Joe grew up in a U.S. Navy family in the U.S. and Asia. He earned degrees in journalism, finance and law, from Ventura College, the University of Southern California, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

After graduation, Joe joined a top-rated business law firm in Santa Barbara, California, which became Seed, Mackall & Cole. In 1999, Joe moved to an investment company as executive vice president and general counsel. In 2007, he founded his present law practice.

Joe married Susan Cole, a speech pathologist, in 1984, and they are active with their three children. Joe is also passionate about youth sports, journalism, scholarships and playing with local musicians.