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With a background in both financial planning and the law, Joe works diligently with his clients and their advisors to develop creative legal strategies and tax-advantaged solutions to achieve their wealth transfer and business transition goals.

Joe’s broad-based approach to estate planning incorporates progressive strategies with time-tested techniques to achieve clients’ desired results. His wide-ranging skills and practical experience allow him to integrate diverse disciplines including estate plan design and implementation, tax accounting and compliance, process-oriented succession planning, employee benefits and executive compensation, personal wealth management, family governance, business organization and governance, retirement planning, investment planning, and risk management.

Prior to joining Calfee, Joe practiced as a public accountant for more than 18 years, most recently serving as vice president and director of the Wealth Center at Meaden & Moore, Ltd., a CPA and business consulting firm. Joe joined Calfee in 2015.

Chambers HNW Ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Private Wealth Law – Ohio

Joe has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018 and 2019 for Ohio: Private Wealth Law. Chambers HNW is the only independent directory specifically aimed at the private wealth market that ranks law firms according to their private client disciplines.

In 2019, Chambers HNW researchers describe Joe as "an expert dealing with family succession matters,” further adding: “He uses a pragmatic approach to his legal advice."

Another source adds: "Joe possesses a great knowledge of income tax laws and regulations. Joe's background in estate, trust and tax planning is excellent and well suited to this market."

Another states that Mentrek is "very intelligent and very responsive. He thinks through issues in the long term."

In 2018, In an interview with Chambers HNW researchers, a source stated, "He's one of my go-to people; he understands the nuances of the family and the finances and makes a very responsible and appropriate solution. He's very personable, asks insightful questions and is in-tune with family and generational issues and ways to communicate with clients. Clients feel that he really cares about their well-being."

Chambers further reported that "multiple sources described Joe as an innovative and intellectually creative estate planner, with a strongly collaborative working style and a proactive approach to client relationships."

A market insider said, "He deals with very sophisticated concepts, and he's able to explain them to the clients in a way that they can understand. What we do is very foreign to them, and they need to understand why we're recommending certain things; he can bring it down to a level that the client can understand."

Another source who spoke to Chambers agreed saying, "He empowers clients to ultimately control their planning.”

Honors & Recognitions

Chambers High Net Worth, Private Wealth Law – Ohio, 2018-2019

The Best Lawyers in America©, Trusts and Estates, 2018-2020

Distinguished Estate Planner Award, The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, 2015


J.D., Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, 1985

B.S., Business Administration, with high distinction, Ohio Northern University, 1982

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

  • The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, Past President and Trustee
  • Tax Club of Cleveland
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning Institute, Former Chairman (2011)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Cleveland Clinic Partners in Philanthropy
  • University Hospitals Diamond Advisory Group
  • Planned Giving Advisory Board of the American Red Cross (Cleveland)

Presentations & Publications

Presentations & Publications

Joe frequently writes and speaks on tax and estate planning matters.


  • Cleveland Tax Institute
  • The Cleveland Estate Planning Institute
  • The Ohio and Cleveland Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • The Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council

Most notably, Joe is responsible for the annual update of the Cleveland estate planning community on the proceedings of the annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.


  • "Selecting the Perfect Trustee," Crain's Cleveland Business, November 12, 2018

News & Events

Speaking Engagements


Licensed In

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

"Joe possesses a great knowledge of income tax laws and regulations. Joe's background in estate, trust and tax planning is excellent and well suited to this market."

Chambers High Net Worth - Private Wealth Law

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