The West Virginia State Bar
Young Lawyers’ Executive Committee Meeting
Waterfront Place Hotel
Morgantown, West Virginia
January 21, 2017
The following members were present: Matt Harvey, Linnsey Amores, Nicole Cofer, Eric Hayhurst, Kyle Moore, Matthew Chapman, Angela Brunicardi-Doss, April Mallow, Jasmine Morton, John McGhee, Tim Litten, Zak Ritchie, Lori Counts-Smith, Justin Raber, Sam Hess, Dean Rohrig, Anita Casey, and Meshea Poore.
- Call to Order. Harvey called the meeting to order.
- Ascertainment of Quorum. A quorum was established.
- Review/Approval of minutes from prior meeting at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, West Virginia. Chapman made a motion to approve the October 29, 2016, minutes from the Executive Committee Meeting held at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, West Virginia. Ms. Mallow seconded the motion. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
ACTION TAKEN: Minutes unanimously approved.
- Review/Approval of minutes from telephonic meeting in December 2016. Hayhurst made a motion to approve the minutes from the telephonic meeting. Mr. Litten seconded the motion. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
ACTION TAKEN: Minutes unanimously approved.
- Introduction of New Executive Committee Members
- District 2: Justin Raber.
- 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 was not present at the meeting.
- Secretary – Ms. Amores
Ms. Amores had no report.
- Update on Board of Governors’ Meeting – Mr. Harvey
- Report of WVU College of Law
WVU College of Law is going to start offering in-state tuition to any student who has a degree from a West Virginia college or university, regardless of home state residency.
WVU College of Law is also going to start an early admission 3+3 program, which would permit students to start law school in their last year of undergraduate school in order to provide them with a significant cost savings.
WVU College of Law started a new initiative for mentorship of minority law students with industry and legal leaders.
- Public Interest/Rural Practice Scholarships
The Executive Board approved two public interest/rural practice scholarships. For each number of years the scholarship is received, then the students would have to work in a designated rural county with a limited number of attorneys. The Executive Board is looking at a rural law program, similar to what is done in Nebraska. This program would encourage law students to return home to rural areas and practice there so that rural areas of the state will have legal practitioners because at this time the population is significantly declining. The program is in its infancy. They will have to look county by county to determine which counties would be the best positioned to have this program before offering scholarship funds. They are working through the details of the program.
- Upcoming Meetings
July 28-29, 2017: Adventures on the Gorge, Fayetteville, West Virginia
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
- 2017 Annual Meeting: April
April 2, 2017
11:00 Lunch at Marriott
12:00 Young Lawyers Section Meeting
7:00 Banquet, which includes swearing in of new officers and members
April 3, 2017
9:00 – 5:00 CLE presentations
The State Bar Executive Board requests that the Young Lawyer Section attorneys request attendance from other local members of their local bar.
Sponsorship: Young Lawyers are encouraged to reach out to vendors for sponsorship at the annual meeting from industry professionals.
- Lawyers Assistance Program
The Executive Board of the State Bar voted to more than double the funding. The West Virginia Supreme Court must agree to the line item budget request.
- Report of the WVU Law School Representative – Bradley Wright
Mr. Wright was unable to attend the meeting today. Mr. Wright is set to graduate in May and Mr. Harvey is to contact the WVU College of Law to have a new student representative appointed.
- Committee Reports and Old Business
- Practice Handbook – Mr. Hayhurst
Mr. Hayhurst received an update from Mr. Lockhart that the author for civil litigation does not want to do it anymore. Someone will contact Deb Scudiere to draft it.
Ms. Ashley is going to contact the West Virginia Director of Magistrate Court Services about drafting the magistrate court chapter.
Ms. Counts-Smith was assigned to partnership law and taxation. Jessica Alsop is the current author.
Ms. Brunicardi-Doss noted that there is no family law chapter in the handbook. She agreed to take over that chapter and contact Judge Greenburg and Andy Nason about drafting it.
- Bridge the Gap – Ms. Amores
The Supreme Court did not have a vote on the bylaws at the January conference.
- Lunchtime Lecture Series – Mr. Hayhurst
Mr. Hayhurst stated that they are trying to get something scheduled for the Spring. Members offered suggestions of topics and speakers.
- YLS Webpage and Social Media Committee – Ms. Ashley
Ms. Ashley was not present.
- Wills for Heroes Project – Mr. Chapman
Mr. Chapman explained that the Wills for Heroes Project has been delayed because of an ethics issue regarding the cost of the “gift” of a will to the officers. Additionally, we are not currently associated with Wills for Heroes, the actual organization. There are approximately 10 attorneys in Mr. Chapman’s district that are willing to volunteer services once the ethics commission makes a decision. Mr. Chapman will send a letter to the ethics commission and ODC regarding these issues.
- Special Projects/Public Service Committee – Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe was not present at the meeting. Ms. Brunicardi-Doss agreed to take over the Christmas donation project.
- Christmas Donation – We discussed the contributions made this year and how we did not receive donations from the vast majority of members and that this needs to change in 2017.
- Update on Bar Prep FB/Twitter Project and Bar Exam Mentorship – Ms. Chapman
Ms. Chapman was not present at the meeting.
- Young Lawyer Mentoring Program – Chairperson Harvey
Mr. Harvey discussed the mentorship program. Mr. Litten was contacted by a local high school civics instructor to speak about being a lawyer. The ABA has pre-packaged information to take to schools to give presentations, if needed.
- Bar Exam Box Lunches – Secretary Amores
No information was available to update on this project.
- Bylaws Revision – Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Wolfe
The bylaws are with the Supreme Court of Appeals for vote.
- Department of Education Outreach
- BullyProof Program – Ms. Mallow
The videos for the BullyProof project are outdated, and it would be more appropriate to focus on another program.
ACTION TAKEN: Ms. Amores made a motion to utilize the new ABA program once it is created/posted for 2017 or 2018. Ms. Mallow seconded the motion.
- Update on West Virginia Law Adventure – Ms. Cofer
Ms. Cofer advised that she has not received any communications from Kandi Greter-Kirk at the Supreme Court Administrative Office.
- Budget Committee – Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe was not present. We agreed to switch our funds of $4,000.00 for the Wills for Heroes project into providing a speaker for the Annual Meeting. The line item for the Young Lawyers Section is now one large sum rather than divided into specific programs.
- Young Lawyer of the Year and Mentor of the Year – Mr. Ritchie
Mr. Ritchie agreed to head a sub-committee to evaluate and promote the awards to be given out annually. The sub-committee will be comprised of Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Chapman, Mr. Moore, and Mr. Hayhurst. We currently have four nominees for the mentor of the year award. There are no nominations for young lawyer of the year award at this time. The Bar Blast, Facebook, and the magazine should have them included. The deadline is quickly approaching as the award has to be made by early March.
- 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.
- Other Old Business
Nothing at this time.
- Regional Officer Reports
Mr. Litten advised that there is a rent-to-own scam going on right now in the flood-affected areas. He requested that anyone who has been affected by the scam should contact Legal Aid.
Ms. Mallow provided a report about her family court judge resigning.
Ms. Brunicardi-Doss updated us on the new judges in her circuit, including a former young lawyers’ president, Jason Wharton, who was elected as circuit court judge in Wood County.
Mr. Moore advised that there are two new circuit court judges in his district as well.
- Next Executive Committee Meeting
April 2-3, 2017 in Charleston, West Virginia
Mr. Hayhurst moved to adjourn the meeting, and Mr. Litten seconded the motion.
ACTION TAKEN: The Committee unanimously approved the motion to adjourn.