Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima


The professional team at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
J.R. Bernans
  • Criminal Defense
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Civil Litigation
  • University Title IX


J.R. Bernans is an Ohio native who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. After earning his accounting degree, J.R. went on to attend the University of Cincinnati College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude and in the top ten percent of his class. While in law school, J.R. was a member of the UC Law Trial Team and served as a Citation Editor on the University of Cincinnati Law Review.
Before joining the Rittgers team, J.R. gained extensive experience in both state and federal court. As a fellow with The Ohio Innocence Project, Mr. Bernans worked extensively with post-conviction and appellate cases in order to get wrongfully convicted individuals out of prison. After leaving the Innocence Project, J.R. continued his appellate experience working as a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Clinic. Through these experiences, Mr. Bernans gained valuable knowledge to effectively navigate the appellate process and ensure the best outcome for his clients.
Finally, before joining Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, Mr. Bernans worked at Faruki PLL. During his time at Faruki, J.R. defended clients in highly complex civil and white-collar criminal cases. Mr. Bernans has experience working with individual executives, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies in cases that arise at the intersection of white collar civil and criminal prosecutions. Using his accounting degree and business experience, J.R. can give civil and white-collar clients a unique legal perspective that most lawyers cannot provide.
Using his diverse set of experiences, J.R.’s practice at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima focuses on criminal defense, civil litigation, and University Title IX cases. In all his cases, J.R.’s goal is to identify and execute efficient solutions that lead to the best possible outcome for his client.


  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • J.D.
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
  • University of Cincinnati, Carl H. Linder College of Business
    • B.A.
    • Honors: summa cum laude