As a solo practitioner, Joe is selective of the cases and clients he accepts, making for a more effective way to get serious accident cases resolved through the legal process. All the while, he strives to maintain a clear, open line of communication with clients.
Joe is a former U.S. Congressman in the House of Representatives as part of the 116th Congress (January 2019-January 2021) and was a one-time candidate for South Carolina governor.
His roots in law go back to his days growing up in Kuttawa, Kentucky. In this town of 500, his father, Bill, ran a small legal practice. Joe says he learned what being a staunch advocate for the law and the people really meant once his father became a judge.
Joe recalls how the county was a dry one, meaning no one could sell alcohol there. One day, the county prosecutor brought an older African-American man before his father on the bench. The suspect had been arrested for bootlegging and appeared shackled before Judge Cunningham.
“My dad asked why they weren’t arresting and prosecuting those who sold alcohol in the local country club or Elks Club who were all white,” Joe explains. “My father, who would later be a justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, let the guy go. From there on, he refused to sentence anyone in a minority community when others were doing the same thing. In that same courtroom there is a phrase on the wall: ‘In this courtroom, the scepter of the prince and the staff of the beggar lay side by side.’”
Joe attended the College of Charleston, followed by Florida Atlantic University, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in ocean engineering. He worked for a Naples, Florida-based marine and environmental consulting firm, designing marinas and managing the construction of waterfront developments.
His next professional venture was to pursue his lifelong goal of becoming an attorney. Joe graduated from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, where he served as the President of the Student Bar Association (SBA) and then was elected by the SBA Presidents nationwide to serve as the national vice-chair for the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division. Upon passing the bar exam, Joe moved back to Charleston to practice construction law, personal injury law, and business transaction matters.