The law firm of Barkan Meizlish, LLP is over sixty years old, with a national practice, focused on Union Side labor law, wage and hour/overtime litigation, Ohio workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, and personal injury/medical malpractice. Our law firm and individual law firm members appear on lists of the best law firms and attorneys in the nation.
Through our representation of labor unions, individual employees, the injured and the disabled, we protect the rights of working people on and off the job. The firm skillfully represents our clients’ interests in federal and state court, before federal and state administrative agencies, at the collective bargaining table, and in state legislatures and the United States Congress. The attorneys and professional staff of Barkan Meizlish, LLP are fully committed to securing justice for all of our clients. Our results speak for themselves.
Our Union Side labor law attorneys represent a wide array of labor unions at the local and national level. We negotiate collective bargaining agreements on behalf of unions in a variety of industries, including aviation, ground transportation, manufacturing, health care and the public sector. We enforce those contracts in arbitration and federal and state court and assist our union clients with organizing, communications, membership education, legislation and regulatory compliance.
The firm’s national wage and hour/overtime practice is dedicated to the fundamental principle that working people should be properly paid for all of their labor. We represent employees in individual and class action litigation. Our attorneys have recovered wages for tens of thousands of employees who have been unlawfully denied their right to overtime pay. We have further committed ourselves to the effort to reform federal and state law so that employees received the wages they are owed and violators are held accountable.
Our firm’s workers’ compensation practice has successfully assisted tens of thousands of injured employees, in recovering workers’ compensation benefits. Workplace related injuries and illnesses could have a devastating consequence for an employee. Our workers’ compensation attorneys represent clients throughout the entire litigation process and work with other highly-skilled workers’ compensation attorneys in all fifty states.
We manage one of the largest and most successful Social Security Disability Insurance practices in the United States. A disability may permanently prevent an individual from performing any work. Our Social Security attorneys have won disability awards for tens of thousands of clients and have been recognized for their professionalism and compassion by their fellow practitioners across the nation.
Barkan Meizlish, LLP represents individuals in serious personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Our trial attorneys have been handling complex torts for decades. Despite changes in the law that have made it more difficult for victims to obtain the compensation to which they are entitled, our attorneys continue to succeed in obtaining judgments and compensation for those who have been injured by the negligence of others.MEET OUR ATTORNEYS
The Firm of Barkan Meizlish DeRose Wentz McInerney Peifer, LLP was founded in 1957. The Founders, I.W. Barkan and Frank J. Neff are remembered with fondness by the attorneys and employees who knew them. As our firm evolves and transforms, remembering our origins is crucial to the Barkan Meizlish, LLP history. Below you will find a transcribed article from an early Barkan and Neff newsletter that captures the firm as it stood in 1985. In the 35 years since the articles writing, one can see how much transformation the firm has undergone—from the passing of several partners, retirement of others, and addition of many others (and many associate attorneys along the way), our firm evolves every day.
From the B & N newsletter circa 1985
Author: Debbie Kirk
Did you ever wonder how B&N started and how the firm grew to its present size and status? This reporter did and acted on her curiosity by interviewing the “named partners”, I.W. Barkan and Frank J. Neff. What follows is the story of B&N- from 1957 to 1985.
I.W. Barkan has practiced Workers’ Compensation law in Columbus since 1948. From 1948 to 1957, I.W. practiced in Columbus with a number of different partners/ The history of the present-day firm started in 1957 with the formation of the Barkan & Barkan partnership comprised of I.W. Barkan and his cousin, Irving Barkan. In 1957 there were only two lawyers, one secretary (Beulah Clark), and one secretary-receptionist. The office was located in a small office at 8 East Long Street.
Frank J. Neff graduated from Ohio State College of Law and began working for Barkan and Barkan as an attorney as an attorney after passing the bar in May 1960. I.W. handled some NAACP and civil rights cases. Frank Neff began by doing a general practice including criminal, traffic, divorce, bankruptcy, real estate and probate. Gradually, FJN began to acquire personal injury and social security cases and, because he liked them, continued to expand the practice in that direction.
As the practice grew, it soon became too big for the office and too much for three attorneys to handle. So, after a few years, the firm moved to 8 East Broad Street and the first associate was hired. Associates continued to be added and they assumed the general practice duties, leaving IWB and FJN to do Workers’ Compensation and SS and PI, respectively.
In 1970, the firm name was changed to Barkan, Barkan, & Neff. Eventually, space requirements brought another move—this time to the 15th floor of 50 West Broad Street.
In 1980 the firm name changed to the present Barkan & Neff when Irving Barkan left the firm. Shortly thereafter, the partners decided to relinquish all cases other than SS, PI, WC, Probate and Black Lung and to limit the practice to these areas. All other matters are referred to other attorneys. The limited practice allows the lawyers to participate in “group practice” where more cases can be handled without losing contact, participation, and exchange of ideas.
An important part of the history of the firm is the large referral practice. The earliest referring attorney was Charles Frayne of Springfield, Ohio, a predecessor of the current firm of Andreoff & Ricketts. The firm encouraged referrals and soon developed a network of attorneys throughout Ohio and parts of West Virginia and Indiana. Attempts to increase the referral network led IWB to Florida where he became associated with Jeff Kushner of Fort Myers. That involvement in southwestern Florida let to a realization that central Florida was an open area without many attorneys representing SS claimants. This realization resulted in Barkan and Neff’s most innovative step— “satellite” offices.
The first satellite office was open in Tampa, Florida in 1983. Satellite offices differ from referring attorney offices in that satellites are a direct part of Barkan & Neff. Much like a branch office of any company. The Tampa operation was an uphill climb in that Barkan & Neff had to deal with old fashioned judges, attorneys and clients concerned about “out-of-state” lawyers, and the whole problem of building a reputation in Florida. That effort was justified and resulted in additional offices in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Today, the Central Florida satellite is the largest SS firm in the area.
Barkan & Neff also established a satellite operation in New Orleans, Louisiana. The firm’s involvement in New Orleans began when I.W.’s son, Kim Barkan, opened n office there. Eventually, Barkan & Neff took over that office and clients. Kim Barkan left the firm in February 1985 and Bill Byrne was hired. IWB noted that New Orleans may not have been the firm’s choice for a satellite location had Kim not been involved, but it has since developed into a very successful satellite office. The Louisiana practice now includes a Baton Rouge office and a recently opened West Bank office (across the Mississippi from New Orleans).
Mr. Barkan and Mr. Neff agree that the satellite office concept is successful and expressed their intention to continue opening satellite offices in the future. In addition to expanding to new cities and states, Barkan & Neff has continued to expand internally.
IWB and FJN agree that their goals are to be innovative, constantly open to new ideas, and to encourage participation by all employees. IWB notes Barkan & Neff is unusual for its size in that it utilizes a group practice concept, an extensively developed paralegal program, a well-organized record department and systems and form books for each new area of practice. Both IWB and FJN emphasize that all employees of the firm have an opportunity to grow and continue in the administrative and productive areas of the firm.
Today, Barkan & Neff has grown from two attorneys and two employees in a small office to a multi-state practice involving eleven attorneys and close to fifty employees in seven offices in three states. When one considers how far the firm has come in the years from 1957 to 1985, one wonders where the firm will be in the year 2000—only fifteen years away. IWB and FJN invite all employees to stick around and see for themselves.
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