Firm History

Benjamin, Yocum & Heather is a downtown Cincinnati law firm which was founded in 1950. The firm's main areas of concentration are business and construction law, personal injury, probate administration, estate planning and insurance law. It has a diverse client base, representing individuals, professional practices, insurance companies, and businesses of all sizes.

All of Benjamin, Yocum & Heather's attorneys are graduates of respected, accredited law schools, and are well-trained and experienced in their areas of practice. Firm attorneys can draw upon over 130 years of collective legal experience in meeting the needs of the firm's clients. The attorneys are aided in their efforts by a skilled support staff and the latest in law office technology.

Benjamin, Yocum & Heather has attorneys admitted to practice in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. The litigation attorneys of the firm are active in state and federal courts as well as appellate courts at all levels. Benjamin, Yocum & Heather attorneys routinely represent clients in arbitrations and also serve as arbitrators.

Remembering Jack Benjamin the Founder of BYH

Our Firm founder, friend, colleague and mentor John (Jack) A. Benjamin passed away on December 20, 2009. In 1950, Jack founded the law practice in Cincinnati which later became Benjamin, Yocum & Heather. Although Jack “retired” in 2007, he never left us. He continued to visit his office regularly up until shortly before his death.

When I came to work for the Firm as a law clerk in 1978, the secretaries and young professionals referred to our senior partner as “Mr. B.” (some still do). After joining the Firm as an attorney in 1979, and learning more about Jack through the years, I was amazed at having the opportunity to practice law with a man who had such a breadth of life experience. We all see life (and legal issues) through the prism of our life experiences. Jack had the big picture view.

Although Jack rarely mentioned it, he came to the U.S. in 1919 as an immigrant from Russia. He was born in 1914 in what is present day St. Petersburg, Russia. Having visited St. Petersburg myself, I can attest that it is a most amazing city with tremendous historical significance. Jack’s father died when he was a young child and he, his mother and brother fled Russia as the civil war between the Reds and Whites raged around them.

I never ceased to be impressed at the idea of practicing law with a man who was born during the time of the Tsar. Jack was a voice of profound experience that spanned: growing up as a poor immigrant in Cincinnati, becoming acquainted with Jesse Owens at Ohio State University, attending Yale Law School, serving as a paratrooper in WWII, becoming politically involved in promoting “Good (honest) Government” in Cincinnati, advocating the rights of African Americans, and helping the poor in need of legal assistance.

I owe a personal debt of gratitude to Jack. He always believed in me, my abilities as a lawyer, and my integrity. He encouraged and promoted me as he did the Firm and many others whenever he had the opportunity. Jack was an “encourager.” He encouraged people to be the best they could be and he always enjoyed helping people succeed. He made significant time sacrifices to write detailed, eloquent letters (he was a great writer) of recommendations that really required getting to know a person’s attributes.

Jack took a genuine interest in people, their families and their wellbeing. He wanted to be sure that the people around him were taken care of, whether it was an employee, a garage attendant, or a caddy.

Jack loved Cincinnati. As I look out the window of my office over beautiful Lytle Park and see the University Club Building nestled among other historic buildings, I understand why Jack felt a real sense of community in Cincinnati as he gathered with his friends at the University Club, the Cincinnati Athletic Club, the Losantiville Country Club, and the Mercantile Library. Jack was active in the Jewish community as President of the Isaac M. Wise Temple and the Cemetery Board. Cincinnati is a community that stresses family values. Jack loved and was committed to his wife of 67 years, Helen, his 4 daughters: Ruth, Mary, Lora and Sally, and his 7 grandchildren. He was also a great fan of the Reds and Bengals.

We all feel a loss and emptiness with the passing of Jack, yet, I am truly grateful for the privilege and opportunity to have practiced law with him. Jack was a strong willed individual who lived a very full 95 years. As I close, I am reminded of the words that Jack spoke to one of his daughters, the last time she saw him, “You’ll do fine, just keep going, just keep going.” Ever the encourager. On behalf of all of Jack Benjamin’s friends at BYH, we are honored to carry on the Firm which bears his name.

Tom Yocum
BYH Managing Member