Top News

Trial by jury and its role in American history is forgotten today

Beth A. White Sep. 19, 2017, 12:12pm

CHARLESTON – September 17, 2017, was the 230th anniversary of the U. S. Constitution and an opportunity to celebrate our rights enshrined there. One of the most important is the right to trial by jury.

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).

New WVAJ president wants to tell how attorneys are involved in communities

Chris Dickerson Aug. 18, 2017, 10:16am

MARTINSBURG – The new president of the West Virginia Association for Justice wants to highlight how the group’s member attorneys are involved in their communities.

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.

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.

Justice signs bill updating state Consumer Credit Protection Act

Chris Dickerson Apr. 24, 2017, 1:47pm

WASHINGTON – Gov. Jim Justice has signed a bill making key changes to the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is praising the move. Justice signed Senate Bill 563 into law on April 24. Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), said the law will further reduce frivolous lawsuits and improve the business climate in the state of West Virginia.

Bill would make changes to state Consumer Credit Protection Act

Chris Dickerson Apr. 19, 2017, 2:15pm

CHARLESTON – A bill that makes some key changes to the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act awaits a signature from Gov. Jim Justice.

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.

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.

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.

Attorney group buys car for Community Unity event organizer

Carrie Salls Nov. 10, 2016, 7:40am

CHARLESTON – When one of the members of the West Virginia Association for Justice saw the selfless act Shayla Leftridge performed in service to her community, he solicited donations from other WVAJ members to repay Leftridge’s generosity.

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.

CALA kicks off Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week; trial lawyers denounce it

Chris Dickerson Oct. 4, 2016, 7:59am

CHARLESTON – A statewide legal reform group is celebrating Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week, but a group for trial lawyers denounced it as another effort to take away West Virginians’ right to a jury trial.

McDowell Circuit Court Judge honored as Judge of the Year

Dawn Geske Aug. 5, 2016, 4:13pm

The West Virginia Association for Justice (WVAJ) has named its Judge of the Year, honoring a McDowell County Circuit Court judge.