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Johnson & Johnson Law Firm

Legal matters can spring up unexpectedly throughout our lives. Luckily, the attorneys in the Canfield, Ohio law office of Johnson & Johnson provide sound legal guidance to a breadth of individuals, at varying stages of life. Have recent headlines stirred your thoughts about a living will or trust? Are you thinking about buying or selling your home or business property? Have you been approached by a oil and gas company about drilling on your land? At Johnson & Johnson our local attorneys are capable of providing legal assistance to residents throughout Ohio in all matters relating to:

  • Estate Planning – creating wills, living wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medicaid planning and other tools.
  • Probate – full and partial estate administration, estate inventories, estate valuations and appraisals.
  • Real Estate – preparing deeds, purchase and sale agreements, title opinions.
  • Business Formation and Organization – Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Partnerships, Corporations, Charitable organizations, litigation.
  • Oil and Gas – leases, operating agreements, royalty planning, purchase and sale of mineral rights, litigation.

Johnson & Johnson has been family owned and operated since our founding in 1921.  Our attorneys are experienced, and continue to learn as we aim to serve the legal needs of the community, of which we have been a significant part of for more than 90 years.  From preparing for a more secure future to the resolution of legal crises that affect you today, a skilled Youngstown, Ohio lawyer will provide your case with the attention and respect it deserves.

Services

Asset Protection

Asset protection is about organizing your affairs so that risks of future claims by third parties are reasonably dealt with. It is also about minimizing a family's exposure to such risks by dispersing ownership of assets within the family, by maintaining appropriate insurance coverage, by using appropriate business structures, and by thinking about the consequences of a health or business reversal resulting in lost income. Asset protection techniques are not about avoiding paying existing bills or existing legitimate claims. Our law office has been counseling clients in asset protection measures for many years. Among the many vehicles we have historically employed to help clients protect their hard-earned assets from litigious creditors are Limited Liability Companies, Irrevocable Trusts, Asset Segregation, ensuring clients are adequately insured, and maximizing ERISA-qualified retirement plans. Recently, Ohio has passed legislation authorizing a more sophisticated asset protection vehicle, called a Legacy Trust. These trusts, when properly employed, are invulnerable to the claims of creditors and can provide for a safety net for a portion of a client's assets. Our firm is well versed in the proper employment of Ohio Legacy Trusts, and can help create a safety net for a client and their loved ones.

Pipeline Law

Our attorneys regularly review pipeline agreements. They understand that pipelines will be an essential building block for the development of Ohio's vast oil and gas resources. Pipeline agreements are different than simple oil and gas leases. In fact, most pipeline agreements continue to exist long after oil or gas flows through them. As a result, these pipeline easements should be approached with care to maximize the benefit of the landowner who willingly provides the right of way. Everyone's land is valuable, and everyone's land is different, too. We know how to negotiate pipeline agreements that meet the specific needs of your land. The lawyers at Johnson & Johnson may also obtain more favorable terms for pipeline right of way agreements.

Oil and Gas Law

Oil and gas leases should be reviewed by an attorney. At Johnson & Johnson, located in Canfield, Ohio, we represent farmers and land owners who have been approached by oil and gas producers to utilize their land for purposes of producing oil and gas. Our Ohio oil and gas law attorneys are skilled at reviewing and negotiating the terms of leases to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re a landowner seeking legal advice about a lease, a farmer whose oil and gas lease has been violated, or a producer looking to draft a turnkey drilling contract, our experienced team can assist you. We review oil and gas leases from all counties in Ohio, including Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage, Geauga, Columbiana, Stark, Medina, Wayne, Belmont, Holmes, Ashland, Knox, Muskingum, Carrol, Monroe, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Noble, Jefferson and Harrison counties.

Estate Planning and Probate

Our lawyers have decades of estate planning experience. The attorneys at Johnson & Johnson work with Probate Courts across the state to administer estates. Our firm also helps prepare individuals for legal issues that might present themselves at the end of one's life. We accomplish this through creation of Living Wills, Last Wills and Testaments, Financial Power of Attorney documents, as well as Healthcare Power of Attorney documents and Trusts. We aim to situate an individual's affairs such that the Probate court need not become involved. Our experience speaks for itself: Atty. Nils P. Johnson, Jr. has been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as being a Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Specialist.

Business Formation and Contracts

At the law firm of Johnson & Johnson, you’ll find knowledgeable Youngstown business law attorneys dedicated to developing a solid foundation upon which to build your business. We understand that starting a business involves great personal risk, which is why our lawyers aim to provide effective legal support for the formation of your business. Our skilled Ohio business lawyers have experience with partnerships, incorporations, contracts, purchase agreements and dissolutions. Additionally, we have particular understanding of how business law relates to oil and gas law.

Elder Law

Your loved ones deserve the best elder care available. Our firm is dedicated to providing families with expert advice in all aspects of the law and encourages families to plan for that time when nursing care may be necessary. We are able to explain the law to you as simply as possible, and help you determine possible Medicaid eligibility. Call us today if you'd like to schedule an appointment to discuss Medicaid planning. Our attorneys are familiar with the spend-down provisions of Medicaid, and can help you become Medicaid eligible.

Recent Articles

Fracking Bans and Eminent Domain

Posted on June 23, 14

As shale drilling increases across the country, fracking bans do, too.  In New York, for example, more than 50 municipalities have issued moratoriums or even outright bans on fracking.  Many Ohio municipalities have followed suit.  A lawsuit addressing this issue is currently pending before the Ohio Supreme Court: Munroe Falls vs. Beck Energy. Are municipal fracking bans legal? This question is still being settled by Ohio courts.  We all know that municipalities are empowered to issue and enforce zoning laws that restrict the use of one’s property.  But does the power to zone also permit them to ban an industrial process like fracking?  This exact issue is before New York’s top court.  The issue is also present in Ohio: one state law says that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has the exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas drilling, while another Ohio law plainly grants municipalities authority to issue zoning regulations. What effects do fracking bans have on surface owners? Probably none, but the answer depends on the type of property interest affected by the fracking ban.  It is well settled law that zoning restrictions denying a property owner of all economically beneficial use of their land violates the takings clause of the 5th and 14th amendments.  So wouldn’t a zoning restriction that bans fracking deny mineral owners all economically beneficial use of their minerals?  Wouldn’t that be a “taking” in violation of the U.S. Constitution?  Remember that a taking will be found when the zoning restriction denies all economically beneficial use of the land.  A fracking ban would therefore not provide a surface owner a valid takings claim: the surface owner still has many options to put his land to economic use, such as building a house, or planting crops.  But what about a mineral owner? What effects do a fracking bans have on mineral owners? Without surface rights, it would seem that the mineral owner’s only economically viable use of his property is to extract them.  Of course, not all minerals require fracking to be economically produced.  Coal and silver, for example, are mined.  But what if...

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Free Gas Issues

Posted on June 23, 14

Many oil and gas leases provide the lessor with free gas.  This provision was fairly common in older leases, but has disappeared to a large extent for newer leases tailored to shale gas wells.  Here is a list of frequently asked questions and concerns about landowners exercising their right to free gas under an oil and gas lease: Who is entitled to free gas? You may be entitled to free gas if the oil and gas lease affecting your land contains a free gas clause, and if no other houses already use it.  Read your lease carefully, and look for free gas language.  Before you call your gas company about free gas, check to be sure that neighboring houses aren’t already taking advantage of it.  Most leases only provide that one building is entitled to free gas. However, some leases contain unusual language that do not limit the number of buildings that can use free gas. Generally speaking, only the landowner on whose property the wellhead is located is entitled to free gas.  There are exceptions, however. What types of structures/equipment can I hook the gas line to? Most leases provide that free gas can only be used by “one dwelling house,” or “one residence.”  Language like this pretty clearly suggests a house, though it could conceivably mean a barn, or outbuilding.  Language like this pretty clearly prohibits the gas line to fuel farm or industrial equipment.  Other lease language might say “for domestic use.”  This language also suggests a house, but could also conceivably mean an apartment or office.  It is best to err on the side of caution and to use the free gas in the spirit of the lease’s language. How much free gas am I entitled to? The average gas lease provides for free gas sufficient to heat an average sized home for about a year.  Historically, that amount was 200 MCF, or 200,000 cubic feet of gas per year.  However, some leases will provide for more than that amount, as well as less than that amount.  There is some case-law that suggests that a landowner’s...

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