HUNTINGTON – A Huntington attorney at Huddleston Bolen died Jan. 28 at the age of 55.
Jody L. Christian at Huddleston Bolen said Bruce L. Stout was an accomplished lawyer, dedicated counselor to his clients and a committed friend and partner at the firm.
"He loved the law and loved sharing his passion for the law with others," she said.
Marc Williams, a partner at Nelson Mullins who was a friend and former co-worker of Stout, said Stout was by far the premier lawyer in the state in the field of wills and estates.
"He was also ahead of his time in building a practice through networking, marketing and writing," Williams said. "He worked incredibly hard and loved every minute of it."
Williams said Stout was also an incredibly funny man with a great self-deprecating sense of humor.
"All of us who were lucky enough to have him as a friend are blessed to have known him," Williams said.
Stout joined Huddleston Bolen in 1982 and became a partner in 1988.
Christian said Stout was well known as one of the leading trust and estate lawyers in West Virginia, being named one of the top 10 lawyers in the state in 2011 by Super Lawyers Magazine and Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in 2010. Stout had been listed in the publication Best Lawyers since 1999.
Stout was also a prolific writer, having authored numerous legal articles and a book titled "Estate Planning in West Virginia: Real Answers to Real Questions."
Stout was active in the legal profession and was a member and past president of the Huntington Estate Planning Council, member and former chairman of the West Virginia State Bar Probate Committee, member of the West Virginia Law Institute on Intestate Succession and a fellow and former State Chairman of the American College of Trust and Estate Council.
Stout was also a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Committee of the American Bar Association.
Stout also served as an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University College of Law since 2008. He taught estate planning and shared his deep love of the subject with his students.
Christian said Stout was very committed to the College of Law and served on its Development Council since 2009.
Stout served on the West Virginia State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and presented regularly at continuing legal education programs. When the intestacy law was enacted, Stout presided over many continuing legal education programs to educate the bar about changes in the law.
He also served as instructor of the paralegal program at Marshall University from 1993 through 1996.
Christian said Stout's staff was known as the "Bruce Group Bulldogs" and appreciated the time they worked with him.
"He was more than a boss -- he was a friend and considered him family," Christian said. "He was loved by each and will be greatly missed by all."