Academy Member Inducted 2021

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John M. Alton, Mediator, Columbus, Ohio.

John M. Alton

John M. Alton & Co., LPA
1071 S. High Street
Columbus, OH 43206
Tel: (614) 439-6526
Fax: 614-221-6788
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Recognized to Ohio Chapter for Mediation Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Early Neutral Evaluation, Med-Arb
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced2008
  • # of MEDS (as of 24/3/23)450
  • # of ARBS (as of 24/3/23) 
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


John Alton's 45-year career as a lawyer is almost equally divided between being a defense lawyer in civil litigation, a plaintiff lawyer in civil litigation and a mediator (or arbitrator) in civil litigation.

John began his career as a trial lawyer in 1977 at Lane Alton, a law firm co-founded in 1957 by his father, Jack Alton. At Lane Alton John  tried approximately 40 cases to verdict and was trial department and client development chair for 9 years as the law firm increased from 15 to 35 lawyers.

In late 1992 John Alton was asked by Frank Ray, then recent past President of the Ohio Plaintiff's bar, to be his partner in his small plaintiff law firm. John joined Frank Ray in March 1994 as a partner and prrimarily epresented plaintiffs in vaious types of civil litigation. John Alton became a sole practitioner in 1998 and continued to represent plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation through 2019. John no longer represents defendants or plaintiffs in civil litigation.

John Alton never considered being a mediator until he was asked in 2008 to mediate a medical malpractice case with two experienced medical malpractice lawyers. Since 2008 John has mediated hundreds of cases at the request  of defense lawyers, plaintiff lawyers, insurance companies, hospitals, municipalities, product manufacturers, medical device product manufacturers and other individuals and corporate entities.John has ben a full time mediaor since the fall of 2019.

John Alton has mediated cases in every major Ohio city and many small Ohio towns and in West Virginia and Kentucky with lawyers and party decision makers from more than 20 states.

John has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Laywers (ACTL) a combined 50 years.

John Alton is one of two Ohio lawyers who has served as Chair of the State Committee in Ohio of the American College of Trial Lawyers and as President of the American Board of Trial Advocates in Ohio.

Every year since 1993 John has received Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of AV Preeminent in legal ability and ethical standards.

Types of cases John Alton  has mediated include:

medical negligence

product liability

trucking / transportation

construction accidents

medical device product liability

1983 actions

political subdivision liability

legal malpractice

nursing home neglect

workplace injury

intentional tort

asbestos injury

insurance agent errors and omissions


commercial litigation

eminent domain

premises liability

serious personal injury

wrongful death


insurance coverage

school law

negligent security


First Amendment 


John Alton's 45 years of experience including approximately 65 trials to verdict and more than 1,500 settlements (without a mediator) provide John with a uniquely balanced perspective. If a case does not resolve on the day of a mediation, John will assist for as long as it takes to effectuate resolution.

Since 2015 John has often spoken on the topic of mediations at the request of several Ohio and national trial lawyer professional organizations.

Case Experience

  • Automotive
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial/Business
  • Construction
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Contract Disputes
  • Discrimination
  • Education
  • Elder Abuse
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Franchise
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lemon Law
  • Libel & Slander
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Medical Devices
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Homes
  • Personal Injury
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Police
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Railroad & Trucking
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Torts
  • Transportation
  • Wrongful Death


Duke University, Cum Laude with Distinction in Psychology (B.A., 1974)

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (J.D., 1977)

Memberships & Affiliations

Ohio Super Lawyers (2021-2023 in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Top 50 Columbus Lawyers List)

  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (2020-present)
  • Ohio Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution (1996-1998)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (2000-present; State (Ohio) Committee, 2009-present; State Committee Vice-Chair, 2015-2017; State Committee Chair, 2017-2019)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (1996-present; Ohio Chapter President-Elect, 2021; Ohio Chapter President, 2022; Ohio Chapter Membership Chair, 2023)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy (Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy, 1997-2010)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (1985-1994)
  • Columbus Bar Association (1977-present; Professional Ethics Committee, 1997-1999)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers (2004-2020, Plaintiff Medical Malpractice)
  • Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys (1992-2020, Defense and Plaintiff Medical Malpractice)
  • Best Lawyers (2008-present; 2020 Professional Malpractice Lawyer of the Year)

Rates Information

John Alton's hourly rate is $400 for all aspects of preparation, the mediation (or arbitration) itself and post mediation (or arbitration) involvement for review of additional written materials, phone conferences, email exchanges, correspondence and/or mediator proposals or written decisions post arbitration hearings.

John's hourly rate is $250 for travel to and from mediation venues outside of Central Ohio.

John does not charge for expenses such as parking, hotels, food, mileage, etc. for Ohio-venued mediations. However, if John Alton advances the expense to reserve mediation meeting rooms at hotels or other venues, those costs will be included on mediation invoices. 

If it is necessary for to travel by air to mediate outside of Ohio, costs incurred for air travel, hotels and other mediation related expenses will be included on mediation invoices. 

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