Kathryn T. Joseph - A founding Member. Ms. Joseph was born in Cleveland Ohio on August 9, 1960. She was raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1978. Ms. Joseph graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester in 1982 and then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law obtaining her Juris Doctor Degree in 1986.
Following graduation from law school, Ms. Joseph began her legal career with the law firm of Climaco, Climaco, Seminatore, Lefkowitz & Garofoli, L.P.A. While at the Climaco law firm, Ms. Joseph handled legal matters on behalf of such clients as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as well as domestic relations, probate and a variety of other civil matters for individuals and smaller business entities. Additionally, Ms. Joseph represented individuals seeking legal redress for injuries sustained as a result of their exposure to asbestos containing products. Her practice consisted of a significant amount of litigation.
In 1991, Ms. Joseph left the Climaco law firm to start her own practice. In 1994, she joined with David F. Aggers to establish the law firm of Aggers Joseph Co., L.P.A. She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and has appeared in state and federal courts throughout the state of Ohio . Ms. Joseph has argued cases in both state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court. During her career, Ms. Joseph handled a variety of legal matters covering a wide range of civil legal matters.
Beginning in 1996, Ms. Joseph has focused her practice on probate and estate matters including the preparation of Wills, Trusts, Living Wills and Power of Attorney documents. Additionally, Ms. Joseph regularly advises clients on issues pertaining to estate planning and elder law issues including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Ms. Joseph has been appointed by the Cuyahoga County Probate Court to serve as Guardian or Conservator of the Person and Estate for more than 200 individuals whom the Probate Court has determined to have become unable to handle their own affairs. In this capacity, Ms. Joseph takes full responsibility for all medical and financial decisions that must to be made for these persons in order to address their needs and provide for their continued safety, well-being and happiness.
Since 1996, Ms. Joseph has been, and continues to serve as, a member of the Advisory Board of the Adult Guardianship Services of Cleveland, Ohio (formerly the Volunteer Guardianship Program). From 1999 through 2003, Ms. Joseph served as President of the Advisory Board of this non-profit organization. Adult Guardianship Services primarily serves as Guardians for indigent residents of Cuyahoga County . In addition to her service on the Advisory Board, Ms. Joseph also serves as a volunteer attorney for Adult Guardianship Services.
In 2013, upon the retirement of her law partner, Ms. Joseph established the Law Firm of Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates. Ms. Joseph and her associate Sarah Lukwinski-Shemo continue to focus their practice on probate and estate matters, guardianship, preparation of wills, trusts, and advance directives, and advising clients in estate planning, Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, and other elder law issues.
While maintaining her practice, Ms. Joseph served as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve School of Law for several years teaching Trial Tactics to third year law students. Ms. Joseph now regularly speaks before community and business groups about legal issues pertaining to probate and estate planning, guardianships, and Medicare and Medicaid issues. In addition to church and community organizations, Ms. Joseph has presented such programs to organizations including Arden Courts Assisted Living, McGregor House, the Parkinsons Education Program, Orange Senior Center, Rockwell International and she has twice been a guest lecturer at the annual Cuyahoga Community College Senior Day program.
Serving clients in Ohio cities such as Pepper Pike, Cleveland, Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Willoughby, Mentor, Painesville, Parma, Euclid, Lorain, Elyria, Akron, Youngstown, Rocky River, Westlake, Solon, Brook Park, Seven Hills, Bainbridge, Chardon, Burton, Russell, S. Russell, Cuyahoga County, Lake County, Geauga County, Summit County, Butler County, Hamilton County, Warren County, Trumbull County, Lorain County, and Stark County.
- Estate Planning
- Probate Administration
- Wrongful Death and Survival Probate Administration
- Powers of Attorney
- Ohio, 1986
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1986
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1996
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1987
- Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio
- J.D. - 1986
- University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
- B.A. - 1982
- Honors: cum laude
- Major: History
- Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes v. Barry, 56 Ohio 3d 120, 1990, Ohio Supreme Court, 1994214050
- Koenig v. Reid, 2003 Ohio 1727, 2003, Ohio App. LEXIS 1634 (8th App. District)
- David v. Cuyahoga County Adult Protective Services, 2000 Ohio App LEXIS 4754, 2000, 8th App. Dist
- Kathryn T. Joseph, Guardian of Estate of Erasmia Petratos v. Robert Petratos, 2007 Ohio App. Lexis 5342, 2007, Eighth App. District
- In re Estate of Brown, 2016 Ohio App. Lexis 2073, 2016, Eighth App. District
- In re Cole, 2007 Ohio App. Lexis 5039, 2007, Eighth App. District
Honors and Awards
- The Center for Community Solutions, Most Treasured Volunteer Award
- Greg Hoshek Volunteer Guardian Award, Adult Guardianship Services
- C3A Consortium, Awareness, Advocacy, Action Combating in Elder Abuse, Recognition Award Recipient
- Adult Guardianship Services, Cornerstone Award
- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Eagle Award
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Adult Guardianship Services, Advisory Board Member, 1986 to Present
- Adult Guardianship Services, Past President, Advisory Board Member, 1998 to 2003
- Ohio State Bar Association, Member, 1986 to Present
Pro Bono Activities
- Adult Guardianship Services, 1986 to Present
- Frequent community lecturer on legal issues pertaining to probate and estate planning, guardianships and Medicare and Medicaid issues