Bar Blast – November 28, 2017

November 28, 2017
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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.

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 (Flaherty) at  ebaumgras@flahertylegal.com or Anita Casey at caseya@wvbar.org, 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.

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 mywvbar.org 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 https://www.mywvbar.org/members/profile 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 lyne@lyneranson.com

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
FREE CLE
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