CHARLESTON – Beckley attorney Stephen New has been named president of the West Virginia Association for Justice to complete the term of the former president who resigned to run for circuit judge.
New was president-elect under David Hammer, who is running for circuit judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit. New will complete Hammer’s term, then he will begin his own term beginning June 7.
New said he wants to continue with Hammer’s projects, but also has a couple projects of his own he would like to work on.
“David began spreading the good news about our members and I want to continue with that,” New said. “The good news often goes unnoticed—our members don’t ask for the spotlight on their philanthropy and accomplishments. I want to continue to put a spotlight on this.”
New said he also wants to increase diversity within the organization.
“I want us to increase in minorities and within the LGBT community,” New said. “We are at our best when we are diverse.”
New said he also wants to rollback some tort reforms enacted over the last 15 years.
“Too much has hurt West Virginians,” he said. “We are going on the offense and want to repeal some of these tort reforms from the last 15 years. The Seventh Amendment guarantees a right to a trial by jury and things like arbitration and damage caps have made it so we don’t make it to trial. We have to stop the erosion of our Constitutional rights.”
New said it is a tremendous honor to serve as president for WVAJ and represent its members.
“When I was a law student at West Virginia University, I was recruited to join WVAJ's student group at the law school,” he said in a press release. “I met WVAJ's leaders, lawyers like Marvin Masters, Wes Metheney, Joe Long, Kay Bayless, and Harry Deitzler. I met WVAJ's younger members like Michael Romano and Paul Farrell Jr. I listened to them talk about the work they did for their clients and learned from them the importance of being a trial lawyer. They and so many other members have shaped my practice and the work I do every day. It is a privilege to serve as their president and build on their achievements.”
New said WVAJ has a long a proud history.
“I just want to help carry on the legacy and help mentor other lawyers,” he said. “I want to continue in advancement of the West Virginia Association for Justice’s mission. I am very honored to be asked to be president of such a prestigious organization.”
New is the owner of the Law Offices of Stephen P. New in Beckley. His primary practice areas are personal injury, wrongful death, employment discrimination, workers compensation and worksite accidents.
He is originally from Gilbert. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Marshall University and earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 1998.
As a law student, he served as chief justice of the Moot Court Board and was a member of the Lugar Trial Association. As the top ranked Lugar advocate, he represented the school at the American Association for Justice's National Trial Advocacy Tournament.
New is a U. S. Army veteran and lives with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Rebekah, in Beckley.