After serving as the principal of Wesp Barwell, Joel is now Of Counsel. He has been engaged in the practice of law in Columbus, Ohio since 1970. After graduation from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1967 Joel attended Case Western Reserve University Law School graduating with honors as a member of the Order of the Coif in 1970.
After serving as Law Clerk to Hon. Thomas A. Herbert of the Ohio Supreme Court Joel was appointed an Assistant Attorney General by Attorney General William J. Brown. From 1963 to 1971, Joel was in the Administrative Agency Section of the Attorney General’s office and provided representation to the Ohio Department of Commerce. Joel was instrumental in applying the Ohio Securities Act anti-fraud provisions to protect Ohioans from the proliferation of “get-rich-quick” pyramid schemes that were in vogue in the early 1970’s long before the Ohio Legislature enacted consumer protection laws directly targeting such scams.
From 1973 to 1983 Joel practiced with a well-known Columbus law firm where he developed a litigation practice, handling construction disputes, representing an insurer on construction surety and fidelity surety cases, and litigating business and commercial cases involving contract disputes, Uniform Commercial Code matters, and closely-held corporate issues including shareholder disputes and non-compete and confidentiality issues.
In 1984 Joel formed a law firm which continued for ten years to provide litigation representation to a national environmental remediation company in federal and state courts throughout the United States as well as business counsel to closely held companies. A change in direction in 1994 occurred when the firm’s major client was acquired by another environmental company. A multi-state law firm invited Joel and his then partners to merge their practice, and for five years thereafter Joel practiced in a wide variety of business litigation matters with this firm.
Since 1998 Joel has practiced in a litigation boutique firm that he founded. Joel has over 40 years’ experience in an array of litigation matters, including corporate shareholder and partnership dispute litigation, commercial lease litigation, uniform commercial code and construction contract matters, representing a commercial lender on consumer and commercial finance disputes, trade secret and covenant-not-to-compete cases. Joel handles employment litigation, including wrongful termination, the prosecution and defense of employment discrimination claims, including sex and age discrimination, and sexual harassment claims.
Joel is a Fellow in the Columbus Bar Foundation, serving nine years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Bar Foundation. Joel was appointed by the Chief Justice as Chair of the Ohio Supreme Court Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information. Joel has served as a member and Chair of the Columbus Bar Association Ethics and Professional Grievance Committee. Currently Joel is a Commissioner on the Ohio Court of Claims Crime Victim’s Compensation Panel and continues, as Of Counsel, to work with the members of the firm on litigation matters.
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
Juris Doctor, With Honors, 1970
B.A. of History & English
Ohio Supreme Court
United States Federal Court Northern District
United States Federal Court Southern District
Sixth District Court of Appeals
Activities & Affiliations
Columbus Bar Foundation, Fellow
Ohio Supreme Court Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information, Chair
Columbus Bar Association Ethics and Professional Grievance Committee, Member
Ohio Court of Claims Crime Victim’s Compensation Panel, Commissioner