On April 3, 2020, The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Amended the Order, to protect the health and will being of court employees, litigants, witnesses, jurors, attorneys, and the general public, extending the judicial emergency through May 1, 2020 for all fifty-five (55) counties in West Virginia. Click here to review the Amended Order
WV STATE BAR COVID-19 INFORMATION & PLAN
At this time, the State Bar will continue to operate normal office hours. However, to comply with the mandates on social gatherings and contacts, the Bar is limiting access to the Bar Center. Before coming to the State Bar Center, please call 304-553-7220. The Bar will assist with remote video services, upon request. The State Bar is providing information and announcements as quickly as possible. For up-to-date COVID-19 announcements and preparedness resources, visit the West Virginia State Bar website by clicking hereand watch for Facebook announcements. Also, visit the Supreme Court website for Administrative Orders issued by the Court and visit the websites of all state and federal agencies for updated information on their current policies and procedures.
Notice to all Business & Licensing Filers from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office
All WV Secretary of State’s Offices are closed to walk-in customers until further notice due to COVID-19 precautions. Staff is continuing to perform and process all Business & Licensing functions in an timely fashion, providing a similar customer experience prior to implementing the precautions.
Almost all business filings can be done online through the WVSOS business portal – www.business4wv.com The online process is quick, efficient and secure. Many online business filings are processed immediately and the other filings take less than a few days to complete. Expedited services are available for those that need documents processed in a hurry.
If assistance is needed, please contact one of Business and Licensing staff at 304-558-8000 to assist in any of the online processes. If a specific filing unavailable online, we are still accepting and processing mail. Our Licensing customers including Service of Process, notary commissions, apostille and marriage celebrants may also submit filings through regular mail at:
WV Secretary of State’s Office
State Capitol Building
Charleston, WV 25305
How you can help lessen the impact of
COVID 19 issue from home
ABA Free Legal Answers is an online service established by the American Bar Association geared toward expanding legal services to low income individuals. The virtual legal clinic allows users to pose questions about civil legal issues to pro bono attorneys. Earlier this month, inquiries surpassed 100,000. The timing is especially fortuitous as ABA Free Legal Answers can play a key role in providing pro bono legal services during this time of limiting personal contact. “So many times, we find that limited scope advice can make all the difference in someone’s life,” said George T. “Buck” Lewis, founder of ABA Free Legal Answers and a shareholder at Baker Donelson in Memphis, Tenn. “For those who cannot afford an attorney and have nowhere else to turn, Free Legal Answers often serves as a critical resource for qualified legal advice.” Users of the service must meet income eligibility guidelines applicable to each state. While expanding access to legal services, ABA Free Legal Answers also expands pro bono opportunities for attorneys in a convenient way to match their schedules. Legal guidance is limited to non-criminal matters and takes place entirely online. The questions cover a broad range of legal issues, many of which concern children and families, housing and consumer issues. In less than four years, 41 states and more than 7,000 attorneys nationally have committed to participating in Free Legal Answers. Attorneys can volunteer their services by navigating to www.ABAFreeLegalAnswers.org and selecting “Volunteer Attorney Registration.” ABA Free Legal Answers is a project of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
The Veterans and Military Affairs Committee has asked that the following information be disseminated to you. The USNS Comfort is a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that has been deployed to deliver humanitarian aide to New York. The Committee asked that adults who want to write letters to the sailors on the ship to address the same to Tina Bryan, HMC, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), Unit 100362, Box 4025, FPO AE 0956.
New Board of Governors and Young Lawyers Executive Committee Officers
The West Virginia State Bar is pleased to announce the newly elected BOG & YLS officers.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
President – Monica N. Haddad
President-Elect – Thomas E. Scarr
Vice-President – Benjamin M Mishoe
YOUNG LAWYERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Chairperson – Eric M. Hayhurst
Vice-Chairperson – Angela N. Brunicardi-Doss
Secretary – Ashton L. Bias
Court Improvement Program
The Court Improvement Program is deeply involved in a MDT project coordinated by Brenda Hoylman and Gabe Conley. To date, they have spoken to stakeholders around the state that include DHHR’s local/field supervisors and probation officers. The contacts so far have been made have been by phone, in person or a survey. The next leg of this project is hearing from you – the attorneys involved in JA, JS or JD cases. As you are aware, a strong MDT is critical in organizing and providing the treatment and interventions a child(ren) and families need to be successful. Your responses are critical to the project and we thank you in advance for your support! Click here to access the survey
Per Rule 6.05 (f) of the new State Bar Administrative Rules: A lawyer may obtain one credit hour for every three completed hours of pro bono legal service which satisfies Rule 6.1 of the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct and is performed during the reporting period through one or more of the following approved pro bono organizations: (1) Legal Aid of West Virginia; (2) the State Bar’s West Virginia Free Legal Answers Program; (3) the State Bar’s Tuesday Legal Connect Program; and (4) the West Virginia University College of Law Center for Law and Public Service. The approved pro bono organizations shall report each lawyer’s pro bono service hours by June 1 of each year in the format required by the Commission. Credits obtained under this subsection are subject to the limitation set forth in Rule 6.05(c) and are not credited as live instruction under Rule 6.05(a). A maximum of six hours of mandatory continuing legal education credit for approved pro bono service hours may be obtained for any two-year reporting period, and no additional service or credit hours may be carried over to the next reporting period. The Commission has the authority to review a lawyer’s pro bono service hours to ensure compliance with this rule.
While the majority of Rule 6 is not effective until the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2022 reporting period, the pro bono service rule is effective July 1, 2019.
Pro Bono Legal Service – CLE Credits
The CLE Commission has been asked to interpret the phrase “[a] lawyer may obtain one credit hour for every three completed hours of pro bono legal service…,” as contained in Rule 6.05(f) of the State Bar’s Administrative Rules. The Commission has interpreted the phrase to mean that no partial credit will be given for pro bono work. An attorney must complete three full hours (or multiples thereof) in order to earn the associated one CLE credit.
Temporary Waiver of Online Continuing Legal Education Credit Limit
Due to concerns associated with the COVID-19 virus, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has granted a request from the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission for a temporary waiver of current CLE rules and regulations which limit the CLE credits for online and in-house credits to 12 credits, or half of the mandatory continuing legal education requirements. Attorneys will now be able to earn all or any portion of the required 24 CLE credit minimum through video, audio, correspondence, telephone seminars, computer-based training courses and in-house instruction, so long as the courses otherwise satisfy the requirements of the CLE rules and regulations and are approved for CLE credit in West Virginia. Several CLE providers are converting their live seminars to webinar format due to the coronavirus. Webinars are approved as online CLE credit under the current CLE rules; therefore, they are included in this waiver. The temporary waiver is limited to the 2018-2020 reporting period ending June 30, 2020. Please see the attached link for the full Order of the Court
Recorded Videos of State Bar Seminars
Available for Viewing for Online Credit
Seventeen online CLE credits are currently available to attorneys through viewing recorded videos of previous State Bar seminars. The subject matters are criminal law (2 credit), succession planning (3 credits, including 3 credits in Law Office Management), probate law(3 credits), marijuana law (3 credits, including 1/2 ethics credit), landlord tenant law(3 credits) and intellectual property law (3 credits). Links are provided below to view the videos and to report the credits upon completion.
Keep watching the West Virginia State Bar website and Facebook for updates regarding Continuing Legal Education. The CLE Commission is meeting on March 26th. Currently the reporting period ends on June 30, 2020.
Let us Help YOU Submit Your CLE Credits
Tips and Step-by-Step Directions on
How to Submit Your CLE Credits
Your CLE Reporting Period Ends on June 30, 2020. Attached are directions for submitting your credits. Print the attached document and use it as your CLE Reporting Guide. If you do not submit your own CLE credits, please share this document with the individual who reports your CLE Credits.
PRESENTER: RONNI M. SHEETS, CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER,
PUBLIC DEFENDER CORPORATION FOR
THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
CLE: 1 hour in Ethics
The coronavirus epidemic gives rise to challenges for attorneys
representing detained clients. Professional and ethical obligations
compel defense counsel to consider their clients’ circumstances to
determine if release might be possible in these extenuating
circumstances – exacerbated by the overcrowding in the correctional facilities. The conference, which will last fifty minutes, has been approved for 1.0 hour of CLE credit in Ethics. The conference will outline circumstances warranting action on behalf of your client, a plan of action, and resources available for your use. The conference will be held by Zoom and you are asked to register.
Deputy Chief Paul Perdue, Charleston Police Department, is offering
active shooter training to all Bar members and their staff. The training session will be provided via Webinar only and is free to attend. Registration is required.
Registration coming soon
Registration cutoff is 5:00 p.m. on April 29, 2020.
May 13, 2020 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Free Ethics Webinar
CLE: 3 CLE credits
Host: State Bar
Speaker: Sean Carter – Harvard Law School graduate with 10 years of legal practice focused on corporate securities and mergers and acquisitions. He left the practice of law to pursue a career as the country’s foremost Humorist at Law. He has since delivered comedic professional educational seminars for more than 400 organizations in more than 40 states.
Registration coming soon
May 29, 2020 8:30 a.m.
MSBA ANNUAL SEMINAR and BANQUET
Location: Doubletree by Hilton, Huntington, WV
Host: Mountain State Bar Association
CLE: 7 CLE credits including 3 ethics/law office management/attorney wellbeing/ elimination of bias
Location: Days Inn & Suites, Flatwoods, West Virginia
Host: State Bar ADR Committee
CLE: 16.2 CLE credits including in 1.0 Ethics
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Days Inn & Suites at the discounted rate of $97.19 plus and taxes and fees. To receive the discounted rate, inform the hotel that you are attending the WV State Bar’s event when making your reservation. The reservation contact number is 304-765-5055. The cut-off date to reserve a room at the reduced rate is June 6. Rooms go to full rate after June 6. Click here to review agenda
Registration coming soon.
THIS TRAINING IS OFFERED EVERY OTHER YEAR AND WILL NOT BE OFFERED AGAIN UNTIL 2022.
June 18, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
HOT TOPICS FOR GOVERNMENT LAWYERS
Host: State Bar Government Lawyers Committee
Location: WV House of Delegates Chamber
State Capitol Complex, Charleston
More information and registration coming soon.
This training is offered every other year and will not be offered again until 2022.
June 18, 2020
Family Law CLE
Note: Rescheduled from April 3, 2020
Host: Kanawha County Family Law Bench Bar Committee
Location: Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center
CLE: 8.9 hours – including 1.1 credits in law office management.
A block of hotel rooms is reserved at the Charleston Marriott Town Center for June 17 and June 18, 2020 at the low rate of $96 plus tax and fees per night. If you would like to make a reservation you can call Marriott Reservations at 1 (800) 228-9290. When calling, please identify yourself as part of the “June 18 CLE group.”
Save the Date: JULY 13, 2020
FREE LAW OFFICE MANAGEMENT WEBINAR
CLE: 3 hours in law office management
More information coming soon
JULY 15, 2020
The West Virginia State Bar
ADVANCED MEDIATION TRAINING
Location: Bridgeport Conference Center, Bridgeport, WV
Host: State Bar ADR Committee
A block of rooms has been reserved for the night of July 14 at the Bridgeport Wingate Inn at the discounted rate of $96.00 plus taxes & fees. To receive the discounted rate, inform the hotel that you are attending the WV State Bar’s event when making your reservation. The reservation contact number is 304-808-1000. The cut-off date to reserve a room at the reduced rate is July 1. Rooms go to full rate after July 1.
Registration coming soon.
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