Bar Blast – December 5, 2017

December 5, 2017
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Pursuant to WVC §11-10A-6, the Governor shall appoint the Chief Administrative Law Judge from a list of three qualified nominees submitted to the Governor by the Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar for a four-year term.  The Office of the Governor is seeking nominations of candidates to serve as the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the West Virginia Office of Tax Appeals for the current term, which expires on June 30, 2020
The West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors will select three nominees for consideration by Governor Justice.  Applicants must be admitted to the practice of law in West Virginia and have five years of full-time or equivalent part-time experience as an attorney with federal or state tax law expertise or have served as a judge of a court of record.
Applications, with supporting resumes and letters of reference, must be received by Anita R. Casey ( no later than midnight on December 14, 2017.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia is accepting applications for a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge to serve the Wheeling point of holding court.  The term of office is eight years, subject to reappointment. The full position description and application form may be obtained from the Clerk’s offices in Clarksburg, Elkins, Martinsburg, or Wheeling and on the court’s website here. Applications must be submitted personally or by certified mail and received by January 12, 2018.
Applicants must submit an original and ten copies of the application in an envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL” to Cheryl Dean Riley, Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court,

1125 Chapline Street, P.O. Box 471, Wheeling WV 26003

ABA Free Legal Answers
The website for the ABA Free Legal Answers program has been updated. There has been an increase in activity since the update with more questions submitted by users looking for legal help. For those attorneys who currently serve as volunteers, please be sure to check the site regularly as there are new questions being submitted daily. If you are not currently serving as a volunteer attorney for the program, but would like to do so, please visit the ABA’s Free Legal Answers website by clicking here.

Request for Public Comment on Proposed Amendment to Rule 1B(e)(1) of the Administrative Rules for Magistrate Courts – 17-Rules-13
On this day came the Court, on its own motion, and proceeded to consider an amendment to Rule 1B(e)(1) of the Administrative Rules for Magistrate Courts. Upon consideration whereof, the Court is of the opinion that the proposed amendment should be published for a thirtyday period of public comment. Comments must be filed in writing with the Clerk of the Court on or before December 29, 2017. Click here to view the order.

Provisional Adoption of and Request for Public Comment on Proposed Amendment to Rule 17.05 of the Trial Court Rules – 17-Rules-1
 On this day came the Court, on its own motion, and proceeded to consider an amendment to Rule 17.05 of the Trial Court Rules. The Court is of the opinion that the proposed amendment should be provisionally adopted, subject to being published for a thirty-day period of public comment. Comments must be filed in writing with the Clerk of the Court on or before December 29, 2017. Click here  to view the order.

Toys for Tots
Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and the West Virginia Association for Justice are teaming up to participate in the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.  The Marine Corps arranges with each participating law office location a drop off and pick up date for collection boxes through an online application.  Participation could not be easier.  All you have to do is sign up, receive the collection box, advertise the purpose of the box inside your organization, and allow the box to be picked up.
Sign up here. In the alternative, contact Erica Baumgras at or Anita Casey at, and they will arrange to drop off a donation box and pick it up when filled, prior to the collection date.
Toys for Tots accepts only new, unwrapped toys.  The pick-up date is 12/8/17.  Lucky participants may catch a glimpse of elf Anita Casey helping with distribution and collection.

The Martinsburg Office of Legal Aid is seeking volunteers for the January Tuesday Legal Connect
Tuesday Legal Connect (TLC) is a partnership between Legal Aid of West Virginia and the West Virginia State Bar taking place every Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We need 3 pro bono attorneys on each Tuesday in
January to take phone calls from the general public about basic legal issues and give out general legal information (not advice or representation) for which you get pro bono hours. We provide dinner and brief training on how the program runs, and what to expect thirty minutes prior to phones starting to ring at 6:00 so you will be prepared.
For all volunteers: Please come to 525 Winchester Avenue Martinsburg, WV 25401 where Legal Aid of West Virginia has the privilege of hosting Tuesday Legal Connect as it is no longer hosted at the bar. Please contact Jenny Saladini in the Martinsburg office at 304-263-8871 ext. 2811 if you have any questions or want to volunteer on a Tuesday in January.

Updates to IOLTA Reporting
 The State Bar has completed development of a new and improved IOLTA reporting system. This new system allows banks and attorneys to easily report and track IOLTA information. *Note for attorneys: the system will be fully implemented with the next two week; please check your IOLTA information on the member portal at to ensure that all IOLTA information is complete and accurate.

Supreme Court Closure Notifications
When the State Bar receives notice about a courthouse or the Supreme Court being closed, a notice will be sent to you by email or text message, based upon the request you have made.  We have added a feature which allows you to select the counties for which you want to receive notice. If you would like to sign up for specific county notifications, please go to to update your “Supreme Court Notifications”.

National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being 
The National Task Force Report and Recommendations are currently under review by The WV State Bar, The Court and WVJLAP to determine how best to proceed with the implementation of steps to facilitate a cultural shift within the legal profession (from law school to large firms and everything in between, including secured leave rules, CLE rules, lawyer discipline and other items).
To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. The Report reveals that too many lawyers are experiencing chronic stress, high rates of depression and substance abuse.  These findings are incompatible with a sustainable legal practice, raising troubling implications for many members of the legal profession. For more information click here.
Upcoming Events

December 8, 2017
2:00 PM
Family Law Committee meeting
Location: Sate Bar Center
For questions contact Lyne Ranson at

January 18-19, 2018
15.6 CLE Hours

2018 Mid-Winter Convention and Seminar
Host: West Virginia Association for Justice
Location: Ebassy Suites Hotel-Charleston, WV

Save the Dates: June 13-14 and July 11, 2018
Basic and Advanced Mediation Training 
Host: State Bar ADR Committee
Location: Days Hotel, Flatwoods (Basic)
                  Bridgeport Conference Center (Advanced)

Save the Date: January 24, 2018
3-Hours credit-Law office Management
Host: West Virginia State Bar
Location: Bowles, Rice office in Martinsburg and broadcast statewide via video conference.

Save the Date: April 8-9, 2018
West Virginia State Bar’s 2018 Annual Gathering at the Greenbrier
6-Hours CLE Credit