By way of introduction

OUR GOAL at the West Virginia Record is to cover West Virginia's legal system in a way that enables you, our readers, to make the public business your business.

As the state's first and only legal journal, The Record will focus upon civil actions in our courts. Torts- as they're known-- are too often ignored by the prevailing media, yet their progress has a profound impact on the people of our state.

We aim to protect the public's interest by reporting on West Virginia's civil justice system thoroughly and vigorously.

To be sure, whether one agrees or disagrees with the happenings at all of our courthouses, no one should believe that what happens at them is the norm. West Virginia's courts regularly rank among the most litigious in the land.

This doesn't mean to suggest that normal always means good. In many cases throughout American history the norm has meant the wrong course. The country's greatest leaders have often been maligned for deviance long before receiving credit for courage and vision.

Many accomplished local plaintiffs' attorneys and erstwhile activists would argue that, in fact, they are the great leaders of their time, holding that West Virginia has it right and everyone else has it wrong.

On the flipside, many who drive this country's economic engine-- small businessmen, medical professionals and corporate executives-- argue the opposite. They hold that plaintiffs' attorneys use frivolous lawsuits to game the system and pillage private property. If every state were like ours, they say, America would be out of business.

At the West Virginia Record, we hope to provide an objective view of the playing field as well as an active forum for both sides of the argument so that all of us can decide for ourselves.

To that end, we need your help. If you have an opinion, please let us hear it. Don't hesitate to send us your story ideas, press releases, letters to the editor or guest columns. We will print them.

The West Virginia Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

We shall make every effort to be fair and impartial. We also shall do our best to exclude any personal or political bias we have from our news pages. If you feel that we have been unfair please write us at

We'll publish our print edition weekly -- every Monday -- and daily to our Web site at

More Stories