The Akron Legal News

Login | April 12, 2024

KNR welcomes new partners/opens another office

Legal News Reporter

Published: May 26, 2023

Three longtime associates at Akron-based Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR) are now partners at the plaintiff-side personal injury law firm.
Attorneys Anthony (Tony) D. Hall, Devin J. Oddo and Christopher J. Van Blargan became partners in January.
“Chris, Devin and Tony are all well-deserving of this recognition,” said KNR Managing Partner John J. Reagan. “Our clients benefit greatly from their extensive experience in personal injury and understanding of the insurance industry, as well as their deep dedication to KNR’s core value of placing clients first.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to recognize their efforts and commitment.”
“I believe in what we do here,” said Hall, who works out of the Toledo office and focuses on commercial and personal auto accident cases. “Our work helps people get through some very rough times, physically and emotionally.
“It’s extremely satisfying,” said Hall. “Everyone here is talented and we work collaboratively, which makes the job very enjoyable.”
While Hall is located in Toledo, both Van Blargan and Oddo work in Akron.
“I’m proud to say I am a partner of this firm, where I work with great lawyers, whose primary goal is to help people,” said Oddo. “I am excited to help us move forward and continue to grow.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be a partner at KNR,” said Van Blargan. “Working here has been a great experience and the commitment they have shown to helping employees in their professional development and careers has been personally beneficial and gratifying.
“KNR has played an important role in helping to develop laws that assist those who are injured,” said Van Blargan, who focuses on complex cases involving construction and trucking accidents, employment torts and appellate litigation. “They also do a great deal to give back to the communities they serve through charitable efforts like the annual turkey giveaway.
“With its commitment to the legal profession, the community, its clients and its employees, I am honored to be a partner and hope to retire from the firm.”
Raised in Eastlake, Ohio Van Blargan received his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, where he majored in political science and minored in business and German.
It was while pursuing a graduate degree in history at Cleveland State University that he made the choice to switch career directions and go to law school.
“I was always interested in politics and I decided the best way to pursue that interest was through the law, which would also allow me to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Van Blargan.
After earning his juris doctorate from The University of Akron School of Law in 1995, he began his career as an associate at the Stark County firm Allen Schulman & Associates.
“I had been a law clerk there when I was in law school,” said Van Blargan.
In 2002, he moved to the insurance and corporate defense firm Janik (then known as Janik & Dorman), where he remained for approximately ten years.
He joined KNR as an associate in 2012.
“I learned a great deal at my previous firm, but I wanted to represent plaintiffs, who usually don’t have the type of resources that insurance companies possess,” said Van Blargan.
“Chris has become an invaluable resource for all of our attorneys and has played an enormous role in many of the firm’s most significant injury and wrongful death cases,” said Reagan.
A member of the Stark County and Ohio State bar associations, Van Blargan serves on the board of the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Akron-Canton.
“We work with high school students, who are interested in architecture, construction and engineering,” said Van Blargan. “Two of my three children are planning on going into those fields and I find it very fulfilling to connect with these kids and help them.
“My kids and I also volunteer at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and I’ve helped the firm with the turkey giveaway, which is a great event,” said Van Blargan.
“KNR’s commitment to helping local residents is just another reason I’m proud to be a member of this firm.”
Like Van Blargan, Oddo also started at KNR in 2012, after working at the Cleveland firm Martyn & Associates for seven years.
“I did plaintiff work at the firm,” said Oddo. “Prior to that position, I had worked for two small insurance defense firms, so I had both plaintiff and defense experience.
“I decided that I preferred helping plaintiffs since they are the ones most in need of assistance,” said Oddo, who primarily handles commercial and personal auto accident cases.
Born in Toledo and raised in Akron, Oddo received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
After obtaining his juris doctorate from Akron Law in 1998, Oddo became an associate at the insurance defense firm Seeley, Savidge & Aussem Co. in Cleveland.
He left to take a position at the law firm then known as Janik & Dorman, later joining Martyn & Associates.
A member of the Akron and Ohio State bar associations and the Ohio Association for Justice, Oddo said he’s looking forward to getting more involved in the important decisions that will play a role in shaping the future of the firm.
“KNR has established a great reputation in the legal community and I look forward to helping maintain and build on that legacy moving forward,” said Oddo.
“Devin is one of the most reliable and hard-working advocates you will meet, obtaining hundreds of settlements and significant recoveries each year on behalf of our clients,” said Reagan.
In Hall’s case, he started at KNR three years after he graduated from law school.
“I was looking for a firm that would provide the challenges and mentorship I needed to grow as an attorney,” said Hall. “I could not have picked a better place to achieve both of those goals than KNR. It’s been fantastic.”
A native of Tiffin, Ohio, Hall obtained his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate from The University of Toledo.
After graduating from law school in 2011, he returned to Tiffin, where he began his career as an associate at the general practice law firm run by John T. Barga.
When he first joined KNR in February 2014, he was in the Columbus office.
He moved to Toledo in 2015 to assist KNR in opening an office in the city.
“I was asked to help start the office since I had gone to school there,” said Hall, who was promoted to managing attorney in 2020. “I was very happy to do it.”
“Tony’s leadership and his infectious, positive attitude have directly led to the Toledo office’s success,” said Reagan. “He works hard to ensure his clients get the respect and compensation they deserve from large insurance companies.”
Now that he is a partner, Hall said he’s looking forward to becoming more involved in the day-to-day business aspects of running the firm.
“My undergraduate degree was in corporate finance, so I’m excited to be able to utilize those skills,” said Hall. “I’m also hoping to mentor our new and younger attorneys at the firm.”
Hall, who previously served on the board of the American Civil War Museum of Ohio, said he hopes to increase his participation in some of the firm’s charitable events.
“Being in Toledo, I’ve never had the chance to take part in KNR’s turkey giveaway in Akron, but I’m hoping to change that this year,” said Hall.
“I have helped distribute bicycle helmets, backpacks with school supplies and Christmas gifts through the ‘Adopt-a-Family’ program,” Hall said. “We’ve also done some cool charitable work with the Mareda Center in Toledo to help underprivileged children.
“On several occasions, we helped raise money for the center and a few of us, including myself have spent afternoons with the kids helping with homework and playing games.”
In addition to its partner promotions, KNR opened an office in Dayton at the start of 2023.
Located at 40 N. Main St., it’s staffed by attorney Kevin Quinlan and a paralegal.
Quinlan, who joined the firm this year to work in Dayton, has both medical malpractice and personal injury experience.
He began his career as a medical device professional, later earning his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2014.
KNR now has 12 locations in 11 cities across the state, including two in Columbus.
“The Dayton office is part of our continued effort to expand throughout the state of Ohio to better serve the citizens who need our legal services,” said Reagan. “We look forward to providing the high level of personalized service that we have become known for to Dayton-area residents and those throughout Ohio.”