Top News

At 45th, West Virginia inches up rankings for state legal climates

Chris Dickerson Sep. 12, 2017, 8:59am

WASHINGTON – For the first time, West Virginia doesn’t rank 49th or 50th in a national survey ranking states’ legal climates. The Mountain State comes in at 45th in the survey released Sept. 12 by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. In the 10 previous surveys that span 15 year, West Virginia either ranked 49th or 50th. It was 50th in the last six surveys, dating back to 2006 (also 2015, 2012, 2010, 2008 and 2007).

Lawsuit reform helps small businesses across West Virginia

Roman D. Stauffer Aug. 22, 2017, 9:04am

CHARLESTON – Small and local businesses are a major contributor to the livelihood of local communities across West Virginia. They are often the places we shop with family, celebrate over a meal with good friends, or prepare the car for a long summer beach trip. Unfortunately, many of our small businesses have become a favorite target of abusive lawsuits.

Local officials right to seek recovery of lost tax dollars

David Hammer Aug. 8, 2017, 8:50am

MARTINSBURG – According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdose deaths in 2015 killed West Virginians at the rate of 41.5 per 100,000 residents. Lost lives. Shattered families. An estimated millions of dollars in state, county and municipal debt thanks to the highest overdose rate in the country – one that’s three times the national average.

Justice Davis' ethical lapses continue

Roman Stauffer Jul. 24, 2017, 8:00am

CHARLESTON – Leading up to and following the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia's decision in Leggett v. EQT Production Company, there was much attention given to the fact that newly elected Justice Beth Walker’s husband had held some energy stocks before the Court’s rehearing of the case. In response, Justice Walker notified the court that her husband had divested himself of ownership of shares of stock of any company engaged in the business of producing coal, oil, natural gas, wind, and solar energy.

Millionaire lawyers using old tricks for jackpot justice

Roman Stauffer Jul. 11, 2017, 8:12am

CHARLESTON – For too many years, West Virginia’s leaders have worked to attract jobs, small businesses, and spur economic growth while facing the stiff headwinds to much-needed lawsuit reforms from greedy personal injury lawyers and corrupt politicians.

Contingent fees, class actions ensure justice for all, not just rich CEOs

Jane E. Peak May 23, 2017, 11:40am

MORGANTOWN – The January 2014 water crisis following the Freedom Industries' chemical leak affected more than 225,000 Kanawha Valley residents, workers and businesses. People had to purchase bottled water to drink and cook and had to travel outside the area to bathe. Businesses were affected too, especially restaurants, medical offices, hotels and others that depend on safe, clean water for daily operations.

Group calls $45M water crisis settlement for lawyers 'lawsuit greed'

Chris Dickerson May 12, 2017, 11:48am

CHARLESTON – A legal reform group is calling the $45 million fee request for the plaintiffs attorneys who have worked on the 2014 water crisis lawsuit and settlement a prime example of “lawsuit greed.” The executive director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse also said he hopes the fee amount will be “greatly reduced.” One of the attorneys who worked on the class action case, however, says the request is reasonable and says most people don’t understand all of the work and money that goes into handling such a case. And the president of a statewide group for trial lawyers says CALA is trying to distort the facts.

Budget woes limited work done on tort reform during legislative session

Chris Dickerson Apr. 14, 2017, 12:32pm

CHARLESTON – The 2017 West Virginia legislative session likely will be remembered for Gov. Jim Justice’s whiteboards and bull manure and the amount of time devoted to the state budget.

'Loser Pays' bill will have to wait until future legislative session

Chris Dickerson Mar. 27, 2017, 8:55am

CHARLESTON – A bill that would require the plaintiff to pay court costs and attorney fees if the claim filed is dismissed for lacking any basis in law or fact won’t be passed this session, but it likely will be introduced in coming years.

Legal groups fighting for, against bills as session end looms

Chris Dickerson Mar. 24, 2017, 7:22am

CHARLESTON – As the West Virginia Legislature’s 2017 regular session grinds toward its conclusion, the state budget and tax plans dominate the headlines.

Bill to change medical monitoring advances to state Senate

Chris Dickerson Feb. 22, 2017, 10:35am

CHARLESTON – The state Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that would change the guidelines for medical monitoring claims. Senate Bill 236 was approved by the committee on Feb. 21, and now will be presented to the entire state Senate.

Legal groups disagree about Loughry's 'appeal by right' statement

Chris Dickerson Feb. 15, 2017, 9:34am

CHARLESTON – Two groups that frequently butt heads are doing it again, this time over a recent state Supreme Court opinion saying West Virginia is “an appeal by right jurisdiction.” In a Feb. 8 opinion about the involuntary hospitalization of a Kanawha County woman, Chief Justice Allen Loughry used a case point to stress that “all properly perfected appeals are reviewed by the (West Virginia Supreme) Court and result in a written decision on the merits of each appeal.” In the opinion, Loughry writes that the petitioner had discounted the Supreme Court’s ruling in a previous case, relying on a case styled Hammons v.

Justice doesn't discuss legal reform in State of the State speech

Chris Dickerson Feb. 9, 2017, 1:23pm

CHARLESTON – A statewide group is disappointed that Gov. Jim Justice didn’t discuss legal reform in his first State of the State address.

WV CALA survey finds economy, jobs as top legislative issues

Chris Dickerson Feb. 8, 2017, 1:41pm

CHARLESTON – A new survey conducted by a legal reform group says about half of West Virginia voters say the economy and job creation are the most important issues facing the state Legislature this session.

West Virginia Republicans could go all the way in 2017

The West Virginia Record Jan. 31, 2017, 1:19pm

The Super Bowl this Sunday promises to be one of the most action-packed contests ever, with the New England Patriots vying for their fifth championship in nine appearances and the Atlanta Falcons hoping to win their very first after a sole unsuccessful bid nearly 20 years ago.

Intermediate court, medical monitoring changes atop legal reform legislative agenda

Chris Dickerson Jan. 26, 2017, 2:51pm

CHARLESTON – With the next legislative session just days away, two groups that follow legal reforms are ready to do battle once again.

'Hellhole' label used to blackmail lawmakers into rigging civil justice system

Jane Peak Jan. 18, 2017, 9:31am

MORGANTOWN – For more than 10 years the American Tort Reform Association, a front group bankrolled by America’s most powerful and wealthy CEOs, has attacked West Virginia with its widely discredited “Judicial Hellhole” report.

West Virginia nearly finds itself off annual Judicial Hellhole report

Chris Dickerson Dec. 15, 2016, 7:33am

WASHINGTON – Once a perennial seat holder at the head of the holiday dinner table, West Virginia now barely gets its foot in the door of the American Tort Reform Association’s Judicial Hellhole report.

CALA praises Morrisey for returning more money to general revenue fund

Chris Dickerson Oct. 31, 2016, 12:17pm

CHARLESTON – A state legal reform group is praising the efforts of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for the money his office has returned to the state’s General Revenue Fund since he took office.

CALA releases 'Dirty Dozen' list; WVAJ says that isn't the full story

Chris Dickerson Oct. 11, 2016, 10:36am

CHARLESTON – Personal injury lawyers have put in more than $1 million into statewide election campaigns, according to a legal reform group.