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Belinda S. Barnes

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Columbus, OH

Gallagher, Gams, Tallan, Barnes & Littrell, L.L.P.
471 E Broad St, 19th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-5151
Fax: 614-228-0032
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2023
Licensed in Ohio Since: 1987
Practice Areas: Personal Injury - General: Defense, Civil Litigation: Defense, Insurance Coverage
Attorney Profile

Lead counsel in hundreds of lawsuits filed in Common Pleas and Municipal Courts throughout Ohio as well as the U.S. District Court, Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio;  Represent individuals and companies accused of negligence and/or intentional torts;  Assist clients in investigating and determining insurance coverage;  Defend individuals and companies against questionable debt collection practices.

About Belinda S. Barnes

First Admitted: 1987, Ohio

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Columbus Bar Association: Member, 1987-Present; Sustaining Member, 2000-Present; President, June 2006–June 2007; Member, Board of Governors, 2000-2008; Member, Judicial Screening Committee, 1995-1999 and 2008-present; Judicial Screening Committee Chairperson, 1996-1997; Member, Judicial Campaign Advertising Committee, 1996-2010; Judicial Campaign Advertising Committee Chairperson, 2000-2001; Member, Admissions Committee, 1998-Present; Member, Columbus Bar Services Board, 2009 - Present; Member, Columbus Bar Association and Columbus Bar Foundation Investment Committee, 2010 - Present; Member, Ad Hoc Subcommittee Evaluating Judiciary Committee Procedures, 1996-1999; Member, Ad Hoc Subcommittee Screening Candidates for Judicial Appointment, 1998-2006; Writer, Civil Jury Trials for Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, 1998-2010; Ohio State Bar Association: Member, 1987-Present; Board of Governors, 2011-2014; Member, Advisory Council on Diversity Initiatives 2011 - 2014, Chairperson, 2012 - 2014; Budget and Headquarters Committee, 2011 - 2014; Budget and Headquarters Committee Chairperson, 2013 - 2014; Judicial Campaign Advertising Monitoring Committee, 2002-2011, Vice-Chair, 2002-2011; Member, Council of Delegates, 2006-Present; Chair, Council of Delegates Screening Committee, 2007 and 2017; Task Force to Establish Qualifications to Run for President, 2017 - 2018; CLE Subcommittee 2017 - Present; American Bar Association: Member, 1999-2009; Member, American Inns of Court, Chief Justice Moyer Inn fka Franklin Inn, 1993-Present, President, 2003-2005, 2016 - 2020; Member, Defense Research Institute (DRI), 1995-2009; Member, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), 2001-2009; Member, Franklin County Women Lawyers, 2003-Present; Member, Ohio Women’s Bar Association, 2004-2012; Past Volunteer Mediator, Settlement Week; Member, Columbus Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (COACTA), 1993-1995; Member, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA), 1995-Present; Mentor, Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program, 2008-Present; Lawyer Advisor for Westerville North Mock Trial Program, 1992-1993.

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Regular volunteer at St. Mary School in Columbus, Ohio, 2007 - 2013
  • Volunteer with The Legal Aid Society of Columbus Clean Slate Clinic; Volunteer at Broad Street Food Pantry., 2019
  • Volunteer at St. Paul School, 2013 - 2018
  • Volunteer for Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Fresh Start Clinic, 2016
  • Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, 2012 - present; Trustee 2019 - present; Treasurer 2022 - present; Membership Committee 2015 - 2017 and 2019 - 2021; Awards Committee 2018 - 2019 and 2022; Audit and Finance Committee 2019 - Present, Chair 2022- present, Vice-chair 2020-2021.
  • Fellow of the Columbus Bar Foundation; Board of Governors, 2010 - Present; Secretary/Treasurer, June 2016 - 2017; Vice president, June 2017 - June 2018; President, June 2018 - June 2019; Immediate Past-President June 2019- Pressent.
  • Volunteer Legal Aid Society of Columbus, 2016

Representative Clients

  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 1995 - present State Farm Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, 2010 - present

Educational Background

  • The Ohio State University, B.S., 1984, summa cum laude;   Marysville High School, diploma, 1981

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Columbus Bar Association Bar Services Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Columbus Bar Association for extraordinary service to the bar and legal community, 2014

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • This was a seminar where a mock trial presented to other attorneys to show how to effectively try a civil jury trial., Defense Counsel, Mock Jury Trial, American Board of Trial Advocates, Legal, 2019
  • Jury Verdicts, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Civil Cases, 1998-2003; Civil Jury Trials for Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, formerly BAR Briefs, 1998-2010; Numerous articles for Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, including “Details on a Noble Calling” and “No More ‘Winning at Any Cost’ Elections.”
  • A Note to Self: Engage with the Columbus Bar Foundation, an article published in Columbus Business First in June 2018, discussing the amazing work of the Columbus Bar Foundation., Writer, A Note to Self: Engage with the Columbus Bar Foundation, Columbus Bar Foundation, Legal, 2018
  • Participate in a continuing education for lawyers panel discussion on the role of outside counsel as part of an Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) seminar. , Presenter, Seminar, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) , Legal, 2018


  • Earned Martindale-Hubbell “A-V” peer review designation (legal ability “Very High to Preeminent” and general ethical reputation “Very High”), 2019
  • Awarded the Columbus Bar Association Bar Service Medal which is the highest honor given to a member of the Columbus Bar Association for years of service to the Bar, Columbus Bar Association, 2014


  • Michelle Tinney-Bennett, et al. v. Cecil Butler, Jr., Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Columbus, Ohio. On March 13, 2018, Defendant Cecil Butler, Jr. failed to put his vehicle in neutral as he went through an automatic car wash and the front-end of his vehicle hit the rear-end of Plaintiff Michelle Tinney-Bennett’s vehicle.  There was no visible damage to either vehicle, but Mr. Butler's license plate was dented.  As a result of the accident Plaintiff claimed that she suffered a herniated disk in her neck and incurred $61,530.79 in related medical bills.  Plaintiff had a long pre-accident history of neck and back pain. At trial, Defendant denied that Plaintiff was injured.  Defendant had no expert witness.  Plaintiff's expert was Mark White, M.D.  After a three day jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendant Butler.  The lowest settlement demand from Plaintiff was $95,000.00 and the highest offer was $7,500.00. , 2021
  • Danny Kincaid v David Sams, Fairfield County Common Pleas Court, Lancaster, Ohio. The case arose as a result of an automobile accident that occurred when Plaintiff stopped quickly for another vehicle which entered the Plaintiff’s path and my client was unable to stop before rear-ending Plaintiff’s vehicle.  Plaintiff’s vehicle, a 2001 BMW 330I, was a total loss and he was paid $9,543.27 for the vehicle.  My client’s vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500, sustained $3,949.38 in property damage. Plaintiff, a 56-year old male claimed that he suffered a herniated disc and two bulging discs in his low back as well as bruising and swelling of his left knee. Plaintiff claimed that his injuries caused him extreme pain and difficulty walking. Plaintiff denied that he suffered from chronic back pain pre-accident and further denied that he ever had treatment for his back pre-accident.  He admitted that he had bilateral knee surgery before the subject accident and even before the subject accident, his left knee continued to bother him more than his right knee.  He admitted that it was likely that he had arthritis in both knees pre-accident. Plaintiff's medical records revealed a long history of prior back pain necessitating the use of narcotic pain medication and treatment with a pain management doctor.  Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury to award $195,000.00. After the three-day jury trial, the jury awarded Plaintiff $15,052.00 for medical expenses and nothing for pain and suffering. The lowest demand made pre-trial was $40,000.00 and the highest offer made pre-trial was $27,000.00. , 2019
  • Bobbie Shores v Eric Lee, Wayne County Common Pleas Court, Wooster, Ohio.  The jury awarded Plaintiff a modest $7,000.00 for his injuries sustained in this jeep versus pedestrian accident which occurred when my client was attempting to turn left and struck Plaintiff who was a pedestrian crossing the street in a crosswalk.  My client admitted fault for the accident, but I argued that Plaintiff did not sustain the injuries that he claimed including spinal fractures. After a two day trial, the jury determined that Plaintiff suffered contusions and sprain injuries as a result of the accident and that it would have taken him approximately four weeks to recover from the accident.  Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $85,000.00 to the Plaintiff.  I asked the jury to award $5,200.00 broken down as follows:$3,200.00 in medical bills and $2,000.00 in pain and suffering damages. .  The jury awarded $4,000.00 for past medical and other expenses and $3,000.00 for past pain and suffering. The last settlement offer before trial was $7,500.00.  , 2018
  • Cummins v Bauer , et. al, Franlklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio. I defended a driver involved in a chain reaction rearend collision motor vehicle accident, who was sued by the driver of the first vehicle. There were two defendants and each argued that the accident was the other driver’s fault.  However, the main dispute was the extent of plaintiff's injuries related to the accident. Plaintiff claimed that as a result of the accident, she suffered a herniated disk in her neck requiring surgery.  She claimed related medical bills and lost wages of $150,000. Defendants argued that plaintiff sustained a neck and back strain as a result of the accident.  Following a five day trial, the jury deliberated for four hours, ultimately finding each defendant 50% responsible for the accident. The Plaintiff had demanded $500,000 before trial to settle, but asked the jurors to award $300,000 at trial. The jurors returned a verdict for $16,611 with each defendant to pay 1/2.  The defendants had offered more than the verdict amount to settle the case., 2014
  • Joseph Abatkun v Michelle Spinkle, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio.   I prevailed in this personal injury lawsuit filed against my client and arising as the result of a heavy property damage accident wherein my client accidentally turned left in front of Plaintiff's vehicle. While my client always admitted fault for the accident and I acknowledged on her behalf at trial that Plaintiff likely suffered neck and back strains, I disputed that Plaintiff injured his right shoulder or needed shoulder surgery as a result of the accident. Plaintiff claimed related medical bills of $41,000 and lost wages of $1,800.  Before the trial, Plaintiff demanded $85,000 to settle the case and I offered $10,000 on behalf of my client.  At trial, Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury to award  $157,000 to Plaintiff for his medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.  The jury awarded Plaintiff $4,569.59 for medical bills, $398.24 for lost wages and $3,000 for pain and suffering for a total award of $7,967.83, 2015
  • Caldwell v State Farm, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio.  Mr. Caldwell made an underinsured motorist claim against his insurance company after recovering from the tortfeasor's insurance company. Mr. Caldwell had sufferred a broken neck and foot and multiple bruises and contusions. I represented the insurance company. The jury returned a verdict that was less than what had been offered, 2013
  • Ryan v Stegall, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio. I defended a driver involved in a rear-end collision motor vehicle accident.  Liability for the accident was admitted, but I argued that Mr. Ryan's claimed left shoulder injury and subsequent shoulder surgery were not related to the accident. Following a day and a half trial, the jury deliberated for an hour and agreed with me finding that Mr. Ryan's shoulder problem was unrelated to the accident.  Mr. Ryan claimed $27,911.00 in related medical bills.  The lowest demand made before trial was $50,000.00.  The jury returned a defense verdict ($0.0 awarded to Mr. Ryan.) , 2014
  • Sheri Daniels v Blake Tarleton and State Farm, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio. I successfully defended an underinsured motorist case filed against State Farm.  On April 14, 2012, Defendant Tarleton went left of center striking Plaintiff's vehicle head-on.  Defendant Tarleton had only $12,500 in bodily injury liability insurance coverage and $7,500 in property damage coverage. Plaintiff's vehicle was a total loss and State Farm paid Plaintiff over $23,000 for her vehicle.  Plaintiff was struck by her airbag and the dashboard of her car collapsed upon her legs during the accident.  Plaintiff sufferred signficant brusing as well as strain/sprain injuries to her neck and back.  She claimed that she began sufferring vertigo after the accident.  Plaintiff presented over $31,000 in medical bills and asked the jury to award $97,600 ($12,600 in additional medical bills and  $85,000 in pain and sufferring damages) against State Farm.  Presuit, State Farm had paid $9,100 of Plaintiff's medical bills.  The jury awarded $4,100 in additional bills and $15,000 pain and suffering damages.  A set-off of $12,500 was made for the amount paid by Defendant Tarleton's insurer, so the judgment against State Farm was $6,600 , 2015
  • William T. Large v Rhonda Lilley Trust, Delaware County Common Pleas Court, Delaware, Ohio.  I obtained a directed verdict in favor of Ms. Lilley with regard to Mr. Large's claims that Ms. Lilley had diverted water from her property onto his causing $30,000.00 damage to the foundation of his home and driveway. Although he was non-specific pretrial as to when he first noticed the damage, at trial he admitted that he first noticed the damage eleven years before he filed his lawsuit against Ms. Lilley. At the conclusion of Mr. Large's case, I asked the Judge to grant a directed verdict in Ms. Lilley's favor based upon the fact that Mr. Large had breached the Statute of Limitations. The Trial Judge granted the directed verdict. Mr. Large appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals which upheld the Trial Judge's decision,, 2017
  • Robbie Campbell v Scott Williams, Delaware County Common Pleas Court, Delaware, Ohio. I secured a defense verdict in this clear liability, low impact rear-end collision accident wherein Plaintiffs Robbie Campbell and Gary Phillips claimed post-accident neck and back pain. Prior to the lawsuit being filed by the Plaintiffs, the insurer for my client offered $1,000.00 to each of the Plaintiff to settle their claims.  The offers were never withdrawn or increased prior to trial. Plaintiffs claimed that there was damage to both vehicles involved in the accident, but my client contended that there was actually no damage to either vehicle.  Although my client stipulated that he was negligent when the front-end of his vehicle tapped the rear-end of Plaintiffs’ vehicle, I argued that given the lack of property damage, it was difficult to believe that either Plaintiff would have been injured in the subject accident.  Plaintiff Robbie Campbell claimed $4,843.00 in related medical specials and asked the jury to award her $4,843.00 in pain and suffering.  Plaintiff Gary Phillips claimed $7,223.07 in related medical specials and asked the jury to award him $4,000.00 in pain and suffering damages.  About a month prior to trial, Plaintiffs’ counsel made a demand of $9,000.00 on behalf of Plaintiff Robbie Campbell and $15,000.00 on behalf of Plaintiff Gary Phillips. After a two and a half day trial and an hour and a half of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of my client and awarded $0.0 to the Plaintiffs, 2016
  • Weber v Snyder, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio. I defended a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident, who was sued by a passenger in his car. Liability for the accident was disputed. I argued that the accident was the other driver’s fault. Following a three day trial, the jury deliberated for eight hours, ultimately agreeing with me that the other driver was 100% responsible for the accident. After the verdict, the jurors advised me that they had decided the liability issue in just one minute, but spent the rest of the time deciding damages. The Plaintiff had demanded $28,000 before trial to settle, but asked the jurors to award $350,000 at trial. The jurors found the other driver at fault and returned a verdict for $5,000 against the other driver.  No award was made against my client because the jury found he did not cause the accident., 2014
  • Kevin Miller v. Arthur S. Vogle, Franklin County Common Pleas Court and Franklin County Court of Appeals, Columbus, Ohio.  I successfully defended a lawsuit that arose out of an automobile verses go-cart accident that happened after sunset on January 24, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. My client, Defendant Vogle, was turning left in an intersection when the Plaintiff collided with the passenger side of Defendant's vehicle. The go-kart was black, sat only seven inches off the ground, had no headlights or lights of any kind, had nothing reflective on it, and the Plaintiff was wearing dark clothing.  Plaintiff alleged that Defendant was negligent for turning left in front of him.  Defendant did not dispute that Plaintiff would have had the right of way had he legally been on the street, but contended that Plaintiff was operating his go-cart on the road in violation of Columbus City Code and that Plaintiff's negligence was the sole proximate cause of the accident.  The Common Pleas Court granted the Motion for Summary Judgment I filed on my client's behalf and Plaintiff appealed.  The Court of Appeals affirmed and the lawsuit was permanently dismissed, 2014
  • Norma Lucas v John Bobbit, Fairfield County Common Pleas Court, Lancaster, Ohio.  I obtained a defense verdict in favor of Mr. Bobbit who side-swiped Ms. Lucas's vehicle as he turned right on a red light on Cedar Hill Road at Lincoln Avenue in Lancaster, Ohio. Mr. Bobbit admitted he was at fault for the February 2012 accident. However, I argued that Ms. Lucas was not injured in the accident, but had injured herself in a fall a day after the accident. She denied she had fallen even though her medical records indicated she had. At trial, the nurse practitioner who had noted the fall in Ms. Lucas's medical records said it was an error in the records.  Ms. Lucas claimed that she sustained a partial tear of her right elbow extensor tendon and strains to her neck, right shoulder, and back.  She asserted that she had incurred $8,300.00 in related medical bills with insurance having paid $3,800.00 to compromise the bills. The pretrial settlement demand was $10,000.00, but Plaintiff asked the jury to award $100,000.00.  After an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding that Ms. Lucas was not injured in the accident with Mr. Bobbit, 2018
  • Kim McQueen v Glenn Perry,  Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio.    I successfully defended Mr. Perry who was operating a truck on October 15, 2009 on West Broad Street in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, when he struck Ms. McQueen who was a pedestrian who had crossed half of West Broad Street and was waiting for traffic to clear so that she could cross the other half of the street.  Plaintiff McQueen suffered fractured pelvis and she claimed permanent back pain and in excess of $100,000.00 in medical bills.  All along, I contended that the accident was solely the fault of Ms. McQueen because she was jaywalking and was not visible because it was dark and raining at the time of the accident. I originally won the case on Summary Judgment, but the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for a jury trial.  After a two-day jury trial which commenced on March 15, 2016, the jury returned a verdict in my client's favor on March 16, 2016 after approximately 15 minutes of deliberations, 2016
  • Sheq v Brooks, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Columbus, Ohio.  Ms. Sheq sued Mr. Brooks claiming that he struck her with his car as she walked across the street. Ms. Sheq claimed that she required back surgery as a result of the alleged accident. I defended Mr. Brooks who denied striking Ms. Sheq and assserted on behalf of Mr. Brooks that Ms. Sheq needed the back surgery before the accident and was wrongfully claiming that Mr. Brook's negligence caused her to need the surgery. The jury returned a defense verdict ($0.0 awarded.) , 2013

Industry Groups

  • Insurance
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Office Location for Belinda S. Barnes

471 E Broad St
19th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Last Updated: 7/19/2022

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