Fulton County, Ohio’s Most Trusted Law Firm
Barber, Kaper, Stamm, McWatters, Whitlock & Maloney, LLP has a proud heritage and history in Fulton County, Ohio. The firm began in the early 1980s through the merger of two local firms.
One of the firm’s founders, James (Jim) Barber- the great, great nephew of Fred Barber who was appointed the first Probate Judge of Fulton County in the 1890s – set out his shingle as a solo practitioner after acquiring retiring attorney John Darby’s practice in 1975. Jim was later joined in practice by Jan H. Stamm. The firm of “Barber and Stamm” was located at the present firm’s current address at 124 North Fulton Street in Wauseon, Ohio.
The second firm, located in Delta, Ohio, was originally founded by Merlyn Beard, who had begun his practice in the 1930s. Mr. Beard was later joined by Terry Kaper in 1968. After Mr. Beard retired in 1976, Mr. Kaper was joined by Jeffrey L. Robinson. The two attorneys practiced under the name of “Beard, Kaper and Robinson Co., LPA”.
In 1981, Jim Barber, Terry Kaper, Jan Stamm, and Jeff Robinson formed the new partnership of Barber, Kaper, Stamm & Robinson, with offices in Delta and Wauseon. Jim Barber left the firm in 1987 after being appointed Common Pleas Judge of Fulton County.
Jim’s father, John Barber, who served as Fulton County Probate Judge and then as a member of the Sixth District Court of Appeals, joined the firm in 1984 after completing his tenure on the Court of Appeals. John remained with the firm until his death in 1988.
After the departure of Jim Barber and the passing of his father John, Terry Kaper, Jan Stamm, and Jeff Robinson formed the nucleus of the firm for over two decades. Thomas A. McWatters III joined the firm as a partner in 2010. Terry Kaper retired from the firm at the end of 2014 after more than 40 years of service to his clients. Jeff Robinson left the firm on December 31, 2016, after being elected as Fulton County Common Pleas Judge to replace the retiring Jim Barber. Kevin J. Whitlock and Stephen M. Maloney joined the firm as partners in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
The firm has remained at the same location first occupied by Barber and Stamm at 124 North Fulton Street in Wauseon, Ohio. As the firm continued to grow, the physical plant was expanded in the late 1990’s so as to better serve the firm’s clientele.
Barber, Kaper, Stamm, McWatters, Whitlock & Maloney, LLP currently consists of five attorneys and 14 support staff providing various legal services and advice to numerous individual and corporate clients throughout Northwest Ohio. The firm remains committed to delivering competent and professional service in a timely and cost-effective manner to its clients.
Practicing Diverse Areas of Law
Barber, Kaper, Stamm, McWatters, Whitlock & Maloney, LLP represents numerous commercial, business, industrial, and manufacturing entities, as well as non-profit, charitable, and religious organizations. The firm also serves as local counsel for a variety of lending institutions in Fulton County and the surrounding area. The firm provides title and real estate closing services through its real estate title agency, Midwest Title.
Tom McWatters serves as Law Director to the City of Wauseon, and as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the State of Ohio, a position the firm has held since 1972.
Barber, Kaper, Stamm, McWatters, Whitlock & Maloney, LLP is located at 124 North Fulton Street in Wauseon, Ohio, a few blocks north of the historic Fulton County Common Pleas Court.