CHARLESTON – Attorney David L. Yaussy, a member at Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, has been appointed by the Kanawha County Bar Association to serve a three-year term as its representative on Legal Aid of West Virginia’s board of directors.
Yaussy has been practicing law for more than 30 years. At Spilman, Thomas & Battle, he is the chairman of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.
David L. Yaussy
Yaussy is also a longtime Legal Aid volunteer, serving as a pro bono attorney in dozens of client cases.
Yaussy said he would like to let attorneys know how rewarding it can be to volunteer to represent someone for Legal Aid. He said working for Legal Aid doesn’t take up a great deal of an attorney’s time, and Legal Aid of West Virginia will make sure attorneys get cases that are commensurate with their personal skills. The agency also provides support and advice to participating attorneys.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for attorneys like me who spend a lot of time at their desks to get out, maybe get into court, and to represent some interesting people,” Yaussy told The West Virginia Record. “Volunteer attorneys will get far more out of their representation than they put into it.”
As a board member, Yaussy said he will help to oversee the operation of the organization “and spread the news about the good things being done by LAWV.”
“We are delighted to welcome Dave to the board,” Legal Aid of West Virginia Executive Director Adrienne Worthy said in a statement. “He has been a friend to our organization for many years, and his experience working directly with clients will bring considerable added perspective to our board leadership.”
"Legal Aid of West Virginia is a nonprofit legal organization with 12 offices across the state, and is the primary provider of free civil legal services to West Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. Clients include victims of abuse, exploited seniors, veterans, the disabled, and those facing threats to shelter, housing and basic rights such as adequate education and health care," the organization stated in a press release.
“Justice should be available to everyone, regardless of income, and Legal Aid provides representation to some of the poorest, most vulnerable members of society,” Yaussy said. “The legal system runs more smoothly when all parties are represented, and Legal Aid helps to make that happen. LAWV helps level the playing field.”
Yaussy has been practicing law in West Virginia for his entire professional career, and he has been doing Legal Aid cases since shortly after he arrived in the state.
“I went to Robinson & McElwee in 1984 fresh out of Ohio State law school, expecting to spend a few years and then return to Ohio, but loved the state so much I’ve stayed ever since,” Yaussy said.
Yaussy said he originally had a workers’ compensation practice, but he switched over to environmental law in 1990. He credited fellow attorneys Kim Poland and Ann Bradley, who taught him environmental law, as “some of the best mentors you could find.”
In 2014, Yaussy moved to Spilman Thomas & Battle, continuing his environmental practice.