HOT SPRINGS, Va. - The West Virginia Bar Association held its 127th Annual Meeting at The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA, Aug. 15-17.

Founded in 1886, The WVBA is among the oldest Bar associations in the United States and is the oldest in West Virginia. Several speakers/panelists participated in seminars. Among them were:

Paul Trefz, Vice President and Senior Regional Underwriter, First American Title Insurance Company
Judge John P. Bailey, Chief US District Judge, Northern District of West Virginia
Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Chief US District Judge, Southern District of West Virginia
Harvey D. Peyton, Peyton Law Firm, PLLC
Professor Forest J. “Jack” Bowman, Jackson Kelly PLLC Professor of Law Emeritus at WVU College of Law
Carte P. Goodwin, former U.S. Senator
Lloyd G. Jackson, former state Senator
Erica M. Mani, CEO West Virginia Red Cross
David C. Hardesty, President Emeritus West Virginia University, Professor of Law
David Kaczmarek, Sr. VP and Senior Compliance Officer, WesBanco Bank
James C. Gardill; Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer, PLLC
Brian T. Gartley, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
Judge David A. Faber, Senior District Judge, Southern District of West Virginia
Sharon O. Flannery, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC
Rachael L. Cipoletti, WV Office of Disciplinary Counsel

During the 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 Franklin D. Cleckley, Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law at WVU College of Law.

Presentation of The WVBA’s highest award was made by the WVBA’s President, Patrick D. Deem, with assistance from Past Award of Merit recipients Forest J. “Jack” Bowmen and John W. Fisher II, both of whom made introductory remarks about Prof. Cleckley.

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, G. Thomas Battle, Howard M. Persinger, Jr., Dean John W. Fisher II, Honorable John T. Copenhaver, Jr., Thomas E. Potter, James W. St Clair, Forest J. Bowman and Hon. Irene M. Keeley.

The meeting culminated with James C. Gardill from Wheeling with Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer, PLLC being elected President of The WVBA; Alexander Macia from Charleston with Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC elected President-Elect; William J. Powell from Martinsburg with Jackson Kelly PLLC, Joyce E. McConnell from Morgantown, Dean of the WVU College of Law, Richard E. Ford, Jr. from Lewisburg with The Ford Law Firm and Mary H. Sanders from Charleston with Huddleston Bolen LLP elected to the Executive Council. Lee A. Floyd from Charleston with Jackson Kelly was elected President of the Young Lawyers Division.

The following individuals will remain in their respective position on the Executive Council: James W. St Clair from Huntington, President of the Senior Lawyers Division; James A. Russell with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, President of the Business Lawyers Divisions; R. Vance Golden III, from Parkersburg, with Golden & Amos, PLLC, President of the Real Estate Lawyers Division; and Pryce M. Haynes II, Executive Director.

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