Larry H. James

Larry James, Amundsen Davis LLC Photo


Larry has been at the heart of the Columbus business, legal, civic, and political scene for the last four decades. He is a respected litigator, as well as an advisor to local and national leaders.

Larry’s clients see him as a true advocate and business partner. He serves as general counsel for various entities, working with clients to navigate Ohio’s administrative agencies and their complex rules and regulations. He understands his clients’ culture and goals.

While Larry has gained a wealth of legal experience in his 46 years of practice, his main focus is on business and corporate law, as well as general liability defense and employment matters. He counsels clients on best practices, policies and contracts and when necessary, defends clients facing litigation.

Outside the office, Larry volunteers his time to several causes. As co-founder of the African American Leadership Academy, Larry is dedicated to increasing the number of African American leaders in central Ohio. Previously, Larry served as President of the Lincoln Theatre Association Board and President of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Performing & Cultural Arts, as well as a Board Trustee for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Columbus Urban League. He also helped establish the Columbus Bar Association’s minority clerkship program.

Larry’s leadership in arts advocacy and civil rights has led him to be recognized with numerous awards over the years. In 2024 Larry James was honored as a recipient of the James Preston Poindexter Award during the Columbus City Council's annual Black History Month Celebration. The award recognizes those who have established a legacy in Columbus by improving the city and ultimately enhancing the lives of others. He was also honored with the Steve McClure Service Award in 2024 by the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office and Franklin County Court of Common Pleas General Division in recognition of his many accomplishments in leadership and service. In 2022 Larry was honored with the Columbus Bar Association’s Professionalism Award in recognition of his long history of exemplifying the highest standards in the legal field. In addition, Larry and his wife, Donna James, were presented with the 2022 Harrison M. Sayre Award presented by the Columbus Foundation in recognition of their incredible generosity and philanthropic contribution to central Ohio. When Larry and Donna are not occupied with their philanthropic efforts, they enjoy collecting art. Larry has been known to bring some of this art to the office.

Larry is licensed to practice in front of the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; District Court for the Southern District of Ohio; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Membership & Involvement

  • Chair: Gateway Film Center 
  • Former Chair: United Way Tocqueville; Harlem Renaissance 100 Year Celebration for the City of Columbus; African American Leadership Academy (Founder); Greater Columbus Arts Council; Neighborhood School Development Partnership for the Columbus Public Schools (Co-Chair); Ohio Elections Commission
  • Former Board Member: Franklin County Guardianship Services; Trustee of the Kenyon College Board; Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Columbus Museum of Art; Rickenbacker Port Authority; Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau; Columbus Zoo; Contemporary American Theater Company (CATCO); Columbus Urban League; Veteran’s Memorial
  • Former President: Lincoln Theatre Association Board; Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Performing & Cultural Arts
  • Former Member: Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Bar Examiners


  • Columbus City Council Poindexter Award: 2024
  • Franklin County Treasurer’s Office and Franklin County Court of Common Pleas General Division, Steve McClure Service Award: 2024
  • Selected to Ohio Business Magazine's Ohio 500: 2023
  • Columbus Bar Association’s Professionalism Award: 2022
  • Selected to National Black Lawyers Top 100: 2021
  • Selected to Columbus CEO Top Lawyers List: 2020
  • Selected to Best Lawyers® in Administrative/Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year" in Central Ohio: 2019
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America® in Administrative/Regulatory Law and Business Organizations:  2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list: 2006, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • The Columbus Foundation’s Harrison M. Sayre Award: 2022
  • Honoree of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) Gala Celebration: 2022
  • Legacy Honoree of Sankofa: Celebration of Leadership: 2022
  • National Fraternal Order of Police President’s Award: 2019
  • Selected to serve on Magistrate Judge Selection Committee by the U.S. District Court: 2017
  • Cleveland-Marshall Law Hall of Fame Inductee: 2018
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Julian Sinclair Smith Celebration of Learning Award: 2018
  • Ohio Civil Rights Commissioners’ Community Spirit Award: 2018
  • Columbus Museum of Art 2018 Art Celebration Award: 2018
  • Greater Columbus Arts Council Partner Award: 2018
  • Lincoln Theatre Association Walk of Fame Inductee: 2018
  • Ohio Lawyers Weekly "Lawyers of the Year": 2000

Resources & Insights

In the Media

Speaking Engagements

  • Responding to Police Actions in Times of Crisis and Preparing for the Storm
    Speaking Engagement, Blue Line Lawyer Institute, Force Forum; Jekyll Island, GA,
  • Speaking Engagement, National Academy of Arbitrators, Seminar; Boston, MA, May 8, 2024 - May 10, 2024
  • 2024 Legal Counselors' Seminar
    Speaking Engagement, National Fraternal Order of Police, Seminar; Las Vega, NV,
  • African American Leadership Academy Alumni Retreat 2024
    Speaking Engagement, AALA, Brothers of the Academy Roundtable Discussion; Newark, OH,
  • Qualified Immunity: Myths vs Facts
    Speaking Engagement, Blue View Podcast,
  • America Out Loud – College Athletes Can Now Monetize “Name, Image and Likeness”
    Speaking Engagement,
  • Speaking Engagement, Webcast,
  • Social Media: Navigating a Changing Legal World, Best Practices
    Speaking Engagement, Ohio Personnel Board of Review, Seminar,
  • "Progressive" HR in 2021: The Solution or the Problem?
    Speaking Engagement, 2021 National Lawyers Convention,
  • Testified before the Illinois Constitutional Rights and Remedies Task Force regarding qualified immunity.
    Speaking Engagement, Illinois Constitutional Rights and Remedies Task Force,
  • Police, To Serve and Protect
    Speaking Engagement, Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Forum, Seminar; Columbus, OH,
  • Ethical Considerations for Attorneys Representing Law Enforcement
    Speaking Engagement, National Fraternal Order of Police 2021 Legal Counselor Seminar and Labor Summit; Seminar; Las Vegas, NV,
  • Pitfalls, Defenses, and Politics of Representing Law Enforcement Officers
    Speaking Engagement, National Fraternal Order of Police 2022 Labor Summit, Seminar; Las Vegas, NV,
  • Virtual Plenary Session on Police Disciplinary Arbitrations: The Problem or the Solution?
    Speaking Engagement, American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section 14th Annual Program, Seminar,
  • Civil Rights: Modern Quandaries of Law Enforcement
    Speaking Engagement, Federalist Society 2020 National Lawyers Convention, Seminar,
  • Protecting Police: Is Qualified Immunity Unjust?
    Speaking Engagement, Federalist Society Cornell Student Chapter, Seminar,
  • Qualified Immunity Under the United States Constitution and Official Immunity Under New Hampshire Law
    Speaking Engagement, The New Hampshire Supreme Court Society; Seminar,
  • Policing in the Community, Does the Past Dictate the Future?
    Speaking Engagement, Columbus Metropolitan Club,
  • Racism – “Where Do We Go From Here? Policing In the Community: Does the Past Dictate the Future?
    Speaking Engagement, Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Forum, Seminar; Columbus, OH,
  • Police Unions, Practically Speaking
    Speaking Engagement, Federalist Society Labor and Employment Practice Group, Teleforum Presentation,
  • Zoom Meeting with the Atlanta Community
    Speaking Engagement, Zoom,
  • Speaking Engagement,
  • Creating a List of Subject Matter Experts and Individual Strategies to Respond to Crisis Situations and Interact with the Press
    Speaking Engagement, National Fraternal Order of Police 2020 Legal Counselor Seminar and Labor Summit, Seminar; Las Vegas, NV,
  • Navigating the Various Court, Administrative and Political Systems that Work to Entrap Young Adults
    Speaking Engagement, The Ohio State University’s Real Life Wednesday Program, Seminar; Columbus, OH,

Published Works


Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1977

Wittenberg University, B.A., 1974


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Ohio
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