CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has issued a suspension of the law license of Barbara Harmon-Schamberger for a period of three months.
Harmon-Schamberger, who previously served as the state’s secretary of education and the arts, practices in Clay.
On March 27, the Hearing Panel Subcommittee of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board presented to the Supreme Court its written recommended disposition in the matter, recommending that Harmon-Schamberger’s law license be suspended for three months; that she refund a $1,000 retainer fee to a previous client; that she complete an additional six hours of continuing legal education in the area of ethics and law office management within 12 months from the date of the court order; and that she pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.
On April 5, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a consent to the recommendation.
“Upon consideration, the court is of the opinion to and does hereby concur with and does hereby approve the recommendation of the Hearing Panel Subcommittee,” the May 22 order states.
Upon reinstatement, Harmon-Schamberger must have supervised practice for two years, which the Supreme Court hopes will improve the quality and effectiveness of her practice to the extent that her sanctioned behavior is not likely to reoccur.
Harmon-Schamberger was appointed education secretary in 1992. She also worked as a staff attorney for the House Education Committee in the 1990s.
W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 16-0662