Joseph R. (J.R.) Torda

  • Partner


Maumee, OH





 J.R. Torda is a partner (member) in Barkan & Robon Ltd. J.R., a resident of Oregon, Ohio, received his B.A. with a dual major in Accounting and Finance from Bowling Green State University and his J.D. from the University of Toledo.  J.R. is also a Certified Public Accountant in Ohio.   He is a member of the Toledo and Ohio State Bar Associations, and past member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, Inc.

List of Legal Matters J.R. Regularly Handles:
 - Business
 - Real Estate
 - Land Sale (Foreclosures in Probate Court) Foreclosures, Sheriff Sales
 - Business Workouts and Real Estate Workouts
 - Tax/ IRS Controversies
 - Medicaid/Elder Law/Asset Protection
 - Estate Planning, Trusts, and Estate Administration

Business:  Counsels on-going and start-up closely held businesses, handles business acquisitions and sales, business workouts, federal income tax matters, business succession planning, buy out of an owner by the company or other owners, counsels high-net worth individuals and executives on general business matters.  J.R. also handles all aspects of entity formations.  His background as a Certified Public Accountant allows him to work closely with our client’s accountants as a team.  J.R. has represented clients on the sale of their business to public companies.

Real Estate: 
1. Acquisitions, leasing, and sales matters as to commercial and residential
Real estate;
2. Real estate tax valuation appeals;
3. Formation & use of LLC’s for ownership of rental real estate;
4. IRS form 1031 Tax Free Exchanges; and
5. Purchase and/or sale of distressed properties (with liens and mortgages that exceed the current fair market value).

Land Sale (Foreclosures in Probate Court) Foreclosures, Sheriff Sales: J.R. is very passionate about analyzing and successfully working through sales and/or purchases of distressed properties from lenders, court appointed receivers, owners and/or estates.
Business Workouts and Real Estate Workouts:  J.R. handles business disputes between partners, winding up and closing down businesses with creditor issues, sales of businesses in distressed condition, and collections and/or enforcement upon behalf of a seller who financed the business sale with the purchaser in payment default.

Tax/ IRS Controversies:  Counseling and planning for taxpayers. 
1.   Tax planning for clients;

2. Tax controversy work in representing business owners and individuals that owe the IRS, State of Ohio, or municipalities income or business taxes;
a. Levy release;
b. Getting the IRS to mark a taxpayer as uncollectible when their necessary and normal expenses equal or exceed their net income;
c. Mitigation of the taxpayer’s ability to pay IRS monthly installment payments;
d. Defense of federal court complaint as to the reducing of federal income tax balances to a legal judgment and injunctive relief;
e. Successful representation of client in defense of alleged responsible party payroll tax assessment;
f. He has successfully discharged federal, state, and local income taxes owed by clients in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing when the facts and circumstances allow;
g. He also counsels tax-exempt organizations as to formation and on-going representation; and
h. Specific designation of voluntary partial payments to IRS to benefit the taxpayer.

Medicaid/Elder Law/Asset Protection:  J.R. advises clients, their parents, and their families on all aspects of Medicaid, elder law plans, long term nursing home care, options for asset protection, and the realities and practical application of current elder law.

Estate Planning, Trusts, and Estate Administration:  J.R. performs estate planning from the basic estate plan to drafting of more elaborate plans for high-end clients to carry out their planning objectives.  Through his counsel, he continually strives to educate his clients as to the benefits and negatives to the proper attention to asset titling and beneficiary designation issues.  J.R. takes pride in drafting trusts for clients that actually need and benefit from one.  He also educates his clients on what benefits they are getting or not getting from a trust. As contrasted with so many third party consumers have trusts that were drafted by other attorneys and the client has so many mis-understandings of their benefits (that are not always true). 

Summary:  J.R. enjoys being a part of the Barkan & Robon, Ltd. team that allows him to work with clients in the areas of his practice, but also refer and remain active in client legal matters that are outside of the scope of his practice areas, yet within the practice area of his partners.  This collaborative partnership has allowed for a full-service quality long term representation for our clients. 

Quality: is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
Civic/Charitable/Church Involvement:   J.R. is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Northwest Ohio, has received the designation as Friend of the ACF-Maumee Valley Chefs Association, a prior Junior Achievement Project Business volunteer, previously coached various children’s sporting teams and is a long time parishioner of St. Stephen Church.
JR currently enjoys golfing, playing racquetball, pickle ball, and participating in many other activities.

JR’s Top Legal Victories or Successes
1. Lead attorney for two separate multi-million dollar sales of client businesses to public companies.

2. Representation of client in a purchase of a bundle of commercial real estate mortgages from the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and the separate purchase of the underlying deeds from a third party.  Thereafter, the client sold off several of the commercial real estate centers and retained one or more to the satisfaction of their bank lender loan requirements.

3. Successful work out of a dispute between owners of a Florida marina and condo development.   Simultaneously negotiating for the release of our client from a large bank personal guaranty based upon our previous drafting and obtaining indemnity and hold harmless agreements from former partners and their family trust assets.

4. Pursued coverage under an old commercial insurance policy from the 1970’s for environmental damage to our client’s ownership of real estate from its legal business operations.   It turns out there was coverage in such older form policies for environmental contamination clean up costs in select circumstances.  We successfully pursued and collected on a claim in the year 2000 after several denials of coverage.   The insurance claim proceeds allowed for the netting out by our client as to its contamination remediation clean up costs. 

5. In less than a five (5) month period, J.R. individually counseled clients and separately handled and closed $17.3 million dollars of commercial real estate transactions, excluding the numerous lease matters regularly handled.

6. Successful discharge of income tax obligations (tax, interest, and penalties) in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases. 

7. Representation of a client in the purchase of a commercial note and mortgage at a large discount from third party purchaser of a bundle of notes from a bank lender.   We then simultaneously coordinated for the sale of the various real estate parcels (commercial real estate center and other real estate) to two different third party purchasers for a large profit margin.  The money used to buy the note was the money obtained that same day from the simultaneous sale of the underlying real estate.   The kicker is our client was the former owner of the real estate center and other real estate but lost both in a default with its lender and subsequent foreclosure.   We had previously obtained a waiver of deficiency from our client’s bank lender for any loan deficiency balance.

8. Successful litigation defense of client business owner in a piercing of the corporate veil claim as to him personally for the debts of the corporation.

9. The successful defense of our client to an IRS assessment against our client as a responsible party for IRS payroll taxes from a business that failed to pay all such taxes.

10. Eminent domain dispute as to land owned by our client needed for the I-280 new bridge known as the Veterans Skyway Bridge.   Successful negotiation for the material valuation increase for the appropriation and the leasing of the remainder property to bridge contractor as a staging area.  We drafted the lease so that all such improvements to the leased property staging area could remain at the completion of the lease term for the benefit of the client owner or we could require the contractor to remove all said improvements including utilities (such as electrical lines, water lines, sewer service, gas lines) pavement, fencing, and return the property to prior condition.   Such language allowed us to negotiate a very favorable deal with the contractor at the end of the lease term to purchase at a large discount the office modular units comprising of over 30,000 square feet of space and we were able to simultaneously lease such office real estate to public company tenant.

11. Negotiated tax amnesty settlements for clients with both the State of Ohio and the City of Toledo.

12. Representing client real estate owner against aggressive bank in a work out collection matter to successfully achieve the following:
a. Avoid foreclosure
b. Avoid enforced collection
c. Negotiate a forbearance agreement and amendments
d. Work with client owner of commercial real estate parcels to sell off parcels and filter out bad intentioned buyers to maximize benefit to client and
e. Establish credibility with the bank.
f. Negotiated and closed the sale of two parcels at fair market value and avoided a quick sale for less consideration.  The client avoided a deficiency with the bank and received net sale proceeds.

13. As to fire insurance claims for property owners we work with our client to contest the scope of damages with their insurance companies and to work with our client to select a qualified casualty damage expert and construction agent so their properties are properly rebuilt and to maximize the insurance payout to facilitate that.

14. Initiated a foreclosure case within the Probate Court for a decedent’s family wherein the house of the decedent was subject to a mortgage balance that exceeded the fair market value of the house.   The mortgage bank failed to timely file an answer in the case and arguably misrepresented the reason for failing to do so.   The Court ruled that the bank mortgage shall be released (terminated without payment) from the property.  Our client’s family received the net proceeds from the sale of the real estate.

15. A third party seller prior to our representation of them entered into a poorly drafted Land Installment Contract for a sale of a rental property.  We were then contacted after the buyer defaulted in his payments over an extended period of time.  The buyer filed for personal chapter 7 bankruptcy, we then filed for a forfeiture of the land installment contract in municipal court, the buyer then filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy for a repayment plan.  Most of the buyer actions were done with the intent of delaying the seller’s rights and were not intended to get a new start on catching up the delinquent payments. We pursued this matter in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and upon our initiation, the bankruptcy court and trustee ordered the termination of the buyer’s chapter 13 bankruptcy for non-compliance. We then completed the forfeiture (termination) of the Land Installment Contract and the seller received back the real property.  We had a bulldog mentality of not giving up when the other party intentionally instituted bad faith road blocks. 

16. Hopefully, with good clients and hard work many more to come…

Areas of Practice

  • Business
  • Real Estate
  • Tax/IRS Controversies
  • Land Sale (Foreclosures in Probate Court) Foreclosures, Sheriff Sales
  • Business Workouts and Real Estate Workouts
  • Medicaid/Elder Law/Asset Protection
  • Estate Planning, Trusts, and Estate Administration

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1992


  • University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio
    • J.D.
  • Bowling Green State University
    • B.A. in Accounting and Finance

Honors and Awards

  • Friend of the ACF-Maumee Valley Chefs Association

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Toledo Bar Association, Member
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
  • American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, Inc., Member
  • Board of Directors of the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Northwest Ohio, Past Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Certified Public Accountant, Ohio