Bar Blast – November 24, 2015

November 24, 2015
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Legal Outreach Committee

The Committee formerly known by the names Lawyer Information and Referral Service and Tuesday Legal Connect has changed its name to The Legal Outreach Committee. The change of name reflects the progress the Committee has made during the past few years making legal services more readily and easily available to the public. The Committee now sponsors three different programs:

  • Tuesday Legal Connect – The weekly call in service operated by the West Virginia State Bar and Legal Aid of West Virginia from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.
  • West Virginia Lawyer Referral Service – A 24/7 online service that allows the public to connect with attorneys who may be willing to take on new cases. Participants in the Lawyer Referral Service can be searched by practice area and county, or zip code.
  • West Virginia Online Legal Help – A 24/7 online service that allows users to post legal questions to a private messaging system. The questions are answered by volunteer attorneys. All information posted is held in strict confidence.

Election Committee Update

Pursuant to an Administrative Order entered by the Supreme Court on May 21, 2013, (click here for a copy of the Order) the West Virginia State Bar developed an electronic voting system for use in Board of Governor and Young Lawyer Section Executive Committee elections. By Resolution of the State Bar Standing Committee on Elections, drafted on September 22, 2015, (click here for a copy of the Resolution), the Elections Committee approved the electronic voting system which had been developed. The Resolution was accepted and approved by the State Bar Board of Governors on October 23, 2015. Therefore, beginning after January 1, 2016, all Board of Governor and Young Lawyer Section Executive Committee elections will be done by electronic method.
While elections for Districts 1 through 5 are scheduled to take place in 2016, the new voting system should be reviewed by all attorneys. A test of the new electronic voting system can be accessed by clicking here. Questions on the operation of the voting system should be directed to Mike Mellace at Other questions should be directed to the Elections Committee via Anita R. Casey at

Video Competition
The West Virginia State Bar is sponsoring a middle and high school video competition titled
The Significance of the Magna Carta on its 800th Anniversary.
Students must apply to become contestants, with written parental permission, by Tuesday, December 15, 2015.
For more information click here to view the press release.

Federal Public Defender Podcast: In Plain Cite
In Plain Cite is a podcast about developments in constitutional and federal criminal law produced by the Federal Public Defender office in the Southern District of West Virginia. Since its launch in July 2015, topics discussed on the show have included the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in
Johnson v. United States that declared a major recidivist sentencing provision unconstitutional, the various sentencing reform bills pending before Congress, and the courts’ treatment of cell phone data and the Fourth Amendment. The most recent episode (Episode 5) talked about the Clemency Project with a pair of guests who are on the front lines of the continuing push for federal prisoners seeking reduced sentences. The next episode will deal with the amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines that went into effect at the beginning of this month.
The show can be found on the main page of the website of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of WV at or it can be found in your favorite podcast app or in iTunes and subscribed to. It is also available at

The 2016 Annual Conference and Meeting of the West Virginia State Bar
The West Virginia State Bar’s Annual Conference and Meeting is the ideal venue to reconnect with lawyers and friends – and to build new relationships – all while enjoying the amenities of West Virginia’s premier resort, the Greenbrier. Take advantage of excellent Greenbrier accommodation rates offered only to our members* and obtain CLE credits at presentations by our Judiciary and nationally recognized presenters. Upon arrival, all are encouraged to attend the State Bar Annual Dinner on Sunday, April 3rd, where Fifty Year Bar Members, Past Presidents of the State Bar and award winners for both the State Bar and Legal Aid of West Virginia will be recognized. On Monday, April 4th, attend the CLE program consisting of 6 hours of presentations that promise to be informative and helpful to your practice. Attendance at the Dinner on Sunday, April 3, and the CLE program on Monday, April 4, is only $195.00. For those who can only attend the seminar on April 4, the cost is $75.00. For those who can only attend the dinner on April 3, the cost is $130.00.
*The special discounted room rates will be available for the two days following the meeting. Click here for The Greenbrier hotel reservation form

Government Lawyers Reception

On November 3, 2015 the Government Lawyers Committee held a reception at the Charleston offices of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe.
Click here for photos from the event. 

Recent Supreme Court Orders

Approval of Amendments to the West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct
On November 12th, 2015 the following order was made and entered by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

In RE: Approval of Amendments to the West Virginia Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings
By order entered November 9, 2015, the Court approved amendments to the West Virginia Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings, effective immediately.

Click here for a copy of the order

Request for Public Comment on the Amendment to the Rules for Admission to the Practice of Law
The Court is requesting public comment on amendments to the Rules for Admission to the Practice of Law. The proposed amendment would permit the temporary practice of law in West Virginia by the attorney spouses of active service members assigned to a permanent duty station in West Virginia. The Court has approved a 60 day comment period to end on December 15, 2015. Any comments must be filed, in writing, with the WV Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.

Click here for a copy of the order

Upcoming Events

December 7-11, 2015
Host: Institute for Dispute Resolution Skills & Potomac Mediation Services
Location: North Bend State Park – Cairo, West Virginia
CLE: 45 MCLE credits, including 3 credits in ethics

December 8 & 9, 2015
United States District Court for the Northern District CM/ECF Training
Location: Wheeling, WV – Grand Jury Room, 4th Floor
CLE: 3 CLE credits in office management

December 11, 2015
Free Training: Domestic Violence Protective Orders 
Join Legal Aid of West Virginia for a free CLE at the Kanawha County Judicial Annex, Voter Registration Room.  This 2.9 hour (pending) CLE will provide training on representation in Domestic Violence Protective Orders, from Start to Finish.  Trainers from Legal Aid of West Virginia will be joined by Kanawha County Magistrate Julie Yeager, who leads the DV Pilot Project court.  The training will be held on Friday,
December 11, 2015 at 1:30 pm in the Voter Registration Room.  You can sign up for the event by emailing or calling (304)343-3013 x 2138 by December 8, 2015.