James S. Aussem, is a shareholder in the Cleveland law firm of Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Co., LPA, as well as a former 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 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. The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) recognized him as an inductee into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame® and as a recipient of the Accredited Estate Planner® (Distinguished) designation for 2022. This award was recently presented on November 17, 2022, by NAEPC leadership during a special award ceremony. Mr. Aussem serves on the Planned Giving Committees of the Cleveland Museum of Art, University Hospitals and Baldwin-Wallace University. He is a member of the American, Ohio, and Cleveland Metropolitan bar associations as well as the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland. He has been chosen as one of America’s Best Lawyers every year since 2009 and for the past 10 years he has been chosen in two categories, Corporate Law and Trusts and Estates.
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. He has spoken at the Society of FSP’s Arizona Institute, the FSP Institute, FSP Advanced Planning Clinic, the Cleveland Estate Planning Institute, the AICPA Advanced Planning Institute, the Cleveland Tax Institute, the Ohio Accounting Show, the Ohio Society of CPA’s Annual Tax Seminar, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, the Northern Ohio Planned Giving Day, MetLife Advanced Planning Symposiums, Ameritas Forum among other organizations.
Mr. Aussem has been designated an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Baldwin Wallace University in 2004 presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award and The Cleveland Chapter of the Society of FSP named him its Financial Service Professional of the Year in 2013.
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