PERSONNEL FILE: Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer expands Morgantown office

By The West Virginia Record | Jan 7, 2008

MORGANTOWN -- Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer PLLC recently expanded its Morgantown office with the addition of member Tamara J. DeFazio and associate Krista Sheets Smith.

MORGANTOWN -- Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer PLLC recently expanded its Morgantown office with the addition of member Tamara J. DeFazio and associate Krista Sheets Smith.

Located on the third floor of the Clear Mountain Bank Building in the Glenmark Centre, the Morgantown office of Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer offers comprehensive legal representation to clients throughout northern West Virginia.

The Morgantown office opened Jan. 4, 2006, with one lawyer -- Timothy R. Linkous -- responsible for the daily operations.

Two years later, the number of lawyers has quadrupled, and there are four additional lawyers serving a broad base of clients: Debra Bowers, Margaret Miner, DeFazio and Sheets.

"The addition of the Morgantown office enabled our firm to provide quality litigation representation and other transactional legal services to our clients state wide," Linkous said. "We are also able to offer legal services involving every type of civil litigation issue, estate planning, estate administration, trusts, contract drafting, divorces, adoptions, tax law, and many others.

"This firm affords truly comprehensive civil litigation support, and our rapid growth is a testament to our clients' faithfulness in the firm and use of our services."

New to Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer, DeFazio is a seasoned litigator with broad practice experience. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from West Virginia University, she completed her legal education at the West Virginia University College of Law where she was a member of and Manuscript Editor for the West Virginia Law Review.

In 1989, she was admitted to both state and federal courts in West Virginia, and she currently is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.

In addition to providing aggressive legal representation to litigants throughout her 17 year career, she has lectured to state and county administrators on such topics as the legislative reforms set forth in the West Virginia Governmental Tort Claims and Insurance Reform Act, the law of search and seizure in the schools and the constitutional rights of students.

She is currently a Member of the Board of Governors for the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia.

A West Virginia native, Smith graduated magna cum laude with two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Bethany College after which she moved to Washington, D.C., where she attended graduate school at George Washington University. During her four years in D.C., she worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide for Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, and from 2002-2004 she was the staff director for the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.

In 2004, Smith moved back to West Virginia to continue her education at the West Virginia University College of Law from which she graduated in May 2007.

During her law school tenure, she was a member of the Executive Moot Court Board and served as an extern for the Honorable John T. Copenhaver Jr., Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The Martindale-Hubble Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers lists Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer PLLC as one of the nation's most distinguished law practices and has recognized the firm as having achieved the highest level of professional skill and integrity.

The law firm represents clients in a broad range of legal matters including insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, long-term care or nursing home litigation, legal malpractice defense, product liability/personal injury litigation, state and municipal governmental liability, administrative/regulatory law, labor/employment law, environmental and natural resources law, silica litigation, healthcare law, estate planning, complex litigation, insurance bad faith, sexual harassment, construction law, and debtor-creditor litigation.

For additional information, visit the firm's Web site at

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