Below is a list of bills relating to the legal community that have introduced during the Second Regular Session of the 78th Legislature, which began Jan. 9. Entries below include bill number, sponsors, purpose of bill and action taken so far.

STATE SENATE

SB1 (White, Hunter, Fanning, Minard) To give the Office of the Attorney General the power to investigate and charge home heating oil, gasoline or other motor fuel price gouging, at any time. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

SB3 (Hunter, Barnes) To require review of life without parole sentences by the State Supreme Court of Appeals. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

SB30 (White, Hunter) To give the Office of the Attorney General the power to investigate and charge home heating oil, gasoline or other motor fuel price gouging, at any time. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

SB39 (Minard, Oliverio) To increase, by one, the number of magistrate court deputy clerks that may be appointed and provide that the deputy clerk be appointed in Braxton County. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Government Organization, then Finance.

SB50 (Bailey) To authorize the Administrator of the Supreme Court to oversee bail bondsmen; and to promulgate rules if necessary. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

SB127 (Jenkins) To limit certain asbestos claims, provide for the fair and efficient judicial consideration of personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of asbestos or silica exposure, to ensure that individuals who suffer impairment, now or in the future, from illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos or silica, receive compensation for their injuries, and for other purposes. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES

HB2093 (Schoen) To allow family court judges to carry a concealed deadly weapon without obtaining a license. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2127 (Beach, Hamilton, Perry, Varner) To exempt magistrates from the licensing requirements for carrying a concealed weapon. JAN. 9, Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2239 (Frederick, Carmichael) To require the Attorney General to comply with certain requirements when entering into contracts for legal services to be performed by persons other than full-time Assistant Attorneys General or other full-time employees of the state as well as modifying current statutes to require greater legislative and executive supervision of these types of contracts. Toward these ends the bill includes the following provisions: (1) Requiring the Attorney General to report to the Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance relative to these contracts; (2) requiring the Attorney General to report to the Governor and Joint Committee on Government and Finance upon the conclusion of such services, including a statement of fees involved on an hourly basis; (3) prohibiting the payment of fees to such persons in excess of $500 per hour; (4) requiring the joint committee to study the new provisions and to report recommendations for further changes to the full Legislature before the 2008 session; (5) requiring the Attorney General to submit semi-annual reports to the Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance while requiring the inclusion of information concerning the nature of these contracts; (6) requiring all attorney fees or costs awarded the Attorney General to be deposited into the State Fund; and, (7)requiring that contracts proposed by the Attorney General be approved as to form by the Secretary of State. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Finance.

HB2257 (Schoen, Martin) To add a magistrate to those serving Putnam County. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary then Finance.

HB2268 (Lane) To require that the Joint Committee on Government and Finance approve any proposed settlement involving the Office of the Attorney General while, additionally, providing that any proceeds received in any civil action involving the Office of the Attorney General be deposited in the General Revenue Fund to be appropriated by the Legislature. In addition, the bill requires that the Attorney General seek bids from private attorneys when seeking outside legal assistance. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Government Organization, then Judiciary.

HB2355 (Doyle) To remove the requirement that venue properly lies in Kanawha County in relation to certain controversies involving the state. JAN.9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2370 (Stalnaker) To require, under all circumstances, that a criminal defendant's right to a jury trial in misdemeanor cases is forever waived unless he or she requests it within twenty days of his or her initial appearance in magistrate court. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2393 (Michael) To provide immunity from civil damages for persons who volunteer their services to a Public Health Department. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2396 (Kominar, Stemple) To provide that a judge becoming eligible for retirement is not required to contribute to the retirement system; and clarifying that, for judicial retirement purposes, credited service includes certain time served as an elected or appointed municipal judge. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Pensions and Retirement then Finance.

HB2405 (Stalnaker, White) To prohibit operators of motor vehicles who do not have insurance coverage from instituting lawsuits for damages. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Banking and Insurance, then Judiciary.

HB2458 (DeLong) To limit the liability of medical and osteopathic physicians and those that may work under their supervision or direction, as volunteers to provide medical care at a youth camp or program. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2473 (Ennis, Perry, Boggs) To provide a defense to licensees civilly or criminally charged with selling alcoholic liquors, non-intoxicating beer or wine to minors when the licensees have responsibly used scanner technology to verify age. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2700 (Campbell, Canterbury) To permit magistrates to carry concealed handguns without a permit. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB2744 (Browning, Burdiss, Stemple) To equally compensate all state magistrates at the higher tier salary schedule. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary then Finance.

HB2839 (Kominar, White, Moore) To provide a judge becoming eligible for retirement is not required to contribute to the retirement system; and clarifying that, for judicial retirement purposes, credited service includes certain time served as an elected or appointed municipal judge. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Pensions and Retirement then Finance.

HB2950 (Sobonya, Sumner, C. Miller, Long, Rowan, Duke, Ellem) To elect all justices to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and all circuit court judges on a nonpartisan basis. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

HB3159 (Stemple, Argento, Martin, Kominar, Varner) To provide that Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals are to be elected from numbered divisions. Candidates from each numbered division are to be voted on at large from the entire state. JAN. 9: Introduced, sent to Judiciary.

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