Robert L. Bays is a partner in the Parkersburg office of Bowles Rice and concentrates his practice in civil trial litigation and commercial work. His trial work and general commercial practice in both Ohio and West Virginia has included an array of different experiences from commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, construction litigation, products liability, legal and medical malpractice, employment issues, partnership litigation, estate and trust litigation and oil and gas litigation. Mr. Bays recently has appeared for the owners of business properties in eminent domain litigation and for clients in business disputes, significant personal injury or death claims.
Mr. Bays is a charter member of the West Virginia Defense Trial Counsel, a member of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys and the Defense Research Institute. From 1983 to 1986, he served as Parkersburg Municipal Judge and from 1986 to 1989 he served as a member of the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors. Mr. Bays is former chairman of the West Virginia Continuing Legal Education Committee.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University, Mr. Bays received his undergraduate degree in 1973, cum laude, with general honors. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from The Ohio State University College of Law.
In 2005, he received the McDonough Award for Outstanding Community Service in Parkersburg. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Parkersburg YMCA for over 20 years. Mr. Bays serves as counsel for the Parkersburg-Wood County Area Development Corporation and Wood County Development Authority.
He was named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law Lawyer of the Year in the northern West Virginia region. He is also listed in West Virginia Super Lawyers for Business Litigation.
Mr. Bays is admitted to practice in the federal courts of Ohio and West Virginia and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the West Virginia State Bar, the Ohio State Bar, the Ohio Bar Association, the Washington County Bar Association and the Wood County Bar Association.
DOH v Short — Short owned a restaurant not touched by the construction of the new Route 50 in Wood County WV. An inverse condemnation suit was filed with the issues being access and a change in the highest and best use. DOH offered no dollars. Jury verdict with pre-judgment interest exceeds 960,000 and attorney fee award will make total recovery in excess of 1.2 million. Similar commercial neighbor to Short went to verdict and received nothing.