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

Of Counsel

Robert Kent concentrates his practice in employment law (employer side) and civil litigation. He has defended/tried a multitude of cases in his 40-plus years of practice.

Bob has handled a variety of matters have involved topics including, but not limited to:

  • age, disability, race, religion and sex discrimination
  • harassment based upon a protected class
  • wrongful discharge
  • sexual harassment
  • breach of contract
  • violation of non-compete provisions
  • intentional interference with business relations
  • violation of trade secrets conversion
  • breach of duty of loyalty
  • breach of fiduciary duty
  • fraud
  • RICO violations
  • personal injuries
  • workers compensation injuries
  • wrongful death
  • product liability
  • property damage
  • unemployment compensation

Bob has also appeared before various administrative agencies, including, but not limited to:

  • West Virginia Human Rights Commission
  • Ohio Civil Rights Commission
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Workforce West Virginia
  • Ohio Bureau of Jobs and Family Services
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administrations
  • National Labor Relations Board

Bob has advised and represented a large contingent of employers in West Virginia, Ohio, and other states regarding employment practices. Such topics include advice regarding terminations, promotions, transfers, reassignment of employees, layoffs, wage payment, overtime, employee classification, policy manuals/employment handbooks, unemployment compensation, 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, etc.

Professional Highlights

  • Assistant Attorney General, Ohio (1980-1983)
  • Office of General Counsel, Nationwide Insurance Companies (1983-1988)

  • Partner, Bowles Rice LLP (since 1990)
  • Member of Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and its Employment Law Committee for approximately 30 years
  • Member of DRI (Defense Research Institute) and its Employment Law Committee since approximately 1988
  • Member of OACTA (Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys) for many years
  • Author, West Virginia portion of DRI Employment Law Committee's Annual State-by-State Employment Law Legislative Update (since 2005)
  • Former member, Bowles Rice Executive Committee
  • Bowles Rice Parkersburg Office Group Leader (1999-2007)
  • 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

  • Named a 2020 “State Litigation Star” in General Commercial, Insurance, Labor/Employment by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America ® (Litigation - Labor and Employment; Litigation - Insurance), 2018-present
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • Wood County Bar Association
  • Washington County (OH) Bar Association
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (Past Member of Board of Governors; Past 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 2016-2021; Networking Events Co-Chair 2020; Author of the West Virginia portion of the DRI Employment Law Committee State-by-State Employment Law Legislative Compendium)
  • Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley (Past President; Board Member since approximately 2000)
  • Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (former Board Member; current member of Personnel Committee)

  • 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.