WV CALA sponsoring first legal education seminar




CHARLESTON – West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is sponsoring a Continuing Legal Education seminar focusing on current legal developments in the state's civil justice system.

The event, scheduled for May 28 in Charleston, will feature West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis as the headline speaker. She will provide an update on the state Supreme Court's caseload this year.

Other faculty include state Senator Even Jenkins, former state Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely and Sherman Joyce, the President of the American Tort Reform Association.

"We wanted to offer the legal community a training opportunity that will bring together speakers of diverse expert perspectives to further the debate about, and detailed understanding of, our state civil justice system," WV CALA Executive Director Richie Heath said.

The CLE seminar –- titled "Where is West Virginia's Civil Justice System Today? Updates and Analysis 2009" -– is approved by the West Virginia State Bar for 7.00 CLE credit hours and is open to all attorneys for a $50 registration fee, space permitting.

The session will be held at the Capitol Conference Center, located at the corner of Lee and Capitol Streets in Charleston. Attorneys interested in participating can contact WV CALA at (304) 720-4365.

Sessions of the day-long CLE are devoted to updates on the use of expert testimony, jury research methodologies, campaign finance laws, and the recent medical liability reforms.

Also highlighting the agenda is a panel discussion on the differing perspectives of the current state of West Virginia's legal system. Panel participants include Neely and Joyce, as well as Huntington attorney Marc Williams –- the current President of DRI, a national legal defense group -– and Nitro attorney Harvey Peyton. former President of the West Virginia Association for Justice, which was then known as the West Virginia Trial Lawyers' Association.

The full schedule for the CLE includes:

* 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Registration;

* 9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.: Welcome – WV CALA Chair Tom O'Neill;

* 9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: West Virginia Supreme Court Update – The Honorable Robin Jean Davis, Justice, West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals;

* 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.: Evidence Based Medicine – The Reliable Scientific Methodology: James W. Turner, Huddleston Bolen;

* Break – 10:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

* 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.: Understanding West Virginia Juries – Effective Jury Research Methodologies – Mark C. Blankenship, President & CEO – Mark Blankenship Enterprises;

* Lunch – 11:50 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (On Your Own);

* 1:00 p.m. – 2: 40 p.m.: The West Virginia "Judicial Hellhole" Label: Differing Perspectives on the Current State of West Virginia's Legal System – Marc E. Williams, Huddleston Bolen, President – DRI; Sherman "Tiger" Joyce, President – American Tort Reform Association; Harvey D. Peyton, The Peyton Law Firm, Former President – WV Trial Lawyers' Association; Richard Neely, Neely & Callaghan, Former Justice – West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals;

* Break – 2:40 – 2:50 p.m.;

* 2:50 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.: The Impact of Judicial Selection on West Virginia's Campaign Finance Laws – George Carenbauer, Steptoe & Johnson, Former Chairman – West Virginia Democratic Party;

* 3:40 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Reform Works: West Virginia Medical Liability Reform Success – Senator Evan Jenkins, Executive Director – West Virginia State Medical Association;

* 4:30 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.: Close/CLE Critique – WV CALA Chair Tom O'Neill

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