clients.


  • 2013 Best Lawyers of the Year - Personal Injury Litigation, Defendants
  • 2013-2016 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2013-2021 Ohio Super Lawyers - Construction Litigation, Defense
  • Best's Directory of Recommended Insurance Lawyers and Adjustors
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Personal Injury Litigation
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Marquis Who's Who in American Law, in the Midwest and in America

Representative Experience


Overview: Consistently listed among the "Ohio Super Lawyers” (Law & Politics Media, Inc.) in Construction. Projects include: waste water treatment facilities, hospitals, restaurants and motels, court houses (state and federal), residential housing, silos, maintenance facilities, correctional centers, warehousing, site development, slaughter house, schools and universities, swimming pools, parks and zoos, nursing homes, manufacturing and process plants, landfills, roads, bridges and highways and architectural/engineering copyright.

Representative Cases have involved: easements, high pressure gas lines, concrete (freeze-thaw, walls, floors, foundations, precast), remodeling projects, roofing materials and decks, soils stability-settlement and lateral support, underground utilities, sanitary and storm sewers, surface water, flood plain and drainage, roof trusses, construction site management (delays, surveys, site conditions, drainage, cut & fill, grading, safety), material handling systems, mold remediation, copyright infringement, pre-engineered buildings, a variety of structural issues, HVAC systems, condensation, water seepage, mold, electrical switchgear, paving, maintenance of traffic and vehicular traffic (safety), bidding issues, contract administration (submittals, RFIs, pay apps, termination of contract, bonds, cost overruns), heavy equipment issues (safety, property damage, encroachment), code compliance issues, welding, elevators, controls, water lines, shelving and storage, electrical supply, lighting and equipment, traffic impact studies, roof collapses and windstorm damage, constructability issues, scaffolding, curtain walls, street lighting, structural steel coatings, and fast track and turnkey projects.

Insurance Coverage

Overview: Automobile Policies and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Comprehensive General Liability and other commercial policies; Project Policies; Professional Liability Policies; Life and Health policies.

Representative Cases have involved: duty to defend vs. duty to indemnify; coverage for intentional torts; "project management” exclusion; "hazardous substances” exclusion; whether deterioration of treated wood is "property damage”; "pollution exclusion”; failure of notice, default judgment, and duty to defend; mine inundation; coverage of general contractor for subcontractor negligence; direct vs. consequential damages; "wind driven water” exclusion; coverage for "named insureds”; coverage under group life policies of deceased employee.

Personal Injury

Overview: Consistently listed among the "The Best Lawyers in America” in Personal Injury Litigation. Liability arising from ownership and operation of automobiles, trucks and heavy equipment; products liability; premises liability, construction defect; "intentional” workplace injuries outside of worker's compensation.

Representative Cases have involved: value of loss of "executive function” in brain damage case; loss of consortium in asbestos exposure case; liability for unexploded firework removed from park site; wrongful death of an infant; truck liability for sudden lane change; liability of "hit and run” driver; application of fireman's rule to exploding propane tank in commercial building; trucker liability for backing into invitee in commercial yard; duty to provide security in lighted parking lot; injury resulting from emergency services rendered to railroad.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Overview: Private mediator and arbitrator, commercial panel mediator for the American Arbitration Association, and member of the "Blue Ribbon Panel of Mediators” of USDC, SD, ED resolving construction, personal injury, defamation, discrimination, employment, police/security excessive force and wrongful arrest, FELA, insurance coverage transportation, health benefits, legal fees arising from white collar prosecutions, malicious prosecution, commercial and other contract cases.

Representative Cases have involved:Mediated settlement of a personal injury case of a dying plaintiff and insurance carrier; a dispute between a Church and the Diocese against five construction companies defended by eight different insurers and total loss of a church building due to mold; a high profile dispute resulting from the "political firing” of longtime county employee; and 65 other matters over the last five years.

Significant Cases

  • Spingola v. Stonewall Columbus, Inc., 2007 Ohio App. LEXIS 323 (10th App. Dist.) (whether accusation directed to nationally recognized street preacher was defamation)
  • Home Insurance Co. of Illinois v. OM Group, Inc., 2003 Ohio App. LEXIS 3315 (1st App. Dist.) (whether deterioration of chemically treated wood constitutes property damage within coverage)
  • Gilbane Building Co v. Altman Co., 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 981 (subcontractor under a Project Policy)
  • Schoedinger v. Hess, Court of Appeals, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 2409 (10th App. Dist.) (engineering malpractice)
  • Bishop v. Waterbeds `n Stuff, 2002 Ohio App. LEXIS 2426 (10th App. Dist.) (intentional tort)
  • City of Columbus v. Alden E. Stilson & Assocs., 1993 Ohio App. LEXIS 4707 (10th App. Dist.), mco (1994) 68 Ohio St. 3rd 1461 (indemnity)
  • Kemmerer v. Waste Management, 1997 Ohio App. LEXIS 3259 (5th App. Dist.) (premises liability)
  • Willoughby Hills v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. (1984), 9 Ohio St. 3d 177 (insurance coverage)
  • S&M Constructors, Inc. v. City of Columbus, 1981 Ohio App. LEXIS 14347 (10th App. Dist.), affirmed at (1982), 70 Ohio St. 3d 69 (construction disclaimer)
  • Hocking Conservancy Dist. v. Dodson-Lindblom Assoc. (1980), 62 Ohio St. 2d 195 (architect malpractice, statute of limitations)

Other Professional Experience

  • U.S. Navy Judge Advocate, 1967-1971


  • University of Michigan Law School, LL.B., 1966
  • University of Michigan, A.B., 1963
  • Walsingham Academy, 1959

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1966
  • Hawaii, 1971
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 1971
  • United State District Court, Northern District, 2001
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1971
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1971

Professional Affiliations

Past and Present

  • American Institute of Architects, Associate Member
  • Columbus Bar Association
    - Chairman, Professional Economics Committee
    - Chairman, Judiciary Committee
    - Chairman, Construction Law Committee
  • Columbus Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    - Board of Governors
    - Chairman, Litigation Section
    - Subcommittee on Products Liability
    - Negligence Committee
    - Special Committee on Tort Reform
    - Technical Advisory Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • American Bar Association
    - Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
    - LSC Advocate
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
    - President
    - Chairman, Legislative Committee
    - Chairman, Judiciary Committee
  • Defense Research Institute
    - Regional Vice-President
    - State Chairman, Ohio
    - Amicus Curiae Committee
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    - Chairman, Architectural-Engineering and Construction Litigation Committee
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    - Fellow
    - State Committee
  • American Arbitration Association (Commercial and Construction Panels)
  • Ohio Supreme Court
    - Committee on Creeds and Professionalism
  • Builder's Exchange
    - Lawyer's Group
    - Instructor
  • The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
    - Herman Moot Court Competition
    - Appellate Advocacy Council (2d year Appellate Advocacy Oral Arguments)
    - Mock Court Judge
  • Capital University Law School
    - Mock Court Judge, First Year Moot Court Competition
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division
    - Blue Ribbon Panel of Mediators

Community and Civic Involvement

  • Northwest Counseling Services
  • Columbus Metropolitan Club

Publications and Presentations

  • New Magistrate Training, The Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College, 2012
  • Moderator, Judicial Independence with Chief Justice O'Connor, Columbus Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, 2012
  • "Law of Engineering Malpractice," Half Moon Seminars, 2011
  • "Professionalism for New Lawyers," Columbus Bar Association Training for New Lawyers, 2010
  • "Construction Arbitration," Capital Law School, Course in Arbitration, 2009
  • "Understanding the Law of Architectural Malpractice," Half Moon Seminars, 2009
  • "The Advocate's Impact on Mediation: The Mediators' Perspective," Columbus Bar Association, ADR Committee Panel Discussion, 2009
  • Panel Discussion, "Mediation: Sometimes We Don't Know What We Don't Know," Ohio State Bar Association, 2008
  • Panel Discussion of Dugan & Meyers decision, Columbus Bar Association Construction Committee and Builder's Exchange, 2007
  • "AIA Contracts in Ohio," Lorman Educational Services, 2003-2007
  • "Contracts for Design Services and Law of Architectural Malpractice," Half Moon Seminars, 2006
  • "AIA Design Build Document Updates," Builder's Exchange Ohio Design & Construction Expo, 2006
  • "How to Get Construction Subcontract Right in Ohio," Lorman Educational Services, 2004
  • "Liability Prevention," AIA/Builder's Exchange, 2004
  • "Mediating in Wrongful Death Cases," Lorman Educational Services, 2001-2004
  • "What To Do When a Dispute Arises," AAA, 2002
  • "Facts or Fiction: The Truth About Mold in Schools and Finding Coverage and Managing Mold Claims," BASA/Triad Architects, 2002
  • "Law for Design Professionals," Lorman Educational Services, 2002
  • "Mediation and Arbitration in Business Litigation, Some Recommended Do's and Don'ts," PESI, 2002
  • "Architect/Engineer Liability Practice in Ohio," Lorman Educational Services, 2000
  • "Understanding Design Contracts and AlA Documents," Builders Exchange, 1996-2000
  • "Crisis Management," Safety Directors Exchange, Builders Exchange, 1999
  • "Observations of a Veteran Trial Lawyer," Ohio Association of Civil Trial Lawyers, 1997
  • "ADR: How to Make It Work for Your Clients," Ohio State Bar Association, 1996
  • "Design Build Contracts," Columbus Bar Association, 1995
  • Trial Academy, International Association of Defense Counsel, Faculty, 1991
  • "The Surrogate Jury," Columbus Bar Association Panelist, 1990
  • "Joint and Several Liability under the Ohio Tort Reform Statute," Litigation Practice Institute, 1988
  • "Learning the Federal Rules of Evidence the Easy Way," IADC-DRI Program, Panelist, 1987
  • "Discovery in Products Liability Cases," Columbus Bar Association, 1981
  • Co-author, "Managing the Growing Law Firm," Bar Briefs, 1982
  • Case note, "The Construction Lawyer," 1981

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