Lawyer Referral Service Upgrade

The West Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral Service was recently upgraded to a new system. Clients seeking attorneys now have the ability to request a consultation or find contact information for an attorney at www.wvlawyerreferral.org. The new system allows registered attorneys the ability to track their incoming referrals using www.wvlawyerreferral.org. To sign up as an attorney on the lawyer referral service go to https://www.mywvbar.org/members/profile and select “Yes” in the Lawyer Referral Service Section register while reporting your FRD & IOLTA information.

The Supreme Court of Appeals is Requesting Comment on Proposed Revisions to the Governance Documents for the West Virginia State Bar

The Supreme Court of Appeals is Requesting Comment on Proposed Revisions to the Governance Documents for the West Virginia State Bar – the proposed revisions are set forth in the Court’s order. Click Here to view the proposed revisions. 

Highlights of Proposed Revisions are –

Constitution – Archaic provisions are eliminated and changes to membership article in accordance with modern practice

Definition of the Practice of Law –Archaic provisions eliminated

Bylaws

High-level governance with most administrative detail moved to rules

Provides greater flexibility to the Bar

Clearer definition of membership classes

Greater detail on suspended members

Greater detail on resigned members

Grants Board the authority to set fees (other than annual dues)

Clarifies that Immediate Past President is Board member

Expands Board term to four years beginning 2019, thereby fostering a continuation of expertise; election cycle expanded to four years, thereby evening out number of new Board members coming onboard each year

State Bar Districts remain unchanged

Clarifies election of Vice-President

Unlawful Practice Committee revised in accordance with recent case law

Sets authority for State Bar Administrative Rules

New article on communication with Bar

New article on legal practice entities

New article on JLAP

New article on Young Lawyer Section

State Bar Administrative Rules

Clarifies membership register and obligation to maintain current information

Defines how membership information may be used and member opt-out options

Provides detail on firm administrators

Provides flexibility in the methods for payment of membership fees

Provides a ceiling for meaningful late fees

Clarifies how sanctions for nonpayment affect membership classes

Updates paper ballot election process in accordance with modern practice

Integrates and reconciles three different MCLE governance documents

Updates Bridge-the-Gap program in accordance with recent YLS proposal

Allows CLE credit for certified pro bono service for specified entities

Sets forth a new procedure for Unlawful Practice Committee proceedings in accordance with recent case law in order to preserve the State Bar’s antitrust immunity

Updates the Emeritus Attorneys’ Pro Bono Participation Program

Incorporates the existing stand-alone rule for the WVJLAP

Sets forth a new IOLTA distribution protocol as recommended by the IOLTA Advisory Committee

Provides a method in two new rules for the State Bar to pre-certify legal practice entities

Sets forth a new rule detailing the Young Lawyer Section

Sets forth a new rule related to succession planning for sole practitioners

WV Supreme Court establishes task force for lawyer well-being

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has established the West Virginia Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being to make recommendations on how to address mental health and substance abuse issues in the legal profession. Below is a link to the Supreme Court Press Release and an article from the Gazette Mail.

Click Here for The Supreme Court Press Release

Click Here for a related Gazette Mail article