The WV Bar Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the awarding of a second annual grant to the WV Lawyers Assistance Program (WVLAP). Pictured above are WVLAP Executive Director Robert Albury, Jr. and Bar Foundation Board member Ellen Cappellanti.
WVLAP has the important responsibility of providing services and guidance to lawyers who are suffering from drug and alcohol problems, mental health conditions and other disabling situations. Recently, the WV Supreme Court approved additional funding for WVLAP and requested that its services and guidance also be available to the members of the state’s judiciary.
Last year, the Bar Foundation Board made the first of five annual $5,000 grants to WVLAP, which was used for a WVLAP Board of Directors strategic planning meeting with lawyers from all parts of the state and all types of law practice participating. The focus was placed on the need for additional resources, peer volunteer network and support groups, for a well-developed state-wide network, to educate the bench, bar and the public and to reach minority and women lawyers.
The total $25,000 grant is the largest ever provided by the Bar Foundation. In the past three years, WVLAP has received 200 inquiries with 148 resulting in referral, intervention and/or assistance with 57 new case files being opened and 11 formal interventions occurring in just the past year.
The Bar Foundation Board commends WVLAP for the significant work which has been accomplished and looks forward to continuing to support this beneficial activity.

On Sunday, September 24, the Memorial Service for former WV Supreme Court Justice Franklin D. Cleckley was held in Morgantown. Members of the judiciary, legal profession, WVU College of Law and the general public were present to pay their utmost respects to the longtime Law School professor and legendary lawyer.
Heartfelt and inspiring remarks were made by the Justice’s two sons and daughter, his sister-in-law, Law School Dean Greg Bowman, Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley, Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman, Attorneys Gail Henderson-Staples, David Fryson and Gregory Hinton and WVU Provost Joyce McConnell.
Law School Professor Emeritus Jack Bowman delivered the Eulogy that captured the long lasting positive impact and effect that Justice Cleckley had on the legal and judicial systems, the legal education program and the people of West Virginia. “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Soon I Will Be Done” were beautifully sung by Attorney Dwayne Grannum.
As one speaker stated, Justice Cleckley was “the greatest lawyer in the history of the state.”


The Bar Foundation has recently received generous donations from a member of the federal judiciary and a member of the legal profession.
Federal Court Judge Irene Keeley (Clarksburg) made a significant contribution at the Lunch and Laughs event where the proceeds are utilized to support student legal clinics at the WVU College of Law and for Bar Foundation grants. The Judge is a Bar Foundation Fellow and a past Lunch and Laughs honoree.
Christy Morris (Charleston) made a major financial commitment to the Justice Fund, which is used solely to fund Bar Foundation grants to improve the administration of justice and the provision of legal services to WV’s citizens. Christy is a Bar Foundation Fellow and a newer member of the Board of Directors.
Thanks so much to Judge Keeley and to Christy Morris!