Jerry O’Connell has been a lawyer at Graydon for over 37 years. He specializes in complex financing transactions for both borrowers and lenders but also works extensively in commercial real estate and general corporate practice areas. He enjoys working directly with the owner of a business, the stake holder who is entrepreneurial and willing to take risks to grow their business.
By the time he was in the sixth grade, he knew he wanted to be a lawyer. The business aspects appealed to him. “Because if it’s done right, it’s a win/win.” He admires people who are successful but not flashy. Like the football player who scores a touchdown, then hands the ball to the ref instead of doing a dance.
In college Jerry was on the Ohio State University intercollegiate debate team, but he never wanted to be a litigator. He likes to consummate a business deal for Graydon clients, be it a loan, buy/sell transaction, or contract, where each party is looking to the future and hopefully gets mostly what they want, in a win/win situation, rather than in litigation, which Jerry likes to characterize as typically backward- looking and seeking to blame someone for something that went wrong.
He is one of the few Graydon attorneys assigned to review the Firm’s opinion letters – official legal pronouncements rendered by the Firm on specific points of law addressed to clients or opposing parties, often in a transaction. “It’s one of the most serious legal tasks the Firm performs. So it’s important that I be a prudent advisor. Likewise, it’s our job to help clients achieve their goals within the law. I work hard to make sure I’m not leading a client down a path that is in any way reckless, but help them maximize the value of their assets in a given transaction. At the same time, I try not to be overly cautious. I don’t want to offer advice that’s prohibitive. It’s all about helping clients find ways to get where they want to go.”
In his spare time, Jerry plays tennis year round, and enjoys the outdoors, be it hiking, boating, or snow skiing.
Jerry practices in the areas of general corporate law, commercial financial transactions, real estate, and corporate finance. He has extensive experience in counseling clients about corporate matters, financing transactions, real estate acquisitions and developments, lease transactions, tax-free exchanges, and construction projects.
Jerry represents several regional banks in various financing matters, including commercial loans, letter of credit financing, industrial revenue bonds and general real estate matters. He is also involved in real estate issues concerning taxation and tax-exemption applications and represents corporations in both financing and acquisition transactions. A licensed title insurance agent in the State of Ohio, Jerry counsels clients regarding title insurance coverages, particularly in complex and multi-state transactions.
Jerry is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). Based on the grading and comments of his peers, Jerry is recognized with an AV Rating, the highest rating given to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Banking and Finance Law from 2013-2020.