MORGANTOWN – Jill Cranston Rice, an attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl, has concluded her term as the president of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia.

Rice will continue as immediate past president for the next year. Jill McIntyre of Jackson Kelly will preside of president of the organization for the next year.

Prior to her term as the organization’s president, Rice served as DTC-WV vice-president  for the 2015-16 year,  treasurer for the 2014-15 year and secretary for the 2013-14 year. She has served as a member of its board of directors since 1998.

Rice said the defense bar association Is a valuable organization.

“We do a lot of advocacy work and a lot of student outreach at the law school,” she said. “We help with their resumes and setting up interviews—we help them prepare.”

Rice said the organization does continuing legal education for its members and offers at least 24 hours every two years.

“We want our organization to be a one-stop shop of sorts,” she said. “Since lawyers need 24 hours every two years, we offer at least that amount so that our members can participate in our activities and get their continuing legal education as well.”

Rice said the DTC-WV is the voice for West Virginia’s defense bar and through the DTC-WV the defense bar is able to speak with one voice.

“It’s a valuable organization,” she said. “We host many events that are either free or at very low-cost to members. We provide law updates—which is one of the most valuable services we provide.”

“Our members represent businesses and individuals who are brought before a court as a defendant and are at risk of having a judgment made against them.  In most cases, the plaintiff is suing for money.  In others, the plaintiff is asking the court to enjoin the defendant from engaging in certain activity. 

McIntyre said some of the members represent parties in business disputes, such as breach of contract, and, because of that, have experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants.

“Insurance companies hire some of our members to defend their insureds,” she said. “A number of our members have specialized practices, representing, for example, companies accused of workplace safety or environmental law violations.  The common denominator is our members’ advocacy in courts and other tribunals, typically in defense of civil litigation.”

McIntyre said the 2017-18 DTC-WV will continue to be a place where members exchange information, ideas, procedural techniques and court rulings.

“We will work to enhance the knowledge and improve the skills of civil defense attorneys and to elevate the standards of trial practice within the State of West Virginia,” McIntyre said.

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