The West Virginia State Bar
Young Lawyers’ Executive Committee Meeting
Charleston, West Virginia
April 2, 2017
The following members were present: Matt Harvey, Shannon Smith, Linnsey Amores, Nicole Cofer, Steve Broadwater, Ashton Bias, Brad Wright, Matthew Lockhart, Lindsey Ashley, Blake Belcher, Matthew Bradford, Jamie Chapman, Eric Hayhurst, Kyle Moore, Matthew Chapman, Angela Brunicardi-Doss, April Mallow, Jasmine Morton, Tim Litten, Zak Ritchie, Lori Counts-Smith, Justin Raber, Sam Hess, William Duty, Shana Thompson.
The following members were not present: Kyle Moore, Matt Chandler (outgoing member), Steven Wolfe (outgoing member), Jed Nolan (outgoing member).
- Call to Order. Smith called the meeting to order as Mr. Harvey was attending the Board of Governors’ Meeting.
- Ascertainment of Quorum. A quorum was established.
- Introduction of New Executive Committee Members
- District 6 – William Duty
- District 7 – Shana Thompson
- District 8 – Ashton Bias
- District 9 – Matthew Bradford
- District 10 – Blake Belcher
- Review/Approval of minutes from prior meeting at Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia. Chapman made a motion to approve the January 21, 2017, minutes from the Executive Committee Meeting held at Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia. Ms. Cofer seconded the motion. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
ACTION TAKEN: Minutes unanimously approved.
- Report of Officers:
- Chair – Mr. Harvey
Mr. Harvey reserved his portion of the report for later on the agenda.
- Vice-Chair – Ms. Smith
Ms. Smith reserved her report for later on the agenda.
- Secretary – Ms. Amores
Ms. Amores had no report.
- Update on Board of Governors’ Meeting – Ms. Smith
- Minutes from January BOG Meeting
- Lawyer Disciplinary Board/ODC
- Lawyers Assistance Program
- Revisions to Rule 8.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct
- Report of the WVU Law School Representative – Bradley Wright
- Public Interest Advocates held its annual live auction on March 23. The auction raised over $27,500. This money will go toward funding student fellowships.
- The West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest has awarded three full time, one year, post-graduate fellowships to three members of the 2017 graduating class. These fellows will work in the approved public interest organization of their choice; the award pays $50,000 toward their salary and benefits.
- Courtney Crowder
- Katherine “Katie” Marcum
- Brad Wright
- Heather Spielmaker has been named the new Assistant Dean for Career Services at the College of Law. Heather is the former Director of the Center for Ethics, Service and Professionalism at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. She also earned her JD from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School.
- Professor John Taylor was voted Professor of the Year. Jennifer Powell was named Staff Member of the year.
- The Class of 2017—made up of 104 students–will graduate May 12
- The Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic and the West Virginia Innocence Project Clinic have joined forces and created programming aimed at assisting veterans incarcerated at the four federal prison facilities located in Hazelton, West Virginia.
- The Clinical Law Program was recognized by the National Jurist—the magazine awarded WVU Law second place on a national honor roll of law schools with the greatest community impact. The honor roll is based on data of the free legal services provided by law school clinics in 2015-16. Last year, WVU Law’s nine clinics provided 40,200 hours of pro bono legal services for more than 500 clients throughout the state.
- The College of Law has launched the Appalachian Justice Initiative (AJI), a group of law school faculty and staff working to address poverty in Appalachia through legal scholarship, policy advocacy, legal services and AJI’s mission is to develop programming and outreach projects that provide West Virginians and other Appalachian residents with enhanced legal services and education. Services will include workshops, meetings and legal teach-ins in communities throughout the state..
- Committee Reports and Old Business
- Practice Handbook – Mr. Hayhurst
Mr. Hayhurst advised new members as to what the handbook is and how it functions. About 90% of the handbook needs to be updated. We aim to update it every three years. If your chapter has not been updated in the last three to four years, then contact the author for them to update it or find a new author.
Ms. Counts-Smith advised that Jessica Alsop is not able to draft partnership law and taxation, but Robert “Bob” Tweel has agreed to draft it.
We need to ask Mike Mellace to send an email to all young lawyers after swearing in ceremony advising them that the handbook is there and providing a link to it.
- Bridge the Gap – Ms. Amores
The Supreme Court did not have a vote on the bylaws at the most recent conference, but it is anticipated that a vote will occur at the April conference.
- Lunchtime Lecture Series – Mr. Hayhurst
Mr. Hayhurst stated that they are trying to get something scheduled for the Spring, but are having a difficult time due to the high volume of activity at the law school during this semester.
- YLS Webpage and Social Media Committee – Ms. Ashley
Ms. Ashley updated everyone on what the committee does. Ms. Bias volunteered to take over this committee and its responsibilities.
- Special Projects/Public Service Committee – Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe was not present at the meeting. Mr. Litten volunteered to be the special projects/public service committee chair now that Mr. Wolfe’s term has expired.
- Update on Bar Prep FB/Twitter Project and Bar Exam Mentorship – Ms. Chapman
Ms. Chapman is going to start working on the Facebook and Twitter pages/groups at the end of May, after law school graduation.
- Young Lawyer Mentoring Program – Chairperson Harvey
Mr. Harvey was not present. Even though the program was not officially launched by former Chairman Foster, Ms. Smith encouraged everyone to reach out to new members of the bar within their regions to offer mentorship or connections to new lawyers.
- Bar Exam Box Lunches – Secretary Amores
We are sharing the cost with the WVU College of Law. We will sponsor one day and the College of Law will sponsor the second day. Cost is $19 per box lunch plus $100 for the space to serve lunch. The Bar Examiners Office estimates that about 200 people will take the exam, but we will likely only order ~160 lunches. We are going to attempt to negotiate a lower cost for the lunches due to the number of lunches to be ordered.
- Bylaws Revision – Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Wolfe
The bylaws are with the Supreme Court of Appeals for vote. This committee is essentially just watching the bylaws as they come through the Court. New members were not appointed to take over this committee due to its inactivity at this time.
- Department of Education Outreach
- World Wise Web – Ms. Mallow
There are videos, cold call script, introduction, and information on the ABA website for use of representatives. Members were encouraged to reach out to area schools to present this program.
- Update on West Virginia Law Adventure – Ms. Cofer
Ms. Cofer advised that she has received three submissions from Kandi Greter-Kirk at the Supreme Court Administrative Office. She needs assistance in grading the submissions. Volunteers were requested.
- Mock Trial in Elkins – Mr. Litten
Mr. Litten was contacted by a local high school civics instructor to speak about being a lawyer. They liked it so much that they requested him to do a mock trial. He requested fellow young lawyer assistance during the next school year with this project.
- Budget Committee – Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe was not present. Ms. Cofer volunteered to serve as the committee member to represent the Young Lawyer Section for the upcoming year.
- Young Lawyer of the Year and Mentor of the Year – Mr. Ritchie
Mr. Ritchie served as the committee chair for the nominations. There were 4 or 5 nominations for each award, and each were qualified. The award winners were:
Mentor of the Year: Chanin Krivonyak
Young Lawyer of the Year: Laura Omps-Botteicher
- District Events for the Current Year – District Representatives
Several members are planning events for their districts. The process for obtaining the funds for events was explained.
- Annual Meeting Sponsored Speaking
The YLS decided to form a committee of three individuals to find and retain a YLS sponsored speaker. Mr. Hayhurst, Mr. Bradford, and Ms. Brunicardi-Doss as well as the leadership will form the committee, which will meet separately. Members were directed to email information or ideas regarding potential speakers to the committee.
- District Events for the Current Year – District Representatives
Representatives were encouraged to hold an event in their areas, and the process of obtaining funding was explained.
- Other Old Business
- Wills for Heroes Project – Mr. Chapman
Mr. Chapman confirmed that the paperwork was submitted to the Wills for Heroes Project. Mr. Chapman is getting the documentation from Ms. Morton. He and Ms. Brunicardi-Doss will be executing the program in their districts soon. Ms. Morton also agreed to help if needed.
- New Business
- Implications of House Bill 2892
Mr. Ritchie advised that the bill is dead.
- West Virginia Entrepreneurship
Mr. Lockhart volunteered to be our committee contact with the WVU Women’s Business Center.
- Nomination and Election of Secretary
Ms. Amores nominated Nicole Cofer. Mr. Chapman seconded the motion.
ACTION TAKEN: Ms. Cofer was elected as secretary by unanimous voice vote.
- Regional Officer Reports
Mr. Litten advised that the Supreme Court would be in Tucker County this coming week for LAWS Day and to hear three cases.
Ms. Ashley and Mr. Bradford advised as to the election of a new family and circuit court judge in their districts.
Ms. Mallow discussed that there is a family law judge vacancy. Several attorneys have applied.
Mr. Broadwater discussed that the newly elected Nicholas County Circuit Court Judge was suspended, and Senior Status Judge Rowe will be filling his seat for the next two years.
Mr. Lockhart discussed the new judges in his district as well.
- Next Executive Committee Meeting
July 29, 2017 at Adventures on the Gorge in Fayetteville/Lansing, West Virginia. Confirmation of rooms required on or before May 25, 2017.
Ms. Smith utilized this section of the meeting to advise that there will be a required attendance rule. Each member may miss at most one meeting if they wish to have their trip to the Greenbrier paid for in 2018.
Additional Upcoming Meetings:
October 6-7, 2017: Canaan Valley Resort, Canaan Valley, West Virginia
January 19-20, 2018: West Virginia State Bar Center, Charleston, West Virginia
April 8-9, 2018: The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Mr. Hayhurst moved to adjourn the meeting, and Mr. Chapman seconded the motion.
ACTION TAKEN: The Committee unanimously approved the motion to adjourn.