Joseph R. Durham

Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law, J.D., 1990; Certificate in Environmental/Natural Resources Law, 1990

College of Wooster, B.A., 1987
100 E. Broad Street
Suite 2100
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Direct: (614) 564-1442
Office: (614) 564-1445
Fax: (614) 280-1777
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Bar Admissions
Ohio, 1991

U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio

Joseph R. Durham is a member of Eastman & Smith Ltd. with a practice concentrating in environmental law, public law and litigation. Mr. Durham is a former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with Franklin County in Columbus, Ohio, where he was appointed as the first environmental prosecutor, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. He has prosecuted environmental crimes at the local, state, and federal levels.

He is the author of the Environmental Investigation Resource Guide and developed an environmental investigation course taught throughout the State of Ohio. He currently provides training on hazardous materials and Department of Transportation regulations.

He represents local health departments, municipalities, solid waste districts and private persons and corporations, litigating environmental, code enforcement, zoning, and land use issues involving water and sewer rights, nuisances, solid and hazardous waste issues, and landfills.

Published Court Decisions

Southwest Licking County Water and Sewer District v. Board of Education; 2010 Ohio App. LEXIS 3515, September 1, 2010. Directed verdict was properly granted for City in dispute concerning water and sewer district's attempt to provide services to a school district property located within the boundaries of the municipality.

Washington Environmental Services v. Morrow County Board of Health; 2010 Ohio App. LEXIS 1907, May 25, 2010. Construction and demolition debris facility license transfer request could not be denied on basis of misrepresentation by applicant.

State ex rel. OBrien v. Pathfinder Service Association; 2003 Ohio App. LEXIS 1570, March 31, 2003. A proceeding to abate a nuisance created from the operation of a scheme or game of chance was civil in nature and a criminal conviction was not necessary prior to the commencement of the action.

Franklin County District Board of Health v. Paxson; 2003 Ohio App. LEXIS 1266, March 20, 2003. In an action for injunctive relief, the trial court properly found that a school board was properly joined in an action where drainage from a pond on the school's property caused excess water drainage and damaged a property owner's sewage system.

Franklin County District Board of Health v. Sturgill; 2002 Ohio App. LEXIS 6535, December 10, 2002. Evidence supported trial court's conclusion that the two property owners were in contempt for failing to maintain their real property in compliance with health codes, and thus, no error occurred in holding them in contempt and imposing a fine.

State v. Smith; 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 5267, November 29, 2001. Defendant convicted for operating a Solid Waste Transfer Station without a permit. Where there was testimony that supported the jury's verdict, and contradictory testimony, the case represented the jury's role in resolving conflicts and determining which witnesses were to be believed.

Workman v. Franklin County District Board of Health; 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 1418, March 27, 2001. Denial of landowner's application for a variance to install new water system after tearing down old house was supported by substantial evidence; landowner waived procedural error, and was not denied equal protection.

Franklin County District Board of Health v. Campbell; 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 4503, September 29, 2000. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding appellant in criminal contempt of court for failing to adhere to previous order to maintain his property in compliance with applicable health and zoning codes.

Franklin County District Board of Health v. Sturgill; 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 4502, September 28, 1999. No right to trial by jury in a nuisance abatement action.

State ex rel. OBrien v. Powerfone, Inc.; 1997 Ohio App. LEXIS 6022, December 23, 1997. In determining that a communications company was a public utility and therefore exempt from local zoning regulations, a trial court was not required to specifically find that the company provided an "essential" good or service.

State ex rel. Crabtree v. Franklin County Board of Health; 1997 Ohio LEXIS 13, November 12, 1996. A citizen was not entitled to a writ of mandamus to compel a health board to enact a proposed tattoo regulation because the writ could not be used to control the exercise of administrative or legislative discretion, absent an abuse of discretion.