HOT SPRINGS, Va. -- The West Virginia Bar Association recently held its 121st Annual Meeting at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va.

Founded in 1886, the WVBA is among the oldest bar associations in the United States.

Several speakers presented seminars during the three-day meeting. Among them were James C. Duff, Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts; Eileen Morgan Johnson of the Washington, D.C. firm of Whiteford Taylor Preston; Leigh R. Trippe, V.P. for Government Relations and Contracts of LexisNexis; Glenn R. Ayres from the firm of Doud Hausner & Associates, Coronado, CA; William A. Galanko, V.P. of Law, Norfolk Southern Corporation; Michael J. Fromhold, V.P. and Senior Regional Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company; and Gary G. Furbee II, WV State Counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.

During the Sept. 13-15 meeting, the WVBA presented its prestigious Award of Merit for "…outstanding lifetime of distinguished service to the legal profession and/or the judiciary in West Virginia," to John W. Fisher II, Dean of the WVU College of Law. Presentation of the WVBA's highest award was made by WVBA President Robert M. Steptoe Jr.

Past recipients of the Award of Merit are Edward I. Eiland, John O. Kizer, Charles R. McElwee, Charles F. Bagley Jr., Honorable Thomas B. Miller, John L. McClaugherty, Robert M. Steptoe Sr., Honorable Robert E. Maxwell and G. Thomas Battle, and Howard M. Persinger Jr.

The meeting culminated with Ronda L. Harvey from Charleston with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP being elected president of the WVBA and Patrick D. Deem from Clarksburg with Steptoe & Johnson being elected to the Executive Council replacing Past President Robert M. Steptoe Jr.

Courtney Anne Kirtley with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP in Charleston was elected as President of the Young Lawyers Division. Richard E. Ford Jr. with The Ford Law Firm in Lewisburg was elected as President of the Real Estate Lawyers Divison.

Other members of the Executive Council are President-Elect Elisabeth H. Rose, Stephen R. Crislip, Logan M. Hassig, Andrew H. Miller, James W. St Clair, President of the Senior Lawyers Division and Pryce M. Haynes II, Executive Director.

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