Parkersburg, WV
United Square, Fifth Floor
501 Avery Street
Parkersburg, WV 26101
T: (304) 420-5504
F: (304) 420-5587

J.D., University of Akron School of Law (1980)

B.A., Economics, The Ohio State University (1977)

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Circuits
Photo of Robert J.  Kent

Robert J. Kent


Robert Kent concentrates his practice in employment law/employer, civil litigation, insurance defense and mediation and arbitration. He has defended/tried a multitude of cases including, but not limited to, employment, insurance defense/personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, business litigation and property damage.

He has also appeared before various administrative agencies, including, but not limited to, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs, the Ohio and West Virginia Medical Boards, the West Virginia and Ohio Insurance Commissioners and the National Labor Relations Board. 

Robert advises and represents a large contingent of employers in West Virginia and Ohio regarding employment practices. Such topics include advice regarding terminations, promotions, transfers, reassignment of employees, layoffs, drafting policy manuals and employment handbooks, representation regarding discrimination claims, advice regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act, sexual harassment and other forms of prohibited harassment and training regarding various areas of employment practices.  Bob has also represented numerous insurance carriers, their insureds and other defendants over the years.

Professional Highlights

  • Mediator and Arbitrator
  • Former member, Bowles Rice Executive Committee
  • Bowles Rice Parkersburg Office Group Leader (1999-2007)
  • Assistant Attorney General, Ohio (1980-1983)
  • Office of General Counsel, Nationwide Insurance Companies (1983-1988)

  • Has tried 50-plus cases in state and federal court, argued numerous cases before a variety of appellate courts, and has appeared before numerous state and federal administrative agencies/boards

  • Has represented numerous employers in litigation, and advised hundreds of employers throughout his years of practice

  • Has represented numerous insurance carriers, their insureds, and other defendants throughout his years of practice

  • Recent trial victory in defense of age discrimination case, Hardman v. WV Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprenticeship Training Fund et al, 09-C-477, Circuit Court of Wood County, WV

  • Author, West Virginia portion of Defense Research Institute’s 2005 State by State Employment Law Compendium

  • Named a 2020 “State Litigation Star” in General Commercial, Insurance, Labor/Employment by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America ® (Litigation - Insurance; Litigation - Labor and Employment), 2018-present
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • Wood County Bar Association
  • Washington County (OH) Bar Association
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (Board of Governors and Board Liaison to the Employment Law Committee)

  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys

  • The Defense Research Institute (Employment Law Committee; Employment Law Annual Seminar Planning Committee; Networking Events Co-Chair 2020; Author of the WV portion of the DRI Employment Law Committee State by State Employment Law Legislative Compendium)

  • –Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley (President, Board Member)

  • Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (Board Member)

  • Serves on a pro bono basis as counsel to the Parkersburg/Wood County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and has been active in other positions in the community.