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Three law firms add attorneys to their local offices

Legal News Reporter

Published: May 20, 2022

Three local law firms recently added lawyers to their offices in Trumbull, Mahoning and Summit counties.
On Feb. 1, the plaintiff-side personal injury firm Kisling, Nestico & Redick welcomed attorney Ben Pfouts to its Akron office and in March associate James R. LaPolla joined the Warren office of Youngstown-based Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell and Brouse McDowell partner George P. Millich Jr. started in the Canfield office.
Millich, who is part of Brouse McDowell’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group said he’s excited about the opportunity to fill a growing demand for legal services in Mahoning County.
“There is a pretty big need for estate planning attorneys,” said Millich. “It’s a very rewarding area of law in which to work.”
“We are thrilled to welcome George to the Brouse team,” said Brouse McDowell Managing Partner Dan Glessner. “George brings a wealth of experience that gives him a unique perspective on estate planning techniques.
“His years of experience working with clients on estate planning and tax issues, along with his commitment to Mahoning Valley provide a perfect complement to our full-service legal offerings.”
A native of Youngstown, Millich received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University. He then obtained a J.D. and a Master of Taxation (MTax) degree from The University of Akron.
Millich began his career at Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, where he focused on estate planning.
Prior to joining Brouse McDowell on March 1, he was the chief fiduciary officer at Farmers Trust Company.
“I wanted to get back into private practice and as it turned out Brouse had a need for an estate planning attorney so it was the perfect opportunity,” Millich said.
Millich, who lives in Poland, Ohio with his wife Roetzel & Andress Shareholder Megan Millich and their two sons said it’s important to him to give back to the community and the legal profession.
A former president of The Mahoning County Bar Association, he currently serves on the board of Mercy Health Foundation.
“George is very involved in the community and is active in many organizations, which fits in well with our commitment to community service,” said Glessner.
In the case of Pfouts, he said he joined Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR) because they share the same philosophy.
“The attorneys here are all talented and work hard for their clients because they understand this is required when going up against big insurance companies or other large corporations with lots of resources,” said Pfouts. “They understand that getting the right result for people does not always mean taking the easiest path.”
Born and raised in Geauga County, Ohio, Pfouts received his bachelor’s degree from Kent State University.
After obtaining his juris doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2008, he began representing juveniles charged with low-level criminal offenses.
He then joined the Chester Law Group in Akron where he focused on representing injured individuals in a variety of contexts.
Prior to starting at KNR, he was an attorney at the plaintiff-side personal injury and bankruptcy law firm Amourgis & Associates in Akron.
“It’s gratifying to be able to help people when the odds are stacked against them and nobody else gives them a chance, not because they aren’t entitled to be compensated, but because of who it is on the other side.
“When I was 18, I was in an accident myself and had to go through the process,” said Pfouts.
“At the time I didn’t understand how it worked. I had to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit because of how my own insurance company was handling my claim and trying to take advantage of the situation. That’s when I first realized how these companies really operate and treat people and became interested in helping others who found themselves in similar situations.”
A member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice, Pfouts said he believes his position at KNR will also enable him to become more involved in the community.
“KNR does a great deal to give back to the community and I’m happy to be a part of that,” Pfouts said.
“We’re excited to have Ben on board,” said KNR Managing Partner John J. Reagan “Ben has over 12 years of experience representing personal injury clients and we believe he will serve our clients well.
“We’re always looking for strong candidates with relevant experience, so sometimes even if we don’t have an immediate need but we find someone like Ben who we believe can help us grow our practice, we’re always open to it.”
LaPolla began working in the Warren office of Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell on March 15 after serving as an associate at the Engler Law Firm in Warren.
“I always envisioned myself working in a larger firm setting and when the opportunity presented itself I applied,” said LaPolla. “HHM has a lot of great attorneys in many different areas of the law. I’m planning on learning as much as I can from them so I can better serve my clients.
“I also want to spend as much time as possible in the courtroom so I can hone my evidentiary and communications skills.”
“James will be a great asset to our Warren office,” said Kevin P. Murphy, a member of HHM and chair of the management committee. “He will support us in many different facets of our work, especially in the litigation area.”
Born and raised in Warren, LaPolla graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he majored in political science and history and minored in Latin American studies.
He also has a master’s degree in political science from Miami University.
LaPolla received his juris doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law in May 2021.
He started practicing at the Engler Law Firm in January, where he handled family law, criminal and civil litigation, along with estate planning and probate matters.
“I wanted to be an attorney ever since I was in first grade and I’ve never wavered,” he said. “I like to talk, meet and help people.
“I have an inviting personality and I am always willing to take the time to listen to people.”
While he is working on a variety of matters at HHM, LaPolla said he wants to focus on family law.
“I was told that becoming a guardian ad litem is the best way to begin working on family law cases and see how the domestic relations and juvenile courts work,” he said.
A member of the Trumbull County, Dayton and Ohio State bar associations, LaPolla said he’s also looking for opportunities to become more involved in the legal profession and the community.
“I am interested in joining many bar committees and local boards,” said LaPolla. “I believe it will be the best way to better the community while letting residents know I am a young attorney, who wants to help in many ways.”