Joe Romano

Founding Attorney


I have always wanted to help people. I grew up pretty middle-class in Brooklyn, Ohio, a child of two immigrant parents, who came to the United States from Italy for the same opportunities afforded to everyone who comes to the U.S. My parents, who were not very educated, worked hard to make a path for themselves and give us everything we needed to make the best of our lives. Growing up, I realized that a lot of kids did not have the same opportunities.

I have been practicing law since 2002 and founded The Romano Law Firm in 2003. Prior to practicing law, I was a Policy Analyst for Deputy Mayor Bill Violante in the Department of Public Safety for the Honorable Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordon. It was there that I realized I wanted to be a lawyer that would help people like my parents, who could not fight for themselves, protect their rights against selfish corporate interests. This is why I practice in the areas of bankruptcy, consumer protection, and tenant’s rights laws.

In my more than 18 years in practice, I have argued a couple of important decisions that have positively affected people’s rights across the country. These include:

  • 2006 - Successfully fought a car dealership over a “kill switch” in my client’s car that rendered the vehicle inoperable when the payment was late. These “kill switches” were found to violate the automatic stay in bankruptcy and must be removed when a person files a bankruptcy.
  • 2012 - Successfully defended the ownership and possession of a co-owner of a house (not in bankruptcy) when the other owner filed a bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee wanted to take the house away from my client to sell it.
  • 2020 - The Sixth Circuit of the United States (the highest federal court in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) recently ruled in my client’s favor that she could continue to fund her 401(k) while she was in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. This decision is precedent (the only decision of its kind) in the entire United States.

I am a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan, Ohio State, and American Bar Associations, the Credit Education Coalition of Columbus (the CEC), and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), the country’s largest consumer bankruptcy rights organization. I am also a member of the Northeast Ohio Italian-American Association (NOIA). In the early years, I was twice named an Ohio Rising Star™ (Top 5% of attorneys under the age of 40 in the area of consumer bankruptcy law). I am very proud to say I have most recently been named in the Super Lawyers List of 2020, representing the Top 2% of attorneys in the area of consumer bankruptcy law.

I was also an NFL and CFL agent for three years, founding Gridiron Sport Management. As a small part of my law practice, I still review entertainment contracts for athletes and musicians.

I received my B.A. from Bowling Green State University in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Judicial Affairs from the University of Southern California. I earned my law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

My wife, Rebecca, and I and our dog, Fletch, call Bay Village home. In our time away from home, we enjoy hiking the different mountain ranges across the United States. We love the Metroparks, where we spend a lot of time biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding. We are avid boardgamers and have attended the National Boardgaming Championships held in July in Seven Springs, PA, as often as we can. My favorite boardgames are Puerto Rico, Power Grid, and Great Western Trial.