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Peter R. Certo
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Mr. Certo is a shareholder on Altick and Corwin LPA and currently the head of the firm’s Probate and Estate Planning group.

Probate of decedent’s estates and probate litigation are now a majority of Mr. Certo's practice. His past complex litigation experience is a valuable asset in today’s increasing field of probate litigation. He serves on the Dayton Bar Association Probate Law Committee and has been called upon by other attorneys and the Dayton Bar Association to testify on Probate Law issues. In the area of Probate Law he has been noted in the Dayton Business Journal as among the Best of the Bar in 2004 and by Ohio Law and Politics magazine as a Super Lawyer 8 times from  2006 to 2019.

Mr. Certo also now represents winners of the Ohio Lottery who wish to claim their winnings anonymously. The claim process is fairly complicated and involves at least two separate trusts and federal ID numbers. The most important document is called a passive trust. Passive trusts are not very common and need to be carefully drafted. Having done this for several clients he is fully versed on the entire procedure and maintains contact with the Ohio Lottery officials. This process works for Mega Millions winners too. This is a great advantage because most states do not allow the Mega Million winners to claim it anonymously.

In his Criminal Law experience he has been primary counsel on over 40 jury trials. He has represented clients in hundreds of state and federal felony cases and countless misdemeanors. He has handled cases ranging from double homicides, jail breaks and criminal enterprises, to robberies, burglaries, rapes and other violent crimes. Many of these cases have been highly publicized cases in the Miami Valley. Mr. Certo was also an Acting Judge in the Dayton Municipal Court for 13 years.

In the field of Domestic Relations, Mr. Certo has handled over 2,000 cases including complex divorce litigation, military divorces, pension division, dissolution, custody, and virtually every issue in domestic relations law. He has also served as President and Vice-President of the Miami Valley Family Law Forum from 2000-2002.

Mr. Certo currently serves as a Board member of Rebuilding Together-Dayton (a charitable organization) and is a former Associate Board member of the Dayton Art Institute.

Areas Of Practice

  • Probate, Trusts and Estate Planning 65%
  • Criminal Law 20%
  • Domestic Relations Law 15%

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 1979


  • University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio
    • J.D. - 1978
  • University of Dayton
    • B.S. - 1973

Representative Clients

  • City of Riverside, Ohio
  • City of Beavercreek, Ohio
  • City of Trotwood, Ohio


  • Adjunct Legal Professor, Criminal Procedure, University of Dayton , 1985 to 1986

Honors and Awards

  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2009
  • Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Dayton, Ohio, Acting Municipal Judge, 1991 to 2002
  • Dayton Bar Association, Probate Law Committee
  • Dayton Bar Association, Member
  • Dayton Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Chairman, 1991 to 1993
  • Dayton Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Chairman, 1995 to 1997
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
  • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Miami Valley Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • City of Oakwood, Former Acting Prosecutor
  • City of Beavercreek, Former Prosecutor
  • Miami Valley Family Law Forum, President and Vice-President, 2000 to 2002
  • Life Essentials (guardianship program) , Former Board Member
  • Rebuilding Together Dayton, Board Member
  • Dayton Art Institute , former Associate Board Member
  • Dayton Bar Association, Ethics Prosecutor
  • City of Riverside, Prosecutor

Past Employment Positions

  • Certo and Larson, Partner, 1983 to 1998
  • City of Dayton Municipal Court, Acting Judge, 1989 to 2002

Pro Bono Activities

  • Court appointed counsel State and Federal Courts, 1979 to Present
  • Rebuilding Together, Dayton, 2000 to Present