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jFortI grew up in Shelby, Richland County, Ohio. I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, — five years of sea duty as a Surface Warfare Officer, 19 years in the Navy Reserves, retiring as a Captain. I also graduated from The Ohio State University College of Law. I was an attorney at Marathon Oil Company in Robinson, Illinois and Findlay, Ohio. I was at the large Toledo law firm, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, for twenty years, in the Real Estate Department and the Environmental Practice Group.

From 2012 to 2014, I practiced oil and gas law at the Columbus firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur. The practice included mineral title work, pipeline work, lease interpretation, buying and selling of leases, etc.
From 2014 to 2018 I was “Of Counsel” with the Columbus office of Steptoe Johnson, a large energy firm, where I did mostly oil & gas drilling title opinions.
I now enjoy helping my clients in the areas of real estate, estate planning, probate, business, corporate, contract, environmental and oil & gas law.


Title Opinions

In 2018, I was appointed to the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission by Governor Kasich.  The Commission reviews appeals of decisions by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources related to oil and gas issues.