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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Joe Deems attended Loyola University at Los Angeles where, among other offices, he served as student body president from 1969-1970. He went on to law school at Southwestern University School of Law where he joined the Sammis Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta in 1972 and attended his first convention that year.

During and after graduating law school, Joe worked at the Automobile Club of Southern California and continued on as house counsel there until 1977, when he opened his own law firm. Now known as Deems Law Offices, that firm has continued to the present where members conduct a general practice focused mainly upon civil & commercial litigation, business, transactional law, intellectual property, entertainment and estate planning.

Having developed a significant sub-specialty in insurance law, Joe also presently serves as the Executive Director of the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA), a national trade association of captive insurance companies. Among other duties there, he is Chairman of Government Affairs at NRRA, managing its response to all legislative, regulatory and judicial initiatives affecting the organization in all fifty states and Washington, DC.

Among other community service positions, Joe served PAD for 4 years as District Justice in District III, 4 years as Chief Tribune and 20 years on the International Executive Board. He served as International Justice of the fraternity from 1998 to 2000. He has attended every convention except one since he joined PAD.

Joe is married to Sharon Lake Deems. They have two children, Evan and Marissa, who presently attend Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The family lives in Tarzana, California.