Moats appointed to hear Segal religion case

By Justin Anderson | May 12, 2009



CHARLESTON -- The West Virginia Supreme Court has appointed Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats to preside over a lawsuit brought against prominent Charleston lawyer Scott Segal.

David Harless sued Segal in March, claiming Segal conspired with others to suspend his law license because Harless left a Christian note at Segal's law offices in 2004.

Segal is Jewish and Harless claims Segal was offended by the note, which Harless says was designed to spread the word of God.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis Bloom had been assigned the case. But Segal moved for Bloom to recuse himself because Bloom is also Jewish.

Segal's motion said he believed that if Bloom were to find in his favor, Harless would believe it was just another conspiracy among Jewish people.

Bloom, in an April 28 letter to Chief Justice Brent Benjamin, said he didn't believe his religion was reason enough for him to step down.

But Bloom said he should recuse himself because both Segal and Harless appeared before him in the past and likely will appear before him in the future.

Benjamin appointed Moats to hear the case in a May 4 administrative order.

A scheduling conference had been set in the case for last week.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-465

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