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Joseph J. Morford

Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.4690 | F 216.592.5009

Joe Morford is the Managing Partner of Tucker Ellis LLP.

In addition to his firm leadership role, Joe maintains an active practice focused on the representation of major corporations in complex mass tort, business litigation, and product liability matters both in Ohio and in courtrooms throughout the United States.

A true believer in (and frequent commentator on) non-hourly fee arrangements, Joe’s results-driven approach provides clients with predictability and cost savings by reducing needless motion practice, discovery, and work on client files. His focus is always on understanding how the litigation at hand impacts the client’s business as a whole, and on preparing his matters efficiently for trial, which interestingly often leads to more prompt and favorable settlements for our clients. This approach has lead him to twice be named Lawyer of the Year in Cleveland, Ohio, once for Mass Tort Litigation and once for Class Action Litigation, and to regularly be named an Ohio Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, an Ohio Super Lawyer®, and included on the list of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Joe also serves as a volunteer magistrate judge for the City of Shaker Heights Juvenile Court Diversion Program and is active in many other community organizations.

As the proud father of four children aged 23, 21, 19, and 15, Joe’s days of struggling to re-learn assorted math problems and science topics to assist with homework are happily approaching an end – leaving him more time to spend working to pay for college tuitions. He is his children’s biggest fan, and is certain that in due course these children will be a driving force for good in their communities. This will ultimately (he hopes) be his proudest life accomplishment.

Ohio Supreme Court Briefs and Arguments
education & admissions


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., 1991)
  • University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1988)

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1996
  • Illinois, 1991

federal admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Alternative Fee Arrangements: How Law Firm Structure Can Make or Break Them," 2020 In-House Counsel Summit Webinar, Tucker Ellis LLP (October 2020)
  • "A Candid Discussion About Alternative Fee Arrangements in a COVID-19 World," Tucker Ellis Webinar (May 2020)
  • "Finding the Win-Win in Alternative Fee Arrangements," 2019 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2019)
  • "Aligning Law Firm Compensation with Profitability," Ark Group 8th Annual The Mechanics of Law Firm Profitability: People, Process & Technology, Chicago, Illinois (March 2019)
  • "Law Firm Leaders Pursuing & Pioneering Change," The Law Firm Innovation Summit, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts (November 2018)
  • "Diversity: It's Complicated," Ark Group 11th Annual Women Legal 2018, San Francisco, California (February 2018)
  • "Alternative Fee Arrangements," 2017 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2017)
  • "Time to Better Serve Our Clients – An Open Discussion Between Law Firm and In-House Counsel," Ark Group 2nd Annual Client Growth Strategies for Legal Services (November 2016)
  • "Improving the Future of Legal Service & Practice for Women: How Men and Women Can Work Together to Change the Outdated Pyramid Structure in Law Firms," Ark Group & Managing Partner’s East Coast Women Legal 2015 (May 2015)
  • "Practice Innovation and the Profitability Equation: What is Invested in KM?," Ark Group/Managing Partner 9th Annual Conference on Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession (October 2013)
  • "Law Firm Pricing & Profitability," Ark Group 2nd Annual Seminar (September 2013)
  • "Emerging Trends in Buying Legal Services – Sourcing Legal Providers in a Changing Business Environment," LegalVIEW Forum (July 2013)
  • "Different and Better – One Law Firm’s Experience to Date," Ark Group Seminar on the Future of the Legal Industry (October 2012)
  • "Vastly Improving the Manner in which Legal Services are Provided," presented to McMillan LLP (August 2012)
  • "Alternative Fee Arrangements," presented to MAPI Risk Counsel (May 2009)


Media Quotes

  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star (Product Liability and Recall)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2008, 2010-2018, 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2011-2021) 
    • 2014 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants)
    • 2012 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Mass Tort Litigation)
  • American Lawyer Media
    • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Mass Torts

in the community
  • Cleveland Leadership Center
    • Board of Trustees
    • Executive Committee
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Board of Visitors, Executive Committee
  • College Now Greater Cleveland, Board of Directors
  • The Kluber Family Foundation, Executive Board Member
  • West Side Catholic Center, Board of Directors, Past President 
  • Shaker Heights Juvenile Court Diversion Program, Magistrate Judge
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