CHARLESTON – Marshall University's first attempt at a Continuing Legal Education class seems to have been a success.

"That was about the best one I've been to in a long time," said Mary McQuain, an attorney at The Calwell Practice in Charleston. "It was well-balanced, and I found it extremely interesting. All of the people were knowledgeable. Even the geeky guys could speak English."

McQuain was one of the attorneys who attended the class entitled Electronic Discovery 101: Understanding the New Federal Rules earlier this month at Marshall's South Charleston.

McQuain said she had attended another CLE a month or so before on a related topic and found the Marshall class took it "a step further."

Marshall doesn't have a law school, but it does have a forensic science program that includes computer forensics. Second Creek Technologies, a Barboursville-based company, teamed up with MU's forensic science program, and co-sponsored the CLE.

"I really liked the material they put on," she said. "It was really interesting. It was first-rate. I am surprised it was Marshall and Second Creek's first ones. It is well worth the time, effort and money to go."

The same class will be offered again on Nov. 18 at Marshall's main Huntington campus in the Memorial Student Center. The West Virginia-approved CLE credits offered are 7.2 including 7.2 ethics credits.

"I told the people in my office they should go to the follow up in Huntington," McQuain said.

A Huntington attorney agreed with McQuain.

Curtis Capehart with Huddleston Bolen in Huntington admits he had reservations at first.

"I thought it was actually pretty good," he said. "I didn't know what to expect since it was the first one Marshall had done. I'm a Marshall alum, but I was concerned it would not be all that it could be.

Still, he said the CLE was "very solid and very well-organized."

It was really good, especially for them to jump in there the way they did," he said. "Based on everything I saw, they seem solid.

"They weren't searching for answers when questions come up. And that's good because this is a new wrinkle in that area of practice."

Capehart said he also has told other attorneys about it.

"I have recommended it to people I run into," he said.

A press release says the course is "a must for all practitioners who want to stay ahead of the curve in the new digital age."

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will undergo a major overhaul at the end of this year, and the class "will hear first-hand from fellow practitioners, computer experts, forensic analysts and members of the judiciary about how these rules changes will affect your practice.

"Learn about the unique problems presented by electronically stored information in the context of civil and criminal litigation and how and when to use computer forensic assistance to preserve electronic documents and electronic discovery. Gain critical knowledge of the inner workings of computers to give yourself a tactical advantage in litigation and the ability to resist the unreasonable discovery demands of your opponents. What you don't know can hurt your clients!"

In addition to the educational rewards, those who sign up also will receive tickets to a Thundering Herd home football game.

For the Nov. 18 class, the $150 registration fee includes lunch and a chairback seat for that night's MU home football game against Texas-El Paso. Additional seats for the game can be purchased as well. To register, call Second Creek at (304) 736-5454 or toll free at 1-877-523-3253.

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