Attorney, licensed in Michigan and Illinois
Barry Conybeare was drawn to personal injury law not only by watching his father Bruce Conybeare at work but also because he experienced what it is like to lose a loved one as a young man. After graduating from Lake Michigan Catholic High School, in St. Joseph, Michigan, Barry’s 17-year-old family friend passed away in a car accident caused by distracted driving. After graduating from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Barry’s closest college friend was killed by a drunk driver. These firsthand experiences drew him closer to the work his father had been doing for years – helping families pick up the pieces after a tragedy.
Barry received his law degree, magna cum laude, from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Barry then worked in Chicago as a commercial litigation associate with one of the world’s largest law firms, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Two years later, he returned to Southwest Michigan with his wife Jody and began practicing law with Bruce at Conybeare Law Office. As they started a family, his strong connection to the local community grew. Barry and his wife Jody now have four children, Rowan, Avery, Zachary, and Rhys. He also volunteers to improve the lives of those in Southwest Michigan. Helping people is the core of Barry’s work
In 2010, Conybeare Law Office had a safety program on a local radio station, and the August program covered how summer heat can be lethal, particularly to older people who may have medical problems, limited mobility, and lack of transportation. Barry partnered with the Area Agency on Aging to provide free air conditioners to 35 senior citizens in Berrien County.
Barry was able to help the family of car accident victim Kolton Fullenkamp honor his legacy by donating his refurbished wheelchair to the Calhoun County Independent School District. Kolton died after a crash in 2016 when his van was rear-ended. The wheelchair will be a temporary training device to help students at the Calhoun County ISD.
Barry takes an all-or-nothing approach to community service, dedicating extensive time to leadership roles in the organizations he volunteers with. Early on in Barry’s career, he made a commitment to the Michigan Association for Justice, a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing the needs and interests of trial lawyers in their relentless pursuit of a fair and effective legal system. He quickly learned that attending events and seminars and building relationships with other trial lawyers made him a better litigator and advocate for his clients. To that end, he started a local meeting of plaintiff’s lawyers to collaborate on advancing the rights of personal injury victims in Southwest Michigan. He has developed great friendships and deep connections with the top plaintiff litigators in Michigan. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Michigan Association for Justice and St. Joseph Schools Board of Education.
Barry’s practice focuses on all aspects of personal injury law, including car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, insurance claims, and most other injury cases. He believes that a personal connection to his clients makes a difference, as do dignity and respect. Whether their claim is big or small, it’s important to them and him. His personal philosophy is to give clients as much information as possible, about the law and how the legal system works. He wants clients to feel educated and comfortable with what is occurring as the process moves along.
This philosophy has helped him serve the injured people of Southwest Michigan well. In 2018, Barry represented the family of a man killed in a car accident in a jury trial and secured Cass County’s largest jury verdict at $1.9 million. While he understands that no amount of money will ever replace the loss of a loved one and the sadness a family feels, he knows that personal injury claims can give the families of victims the financial support they need and deserve.
Federal Bar Admissions
· Western District of Michigan
· Eastern District of Michigan
· Northern District of Illinois
· Central District of Illinois
· Northern District of Indiana
· Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year 2021, 2017 and 2013, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, Kalamazoo Region (Southwest Michigan)
· Best Lawyers in America® 2008-2022, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, Kalamazoo Region (Southwest Michigan)
· Michigan Super Lawyers® 2009-2021
· AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
Current Professional Activity
· Michigan Association for Justice, Board of Directors
· American Association for Justice
· American Board of Trial Advocates – Michigan Chapter
· Berrien County Bar Association Member
· Kalamazoo County Bar Association Member
· Van Buren County Bar Association Member
Past Professional Activity
· State Bar of Michigan, Character and Fitness Candidate Interview Committee for Southwest Michigan
· Berrien County Bar Association President
Current Volunteer Activity
· St. Joseph Public Schools, Board President
Past Volunteer Activity
· St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation, Fund Development Committee
· Planned Parenthood of Michigan, Board of Directors
· Planned Parenthood Mid-Michigan Alliance, Board of Directors
· Curious Kids Museum, Board of Directors
· Lake Michigan College Foundation, Board of Directors
· Point O’ Woods Golf and Country Club, President of Board of Directors
· Diploma, Lake Michigan Catholic, St. Joseph, Michigan
· Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
· Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois