Practice Areas


J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1996

B.A., The Ohio State University, 1993

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2012
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Litigation can be stressful, time consuming and expensive for clients.  Zealous representation requires more than just succeeding in trial or arbitration.  A true advocate will always strive to find the best way to achieve the client’s goals in the most effective and prudent manner possible, whether in the courtroom, the conference room or the boardroom.

With more than two decades of legal experience, Joe specializes in complex business disputes, commercial litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He represents public and private companies and individuals in the financial services, banking, brokerage, insurance, real estate, manufacturing, and construction industries in a wide array of cases involving breach of contract and fraud claims, issues relating to claims of unfair competition and trade secrets violations, and general tort litigation. Joe's primary focus is complex securities litigation and arbitration, financial institution litigation, regulatory investigations and inquiries, and broker-dealer liability defense, in which he represents brokers, broker-dealers, investment advisors, banks, and insurance companies in claims involving allegations of professional misconduct. His background in business litigation and representing financial services providers also translates well into his experience in matters of estate and trust litigation.

An accomplished litigator and counselor, Joe has been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list, a designation reserved for only 5% of Ohio lawyers, and has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest ranking, AV Preeminent®. According to feedback obtained during the rating process, Joe was described as an attorney who “excels at determining a strategy that is cost-effective for the client and then expertly executing that strategy through top-notch work product and advocacy,” and was recognized as an “excellent lawyer with a wide range of experience and knowledge,” who is “among the top defense counsel in the broker-dealer bar.”

Joe also writes and speaks frequently throughout Ohio and nationwide on topics of interest to litigators and financial services professionals, and is an active member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). He also serves as the co-chair of the Securities Arbitration Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section and a member of its Roundtable Committee, as the Chair of the Litigation Section of the Ohio State Bar Association, and as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Honors & Recognitions

Rated AV® Preeminent™: Very Highly Rated in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review

Recognized as a Super Lawyer by Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine since 2015

Joseph S. Simms
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Professional Memberships & Community Affiliations


American Bar Association
-Litigation Section – member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Securities Litigation Committee, and co-chair, Securities Arbitration Subcommittee, member, Roundtable Committee

Ohio State Bar Association
-Litigation Section Council; Chair, and Past Vice Chair and Secretary and Treasurer, Litigation Section

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
-Litigation Section; ADR Section; Securities Section; Judicial Selection Committee, CMBA Leadership Academy 2018; Trial Counsel, 1999-2000; Certified Grievance Committee, 2000-2003

Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
-Alternative Dispute Resolution and Business & Commercial Litigation Committees

Defense Research Institute
-Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation Committees

Guardian ad Litem for Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
-Domestic Relations and Juvenile Divisions (1996-2009)

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
-Member, Compliance & Legal Division

Arbitrator, FINRA


The Leprechaun Foundation
-Prior General Counsel, Treasurer, Executive Board Member

The Ohio Center for Law Related Education's High School Mock Trial Competition
-Volunteer Judge

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Cleveland High School Mock Trial Competition
-Attorney Advisor

SIFMA Foundation, InvestWrite Student Essay Competition
-Volunteer Judge

The Cuyahoga County Guardian ad Litem Project
-Member 2008-2009, Advisory Board; Communications and Volunteer/Grant Committees

The Rolling Brooke Homeowners Association
-Member 2005-2007, Social Committee



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