A. Joseph Ross was born in Boston in 1945 and grew up in Newburyport; Allston; Albany, N.Y.; and Bedford, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Political Science in 1967 and from Boston University School of Law with a J.D. in 1970.

Bill signing with Gov. Dukakis, Jan. 1978After working briefly at a couple of small law firms, in May 1972, Joe went to work for the Brookline Rent Control Board as a hearing examiner. Promoted in 1973 to staff attorney, he left at the end of 1974 to go into his own practice. He has been practicing law on his own since May 1975.   His office was located in downtown Boston until September 2016, when he moved his practice to Newton Centre.

Because of his work at the Rent Control Board, Joe began to get a lot of work in the landlord-tenant area and has become a recognized expert in the field. In the mid-1970s, he drafted the present law on rent-withholding (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 239, Section 8A). He has since written several articles on landlord-tenant subjects. He has testified in court as an expert witness on three occasions: in 1994, on rent control matters in a case in Norfolk Superior Court, in 2006 as an expert on landlord-tenant law in a criminal case in Fitchburg District Court, and in 2010 as an expert on Housing Court eviction litigation in a case in Suffolk Probate Court..

Joe served as president of the Brookline Tenant Union from July 1978 to January 1983 and remained on the BTU Board until January 1990, serving twice during that time as secretary. He served on the Board again for the year 1994. He was a Brookline Town Meeting Member from 1979-88, from 1989-94, from 1999 to 2004, from 2005 to 2012, and again from November 2015 to May 2017.  Joe served as Co-Chair of the Brookline Town Meeting Members Association from June 2001 through June 2003 and continued to serve on the TMMA Board until 2009. He returned to the TMMA Board from June 2016 to May 2017. Joe is also a member of the Brookline Democratic Town Committee and has been a delegate to 33 Democratic state conventions,  including the 2020 convention, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the on-line 2021 convention, and the hybrid 2022 convention.

With Governor Deval Patrick, 2010Although Joe began as a tenant advocate, he has also been increasingly active in representing landlords. For several years in the 1990s, he was a trustee of the condominium in Brookline where he lives and became a trustee again in 2018. From 1990-1994, he served as treasurer of the Brookline Condo Owners Association, a political organization which advocated for condo owners.

Joe has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and space travel and has his own telescope. He is also a science fiction fan. While in college, he founded the UMass Science Fiction Society, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 2014 and is still going strong. He was vice president of the New England Science Fiction Association in the early 1970s and serves on its Rules Committee, which he chaired for many years.  He was president of Arisia, Incorporated, another science fiction organization, in 1992-94. Joe also likes to surf the Net. He constructed and maintains this website himself and believes that his was the second law office in Massachusetts, and the first small office, to have a website.

In the fall of 1996, Joe attended the founding meetings of the Computer Organizations of New England (CONE), a new computer user group intended to fill some of the gap left after the dissolution of the Boston Computer Society and before he knew it, was an officer. Joe prepared CONE's incorporation papers and served as its vice president, clerk, and general counsel. Joe also managed its e-mail forum, which lived on for several years after the organization itself shut down.

Joe is also a member of Minyan Shaleym, a Jewish congregation.

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