Get to Know Joe
Hi, I’m Joe Jerger and I’m not a politician. I’m a third-generation lawyer, descendant of immigrants, husband, father, and community volunteer. In fact, I’m currently the guardian of 96 Richland County residents and have handled thousands of probate cases. Sometimes people say, “That must be sad,” and often it is…but people also say “Wow Joe, it seems like you’re always smiling,” and I guess maybe I am. I suppose that’s what happens when you do the work you were born to do.
Generations ago, my uncle, Joseph A. Bayer immigrated to the U.S. from Serbia and founded our family’s law firm. In addition to probate law, he handled thousands of immigration cases over the years and many current Richland County residents can trace their American dream back to his work.
Carrying on the family firm
My father, also Joseph Jerger, was a lifelong resident of Richland County, and World War II, Marine Corps Veteran continued on with the firm and practiced law for 34 years.
Believe it or not my work with the firm began when I was in 9th grade at Ontario High School. I discovered an affinity for accounting and began working as the firm’s bookkeeper then. I went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting at Ohio Northern University where I then went on to obtain my Juris Doctorate Degree in Law.
In 1990, after my father’s death, I took over handling probate for the firm including bankruptcy, real estate, and business law. Over the years I have represented the United Steel Workers, the Richland County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services and the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities. I helped incorporate the National Alliance for the mentally Ill of Richland County, also known as NAMI and was part of the team that created Assisted Outpatient Treatment Court. I also assisted in the training of first responders in Richland County known as CIT, crisis intervention training, to help them better deal with the mentally ill.
My passion for public service
Whether advising a grieving family through the probate process or helping one of my wards make important medical decisions, my life and career have been about helping people through some of the most stressful and difficult interactions they’ll have with our court system. The decisions made by a probate judge touch on some of the most intimate and critical aspects of our lives. While I never planned on being a politician, becoming a judge is the natural next step when I think about how I serve this community. Richland County needs and deserves strong, compassionate, experienced leadership on the bench. The judge who makes decisions impacting our most vulnerable citizens should understand the ramifications of those rulings in order to preside fairly, ethically, and honorably.
That’s why I’m running for Richland County Probate Judge. Our community deserves nothing less.
Paid for by Friends to elect Joseph Jerger Judge