Preston began his workers’ compensation career as a Hearing Officer for the Ohio Industrial Commission. He presided over all types of claims, and heard all issues including original allowance, violations of specific safety requirements, final settlements of claims and all issues involving extent of disability.
Preston also served as Legal Director (chief legal advisor) to the Ohio Industrial Commission. In this capacity he advised the commission on a variety of political and legal issues, including a company’s eligibility for self-insurance. He also served on the adjudicating committee, which heard all disputes involving insurance for state fund employers. All attorney Hearing Officers were part of his staff.
After leaving the Ohio Industrial Commission, Preston went to Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, where he represented employers in all aspects of workers’ compensation law. As the Workers’ Compensation Administrator of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, he supervised all major cases and personally represented employers in all Ohio courts and at all levels of administrative proceedings. In 1997, he and Mike Hickey formed Garvin & Hickey, LLC, which is dedicated exclusively to representing employers in all matters related to workers’ compensation.
Preston is Special Counsel to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce for workers’ compensation matters. He was appointed as a member of the Select Commission on Workers’ Compensation Administration, the committee that authored the study that later became the basis for Amended Substitute House Bill 222.
Governor Voinovich appointed Preston to the Workers’ Compensation Task Force, which was created to review various compensation and benefit levels. He has testified before various House and Senate committees on numerous workers’ compensation and intentional tort bills.
Preston has also served on various Industrial Commission committees, such as the committee to study permanent total disability compensation, the structured settlement committee and the temporary total disability compensation committee to study the GAP problem. He continues to serve as a member of the standing committee to review Industrial Commission rules.
In 2013, Preston was appointed by Governor Kasich to the Executive Order of the Ohio Commodores, “in recognition for outstanding contributions to the economic development of the State of Ohio. It is considered Ohio’s ‘most distinguished honor.’”
Preston has received the Patrick J. O’Neill award presented by the Ohio Self-Insurers Association. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Woodward and White, Columbus Monthly Magazine, Top Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio Super Lawyers, and has been rated one of the top 50 lawyers in Columbus and top 100 in Ohio, and has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. Best Lawyers in America named him “Lawyer of the Year” in 2014, for Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers, in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area.
Preston is a regular speaker for the Ohio Bar Association, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Self-Insurers Association and various other groups.
Preston also serves on the Board of Directors of Kids Chance of America and the board of Kids Chance of Ohio. It is the mission of Kids Chance of Ohio to provide financial support to further the education of children of Ohio workers who have been killed or declared permanently and totally disabled as a result of workplace injuries.