Peter R. Certo, Jr.


Peter utilizes his knowledge of the law to assist Mega Millions and Ohio Lottery winners maintain their anonymity.

Rated one of the Top Estate Planning and Probate Law Attorneys in Ohio, Peter utilizes his knowledge of the law to assist Mega Millions and Ohio Lottery winners maintain their anonymity when claiming their lottery prize. While the claim process is fairly complicated and involved, Peter crafts the legal structure, is fully versed on the procedure, and maintains contacts with the Ohio Lottery officials. His probate practice includes probate litigation, trusts and estates. His vast litigation experience in criminal trials proves a valuable asset in the increasing trend of probate litigation. Very few probate attorneys have the courtroom experience as Peter.

In the criminal arena, Peter has represented hundreds of clients in felony cases and has personally tried over 40 jury trials. He also has handled thousands of OVI and misdemeanor cases in municipal courts. He has experience in dozens of appellate court proceedings and has argued before the Ohio Supreme Court. In addition to state court proceedings, Peter handles many serious criminal cases in federal court.

Having served as an acting municipal judge for 13 years, a prosecutor for the Cities of Riverside, Oakwood, and Beavercreek, as well as a defense attorney, Peter sees issues from both sides of the table and is frequently called upon as an expert witness to testify on probate law issues.

When Skill Matters

  • Represents Mega Millions and Ohio Lottery winners in need of identity and asset protection
  • Represents clients in matters involving financial discrepancies and fraudulent activities relating to trusts and estates, elder fraud, and will contests
  • Represents clients in state and federal felony cases ranging from double homicides, jail breaks, and criminal enterprises to robberies, burglaries, rapes and other violent crimes

Articles + Presentations

  • Corporate Governance and Risk Management (Presenter, Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce, May 2020)
  • Governance in the New World of Uncertainty (Presenter, Ohio Land Title Association, May 2020)
  • Coronavirus: More Business “Unusual” (Presenter, March 2020)
  • Lawyers Serving on Non-Profit Boards: Ethical Considerations and Obligations (Presenter, Lake County Bar Association, September 2019)
  • Judicial and Prosecutorial Efficiency in the U.S. (Panelist, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, March 2018)
  • Ohio Insurance Litigation (Contributing Author, LexisNexis Practice Guide, December 2017)
  • Coalition Building for NGOs (Panelist, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, December 2017)
  • Managing Risk: Tools for Building an Effective Risk & Crisis Management Program (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2017)
  • Commercial Transactions Contract Clauses: Equitable Remedies in Ohio (Contributing Author, Practical Law, October 2016)
  • Corporate Political Activity: Are You and Your Company – Or Your Clients – RNC Ready? Parts I and II (Program Chair/Moderator, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2016)
  • True Reagan: What Made Him Great and Why It Matters, A presentation by James Rosebush (Program Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2016)
  • Cybersecurity: Breach Response (Presenter, Lake County Bar Association, July 2015)
  • Financing Options: Well, You Do Have Alternatives! (Co-Author, Properties Magazine, March 2015)
  • Cybersecurity: Investigation-Prosecution-Prevention (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, December 2014)
  • Information Governance: What Every D&O Needs to Know (Author, Crain’s Cleveland Business, November 2014)
  • Corporate Responsibility: Data Privacy and Protection (Author, Properties Magazine, November 2014)
  • Cybersecurity Strategies That Every Business, Director, and Officer Needs to Know (Presenter, Mid-Market Business and Technology Conference, July 2014)
  • M&A Strategies: 10 Ways to Enhance Value for the Day you Sell (Presenter, “Profitable Growth…Doing it Better,” The Presidents’ Forum of Cleveland, June 2013)
  • Navigating the D&O Coverage Maze in an Era of Increased Scrutiny (Presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Ohio Chapter, March 2013)
  • Independent Advice is Critical Anytime Internal Roles are Unclear (Author, Counsel to Counsel, 2012)

Civic Involvement

  • Rebuilding Together Dayton – Board of Directors
  • Dayton Art Institute – Former Associate Board Member
  • Life Essentials (Guardianship Program) – Former Board Member
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Criminal Procedure – University of Dayton (Former)

Professional Affiliations

  • Miami Valley Trial Lawyers Association
  • Miami Valley Family Law Forum – Former President and Vice President
  • Dayton  Bar Association – Probate Law Committee; Former Chair, Criminal Law Section
  • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Related Practices

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Estates, Trusts + Probate
  • Commercial + Business Litigation
  • Corporate Investigations + White Collar Crime
  • Public Sector + Municipal Law


  • University of Dayton School of Law, JD

  • University of Dayton, BS


  • Ohio

  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Ohio

Want to learn more?

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Contact us today and experience the difference "straight answers" can make.