JO Knows Business Management Consulting

This law firm has been representing local businesses for over a century. We’ve learned a few things. Aside from legal knowledge and experience, we bring objectivity and a focus on problem solving to you. Chances are we’ve helped another client in the past with similar issues.

Problems with a customer or key employee? Issues with your bank? Deadlock in the boardroom? Looking for an exit strategy? Or a way to bring a son or daughter into a leadership position Tell us about it.

What You Should Know About Sharing Economy and Your Taxes…

In the last few years there has been an increase in the sharing economy. If you haven’t heard the term you are most likely familiar with the concept—the sharing economy is when individuals share items or services, mostly via the internet. Various apps and websites connect people to rent things by the day, the week, or even by the hour. A fee is usually involved. One example of the sharing economy are Airbnbs. What many may not know about is the effect there may be on their taxes from these types of ventures. The IRS has a recent publication outlining some things you should know if you engage as a vendor in the sharing economy. To learn more visit:

JO Knows Succession Planning

Wow. This can be a tough one. What’s the solution when it’s time to hand over control to the next generation?

Is there an obvious family successor? If so, it’s all about timing, transition, and probably financing the ownership transfer. Maybe in stages. Balancing the interests of any children who aren’t involved in the business or who don’t fit in the plan. And getting the older generation to let go. Easier said than done.

If not, then we look at options including a sale to a younger employee, a competitor, or an outside investor.

Either way, the time to start working on succession planning is before it’s necessary.

Lost Sock Memorial Day

After the laundry is done each week, we often ask ourselves “where did they go”? Today on Lost Sock Memorial Day (celebrated each May 9th), we recognize that drawer everyone has full of unmatched socks.  We just can’t seem bring ourselves to throw away the unmatched socks because we still hope that the match will show up someday. On this Lost Sock Memorial Day, spend a little time (as little as possible) searching for those missing socks and then, in the words of Queen Elsa, “Let It Go” as you need to accept you will never find them!

Meet Our JO Team

Jones Obenchain partner, John B. Ford, is a fourth-generation St. Joseph County attorney. Born and raised in South Bend, John attended John Adams High School and was an avid swimmer. John’s practice areas include general business, commercial and residential real estate, employment, construction, estate planning, and probate. Visit to get to know John better and to learn more about how he can help you and your business.

Celebrate Law Day

On May 1, the United States recognizes Law Day. It is meant to reflect on the role of law in the country’s foundation and to recognize its importance for society. Originally the idea of Charles S. Rhyne, who served as President Eisenhower’s legal counsel, the concept caught on and Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 to be Law Day in 1958. Its observance was later codified by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961.

In other parts of the world, the first day of May was known as May Day and commemorates the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions.

JO In Action – CASA Volunteer – Brian Gates

Would you like to make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child? Consider becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate like Jones Obenchain partner Brian Gates. Brian has been representing children’s best interests as a CASA since 2002, and now helps train other CASA volunteers by teaching them about the legal system. Find out more about the St. Joseph County CASA program by clicking here:, or visit the national CASA site:

JO Knows Guardian Ad Litem

A “Guardian ad litem” (GAL) is a person the court appoints to investigate what would be in the “best interests of a child.” Here, we are talking about a GAL in a divorce or parental-rights-and-responsibilities case, including paternity, delinquency, and abuse or neglect cases. The GAL will look into the family situation and advise the court about issues such as where the children should live most of the time, whether the child is being harmed by one parent’s alleged substance abuse, and what contact the child should have with the other parent. Jones Obenchain partner, Brian Gates, has experience serving as a GAL and can answers your questions.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Administrative Professionals’ Day, also known as Secretaries’ Day, is observed annually. In some countries, it falls within Administrative Professionals’ Week, which is the last full week of April. The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative–support professionals. Typically, administrative professionals are given cards, flowers, chocolates, and lunches. The attorneys and partners at Jones Obenchain applaud their secretarial and administrative support staff this and every day!

Celebrate Dyngus Day

Dyngus Day marks the official beginning of the year’s political-primary-campaign season in South Bend. Notable politicians who have celebrated Dyngus Day in South Bend include the late Robert F. Kennedy, former Governor Joe Kernan, Senator Evan Bayh, former Congressman and New York University President John Brademas, former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and former President Bill Clinton. 2008 visitors included then–Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Starting in 2004, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, began celebrating Dyngus Day at the request of South Bend students. Celebrations often include kielbasa, pierogi, sauerkraut, and (of course) beer!