Joe is a member of the firm’s Government Services Practice Group and serves as general counsel for clients in both the private and public sectors, including municipalities, townships and school districts. He thrives by digging through complex issues and working with clients to produce creative solutions that are beneficial both financially and from a business perspective. His approach to working in partnership with innovative clients has made him a trusted and sought-after counselor in the legal profession.
Joe’s practice has an emphasis in labor and employment issues, including contract negotiations, grievances, arbitrations, union avoidance, wage and hour law, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, workers’ compensation, unfair labor practice charges, harassment, discrimination and misconduct investigations, policy development, litigation, evaluation, nonrenewal and termination. He has served as a lead negotiator in more than 100 collective bargaining negotiations.
Joe also advises school districts in the areas of career-technical education, student issues, civil rights, public records, abuse reporting, ethics, board policies and meeting requirements. He defends boards of education and municipalities in arbitration and against charges filed with a variety of federal and state administrative agencies including the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, State Employment Relations Board, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
Joe shares his passion and experience with the next generation by serving as an adjunct professor at Miami University for graduate level public law students. Courses focus on the First Amendment, collective bargaining, employee and student rights, discrimination, and other issues important to all public employers. He also trains administrators and presents at education law forums across Ohio on a wide assortment of matters affecting public entities.
During Joe’s first year as general counsel for a school district, he identified a revenue generation opportunity that netted the client an additional $300,000 annually after legal fees.
As labor counsel for a municipality, Joe and his colleague negotiated collective bargaining agreements that saved a public entity $5 million in one year as the entity was facing a major budget shortfall.
As labor counsel for a municipality, Joe and his colleague negotiated collective bargaining agreements that reduced expenses by $12 million over a three-year period.
As general counsel and labor counsel, Joe created a joint public entity and merged two existing and very different collective bargaining units into one. The joint entity saves taxpayers over $1 million per year.
Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers®, 2012-2014 and Rising Stars® 2010
Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2010
Humanitarian of the Year (Legacy Society members) LifeSpan 2010
Frost Brown Todd Mentor of the Year, 2012
Frost Brown Todd Volunteer of the Year, 2004
Butler County Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award, Co-Winner, 2004
American Bar Association
Cincinnati Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
Butler County Bar Association
Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys, Vice Chair
National Council of School Board Attorneys, Executive Board Member
Ohio Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Member
Multiple Sclerosis Leadership Class, Cincinnati
Mid-Miami Valley Leadership, Graduate
Miami University Middletown Campus, Board Member, Former Chair of Citizen Advisory Council
Miami University Citizen’s Advisory Council Member
Coaches vs Cancer, Board Council Member
Ohio Legal Rights Service Commission
LifeSpan Inc., Past Chair
“Employee Discipline” City of Cincinnati Seminar, November 4, 2014
“Cloud Computing Issues” School Law Seminar, October 14, 2014
“The Battles in the Courts and Legislatures over Collective Bargaining and Teacher Tenure” NSBA Council of School Attorneys’ 2014 School Law Practice Seminar, October 9, 2014, with Michael Julka, Jay Fernow and Nancy Hungerford
“Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure” School Law Seminar, October 24, 2013
“Clarifying the Commonly Misunderstood Notion of “Past Practices”: Are They Binding Or Not?” Public Employment Seminar, April 26, 2013
“Evaluations: Rules to Remember” School Law Seminar, August 8, 2012
“Human Resources Issues” Presented with Julie E. Byrne, National Business Institute’s Current Challenges in Local Government Law Seminar, June 2012
“Employee Discipline: Effective Process and Strategies” School Law Seminar, August 12, 2011
“Where are we Now?: Collective Bargaining Reform Senate Bill 5, House Bill 153, and Others” Senate Bill 5 Seminar, August 13, 2011
“Handling Student Records” National Business Institute, Student Liability Issues Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Understanding Student Rights” National Business Institute, Student Liability Issues Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
“A Refresher on Due Process” Public Sector Employees, Public Labor Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Current issues Regarding Foreign and Migrant Students” Ohio School Board Association Seminar
“Treating Sick Leave Abuse Disorder” Public Sector Employers, Public Sector Labor Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Collective Bargaining in the Real World” Guest Presenter, Master’s Level Collective Bargaining Course, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
“Introduction to Harassment and What You Should Do If You Witness Harassment” Middletown Adolescent Achievement Group, Middletown, Ohio
“Harassment in the Workplace” Southwest Ohio Business Teacher Association, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Using the Consumer Price Index Effectively in Collective Bargaining Negotiations” Public Sector Employers, Public Sector Labor Seminar, Cincinnati
“A Public Employee’s Right to Remain Silent During an Administrative Investigation: How Should You Handle It?” Public Sector Employers, Public Sector Labor Seminar, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Employment Law Considerations: Ten Common Mistakes of Employers” Medical Practice Management Program, Grandview Hospital, Dayton, Ohio
“Classifying Public Safety Administration Under The New Fair Labor Standards Act Regulations” Ohio Public Employer Labor Relations Association Update
Co-Author: “Desegregation in the 1990’s,” The Principal’s Legal Handbook” Second Edition, 2000 Education Law Association, co-authored with Dr. Charles J. Russo
Co-Author: “Desegregation in the 1990’s: The Supreme Court Pulls Back” School Business Affairs, August 2000, Volume 66, Number 8, co-authored with Dr. Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.
Co-Author: “Court View, Update on School Desegregation” Updating School Board Policies, July 2000, Volume 31, Number 3, with Dr. Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.
Co-Author: “The Battles in the Courts and Legislatures over Collective Bargaining and Teacher Tenure” NSBA Council of School Attorneys’ 2014 School Law Practice Seminar, October 9, 2014, with Michael Julka, Jay Fernow and Nancy Hungerford
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