Though attorney Darren K. Parr had achieved a high level of success as a partner in his former firm, he said he had grown to feel somewhat distant from clients. So after 12 years of expanding workers compensation, injury and asbestos litigation with Goldberg, Persky and White, he resigned and opened DKP Law in February.
“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, and I had an idea I could do something different,” he said. “I wanted to get back to representing people, families, doing more personal law. It’s a passion that I have.”
ATTORNEY DARREN K. PARR
That personal touch is reflected in Parr’s core clientele, working-class people who have injury complaints with their employers. Thanks to a life-long relationship with the United Steel Workers Union, Parr makes himself available to union employees by traveling to seven halls on a rotating monthly schedule.
“It’s not always about going to court. A lot of things that happen in the workplace can be resolved there if employees know their rights concerning compensation and injury,” he said. “A lot of these people make a very good living and when an injury threatens that it can be devastating. They want someone to be there for them.”
Parr’s father was a crane operator for 30 years and the grievance officer for Local 1165.
That history enable Parr to get a scholarship to Indiana University of Pennsylvania from the union, making him the first in his family to attend college. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he earned his law degree from Duquesne University.
In addition to the United Steelworkers, Perry also represents members of the Food and Commercial Workers Union, mostly Giant Eagle employees and workers in plants run by Sysco and ConAgra Foods.
Though the bulk of his clients are in Pennsylvania, he also represents union workers in Indiana. Because his is a boutique firm, that keeps him on his toes. Aside from himself and his legal assistant Caren Jones, his firm on the 43rd floor of One Oxford Center boasts just one associate Paul Jubas.
“I have to hustle more, and if it looks like a case is too big, I will partner with another firm—but I will always be the client’s attorney,” he said. “My model is to give client’s great service, to make sure they are taken care of as I would want to be by an attorney.”
Currently his largest caseload involves 70 clients with asbestos claims against an Indiana plant, but he will shortly file a large accident claim here in Pennsylvania. He acknowledges that part of his practice faces daunting competition from firms like Edgar Snyder and Berger and Green who are larger and established in the personal injury field. But again, his small size affords him flexibility.
“That’s what distinguishes us. This is all contingency work, but we have lower price points across the board,” he said. “We keep our costs low, keep the practice small, and the clients keep most of their money. Everyone gets personal service—and they tell someone, who tells someone, who tells someone. Word of mouth, personal advertising is best—though we are getting a good response for the series of ads in the Courier. We’re happy with that.”
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