Lon was first admitted to practice law in Ohio in 1979. Since then he has focused his practice in family law, becoming the very first domestic relations referee magistrate in the Wayne County Common Pleas Court in 1981, where he heard many domestic relations cases and decided the outcomes. After he left the bench and returned to private practice, Attorney Vinion continued to focus on family law, and in 1993 he made the decision to practice only in family law matters.
Since that time he has handled thousands of cases throughout the area and has built an unsurpassed reputation for success in negotiations, trials and appeals. His relentless efforts to reach fair resolutions through negotiation and his untiring efforts when litigation is necessary have brought him accolades from his clients and the respect of his adversaries. He has successfully handled many of the most complex and complicated cases to come before the courts in this area, and has argued more than 60 cases before appellate courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Ninth and Fifth district Courts of Appeals, covering Wayne, Holmes and Ashland Counties, In 2003, he successfully argued a family law case in the Ohio Supreme Court that changed family law for the entire state of Ohio. Neville v Neville, 2003-Ohio-3624.
Attorney Vinion’s dedication to family law matters and his expertise have also been widely recognized. He was the first and remains the only attorney in Wayne, Holmes or Ashland Counties to have achieved board certification as a family relations law specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association. He was certified in 2000, the first year certification became available, yet, to date, no other local attorney has even attempted to meet the rigorous requirements to obtain certification. In 1989, over thirty years ago, he was also elected into fellowship in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Since then no other local attorney from Wayne, Holmes, or Ashland County has succeeded in obtaining admission to this organization which limits its membership to the very top family law lawyers throughout the Country. He continues to write and speak about family law topics to groups of lawyers throughout the State, and was recognized by being selected as an Ohio family law Super Lawyer for fifteen years, beginning in 2004, and honor reserved to the top 5% of all lawyers in the State.
Lon’s expertise has been noted by courts as well. He also authored several family law articles including one on international child custody cases that was cited as authority by State and Federal Courts in New Jersey and New York. Brooke v Willis, 907 F. Supp57 (S.D.N.Y 1995) (United States District Court for the Sourthern District of New York, and Roszkowski v Roszkowski, 644 A.22d, 1150 (New Jersey Superior Court, 1993). A second article he wrote on child support issues was cited as controlling authority by the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Ohio in Johnson v Johnson, 83-LW-3813, (1983).
When not at the office, Lon and his wife Melanie who have been married since 1975, enjoy traveling with their children and grandson. The family has had the privilege of visiting the pyramids in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, most of Europe and Central America, and virtually every state in the United States. When he is not planning his next trip, Lon can be found rooting for the Cleveland Cavs, or spending his time doing family genealogy, where, during the past thirty years, he has tracked down more than 2,000 of his ancestors.
Michael J. Ash
After years of building his legal experience and credentials, Michael was happy when, in 2018, the opportunity arose for him to be able to return to Wayne County where he began his legal career. In 2000 Michael first gained experience in the legal field when he began working for Judge Robert J. Brown as a bailiff and legal intern in the Wayne County Common Pleas Court. In addition to learning substantive areas of law, Michael learned very practical information, both in the court watching various attorneys at work and in the Judge’s chambers researching issues for Judge Brown and discussing legal topics with him.
Michael next went on to work for Martin Frantz, the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney at that time, in the Child Support Enforcement Agency as an administrative review hearing officer and legal intern. Michael would review administrative decisions on modifications of child support orders following emancipation of children and changes of circumstances. Michael also prosecuted contempt actions for failure to pay support. Michael also worked as a guardian ad litem in the Wayne County Domestic relations court, where he acted as a neutral third-party and investigated family situations and made recommendations to the Court as to the best interests of the children in a divorcing or divorced family.
Upon his admission to the Bar in 2005, Michael entered private practice with an emphasis on trial work. He represented clients in Wayne, Holmes, Ashland, Medina, and surrounding counties in various areas of the law, which helped him hone is negotiation and litigation skills while increasing his overall knowledge in a number of legal areas. In the course of litigating cases, Michael routinely had to review discovery, talk to witnesses, prepare motions, memoranda and briefs, and make persuasive arguments to opposing counsel, judges, and juries. Michael quickly developed a good reputation for his trial advocacy and was recognized as an “Outstanding Young Lawyer” in Cleveland Magazine, and was three times recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine.
In November 2013, after 19 years of marriage, and with 3 minor children, Michael and his wife ended their marriage. Through that process, Michael experienced first-hand the pain and frustration of terminating a marriage, dividing a family, and co-parenting minor children after the dust settled. This experience caused Michael to shift his practice to one centered more on family law matters. While he continued to practice in a few areas of law, family law became an ever more important focus in his practice. Finally, in March 2018, Michael elected to limit his practice solely to family law matters and joined our law firm. Throughout his legal career, Michael has represented a wide variety of clients including physicians, nurses, farmers, teachers and small business owners, among others, in family law matters.
Michael has proudly served his country as a member of the United States Air Force and of the Ohio Air National Guard.
Michael received his Bachelor’s, MBA, and Law degree, all from the University of Akron. His MBA has a concentration in finance, which, when combined with his law degree, gives him an excellent understanding of family finance issues in divorce, including more complex financial issues involving businesses, family farms and professional practices.