PERSONNEL FILE: Allen Guthrie & Thomas lawyers named to Best Lawyers 2010

By The West Virginia Record | Sep 10, 2009






CHARLESTON -- Five lawyers from Allen Guthrie & Thomas, PLLC were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2010.

David B. Thomas was named in the field Bet-the-Company Litigation. He and Rebecca A. Betts were recognized in Commercial Litigation. Robert B. Allen was honored in Alternative Dispute Resolution, White-Collar Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Litigation. George G. Guthrie was named in the field of Antitrust Law, and David J. Hardy was recognized in the field of Energy Law.

Thomas has been involved in a variety of different trials and litigations, including product liability, toxic tort, drug and medical device, professional malpractice, environmental and consumer class actions. He has acted as liaison counsel for a defense group in statewide pharmaceutical litigation and is currently active in a nationwide pharmaceutical MDL pending in West Virginia.

He has been on trial teams for cases in Mississippi and Delaware in addition to West Virginia. He has participated in three class action trials, two of which reached verdict. He has argued many appeals in both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Thomas has been managing member of the firm since 2002.

As a partner of Allen Guthrie & Thomas since 1982, Allen's practice includes representation of individuals and entities in civil, criminal and administrative matters in federal, state and local courts. Historically, a substantial portion of Allen's practice has involved the representation of individuals and corporations in white-collar criminal investigations and prosecutions. In civil litigation, Bob has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a large variety of matters. Allen also has a mediation practice. Since 1987, the number of cases Allen has mediated annually has steadily increased to approximately 100 per year.

After serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, Betts rejoined Allen Guthrie & Thomas in 2001, the firm which she originally founded with now U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert B. King. She represents major corporate defendants in mass tort and class action litigation involving personal injury, antitrust, securities, and other claims. Betts frequently represents corporate defendants in regulatory investigations and claims brought by the West Virginia Attorney General and West Virginia Securities Commissioner. She is also often asked to advise and represent lawyers and law firms with respect to ethics and sanctions issues, and has in recent years successfully defended two different law firms confronted with sanctions orders in federal court.

Betts has tried a wide variety of criminal and civil cases over the course of her career, including the successful defense of a sitting Governor sued in a mass action and a Wall Street investment bank sued in a $300 million Treasuries trading scandal. Most recently, she obtained an eight figure settlement after a three week arbitration trial against a major coal company. Betts has also enjoyed an extensive appellate practice. She has argued over a dozen appeals in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, twice en banc, and has in the past served on the Advisory Committee on Rules and Procedures for the Fourth Circuit. She has been a member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference for over 20 years.

George Guthrie has been engaged in the private practice of law since his graduation from law school at Duke University in 1967. During his career, Guthrie has represented various clients, both in litigation and transactional matters. His litigation experience commenced with the successful prosecution of a habeas corpus petition filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, and successful representation of a major health care provider in what was at the time the first hospital privilege case against a private hospital in the State of West Virginia. Guthrie has been involved in various commercial litigation matters during his career, including claims of unfair competition and civil RICO.

At present, Guthrie's practice primarily focuses on representation of physicians, health care entities and corporate clients. He is a former member of the West Virginia Board of Medicine and consults with hospitals and their medical staffs on health care related issues on a regular basis.

Hardy represents employers in litigation and enforcement issues arising out of occupational health and safety (MSHA and OSHA) law and deliberate intent law. Dave has over twenty years experience at both the federal and state levels and has lectured widely on these subjects as well.

Hardy is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and West Virginia University Institute of Technology. He has been a Kanawha County Commissioner since 2001 and previously served on Charleston City Council for five years. In addition he is a member of the Boards of the Clay Center and Charleston Area Alliance.

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