Attorney Profile for  John F. Kostelnik

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Upon graduation from Miami University in 1978, and the Ohio State University College of Law in 1981, John began his career as a law clerk to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert J. Sidman. In 1982, John joined the in-house legal staff of Ameritrust Company National Association. In 1987, he was named head of the Workout Group of the Banking Law department of Ameritrust and in 1990, John was named as Chief Counsel of Ameritrust Indiana Corporation. In 1991, John entered private practice with the firm of Thompson Hine & Flory. As a partner in the firm's bankruptcy practice, John represented both debtors and creditors alike in numerous bankruptcy and workout situations. John has remained in private practice since 1991 and joined Frantz Ward LLP in April 2000 to head up the Firm's bankruptcy and creditor's rights practice. He has a long and distinguished list of successful first chair Chapter 11 representations and is familiar with all aspects of workouts, lender liability, creditors rights, and bankruptcy law. John has also practiced in the area of banking law and commercial transactions, including asset based lending and equipment finance. Until recently, John also served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve as a Reserve JAG Officer. After the events of September 11, 2001, John was called to active duty and served for seven months in 2002 as the Chief of Operational Law for U.S. Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


  • Clerk for the Hon. Robert J. Sidman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court 1981-82
  • In-house legal staff of Ameritrust Company National Association, Chief Counsel of Ameritrust Indiana Corporation
  • United States Army Reserve JAG Officer


  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2014-2017)
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in "Banking and Finance Law"
  • AV Rated
  • Named an Ohio Super Lawyer 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008
  • Named a Top Attorney in the Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights Area by
    Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers (2009)

Phone: (216) 515-1636

Practice Areas:

Practice Groups:


  • J.D., Ohio State University, 1981
  • B.S., Miami University, cum laude, 1978


  • Ohio State Bar, 1981
  • United States District Court for Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • United States Appellate Court for the Sixth Circuit