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Joseph Jaap

Joseph Jaap

Legal services for families, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
  • Real Estate Law, Divorce, Estate Planning...
  • Ohio
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Practicing law for over 29 years, Joseph Jaap assists clients with a wide range of legal issues, whether personal, family law, real estate, estate planning, or business, to develop and implement legal strategies that achieve client goals and that avoid or resolve disputes.

Joe advises clients about their family legal matters, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate, estate planning, divorce, child custody and support, guardianship, and other family issues.

His real estate practice includes both commercial and residential real estate, representing and counseling clients regarding purchases, sales, leasing, condominium development and conversions, condominium management and homeowner associations, construction contracting and construction project management, construction dispute resolution, and mechanic's liens.

Joe also provides general business representation to entrepreneurs and businesses advising clients about business formation, incorporation and joint ventures, contract negotiations, and asset purchases and sales.

He also helps clients resolve issues related to trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property, including clearance and registration of state and federal trademarks, copyright registrations, trademark and copyright infringement claim resolution, intellectual property asset transfers and licensing, trade secret protection, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, and electronic commerce including Internet and domain name issues.

A Cincinnati native, after graduating from Purdue with B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering, Joe served on active duty as a Navy officer and nuclear power plant engineer on Navy nuclear-powered ships, and served aboard a submarine, cruiser, and aircraft carrier, and remains active with local Navy veterans on the board of the Cincinnati Navy League. After the Navy, Joe worked for several years as an engineer and was licensed as a professional engineer before obtaining his law degree.

Practice Areas
  • Real Estate Law
  • Divorce
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Trademarks
  • Construction Law
  • Family Law
  • Free Consultation
    Call for a free telephone consultation.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
J.D. (1989) | Law
Honors: Order of the Coif Academic Honor Society
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Logo
Purdue University - Purdue University
M.S. (1974) | Engineering
Purdue University - Purdue University Logo
Professional Associations
Cincinnati Bar Association
- Current
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Professional Engineer 1986-2002
State of Ohio
Senior Reactor Operator 1982-1984
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Surface Warfare Officer/Nuclear Power Plant Engineer
United States Navy
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
2872 Questions Answered

Q. Is it legal for new landlord to break my 12 month lease and raise my rent?
A: The new owner must honor the terms of the written lease that you and the prior owner/landlord signed. Selling the property does not invalidate the existing lease. The new owner/landlord can try to raise the rent and get a new lease, and if you don't comply, then could file to evict you. But you would attend the eviction hearing and show the lease that you have, and that it is still in effect. But an eviction is a permanent public record, and can make it difficult to rent from a landlord who checks the records. So try to work it out with landlord, or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to communicate with landlord and advise that the lease is still in effect.
Q. I was just nominated guardian of an estate for my grandparent.
A: If grandparent is living, it would be "guardian of the estate," and lasts while living unless you resign. If grandparent is deceased, it would be "executor" or "administrator" of the estate, and lasts until all the assets are distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. The probate court actually must authorize you to act in either of those capacities after you file the required application. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local probate attorney who can review the facts and advise you.
Q. Can a landlord on a cold day run the heat at 68 degrees at night then shut the heat off during the day until night
A: Ohio law requires a landlord to provide "reasonable heat at all times." The statute does not define "reasonable." Check whether your local building dept. or health dept. has any requirements. Notify the landlord of the problem, and if landlord does not respond, you could pay rent into escrow with your local court, which would then hold a hearing to have landlord explain what is being done and if 68 is reasonable. If the court thinks that is reasonable, you might have to use a space heater. Check the local court web site for the rent escrow process.
Q. I’ve lived in my apartment for 6 months and am now finding cockroaches. Have contacted the office several times.
A: You can try to negotiate an early termination with the landlord. If landlord does not agree, and you break the lease, landlord can sue you. Instead, you can pay your rent into escrow with the local court which will then schedule a mediation for landlord to explain what is being done to fix the problem, and if not enough, can terminate your lease. Check the court web site for the rent escrow process. You could also report to the board of health, which might inspect.
Q. how do i get a pro bono family lawyer
A: Contact your local legal aid office. Also, some courts have help clinics with volunteer lawyers who assist those without an attorney. Or call around to find a local attorney who might work with you.
Q. Can a 16 year old leave the house and come back without parent or guardian permission without legal repercussion?
A: Yes, the parents can take action, and the child could go to juvenile detention. Children cannot come and go as they please. If there are problems at home, the child should talk to a family member, teacher, school counselor, or other trusted adult.
Q. Can landlord or maintenance or manager enter your apartment without permission
A: Ohio law does not require tenant to give permission to landlord. Landlord must have a valid reason, and must give reasonable advance notice to tenant, except if it is an emergency. Denying access could be reason for landlord to evict a tenant.
Q. My client never signed our contract, would they be held to the terms of it?
A: Since the contract was not signed, that makes things more difficult. If there is litigation, you can claim that they verbally agreed to the terms of the contract. They can dispute that. If you can't work it out with them, then they might sue you to collect the proceeds you have retained. You can counter-claim against them for breach of contract. Depending on how much money is in dispute, litigation might not be cost-effective. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to review all the facts. And always be sure the client signs the contract.
Q. Which type of divorce is better for me?
A: If she won't agree, then you cannot do a dissolution. You must file a divorce. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local divorce attorney to review your situation, answer your questions, and advise you.
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Contact & Map
Main Office
3074 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45209
Telephone: (513) 533-2037