The Payne Law Office has a long and storied history in East Liverpool, Columbiana County and the State of Ohio. In addition to providing legal service to the community since 1932 the firm has provided three judges, a county prosecutor and a municipal law director to the public.
The firm is a direct successor to the firm started by Judge Louis Tobin in 1932 when he returned to his home town of East Liverpool after law school at The Ohio State University and “hung out his shingle” to begin the practice of law. The firm has continued in existence since then except for the 4 years it was closed during World War II when Louis served as an infantry lieutenant in the Pacific theater from 1942 to 1946.
Louis reopened the office in January 1946 and was soon joined by his brother Paul Tobin, a graduate of Ohio Northern College of Law and also a WWII veteran of the Army Air Corps serving in England.
Louis and Paul practiced together until 1950 when Louis was appointed Probate and Juvenile judge for Columbiana County, a position held until his death in 1974.
Paul practiced solo until 1975 when his nephew and Louis’ son, David Tobin, joined the firm. Paul and David maintained the office as partners until Paul was elected East Liverpool municipal judge, taking the bench in 1984.
The year 1983 also saw the addition to the firm of Charles L. Payne, a graduate of Duquesne University law school. When Paul took the bench, David and Charles practiced as partners under the name Tobin and Payne.
From 1977 to 1987 David served as the elected Prosecuting Attorney for Columbiana County. Then beginning in 1987 he became Common Pleas Judge and served until his retirement from the bench in July 2010.
After David left the office, Charles continued the firm as The Payne Law Office. Charles also became the law director for the City of East Liverpool and currently serves in that position.
Paul left the bench in at the end of 1989 and returned of counsel with the firm until his death in 1997.
David returned to the practice in 2011, also of counsel.
The Payne Law Offices have been at its current location at 617 St. Clair Ave. in downtown East Liverpool since 1974.