The WV Bar Foundation Board of Directors was gratified to provide a Bar Foundation grant to the WV Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) to support two successful statewide summits this past summer focusing on child abuse and neglect prevention, one for the judiciary and one for prosecuting attorneys.

      In its formal report on the utilization of the grant, WVCAN Executive Director Emily Crittenden-Laird presented the WVCAN goal–“In collaboration with Child Advocacy Centers throughout the Mountain State, our goal is to minimize trauma for abused children, break the cycle of abuse, and hold offenders accountable.”

       To help achieve this goal, “WVCAN convened two one-day summits (one for judges, one for prosecutors) on child abuse victims in the criminal justice system to improve the investigation, prosecution, and judicial handling of child abuse cases. The Judicial Focus Group hosted 6 judges (plus Court Improvement Program staff) and the Prosecutorial Focus Group hosted 7 prosecutors.”

        The immediate outcome for the Judicial Focus Group was—“The WV Supreme Court’s Court Improvement Program (CIP) has included education on child abuse, CACs, and forensic interviewing in the agendas for recent Guardians Ad Litem trainings and the summer cross-trainings. After WVCAN presented outcomes of the focus group to CIP in early 2017, CIP is recommending the inclusion of CAC training to the Judicial Association and Family Court Association, as well. It is anticipated those judicial trainings will occur in the next 6 months.

         The immediate outcome for the Prosecutorial Focus Group was —“The prosecutors in attendance also recommended the implementation of a pre-conference educational track about child sexual abuse at the summer meeting of the WV Prosecuting Attorneys Institute.” In addition, “WVCAN followed up with the WV Prosecuting Attorney’s Institute shortly after the focus group to discuss the outcomes of the discussion. The two organizations will continue discussing possible avenues for addressing the prosecutors’ legislative concerns in the future.”

          The following comments were made by two of the summits’ participants:

                Judge: “CACs are needed in every county. I work in two counties: one with a CAC and one without, and the way cases are handled in these two counties is night and day.” 

                Prosecutor: “We need more opportunities like this. It’s wonderful to be with peers who are committed to the protection of children.” 


            The Bar Foundation commends WVCAN for these excellent activities to improve the administration of justice here in West Virginia.





          The 19th Annual Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Marriott Hotel in Charleston.           The criteria for Bar Foundation Fellows is those judges and 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.

          There have been just more than 300 lawyers and judges selected as Fellows over the years out of more than 5,000 judges and lawyers here in WV.

          The members of this year’s class of outstanding individuals are:


Rob Aliff-Charleston
Marty Becker-Jupiter, FL
Sam Byrer-Charles Town
George Cosenza-Parkersburg
Teresa Dumire-Morgantown
John File-Beckley
Lester “Ted” Hess-Wheeling
Jim Lees-Charleston
Charlie Lorensen-Charleston
Duke McDaniel-Petersburg
Christopher Plybon-Huntington
Terry Reed-Buckhannon
Dale Steager-Charleston
Rebecca Tinder-Charleston
Tomas Vernon-Charleston
Judge Christopher Wilkes-Martinsburg
Richard “Dink” Yurko-Bridgeport


         The well received event (black tie optional) begins at 6:00PM and the cost is $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of ten persons. The majority of the amount is tax deductible and the net proceeds from the Dinner are used for Bar Foundation grants to improve the administration of justice in the state.

           Please contact Tom Tinder to make your reservations—(304)-343-9823, tom@wvbarfoundation.org or WV Bar Foundation, P. O. Box 4845, Charleston, WV 25364.

          Make your reservations TODAY!






           The Bar Foundation Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on March 2 with thirteen of the fifteen members participating–the other two members were involved in court matters.

           The Board reviewed and approved the stable financial report, finalized plans for the Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner, the Lawyer Leadership Institute and the Lunch and Laughs With a Legal Legend events, considered the positive growth of the Justice Fund, decided upon a Bar Foundation grant and considered the Nominating Committee Report for Board members and Officers.