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Gary E. Barnhart (retired)


Gary E. Barnhart is the Founder of Barnhart, Tinsman & Parrish, Ltd. He is a Canton Illinois native and graduated from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Business Administration.  While at Knox College, he played football for the Prairie Fire Squad; was a Knox College scholar; was the American Chicle Company scholar; served as the President of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and was selected as a member of the Mortar Board. He received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri in 1973.  While at Washington University, he served as a resident advisor to a high-rise dormitory and was a Washington University scholar.


He received his license to practice law in the State of Illinois in October 1973 and has practiced continuously since then.  He was also licensed to practice before the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois; before the U.S. Tax Court and before the United States Supreme Court. He was a principal in the firm of Claudon, Kost, Barnhart, Beal & Walters, Ltd. from 1973 until March of 2008 when he left that firm to start his own firm which became known as Barnhart Law Office, Ltd, the predecessor to Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates, Ltd. He retired from the practice of law on January 1, 2018.

While a practicing attorney, Barnhart was a member of the Fulton County Bar Association (serving as its President in 1980), the Illinois State Bar Association, the Electric Cooperative Bar Association (a charter member of that organization), the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a former member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association.  He served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois for over 30 years prior to retirement.  He was chosen by 4 consecutive Illinois Attorneys General, Neil Hartigan, Roland Burris, Jim Ryan and Lisa Madigan, to represent the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in condemnation matters.  He filed and settled well over 450 eminent domain cases during his career with over 15 going to jury trial.  He also represented various Illinois Electric Cooperatives for over 30 years as well as a number of small business corporations, farm corporations and other types of business entities. 

He was an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubble and has been so rated for over 20 years.  He is the author of A Condemnation Primer, 2004, for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative Attorneys.  He has been a frequent guest lecturer and speaker in the community and for other professional organizations.  He has served as an officer and leader on a number of community boards and organizations such as Canton Friendship Festival Board; Canton United Way Board; Canton YMCA Board; Canton Area Chamber Of Commerce Board; Canton State Bank Board and First Baptist Church of Canton Board. 

Gary is currently enjoying his retirement.


Knox College, B.A., Economics and Business Administration

Washington University, J.D.

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois (inactive status as of January 1, 2018)

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois (inactive status)


Professional Associations

Illinois State Bar Association

Fulton County Bar Association

Electric Cooperative Bar Association

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

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