The West Virginia Bar Foundation has selected its 2009 Foundation Fellows. They were honored at the recent Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner in Charleston.

For ten years, the Bar Foundation, which is the philanthropic organization for the legal profession, has selected “those lawyers whose professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession with the individuals selected reflecting the diverse nature of the legal profession in West Virginia.” This year’s class of 13 lawyers and 2 judges joins 151 lawyers and 25 judges, who have been previously selected as Bar Foundation Fellows.
2009 Bar Foundation Fellows

  1. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Albright-Parkersburg
  2. Barbara Allen-Charleston
  3. Professor Robert Bastress-Morgantown
  4. Oscar Bean-Moorefield
  5. Landers Bonenberger-Wheeling
  6. Michael Caryl-Martinsburg
  7. Federal Court Judge Robert Chambers-Huntington
  8. Linda Garrett-Summersville
  9. Logan Hassig-New Martinsville
  10. Harry Hatfield-Madison
  11. Catherine Munster-Clarksburg
  12. John Nesius-Charleston
  13. Janet Preston-Parsons
  14. Ancil Ramey-Charleston
  15. William Redd-Huntington

IOLTA COMPARABILITY RULE– On March 12, 2009, the West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously approved amendments to Rule 1.15 of the Rules of Professional Conduct relating to the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. The revision sets up Comparability Rule provisions as are in effect in 23 other states in the nation. The new Rule, which had an effective date of April 15, 2009, states that banks must provide the same interest rate on IOLTA accounts as are provided for other interest bearing checking accounts at that bank. It is expected that there could be additional IOLTA funds available for free civil legal services for low income citizens once an improvement in the current economic downturn leads to higher interest rates. The Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors and its IOLTA Advisory Committee will be utilizing a group with expertise in Comparability Rules in other states to initiate this effort in the coming weeks. The Supreme Court’s Order is located on its website at–http://www.state.wv.us/wvsca/rules/1_15.htm—-or on this website under IOLTA on the toolbar.  If you have any questions, please contact Tom Tinder at the Bar Foundation office—304-343-9823 or tom@wvbarfoundation.org

IOLTA ACCOUNTS RECEIVE UNLIMITED FDIC INSURANCE COVERAGE– On Friday, November 21, 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Board of Directors approved a Final Rule for the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) which will provide unlimited FDIC insurance coverage for certain bank accounts, including accounts in the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. This is a significant action that will provide security to lawyers in all 50 states who place their client funds in IOLTA accounts. Here in West Virginia, the IOLTA program was set up by an Order of the Supreme Court of Appeals in 1990 and is administered by the WV Bar Foundation. It has generated more than $13 million for free civil legal services for low income citizens. The Bar Foundation, through its Board of Directors and IOLTA Advisory Committee,  worked with the American Bar Association, IOLTA programs around the country, the offices of Senators Byrd and Rockefeller as well as other interested parties to generate support for the unlimited insurance coverage. The FDIC reported that it received approximately 750 public comments with more than a majority relating to IOLTA insurance coverage. If you have any questions, please contact the Bar Foundation’s Executive Director, Tom Tinder, at 304-343-9823 or tom@wvbarfoundation.org

On behalf of the West Virginia Bar Foundation, the philanthropic organization for West Virginia’s legal profession and justice system since 1988, we are very pleased to initiate our revamped website! It will be the primary communications and information source for the important work that is done by the Bar Foundation.

The website includes everything you want to know about the goals and successes, the programs and services, and the governance and actions that are undertaken to benefit the lawyers, judges and citizens of the State. It is the source of facts and materials that enables the Bar Foundation to achieve its mission of improving the administration of justice and the provision of legal services for West Virginia’s men, women and children.

The Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors—a diverse group of fifteen lawyers from all parts of the State and all types of law practice—is committed to accomplishing even more positive endeavors in the future. You can expect to see the West Virginia Bar Foundation continuing to work professionally, proactively and cooperatively to assist our State and its people.

Please give us your input about what we are currently doing and what suggestions you have for us.

Tom Tinder
Executive Director