A big crowd of judges, lawyers and their guests from all around the state  attended the successful 17th Annual Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at the Marriott Hotel in Charleston.

President Steve White (Charleston) was an extraordinary host and Master of Ceremonies with the valuable assistance of his wife, Katie. Four members of the judiciary and fifteen members of the legal profession were honored at the prestigious event. Their “professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession….”

The diverse members of the 2015 class of Bar Foundation Fellows are:

Brian Cokeley-Charleston Charles Dunbar-Charleston Robert File-Beckley Kay Fuller-Martinsburg Chief Judge Gina Groh-Martinsburg Lee Hall-Huntington Henry Jernigan-Charleston Judge Mike Kelly-Charleston Deborah Kilgore-Princeton Judge James Mazzone-Wheeling David McMunn-Clarksburg Christy Morris-Charleston Andy Nason-Charleston Judge Dan O’Hanlon-Huntington Louis Palmer-Charleston Gerry Stowers-Charleston Steve Thompson-Charleston Tracey Weber, III-Weston James Wright-Wheeling


The next Bar Brief will include a photo of this distinguished group.





Only two positions are still available for newer lawyers to participate in the fourth outstanding Lawyer Leadership Institute to be held on May 15-17, 2015, at the Stonewall Resort near Weston.

Those lawyers, who have been admitted to the practice of law for ten years or less, will have the opportunity to learn from outstanding members of the judiciary and the legal profession regarding education and professional training that will enable them to become leaders in the legal profession, in their communities and in the State. They will receive expert presentations on service skills, leadership traits, professionalism and civil discourse through participation in interactive sessions, networking opportunities and interpersonal relationship building in an informal atmosphere.

The expert presenters include Federal Court Judge John Bailey, State Court Judge Michael Aloi, Professor Emeritus Jack Bowman, Law School Professor Tom Patrick, Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachael Cipoletti, County Counsel Norwood Bentley and Entrepreneur Attorney Elliot Hicks.

The first three LLI events have been overwhelmingly successful with participants’ comments such as:


Well done.

Very well planned and very well executed.

The speakers who had more interactive presentations were my favorite.

Very thought provoking.

The Institute did an excellent job of laying out our responsibilities as lawyers to lead not just within the profession, but in the community as a whole.

The speakers were varied, and for the most part, very interesting.

[I]t was a wonderful group of presentations with a star group of presenters.

I am also grateful for the new friends I have made while here.

The cost remains at $499 per person, which includes two nights lodging at Stonewall Resort, five meals, and all materials, as well as twelve hours of requested continuing legal education credits, with four hours of legal ethics credits.

Please contact the WV Bar Foundation by MAY 8 to reserve one of the two remaining places——Tom Tinder—(304)-343-9823, or WV Bar Foundation, P. O. Box 4845, Charleston, WV 25364.



The Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors, consisting of 15 lawyers and judges from all parts of the state and all types of law practice, will hold its quarterly meeting on June 4, 2015, at 12:00 Noon at the law offices of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso in Charleston.

Immediately following the Board meeting at 1:00 PM, the Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting will be held. The agenda for the meeting includes the reading of the Minutes of the 2014 Annual Meeting, a report on the programs and activities of the Bar Foundation, the financial report, the Nominating Committee report and Other Business.

The Nominating Committee report will consist of the election of the following persons to serve three year terms as members of the Board of Directors:


Richard Bolen-Huntington                   Jodie Boylen-Parkersburg                   Ken Gray-Morgantown                   Family Court Judge Mary Ellen Griffith-Princeton                   Harry Shaffer, III-Madison



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Thomas R. Tinder, Esq. Executive Director West Virginia Bar Foundation Post Office Box 4845 Charleston, WV 25364



The philanthropic organization for West Virginia’s legal profession and justice system.

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