Medical Dictionary

Ohio and Federal Legal Links

Montana Legal

Office Location

Lavelle Farms



John P. Lavelle

e-mail: jlavelle@johnplavelle.com

John was born in Athens, Ohio and attended Athens High School where he graduated in 1975. He was drawn to the South due to his long association with Tennessee Walking Horses. He attended College at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee majoring in Business (B.B.A., 1979) with a minor in Agriculture (Horse Science). While in college he was employed at Womack Stables and McLean Trucking Co. Some of the activities he was involved in include

  • Noble Ruler (President) of the Beta Theta Chapter of ALPHA GAMMA RHO(AGR)
  • Sam Paschall Memorial Scholarship recipient
  • Vice-President of the Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Served as the University's mascot appearing astride a Tennessee Walking Horse at football games

Upon graduation from College he attended the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. The strong trial advocacy program and award winning Student Bar Association were major factors in his decision to attend law school at Cumberland. In law school, John was

  • Elected Junior Class Representative to the Student Bar Association
  • Selected as a member of the International Moot Court team and the Trial Advocacy Board
  • Elected President of the Senior Class

The ABA selected the Cumberland Law School as having the "Most Outstanding Student Bar Association in the Country" when he served on the board his senior year.

John returned to Athens in 1982 when he joined the firm of Lavelle and Goldsberry Co., L.P.A. Since 1991, he has been a sole practitioner engaged in the general practice of law, with an emphasis on criminal defense, and plaintiff's personal injury actions in Southeastern Ohio. In addition he has served as Special Counsel to three Ohio Attorney Generals, represented Hocking College from 1984-1995 and began as legal counsel for the Hocking Conservancy District in 1992. His practice includes Ohio and Federal Courts.

The love of wide open spaces and frequent trips to the Big Sky State of Montana led him to take the Montana Bar exam. He has been a member of the State Bar of Montana since 1991. Some of his professional memberships include

  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • State Bar of Montana
  • Ohio State and Athens County Bar Associations

Locally he is a member of many civic groups and enjoys his long time avocation of working with horses, dogs, and livestock with his wife Lora and family.


Sky Pettey

Pettey practiced as a staff attorney for Ohio Legal Rights Service, a state agency that advocates for people with disabilities, before joining the office in 2001. He is an Athens native and graduated from Athens High School in 1990. Pettey received his bachelor's degree in English from Oberlin College in 1994, and graduated from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1999, where he was Managing Editor of The Ohio State University Journal on Dispute Resolution. His article on employment arbitration was published in the Journal on Dispute Resolution in 1999. Pettey is a member of the Ohio State and Athens County Bar Assocations, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the National College for Dui Defense. Pettey resides in Athens with his wife Beth and daughter Jade. spettey@johnplavelle.com 


“Rusty” Robert R. Rittenhouse

Rittenhouse served as John P. Lavelle’s law clerk, before joining the office as an associate attorney in 2005.  He is an Athens native and graduated from Athens High School in 1998.  Rittenhouse received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ohio University in 2002, and graduated from The University of Dayton School of Law in 2005.  Rittenhouse is a member of the Ohio State and Athens County Bar Associations.  Rittenhouse resides in Athens.  Outside of the legal field, Rittenhouse also teaches martial arts and works as a magician. e mail: rrittenhouse@johnplavelle.com 


William A. Lavelle-Of Counsel

Biographical information of William A. Lavelle

Christine Burchwell

Christine lives in the Coolville, Ohio area with her husband Leroy. She has a strong background in accounting and bookkeeping and serves the office as bookkeeper/receptionist. She is an Athens County native and was graduated from Troy High School before attending Bliss Business College. Christine and Leroy have two children, Denise and Shane. Denise is married to Ethan Poole who works in the insurance field as a salesman in St. Albans, W. Va. Shane and his father work in the construction field as superintendents for the same company. e-mail: christine@johnplavelle.com    

Cindy Klinger

Cindy has been employed as a legal secretary in Athens for over thirty years. She was graduated from Nelsonville-York High School and Hocking College before she began working in the legal field. She brings a broad range of experience to the office and has been associated with John since 1982. Her husband George is an Athens firefighter. Her daughter Sarah attends Ohio University. e-mail: cindy@johnplavelle.com 

Kristi Crisp

Kristi graduated from Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in the American Bar Association approved Paralegal program. She assists in preparation of civil and probate matters. e-mail: kristi@johnplavelle.com 

Sheila K. Klinebriel

Sheila is employed at the office as a paralegal. She received her paralegal certification from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. Sheila has over forty-five years of law office experience. She works extensively on all probate matters and assists with the preparation of personal injury cases. e-mail: sheila@johnplavelle.com

Last Updated August 27, 2009 by John P. Lavelle